Hello from North-East England!

Introduce yourself to your fellow forum members - what was your journey into the Sinclair world?
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Hello from North-East England!

Post by aljoni » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:50 pm

Hello everyone!

Ever since I was introduced into programming, from around the age of 9 (20 now), I was fascinated by how the "early" computers worked. They seemed so different to me, but in all the time that I have been programming I had never really looked into these systems in any detail.

I have been interested in game development for a couple of years now, and me and some friends have started working on a game using SDL and C. I recently re-discovered my fascination of these older computers, and decided that I should probably learn a thing, or two, about how to develop for them.

I hope this community will be welcoming, and I'll try not to ask too many silly questions. :lol:.


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Re: Hello from North-East England!

Post by Moggy » Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:47 pm

Welcome aboard Alex! :D

Nice to see someone a bit younger taking an interest in this fascinating little hobby of ours.
I can say with all certainty that this is the most welcoming forum I have ever visited and hope you find it the same.

There are gurus of all disciplines here, hard/software, game authors, coders etc who I'm sure will answer any questions you may have. It's worth taking time out to peruse the threads which may help to bring you up to speed on the little Sinclair.

Welcome to our world.

Moggy. :D

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Re: Hello from North-East England!

Post by mrtinb » Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:23 pm

On the programming part you get very far in BASIC with the ZX81 manual. http://www.worldofspectrum.org/ZX81BasicProgramming/

If you have games in mind, the real alternative is Z80 assembler. If you don't know Z80 assembler, a simple intro is given in the children's assembler programming book from back in the time: 'Machine Code for Beginners' https://usborne.com/browse-books/featur ... ing-books/ (Bottom of page in section 'Introduction to programming').

A complete introduction to Z80 assembler for the ZX81 is given in the book 'Mastering Machine Code on Your ZX81': http://www.users.waitrose.com/~thunor/m ... index.html

An alternative approach is learning Forth. https://www.forth.com/starting-forth/ With Kelly Murta's 'ZX81 Toddy Forth' there are plenty of games made in Forth. Some with ZX81's charset and some with user defined charsets (if your ZX81 has that expansion). A requirement for this approach is a little knowledge of Z80 assembler and cross compilation on a PC. http://zx81.eu5.org/toddysofte.html

I think this will get you started.
ZX81, Lambda 8300, Commodore 64, Mac G4 Cube

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Re: Hello from North-East England!

Post by mrtinb » Sat Jun 22, 2019 5:27 pm

And if you’re cross compiling on a pc, you can use C as well.

https://github.com/z88dk/z88dk/wiki/Pla ... clair-ZX81
ZX81, Lambda 8300, Commodore 64, Mac G4 Cube

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Re: Hello from North-East England!

Post by Lardo Boffin » Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:11 pm

Welcome on board and prepare to be amazed at what our little computer can do! Check out some of Dr Beep’s 1K games. Truly amazing. Check out my 1K game (Runaway Car). Truly awful but I enjoyed writing it and learned a lot about the Z80. :D

Try writing anything of substance in 1K. It is a challenge.

If you prefer actual physical copies of books to electronic ones then I listed some books on a popular auction site yesterday as I have ended up with two of each of these. They include Mastering Machine Code on Your ZX81. A great book. Happy to do them for less for a forum member. They are not in great shape but are perfectly legible. £10 plus p&p (£4 in the UK). Sorry - shameless sales pitch over! :oops:

ZX81 iss 1 (bugged ROM, kludge fix, normal, rebuilt)
Iss 3 ZXVid
TS 1000 iss 3, ZXPand AY, ZX8-CCB, ZX-KDLX & ChromaSCART
TS 1500
TS 2000
Spectrum 16k (iss 1 s/n 1499)
Various Spectrum 48ks plus a DIVMMC future and SPECTRA

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Re: Hello from North-East England!

Post by Dim_75 » Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:55 pm

Hello ;)
what to say after that ? They said (and they know !) much more than i am able to :lol:

So just the essential for me, welcome on board !

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Re: Hello from North-East England!

Post by 1024MAK » Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:38 am

Welcome on board Alex!

:D :D :D

Hello. A warm welcome to Sinclair ZX World.

I hope you have fun here :D

Oh, and if you do have a question, even if it seems silly, do ask. Silly questions often result in good detailed answers :mrgreen:


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Re: Hello from North-East England!

Post by Bukster » Sat Jun 29, 2019 11:13 pm

Early computers are still worth studying. Modern computers may seem different, but the underlying technology is essentially unchanged. A lot of people using computers today have no deep understanding of how they actually work. You can learn a lot here.

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