Retro Blog : Christmas 1982 = ZX Spectrum

Christmas 1982. I ran downstairs like 1000′s of kids (mainly boys) and got my hands on my new Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48K. Wow. With its colour graphics, sound and rubber keyboard I was in heaven. It plugged directly into a TV via the aerial socket and games loaded via a cassette player. The first game I loaded was Manic Miner by Matthew Smith. Games used to take about 5 minutes to load which heightened the anticipation of playing something new. I reached Eugene’s Lair (screen 5) before I had to stop for Christmas dinner. Needless to say I spent 1000′s of hours with my Speccy, playing games and poking unlimited lives.

BinatoneFast forward to 2012.

The Speccy is 30 years old this year so I thought I would recapture my youth and buy some retro computers.

My first purchase was one of the original Pong machines, a Binatone TV Master MK IV. Back in their day this was cutting edge technology. 3 inbuilt games – Tennis, Squash and Football – all based around hitting a ball with a bat. Back in the 70′s it was fantastic to play a game on your TV. With its unique “Blip Blip” noise it entertained the whole family for hours. This model is from 1977 and cost about £30 back then.

Binatone is still going strong today. Originally started in 1958 by three brothers who named the company after their little sister – Bina. Circa 1974 they imported the TV Game console and in 1978 became a best seller in the UK. Following the deregulation of phone lines in the early 1980′s Binatone moved into telecoms and renamed the Binatone Communications Group. Today they are still going strong and launched the Android based tablet for kids called Kidzstar, which after only 2 months became the best selling toys in the Argos catalogue.

Next Retro Blog – Sinclair ZX81.

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2 Responses to Retro Blog : Christmas 1982 = ZX Spectrum

  1. Brian Coyle says:

    Oh Steve – great memories for me, I loved my spectrum. I started out with the ZX81, then Spectrum, then Dragon 32, then commodore 64, then commodore 128, then Amiga!

    Happy days!

    Brian Coyle

  2. Andrew Brightey says:

    It was such a simpler time back then when we all appreciated such a special gift. I can still remember the hours of joy it gave us all (stiil have a 4+ in my loft) and in black & white – how the world has progressed in such a short time. Thanks for the memories

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