(1442 KB) Pobierz
PRICE LIST (prices checked 30 March 2003)
New hardware:
PC-PSU with supply for 2 Floppies and MB02
36,00 €
13,00 €
Spectrum +2A, new and original package, complete
219,00 €
Proface AT Extern (Interface for connecting PC-Keyboards to Spectrum)
69,00 € KS
Proface AT Intern (internal interface)
62,00 € KS
Melodik AY-Soundbox (unboxed)
24,00 € KS
+2 Cassette recorder
36,00 €
Floppy Disc drive (1,86 with MB02, 720k with Opus, 780k with +D) Please specify
24,00 €
PSU for +2A/B and +3 or PSUl for +2 (also 48k and 128k) Please specify
29,00 €
FDD lead for 2 drives
4,00 €
Multiface 128 (works also on 48k Spectrums
26,00 €
Multiface +3
46,00 €
Dust Cover 48k+/128k
8,00 €
Plus 3 Tapelead
9,90 €
Normal Tapelead
3,00 €
Spectrum +2 Lightpen
36,00 €
Spectrum +3 Lightpen
27,00 €
Phaser Gun with Software (Tape or +3)
19,00 €
VGA-BOX (connect Spectrum 128/+2 to VGA monitor)
49,00 €
Used hardware:
Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128k, complete with all cables
129,00 €
Sinclair ZX Spectrum +2, complete with all cables
79,00 €
Sinclair ZX Spectrum +2A, complete with all cables
79,00 €
Sinclair ZX Spectrum +3, built in 3'' drive, complete with all cables
99,00 €
Sinclair Spectrum 48k (Gummy), complete with all cables + Introduction Tape
64,00 €
Sinclair Spectrum 48k +, complete with all cables + Introduction Tape
64,00 €
+3 Drive (tested)
29,00 €
Interface I
69,00 €
25,00 €
39,00 €
Opus Discovery Diskinterface with 1 x 720k Drive (new ROM)
119,00 €
Plus D clone without case, 3.5'' floppy with PSU and cables
129,00 €
Joystick interface
1-Port 3,00 €
2-Port 11,00 €
Joystick (many different)
2,50 €
Sinclair SJS-Joystick (+2/+3)
6,00 €
Microdrive Cartridges (ex-software)
3,50 €
Wafadrive Cartridges
16K= 7,00 €,
32K= 7,50 €
+3 drive belt
2,00 €
Silver paper for ZX Printer
5,00 €
Keyboard membrane 48k
11,00 €
Keyboard membrane Spectrum +/128k, new quality, not aging
21,00 €
REALX exclusive
Also we have a lot of Software offers and books. Please contact us and we will send you our pricelist.
Products marked KS are sold in the name of Kompakt Servis. We organise the business.
Prices excluding postage. Delivery as long as stock lasts.
Orders to: SINTECH, Gastäckerstr. 23, 70794 Filderstadt, Germany
Tel./Fax: 0049 711 775033 email: sintech@online.de http://www.sintech-shop.de
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ZXF05: 4
SUMMER/AUTUMN 2003 Issue 5
I am computer literate. It's a label
I'm comfortable with. I wouldn't
describe myself as a 'nerd' or a
'geek' - even if I used such terms,
which I don't - but I am reason-
ably competent with a computer.
I learnt to program BASIC on the
Spectrum (naturally), then on the
BBC for my A-Level in Computer
Science, then on the SAM Coupe
and finally on the PC (good old
QBASIC). I've dabbled with Visual
BASIC. I'm happy with DOS and
all flavours of Windows, and I have
some experience with MacOS and
RISCOS. I can get the hang of
most PC applications fairly rapidly
if I need to use them. People
come to me with their PC
problems and I can usually get
them sorted out. Which I am
happy to do.
Despite my skills, I still run into
things that stump me - as we all
do - from time to time. Things that
others find simple. Back in 1999, a
thing that stumped me for a while
was this 'newsgroup' thing called
comp.sys.sinclair. At this point in
time I was several months into the
experience of actually having an
Internet connection at home
(having previously only used it in
Cyber Cafes and the like). I had
learnt the basics of email and was
already on my way to completing
my first ever website for the school
I worked in; although I was a mere
fledgling, therefore, I had made
good use of my time. But how the
hell did one access a
'newsgroup'? I often came across
references to CSS on web pages,
but all of these seemed to assume
that the visitor new what a
newsgroup was and how to get to
it. Of course I worked it out
eventually, and now - in hindsight
- I wonder how on earth some-
thing so simple could have taken
me so long to work out.
