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ScuzzBlog: Diaries November 2018

Entry 25th November 2018: Post 01: Spectrum - Time for that Plus .. Too

Spectrum - Time for that Plus .. Too

When I reflect on it now I may have been a little hard on the +2.
In the last of my series of checks made on my active Spectrums
I thought I would drag out a few +2s and give them a run out.

I spent a little while mending rubber bands to disk drives on the
Spectrums and I had the +2 range carefully stored on the level so
that I could pull them down at various times and give them a whirl.
Things being what they are here I haven't really spent anything
like as much time as I should with these computers.

The Spectrum +2 came in two colours, grey and black. And both had
different power supplies. The +2A is the black one and had a different
power supply to feed the SI-1 or external floppy disk drive. The
Amstrad gave birth to the DI-1 if you recall and I guess it was
going to be one based on that design. However this never happened
and instead the Spectrum took the case and revamped it into the
Spectrum +3 with the 3" drive.... and then changed the power supply.

Note that the +3 has a +3 brick, the black +2 or +2A has the +2
brick, the +2 grey has the grey version of the ZX Spectrum+ and
128 power supply. Glad I cleared that up.

A good guide for Spectrum Power supplies Can be found H E R E 

Note the ribbing or fin detail on the power supplies.

OK so what am I trying to show in the pictures. Simple really I
was just trying to test the cassette in the +2 units to see if
they were running properly. I always like to theme the test games
and so I picked an adventure fantasy style of game to both
test the computer and also to maybe enjoy a bit of gaming.

Fantasy gaming on the Spectrum in the day did involve a lot of
grey matter to imagine a lot of what was going on. The pictures
on the cassette case can be incredibly deceptive and very few,
if any, lived up to the images shown. It was more prevalent with
fantasy games which tended to be text based for the most part.

Adventure games on the other hand were starting to be a little
more ... er well.. adventurous and Where Time Stood Still is a
good example of that. The games started to make use of the 128K
Plus benefits and they really are the first attempt at sand box
kinda games where you could move around freely and adventure
where you wanted.

I am glad to say that all games past the test with none failing.
Sadly I kinda got very bored with the fantasy adventure games on
the Spectrum and having had a blast with Vindicator found myself
drifting back to River Raid which I first played on the Atari 2600.

The Spectrum+2 is a rather impressive little beast. It works very
much like the CPC464 or even a C64 with Datasette. The Electron
works also in very much the same way. It is great having a computer
that does all the grudge work involving the tape transfer automatically.
If you have ever used a basic Spectrum you will understand where I
am coming from.

Well that kinda concludes my tape testing on the Spectrum. I have a
couple more follow up blogs that are related but the kit for now
has been put back to bed. I kinda enjoyed the computers, I say
kinda cus I have to be honest, the downtime waiting for tapes to
load is a real drag. Also the end result very often wasn't worth
the wait.

Last night I actually downloaded the emulator 'Spectaculator' and
may just pay the renewal. I am not a great fan of emulators but it
was so refreshing playing Oracle's Cave without the long tape wait.

Spectrum - Time for that Plus .. Too

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Last updated 25th November 2018

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