• Retro Challenge January 2016 – Preamble

    So, you may well remember that I entered Retro Challenge 18 months ago, and what a fun crazy busy time that was!  Well, the January Retro Challenge competition is about to kick off in just over 2 weeks. If you’re not familiar with Retro Challenge, shame on you!  But you can de-shame yourself by heading […]

  • Ace adventures on Jupiter

    So, before I dive in to this, a quick history lesson for those of you that aren’t fully up to speed on your rare 80’s vintage 8 bit computers.  In the beginning, there was Clive Sinclair, and he invented the Sinclair ZX80.  From the ZX80, the ZX81 and indeed home computing was born.  From the […]

  • Printing Xmas Tags Like It Was 1983

    Yesterday this tweet appeared on my Twitter timeline Now, being the geeky retro Sinclair fanboy I am, I read it, understood it, and retweeted it.  Obviously.

  • RC2014 with ZX Printer interface

    My original plan had never been to design and build my own computer.  I had, however, planned to build a clone of the Sinclair ZX80, which has been on my bucket list of things to own for year, and which I had found plans for online.  Whilst collecting the parts and reading up on simple […]

  • Retro Challenge – New IDEa

    just a quick update about my Z80 development environment. If you look down a couple of blogs, you’ll see that I found an online Z80 emulator and I’d written a couple of bits that executed in it, so I was going to do my Z80 learning and development on that.  However, there were two issues. […]

  • Retro Challenge – Font Selection

    So, if I’m going to write my name on a bunch of 8×8 LED matrix displays, I have a couple of options; Write my name on grid paper, colour in the squares, convert it to binary and transpose it to hexadecimal.  Or… I could use a font that’s already out there.  Like the one that […]

  • Robomow Powered Sinclair C5

    When I bought my Sinclair C5, it came without many parts, such as wheels, motor, batteries etc. Seeing that my Robomow robotic lawn mower had all of these, I hit upon a foolproof plan! You should see the out-take video!

  • C5 – It’s Alive!

    Back in July 2013, someone in the office mentioned the beautiful iconic 80’s disaster that is the Sinclair C5.  Inevitably someone asked what they’re worth now, and apart from the fact they cost £400 new, was dropped to £199 shortly after and then the price plummeted like a stone, I had no idea.  So I […]

  • Home built Z80 video on Computerphile

    In posts to come I’ll go in to some details about the breadboard Z80 computer I built recently, but, in the mean time, here’s a video that Computerphile made about it Be sure to check out Computerphiles Youtube channel too!

  • Z88 32kb to 512kb Memory Upgrade

    As mentioned in a couple of other posts here, the Z88 is a great machine.  It comes with 32k of RAM, although this can be expanded with plug in cartridges.  An alternative, however, is to replace the internal 32k with something larger.  This photo tutorial shows how you can expand the onboard memory to 512k. […]

  • Z88 as a USB keyboard using a Minimus

    If you’ve been reading this blog in cronological order, you’ll know about the FTDI adapter I made for the Z88.  If you don’t read this in order, you’ll know about the Minimus programming I’ve been doing and what the Minimus is (note that I’ve not blogged about that yet… be patient!)   Now to turn […]

  • Z88 to FTDI lead via MAX3232

    I have already blogged on here about how awesome the Z88 is, and how ahead of it’s day it was.  Well, being awesome in your own right doesn’t cut it these days – so you’ve got to be able to communicate and talk to things to be considered worthwhile. The biggest weapon the Z88 has […]

  • I’ve seen the future

    I have seen the future of computers. Yes, really I have.  What would you say if I said the future would be something about the size of a pad of paper. Which runs off of 4 AA batteries, giving it about 20 hours of use or 100 days of standby. Storage is solid state with […]