Since 1999, of course, Internet
useage has exploded. The web is
now a 'mainstream' resource,
pushing computer literacy up the
ladder of respectability, and while
movie stars might still like to say
that they don't know how to turn
a computer on, less and less
paople now think that this is a
cool thing to for them to say. It's
all too easy for us to forget, admist
all of this enthusiasm, that
computers are actually still quite
hard things to get your head
around if you've not had a
considerable bit of experience
with them.
Which is why I become quite
upset when I read some of the
disparaging remarks made in CSS
to newcomers asking an honest,
but simple question (and usually
doing so very politely). For
example, "Hi there - can anyone
here tell me where I can find a
game called 'Manic Miner' that I
used to play?" Yes, we've seen
questions like this a hundred times
before, but do we have to be
quite so demeaning in our replies?
"Try reading the FAQ before you
post next time"; but does the visitor
necessarily know that there is an
FAQ and where it is. "Can't you
even manage a Google search?"
But does the visitor necessarily
know what Google is (I recently
discovered that a friend of mine,
immensley skilled in electronics
and logical systems had never
even heard of it)? If a car pulled
up next to you in your town and
the driver politely asked you the
way to the nearest supermarket,
would you stamp your feet like a
two-year-old and complain that
visitors never bother to consult the
information map in the town hall?
Why, then, should we treat visitors
to our online community any
We can choose to be annoyed
by these posts or we can choose
to be delighted that the commu-
nity is potentially about to be
enlarged. And it actually takes no
more time or effort to write an
encouraging message than a
rude one: "Hi there - welcome to
comp.sys.sinclair - you'll find the
answer to your question (and
many more besides) at
www.sinclairfaq.com. Enjoy!"
To put it another way:
You can give a man a fish and he
will eat for a day.
You can teach a man to fish and
he will eat for a lifetime.
But if you critisise the man for not
knowing where the river is, he'll
probably decide he never liked
fish anyway.
Or something. All of us have been
in the situation at one time or
another where we've worried
about asking about something
everyone else seems to know
about. Imagine what you would
feel if you did ask and were then
ridiculed by someone (and
imagine the sorts of words you
would later use to describe that
person when you relay the
incident to a friend over a pint).
Do we really need to be so
Eleven pages of Spectrum news p5
Your views and opinions p16
New spectrum software reviewed p20
Maria vs. some b*****ds p20
Gloop/Amusement Park p21
A new section. Matthew Harrodine examines 1982
Simon Ullyatt on Cronosoft p26
Pick up the pen p30
A look at Spectrum adventure game writing today.
('Back to the Spectrum' will return next issue)
If you enjoy ZXF and you want it to continue then consider yourself
duty bound to let me know this (mail@cwoodcock.co.uk). All other
feedback will be gratefully received also - criticisms (please be kind),
improvement suggestions and notifications of any errors you think
you've spotted are essential for this sort of project to succeed.
ZXF now has a voluntary purchase scheme. If you have
downloaded and enjoyed an issue of ZXF, and if you are able to
afford to, please consider paying £1 for your issue via the Paypal
button on at the ZXF website ('magazine' page).
If you would like to contribute to future issues of ZXF - even if it's just
to write a letter - please do ; contact me again by the email address
Editor: Colin Woodcock (mail@cwoodcock.co.uk)
Website: www.zxf.cjb.net
Contributors this issue: Matthew Harrodine, Simon Ullyatt, Nick
Humphries, Ramsoft, Jarek Adamski, Dave Mills, John King and
Thomas Eberle. A big thankyou also to all letter writers.
Until Christmas.
Colin Woodcock
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ZXF05: 5
ZXF05: 6
> CSS FAQ update
The tour-de-force that is the
comp.sys.sinclair FAQ
( www.sinclairfaq.com ) has had yet
another update. The May 2003
version of possibly the most
comprehensive Sinclair document
anywhere in the world has had a
number of new entries added,
including links to the new
Spectrum label Cronosoft and to
ZXF's very own online shop!
[ Enough with the sales pitch -Ed]
Best of all for PDF fans like myself,
you can now download the whole
lot in PDF format, print it off and
stick it in a ring file for easy
reference (Paperless office?
Never!). Although, at 93 pages
long you might need a spare ink
cartridge at the ready and a
soothing cup of tea to hold your
hand through the experience.
