It is the 25th birthday of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, the "daddy" of British home computers and arguably the reason why British programmers are still world leaders.
We first got our "speccy" 24 years ago, but fondly remember sitting in front of the screen for several hours, typing in programs from the magazine "Sinclair Programs". Getting a new game was always a buzz, but when a new game came out from certain manufacturers, particularly the iconic "Ultimate - Play the Game", who are latterly known as Rare and design software still for Nintendo and Xbox.
Another part of the whole Spectrum experience were the magazines. Sinclair Programs and Sinclair user were early ones, but no magazine could touch "Crash - Micro Games Action" to give it its full title. i still have the first 60 editions somewhere I my loft. I seem to recall in taking delight in being the best in the country at an odd game galled "bugaboo the flea", and getting my name in about issue 8 in the high score table !
I also remember how notoriously breakable the machines were, constantly having to but a new keyboard membrane every 9 months or so and the joystick ports, when launched, were as likely to make the computer crash as anything else, so wobbly were they in the back of the Spectrum's expansion port.
Some people moaned about the keys and the odd cursor keys arrangement, but personally, I found it dead easy for gaming and more intuitive than traditional keys on a keyboard. Okay, I wouldn't want to type on it, but for gaming it was no problem.
Overall though, a fabulous machine, and for all my gadgets (I have a DS, a Wii and an Xbox 360), I still also play Spectrum games on my PC (through an emulator), with my current favourites still being Chuckie Egg, Lunar Jetman (an emulated PC version available HERE), The Lords of Midnight, Doomdark's Revenge, Jetpac, Halls of the Things, Skooldaze (which you can play on this emulator over the net HERE) and Dynamite Dan.
Any other people with happy memories of home computing, I'd love to read what you have to say.