ZX81 Computer


Showcasing monthly programs, a retro look at my my first computer., Page 7
December’s Program: Creature

I can’t believe December is here and the year is almost over. To celebrate the last program of the month, I present Creature, an animation program. Unlike many of the smaller programs submitted throughout the year, this one is the largest weighing in at 14KB. Although Creature isn’t as exciting next to more modern computer animations, I still find it interesting to see what could be done with this little machine 26 years ago. Give it a watch, enjoy the nostalgia, and try not to laugh too much.

Posted Dec 03, 2011 by Steven 3 min read

New RSS Feed

As of today, you can use RSS to subscribe for your monthly dose of ZX81 goodness. I originally hadn’t planned to offer an RSS feed for my ZX81 site. The original goal was to cross-post articles to my main site and rely on its feed for subscribers. Sadly I tend to forget to cross-post.

Posted Nov 20, 2011 by Steven 1 min read

November’s Program: Lander 2

November is here and the year is flying by. This month’s program Lander 2 is an earlier one from 1983. Oddly, the game displays Space Lander. Not very original as I’ve used that name before. I’m using the name I noted in my listing.

Posted Nov 03, 2011 by Steven 2 min read

October’s Program: 1985

October’s program is one of my later games from 1985 which is aptly named 1985. It has decidedly simple game mechanics. Set in an alternative reality, the Earth is gone in this version of 1985. Humans are colonizing Earth II, but you need to clear the mountains for agriculture needs. Yes, your job is to hit any key to clear the land. Things couldn’t be easier, right?

Posted Oct 03, 2011 by Steven 2 min read

September’s Program: Odyssey

This month I present another simple game, Odyssey. It doesn't include instructions, so here is a quick synopsis. An evil computer has trapped you in a space ship. To escape, you have to remove the memory boards in order to shut down the computer. Sounds familiar? Obviously this program was inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey. To play, use “Z” to move left and “.” to move right. Hit the “M” key to remove a memory card. Try to remove all of them in time to beat the computer.

Posted Sep 03, 2011 by Steven 3 min read

Space Lander 2011

I couldn’t leave well enough alone. All that analyzing and nitpicking of the original Space Lander made me wonder what it might be like if I had rewritten it. Almost 28 years later, here is the reborn version of Space Lander 2011.

Posted Aug 21, 2011 by Steven 4 min read

August’s Program: Space Lander

Okay, this may not be the large program I promised, but I choose Space Lander for a different reason: it's horrible! Okay, maybe it isn’t that bad, but it definitely wasn’t one of better programs. This was from 1983, clearly one of my earlier attempts. Actually, it is kind of refreshing reminder how much better my programming has become. If this helps others learn, then by all means check out the listing.

Posted Aug 17, 2011 by Steven 3 min read

July’s Program: Sugar Cube Munch

Another simple program. Like many that I wrote for the ZX81, Sugar Cube Munch was small with a singular purpose. In this case, the goal is to eat all the cubes of sugar as quickly as possible. Once all the sugar is eaten, the game is over and the number of turns is revealed. You can give it a try by using the ZX81 arrow keys 5,6,7, and 8 to move around.

Posted Jul 03, 2011 by Steven 2 min read

June’s Program: Beo One

I was searching through my stack of programs and decided to choose a short and sweet program for June. Beo One is definitely short, clocking at just 33 lines of code. Well 35 if you include the two new save and run lines I added. This is a simple talking head graphic program, which is the sweet part.

Posted Jun 06, 2011 by Steven 2 min read

May’s Program: BOLT

Can you believe it! First day of the month and I have a program uploaded! Okay, so it is another graphic one and isn't very exciting, or long. But hey, you can't blame me for not trying!

Posted May 01, 2011 by Steven 2 min read

April’s Program: Sphere

I’ve been a bit busy this month so I choose a relatively short program in order to not miss my self imposed deadline. To that end, I present to you April’s belated graphic program: Sphere. This program will easily run on a 2K ZX81. With some trimming, if you are so inclined, it will probably run in the original 1K of RAM as well. Although I doubt too many people with a ZX81 have less than 16K of RAM. Take a look at the listing to get a feel for how small this program really is.

