Hello from Northwest England

Introduce yourself to your fellow forum members - what was your journey into the Sinclair world?
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Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:21 pm

Hello from Northwest England

Post by colster »

Hi All,

I came across the site while I was looking for info about ZX81 assembly programming. It's been a great help so thanks to everyone involved :-)

I started out with a ZX81 and 16K RAM pack at Christmas 1982. I asked my parents for a games console that year, but luckily our next door neighbour was a nuclear engineer who knew about technology and he said to us "Don't get a console, get one of these, it's a real computer, you can make your own games and learn about computers". He was right and I earn my living keeping the things working.

Anyway, that convinced my Dad and the ZX81 came in January. A friend of mine got a 1K machine at the same time and we spent the next year just learning how to program, poke and crash the little machines. In that time, we bought only one games tape each and the only pirate program I had was Sinclair's Flight Simulator. We spent most of our time writing BASIC programs, entering listings, trying to translate listings from other machines or just trying things out.

At the end of that year, I sold my ZX81 and got a 48K Spectrum. The new graphics and sound facilities along with the extra speed with a steady display renewed interest in BASIC programming for a while. Attempts to learn Z80 assembler by hand fell by the wayside after one too many miscalculated backwards jumps and it wasn't long until we were mainly collecting and playing games and buying Crash magazine.

A year or so back, I decided to pick up ZX81 assembly and with the help of cross assembly and emulation, wrote some screen routines. Didn't do much more with them until all this recent staying at home business, and now I've decided to make a Crap Game for the competition in honour of Zeddy's 40th Birthday and finally, after 39 years, I've made a real live machine code game that has a messy REM statement in line 1 and everything. It's a scrolling driving game, because the thing that annoyed me about BASIC driving games was that they scrolled the wrong way, up the screen. Well at last I can rest easy, this one scrolls down! Just plucking up the courage to submit it, maybe I should wait a week in honour of the date.

I'm using Pasmo and AppMake to make the .P images and loading them into xz81. I'm using xz81 because I didn't know about sz81, which I have now downloaded and will have a go at building tonight. There is a 1K ZX81 lurking on top of the cupboard and I *think* it works, might drag that out if this lockdown carries on much longer.


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