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Orphan page dedicated to the ZX81

It is with fondness and sadness I describe my ZX81 here. With fondness because this computer, purchased in 1982, was my first ever computer. I didnít come from a well-off family, so unlike my class mates I didnít upgrade to a better computer with bigger RAM, faster CPU and colour for quite a few years (my second computer was a Memotech MTX512 bought in 1988 from an ex factory computer stock retailer, my third was the Cambridge Z88 which served me well during the studying years, and the rest to this day have all been PCs ). Before the Memotech purchase I tried to keep up with my peers, by buying, modifying and building new parts for my ZX81. The side effect is that my class mates went into various different professions whilst I got into computer engineering.

Many of the parts were homemade and by trial and error. Fiddling around with the electronics and writing programs was a good foundation in hardware and software engineering for me. The main system box was a modified cigar box! The keyboard was home made and the joystick interface was conceived by connecting an Atari joystick directly to the keyboard switches matrix. In the right of the photo you can just make out a black box. This was a system housing four "mains" power sockets and relays that I had hooked up to the ZX81 and had programmed it to control anything that had a "mains" plug - mostly 220VAC lamps, although I do remember connecting multiple cassette players once too and switching them on and off in succession.

The sadness part of this story is due to my ZX81 system being stolen a few years ago. I just have this one photo of my main ZX81 system. I still however, have my spare ZX81 (given to me by one of my class mates when he upgraded to a Commodore 64) and a collection of cassettes - some original games, many copies and some programs written by me.

System box with LED (homemade)
16K RAM (purchased)
External keyboard (homemade)
3 Channel Sound Card (bought)
Video Inverter (homemade)
Atari Joystick (bought)
ZX Printer (bought)
dKíTronics graphics card (bought)
DCP I/O Pack (bought)
Tape Recorder (bought)
B&W Portable TV (bought)
Green Screen Overlay (bought)

I should have some magazines somewhere with program listings that were published.
More info to follow, as and when I find them.

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