Posted Apr 26, 2011 by Steven 2 min read

March’s Program: Lock £ Fire

March’s program is Lock £ Fire. I wrote this graphic game in 1985, although I have to admit I don't remember it much. It is a bit hard to play as the keys aren’t very sensitive and the aliens jump around as you try to “lock” onto them. It doesn’t help that I used an odd keyboard layout which adds to the difficulty. The aliens are shooting at your shield and, if they get through, the game is over. Note that you don’t kill the aliens, but they may change their look. When you shoot them enough, the next level starts. Every 10 hits will clear some of your shields as well. Boy, I must have been in one of those moods when I wrote this.

Posted Mar 26, 2011 by Steven 2 min read

Digging for Old Books

For some time now I’ve listed the ZX81 books I own on my original ZX81 web site, but I hadn’t put much effort in searching the web for them. Mainly this was because I already own them, but mostly because it never occurred to me to do so. I ran across an online copy of Sinclair ZX81 BASIC Programming which made me wonder what other books existed out there. Sadly, my search uncovered very little legitimate books. However, World of Spectrum did have a good number of the books and cover art available.

Posted Mar 05, 2011 by Steven 2 min read

February’s Program: Golf

This month’s program is a simple game of Golf. Although not overly exciting, it does show off a few ZX81 BASIC features.

Posted Feb 19, 2011 by Steven 2 min read

Major ZX81 Updates

A few things have changed over the list eight years. As I wind down the use of my ZX81 site, incorporating it my main one, much of below is invalid. That doesn’t mean that changes weren’t important at the time. Ideas come and go, and it is good to remember where we came from. Below is a recap of what was.

Posted Jan 26, 2011 by Steven 1 min read

New ZX81 Programs Section

I’ve added a new ZX81 Programs section that lists all of my ZX81 programs available so far. The list includes the name, a brief synopsis, and options to list or run the program as available. I still need to add a more complete description option. The code is there, I just haven't decided how I want to deal with the pictures. But hey, at least you can run every program I had available before, plus a few new ones.

Posted Jan 23, 2011 by Steven 1 min read

January’s Program: Water Bug II

I did it! After a lot of recording, cleaning, and tweaking I was finally able to get Water Bug II loaded! Hit the link, wait for it to load, then hit enter to give it a whirl. Then use the 5, 6, 7, and 8 keys to move (left, down, up, right) just as they are on the ZX81 keyboard.

Posted Jan 22, 2011 by Steven 2 min read

Slow Going

I really meant to have a number of my programs converted this month. I found a tape player and have been trying to load my ZX81 programs off the original tapes; however, I keep running into a problems.

Posted Jan 21, 2011 by Steven 1 min read

Celebrating Thirty Years of ZX81

This year will mark the 30th anniversary of the ZX81's debut. Hard to believe this little wonder is turning thirty and how much the world has changed. My goal is to celebrate the occasion by continuing to update the site with new content. I’d like to do a monthly showcase of programs as well.

Posted Jan 01, 2011 by Steven 1 min read

A Little Change of Color

I finally got around to updating the image and colors for my ZX81 site. I'm using a more muted pallet originated from the pages of the book in the logo. I've decided to keep the same basic layout of the parent site.

Posted Dec 29, 2010 by Steven 1 min read

Pardon the Dust and Debris

I’m in the process of updating the old flat design of this site into a more dynamic one. The original site was designed in the nineties for use on GeoCities and its various requirements and stipulations. Now that GeoCities is dead and the content has been moved to better hosting, I’m taking the opportunity to migrate the site to WebAPP.

Posted Nov 21, 2010 by Steven 1 min read

ZX81 Emulation and PHOTON98

A few years back, I started to convert some of my old ZX81 programs so they could be use in various ZX81 emulators. That project was mostly my way of trying to preserve some printouts from my now faded programs. I was curious if I there was a way to emulate those programs in a web site. Surprisingly, the answer is yes!

Posted Nov 20, 2008 by Steven 2 min read