Find out how you can legally download favourite 1980s games and emulate Sir Clive Sinclair’s much-loved colour computer on your own PC
Thirty years ago, a small, rubber-keyed slab of electronics began to appear in homes around the UK. This was Clive Sinclair’s – later Sir Clive – first foray into colour computing – and the Sinclair Spectrum proved a hit, becoming the home PC choice of millions throughout the 1980s.
The days of the Spectrum’s dominance are long gone but there’s still a lot of affection for the rainbow-striped box – not to mention the many thousands of games and other software titles that tasked its eight-bit processor.
If you fancy revelling in this nostalgia yourself then it’s easy to resurrect the Spectrum’s glory days by installing an emulator on your PC. We will explain how to do just that in this workshop, and show how to download and play favourite old games – legally.
The Spectrum’s 30th anniversary has revived nostalgic interest in Sir Clive’s computer but the emulation scene isn’t new. Indeed, it is itself now quite long in the tooth and some of the best emulators, of which there are dozens, have been gathering dust for years.
This doesn’t much matter because Spectrum emulation was all but perfected long ago, so there’s little that new developers can add. Regardless, World of Spectrum has all things Spectrum – it's an incredible resource that’s a 17-year work of passion by a chap called Martijn van der Heide. When the page appears, begin by clicking the Emulators link.
As noted, there are lots of different Spectrum emulators to choose from. The best need to be downloaded and installed but if you’re feeling lazy and simply want to indulge in a few minutes’ gaming nostalgia, there are websites that will display a basic Spectrum emulator in your web browser.
On the World of Spectrum Emulators page, click the Java link to see a list and then click to visit one of the sites: here, we have clicked the link to the Hob Java Spectrum Emulator website. To play any of the listed games, just click its title. The website displays the particular game’s keyboard controls just to the right of the Java emulator pane.)
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