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Vintage Computers Any vintage computer systems, calculators, video games etc., but with an emphasis on 1980s and earlier equipment.

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Old 16th Aug 2019, 6:24 pm   #21
SiriusHardware
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Default Re: Sinclair Spectrum considerations

You can almost certainly get ZX Spectrum emulators for Android or IOS, but the problem there is how to connect a proper keyboard (maybe via bluetooth?) or a switched joystick, without which some games would just be unplayable.

Probably better to use something which outputs to a decent sized display, I think, especially with most of us now having middle-aged eyesight.

The Raspberry Pi 3 is just about usable as a basic home computer, including for Internet surfing and locating / downloading software to run on your emulator - the Pi 4 ought to be better still for that purpose but it is sufficiently different to the earlier Pis that a few things still need tweaking specifically to run on it, including, at this time, Retropie.

Last edited by SiriusHardware; 16th Aug 2019 at 6:31 pm.
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Old 16th Aug 2019, 6:42 pm   #22
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Default Re: Sinclair Spectrum considerations

Thanks. I was wondering what the differences were between the models of Pi.

All I want for now is something that will run games and be a bit of fun.
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Old Yesterday, 11:38 am   #23
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Default Re: Sinclair Spectrum considerations

A further question on this topic.

I am actively looking at getting a Raspberry Pi, so that is in hand.

Long-term I think I'd still like an original machine and this got me wondering about what caused programmes to fail to load/ crash at some point during loading and what the prospects are for cassettes.

I know I will be able to get a device to load up files, but playing cassettes as originally intended also appeals to me. Are the old cassettes likely to be OK long-term? Do they suffer from anything like sticky shed or print-through?
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Old Yesterday, 11:50 am   #24
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Default Re: Sinclair Spectrum considerations

It is pot luck with cassettes. If they have been stored okay, and in boxes, then they will be fine. But with used ones, who knows? The rule is, donīt pay much!

The problems of crashing used to be due to drop outs, either through cheap tape or it having been crinkled by someone touching the tape surface, dust on that spot of the tape (always store rewound so the leader tape protects the programme) or a bad pinch roller. Often, using a higher volume setting would work. Or copying the tape using a slightly higher rec level.
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Old Yesterday, 4:01 pm   #25
Martin Bush
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Default Re: Sinclair Spectrum considerations

That's interesting. The crashes that used to come in the closing seconds of loading were a real killer!
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Old Yesterday, 5:46 pm   #26
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Default Re: Sinclair Spectrum considerations

There is an emerging problem which affects microdrive cartridges and (to a lesser extent) cassettes, and that is 'pressure pad syndrome', where the little sprung foam pad which is supposed to press the tape against the head has turned to brown liquid goo.

Always inspect and replace if necessary before trying to run the tape or microdrive cartridge for the first time.
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Old Yesterday, 7:07 pm   #27
Martin Bush
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Default Re: Sinclair Spectrum considerations

Good call. These are things I can look out for and deal with. Fault finding and repairing circuit boards isn't for me though.

The pressure pad problem was the kind of thing I was thinking about. Anything that could turn an otherwise nice tape into something fit for the bin if used unsuspectingly.

I was wondering if I could use one obsolete technology to feed another, so to speak, and save some games to mini disc and use that.
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Old Yesterday, 7:30 pm   #28
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Default Re: Sinclair Spectrum considerations

I guess, but to be honest there is no shame in using an MP3 player or something which can play MP3s or uncompressed WAV files - phone, computer, etc, to 'play' a program into the machine.

At least then the playback level and speed is identical and repeatable every time, with no troublesome tape crinkles or dropouts to worry about.
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Old Today, 11:14 am   #29
Martin Bush
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Default Re: Sinclair Spectrum considerations

It seems that there's plenty of ways to feed the vintage machines, which can only be a good thing. I find it amusingthat you can load programmes onto an old Spectrum from a range of sources yet my super-powerful smartphone is rather fussy
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