Clive Sinclair, who brought us the ZX Spectrum computer has passed away. The ZX Spectrum was the first platform for PC gaming for many in the UK. ZX Spectrum was where folks played 1982’s The Hobbit. Here’s more from Rock Paper Shotgun:
The first encounter with PC gaming for many of a certain age in the UK wasn’t through any beige box MS-DOS or Windows, it was on that futuristic wee black keyboard with rubbery keys and a colourful stripe, which loaded software from cassette tapes. I’m too young to have seen its glory days but I think the first PC game I played was a Speccy shoot ’em up, a magical experience I didn’t believe would actually work when I first saw my pal plug a tape deck into a keyboard.
This was before gaming became more of a monoculture, which is why Americans don’t understand when old English men feign ignorance of Mario to instead gush about an egg. Computers like the Speccy and its rivals also sparked a huge culture of ‘bedroom coders’, a phenonenom echoed by the mainstream resurgence of ‘indie games’ in the noughties.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.