Happy birthday my rubber keyed friend!

Well, 2012 has turned out to be quite a year for retro computing. The Commodore 64 turned 30 this year, Jack Tramiel died, and the ZX Spectrum is 30 years old too!

I have fond memories of the original 48K ZX Spectrum. Even though it had a tiny rubber keyboard it suited my much younger and smaller hands. I do recall the “Symbol Shift” key got stuck a few times making it hard to type in BASIC code but I guess I opened up the machine and cleaned the keyboard membrane when that happened.

On the off chance you haven’t read it yet there’s a great article on the Sir Clive Sinclair’s machine in the first issue of Retro Gamer that came free with the 100th.

At the time many 8 bit machines used tapes to load their software. Disks were a rare luxury. The loading sounds became so engrained in our minds that even now they’re recognisable and someone created an iOS app that recreates them. (Thanks Conor!)

Or the real thing. It takes a while …

Edit: Conor noticed that google.co.uk has a new Google Doodle for the day that’s in it:


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3 thoughts on “Happy birthday my rubber keyed friend!


  1. I remember the days of cassette tapes during my first year of computer programming. Classes were 45 minutes long & a few minutes of every class went to waiting for things to load from tape :)


    1. We were lucky at school. We had a lab of Commodore 64s and one 1541 connected to them all via some sort of network of serial cables. ‘Course only one C64 could read from the drive at a time…

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