Rick Dickinson, ZX Spectrum designer, RIP

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Thu Apr 26 17:06:32 CDT 2018

On Thu, 26 Apr 2018 at 16:55, Zane Healy <healyzh at avanthar.com> wrote:

> My first computer was supposed to be a ZX81.  I worked all Summer
painting the house to earn it.  As it happens, my payment was a VIC-20 with
a tape recorder.

I guess the VIC had colour and sound, but that 22-column screen always
looked too much like one of those first-generation Atari consoles to me. I
never could get past that too-chunky text.

Nowadays, looking back, the computer I _would_ have wanted from that era
was the Acorn Atom...

> The ZX Spectrum has always fascinated me, and nearly 20 years ago, I
traded a Tek cartridge with a list member for a ZX Spectrum 2+.  I still
dream of having time to get that system up and running.  Even though I’ve
never run it, it’s still one of my favorite pieces in my collection.

There are two different models of +2 -- the grey +2 and the black +2A.

The +2 -- I have one myself -- is the Sinclair PCB in an Amstrad case. It
is basically 100% compatible with a real Sinclair Research 128K+.

The +2A is a cut-down Amstrad Spectrum +3, with the disk interface removed.
Amstrad promised an add-on disk interface, the "SI-1", but never made one.
Now, remarkably, there's a 3rd party one:

An essential addon for any +2A! :-D

So it depends which one you have.

There are lots of resources for getting them working again -- some people
might even be on this list. There are replacement ULA chips, circuit
diagrams, ROM disassemblies, everything you could want.

This is the single most impressive Spectrum-based modification I've seen,
adding 64-column text, high density floppy drives, CP/M compatibility and a
switchable faster CPU:

Liam Proven • Profile: https://about.me/liamproven
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