Happy birthday my rubber keyed friend!

Well, 2012 has turned out to be quite a year for retro computing. The Commodore 64 turned 30 this year, Jack Tramiel died, and the ZX Spectrum is 30 years old too!

I have fond memories of the original 48K ZX Spectrum. Even though it had a tiny rubber keyboard it suited my much younger and smaller hands. I do recall the “Symbol Shift” key got stuck a few times making it hard to type in BASIC code but I guess I opened up the machine and cleaned the keyboard membrane when that happened.

On the off chance you haven’t read it yet there’s a great article on the Sir Clive Sinclair’s machine in the first issue of Retro Gamer that came free with the 100th.

At the time many 8 bit machines used tapes to load their software. Disks were a rare luxury. The loading sounds became so engrained in our minds that even now they’re recognisable and someone created an iOS app that recreates them. (Thanks Conor!)

Or the real thing. It takes a while …

Edit: Conor noticed that has a new Google Doodle for the day that’s in it:

By Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Twitter.

3 replies on “Happy birthday my rubber keyed friend!”

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