ZX81 Computer

Showcasing monthly programs, a retro look at my my first computer., Page 5
Februaryís Program: Time

For February, I give you Time, a simple landing game with a twist. Using the Z and . keys, you maneuver your craft to each successive landing pad. If you miss the landing, keep trying but be careful. Run out of time and itís game over! How high of a score can you amass? A fair warning, Time isnít always fair.

Posted Feb 16, 2014 by Steven 4 min read

Januaryís Program: Fireball

Januaryís program of the month, Fireball, marks a first for me. Although Iíve used a few different methods to type in my programs, Iíve always gone back to a Windows so I could use EightyOne to generate the program files and images. However, for my birthday, my wife took me to the Apple store and I upgraded my old laptop to a shiny new MacBook Pro.

Posted Jan 05, 2014 by Steven 5 min read

Decemberís Program: Dollar Sign

Winter has set in and it is time to close out the year with a simple game. Dollar Sign, Decemberís program of the month, is that game.

Posted Dec 30, 2013 by Steven 4 min read

Novemberís Program: SNUNCH ML

For November, Iím looking both forwards and backwards. Although I wrote SNUNCH in 1983, I added a corrected version to my first ZX81 web page in the í90s. SNUNCH was my early attempt at writing a PAC-MAN like game. Note that I said like, not clone. My goal was to be inspired, not to copy. Sadly, it isnít very good, even after I fixed some of its logic flaws. Despite its flaws, I still believed it had potential and I set about updating it using MCODER II. It is this improved SNUNCH ML version that I offer as Novemberís program of the month.

Posted Nov 30, 2013 by Steven 7 min read

Octoberís Program: Space Dock

Since itís been a few months since Iíve presented an animation program, I hereby offer Octoberís program of the month Space Dock. Written when the space shuttle program was in full swing, Space Dock depicts a shuttle launch for its scheduled docking to repair a satellite.

Posted Oct 19, 2013 by Steven 4 min read

Doing Some Fall Cleaning

I took a break from educating myself on z80 machine code, more on that later, to fix a few things that have bugged me about the site. They are minor and probably will go completely unnoticed by most, but I wanted to make a quick note for future reference. Hey thatís what blogs are for, right?

Posted Oct 01, 2013 by Steven 3 min read

Septemberís Program: S.M.P.

Octoberís program of the month is S.M.P. or Sinclair Memo Pad. A simple scrolling editor that allows you to take a couple of quick notes that last as long they are on-screen.

Posted Sep 21, 2013 by Steven 3 min read

ZX81 Nixie Clock

While searching for some code examples I ran across this inventive hardware expansion. Michel created a ZX81 Nixie Clock and has been kind enough to share his creation with the world through Facebook.

Posted Aug 29, 2013 by Steven 2 min read

Augustís Program: Parachute

Whoa, itís August already? Time for another program of the month. Coming your way is Parachute, a deceptively simple reflex game that uses recognizable graphics to give you an enjoyable causal gaming diversion. Iíve been staring at this program for months now as it was sitting on the top of the stack. The airplane and parachute graphics stand out prominently in the listing, making it hard not to notice. As much as I tried to ignore it, Parachute was calling me to type it in. I finally caved and obliged.

Posted Aug 08, 2013 by Steven 3 min read

No Spaces for You

I wasnít sure in my last post how to remove the extra space from the program listings. Well, I figured it out.

Posted Aug 08, 2013 by Steven 1 min read

Updated Program Listing

Awhile back I went searching for a decent ZX81 font and ran across ZX81 VDU. I played around adding it to my siteís footer, but I really wanted to do more with it. Itís pretty good and, unlike some other fonts I found, it has all the ZX81 graphic characters. You do have to carefully choose the font size, but that is minor issue. Overall a great font that is easy to use.

Posted Aug 04, 2013 by Steven 2 min read

ZX81 Retro Gaming

I often search around the web looking to see what kind of ZX81 community still thrives. I truly expected to find a community in decline, but a surprising number of nostalgia sites are still out there. I found some dedicated to hardware, some to emulating, and others to software. Some are reference sites offering up tips and how to do things. Others simply have reviews of software from a different era. All of them interesting in their own way.

Posted Jul 25, 2013 by Steven 2 min read

Julyís Program: Spiders & Flies

July is almost half over, but we still have time for our program of the month: Spiders & Flies. You play a growing Venus flytrap that is searching for flies and special bugs. Use the ZX81 arrow keys to move around: 5, 6, 7, and 8. But be careful. Donít eat the spiders lurking about or accidentally eat yourself. Itís a super easy game so you have no excuse for not trying it out.

Posted Jul 21, 2013 by Steven 4 min read

Juneís Program: Blast Off

Blast Off, Juneís program of the month, is a simple game that tests your typing skills. You may find it a bit easier to play on an emulator than on a real ZX81. Fortunately, you can try now! It isnít a very hard game if you are decent typist. It would also work well for those practicing their typing skills.

Posted Jun 18, 2013 by Steven 2 min read

Mayís Program: Up-Cake

Well it is getting late in the month and I didnít want to pull another last-minute update. To make things a bit interesting, I used Zed Ex on my Android tablet to enter in this monthís entry. More on that in a bit. Let me first introduce our deliciously short entry for May: Up-Cake. A fast and simple scrolling game that is easy to play and hard to lose at. My kind of game!

Posted May 19, 2013 by Steven 4 min read

Fixing My ZX81 RSS Feed

Iím doing a little Spring cleaning and ran across a little problem with my RSS feed that I failed to notice before. In some programs, the article images didnít display properly because I was using relative paths.

Posted May 05, 2013 by Steven 1 min read

Aprilís Program: Star Dodge

Late and last-minute, I present Aprilís program of the month Star Dodge. A decidedly simple game that requires you to dodge stars randomly placed on the screen. Can you get your Tie Fighter shaped ship, an inverse H, past the increasingly more dense stars? Give it a try to see.

Posted Apr 30, 2013 by Steven 2 min read

Marchís Program: Raider V

In 1984, I moved that Summer from Italy back to the US. As I was Flipping through my old printouts, I ran across one that I had marked as the last program I completed In Italy. How cool is that? Seeing this, I just had to make Raider V my program of the month for March.

Posted Mar 15, 2013 by Steven 3 min read

Februaryís Program: Enlarger

The old saying ďtime flies when youíre having funĒ is so true of late. This year started with a bang and I feel like Iíve been running ever since. It isnít that I havenít wanted to work on my old ZX81 programs, but they often take a back burner to other past times. That said, I did find some time to sit down this weekend to type in another program. For February I present you with ENLARGER.

Posted Feb 24, 2013 by Steven 3 min read

January's Program: Hit Man

Another year, another month, and now another program to celebrate 2013. Januaryís program of the month is an old one: Hit Man. From 1983, Hit Man was my attempt at creating a wall dodging program and it is a tough one to play.

Posted Jan 28, 2013 by Steven 2 min read

Decemberís Program: Thyime

December is upon us and Thyime is the last program of the month for 2012. My how quick the year has passed. Thyimeís elements include moving, shooting, a break through wall, and a moving enemy. It does all this while remaining fast. Thyime provides a decent game to close out the year.

Posted Dec 16, 2012 by Steven 2 min read

Bonkers! Redux

I couldnít help it. I updated Bonkers using MCODER II to convert the BASIC code to Machine Language. This improved the speed of the game making improving its playability. If you havenít played the 1985 version, play it first so you can appreciate the difference. If you have, now give the 2012 version a try. Better?

Posted Nov 23, 2012 by Steven 3 min read

Novemberís Program: Bonkers!

Novemberís program is Bonkers! and it may drive you crazy! Simply use the ZX81 cursor keys to move your X around the field, avoiding the Oís and their trails. Can you survive, or will you go Bonkers?

Posted Nov 19, 2012 by Steven 3 min read

Octoberís Program: PAC-MAN

Octoberís program, PAC-MAN, may leave you a bit confused. Inspired by that iconic arcade game, this version has no graphics. It does have dots, cherries and ghosts. It doesnít, however, have any pictures of those elements. Give it a try and youíll see what I mean.

Posted Oct 04, 2012 by Steven 3 min read

Septemberís Program: Runner

Septemberís program, Runner, is nostalgic for me. When I wrote this program I had moved on to my C64. My ZX81 was starting to gather dust as I was busy learning the ins and outs of my new computer. For some reason, something tugged at me to fix my ZX81 keyboard and get it running again. After transplanting the ZX81 brains into a TS1000 case, it surprisingly powered on. I wrote Runner as a test that still worked. It did. That was the last time I was able to use the computer that had been my pride and joy for the previous three years.

Posted Sep 01, 2012 by Steven 3 min read