Nonetheless, a fantastic resource.
> .SZX format documented
The snapshot as a file format is
now pretty much obsolete as a
method of spectrum software
distribution. Virtual cassette and
disk files are now the main vehicle
for this - and quite right too. This is
not to say that none of us use
snapshots for our own personal use
at home, of course; as a method
of saving progress made in a
tough game they are invaluable,
and snapshot files are still
employed for the Speccy Tour
each year.
One of the problems with the
existing snapshot formats - .Z80
and .SNA , both exceedingly long
in the tooth now, by the way - is
that they don't include any
information about the hardware
state of the system the snapshot
has been created on - what's
going on in the nether regions (ZX
Printer, Multiface, Currah µSpeech,
etc), for example, or what tape
file's in the virtual cassette player
at the moment (and what position
it's in - crucial for multiload
Since version 2.5, Spectaculator
(now in version 5.0) has developed
and supported a new snapshot file
format which overcomes this
limitation: the ZX-State - or .SZX -
format. Spectaculator author
Jonathan Needle has now got
around to documenting this
format and the (very detailed)
results can be found at his site:
Cue, incidentaly, a very long and
technical discussion in css
between Jon and Phil Kendall,
and the sensation of an almighty
rush of wind passing over my
Not for the faint hearted, then, but
brilliant stuff, all the same.
My, but you've been busy. With 21
entries, the comp.sys.sinclair
Crap Games Competition 2002
was hardly the most well-endowed
incidence of the annual
competition. For the 2003 event,
however, you seen to have been
working away like beavers to
compensate. With no less than 42
entries received so far (and more,
no doubt, by the time this is
published), shady host Dave the
Lurker has had to take the
unprecedented step of splitting up
the entries over more than one web
page. And, with submissions such
as Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen's
Advanced Wallpaper Construction
Kit and the re-emergence of
Millionaire , last year's winner, in a
special 'Cheating Bast. Edition' (for
which, read same game submitted
by different guy), it looks like 2003
is going to be a vintage year. It's
nice to know that in a world with so
many problems we can, er, make a
few more...
The place to go is
http://8bitorbust.info/cgc/ . You've
five months left: get coding!
destinations. Alternatively, if you
would prefer to pay by cheque,
you can send an email request
to zxif@cwoodcock.co.uk, and in
your reply you'll be told where to
send the lolly. Overseas buyers,
please contact me by email and
we'll work out the cost of
postage just as quickly as
And in return you'll get a boxed
Spectrum cassette - labelled -
with a full colour printed inlay
card. But if you'd rather just play
the game on a PC to see what
it's like, Blink will be available for
free for a while at the ZXF
website (using the rather
excellent ZZ Spectrum Java
emulator), so you won't even
have to part with a penny to find
out what it's all about.
If you've written a previously
unreleased text/graphic
adventure game for the
Spectrum and would like to see it
published under the ZXIF label,
drop me a line at the email
address above. As per the
Cronosoft model, profits will be
split 50-50, so 50p for a £1.99 title
(it takes a pound to make each
casette) and 50p per pound
charged thereafter. If you've
never written one, but would like
to have a go, check out the
adventure writing guide in exp .
It's not all that hard, really.
> Shameless self-plug time...
At ZXF we know there's nothing
more embarrassingly amusing than
an act of gross self-deception,
which is probably the best
summary for the new and exciting
range of ZXF merchandise now
awaiting your purchase at the ZXF
shop chéz cafepress.com .
Decorated in a delightful
collection of greens,
www.cafeshops.com/zxf is now
settled in alongside its many
neighbours and has already made
a reputation for itself by trying to
steal sugar from the nearby
across the street. They never see
the funny side of anything.
You'll be delighted to learn that
the ZXF shop stocks branded
mugs, T-shirts, mouse mats and
more. Yes indeed. There's even a
ZXF thong for the ladies (please
note, ZXF can accept no
responsibility for relationships
terminated upon receipt of this
Is that cool or did I just leave the
window open too long? ZXF
apparel at cafepress.com
> Graphics editor out of beta
Metalbrain's superb spectrum
graphics editor SevenuP has taken
the brave step over the beta
threshold. Version 1.0 was
released in June and now can
import and convert many of the
popular image formats such as
BMP, GIF and PNG. Compared to
the likes of LCD's BMP2SCR Pro and
Derek Jolly's YASPIC (see last issue),
the conversion is fairly
unspectacular, however the pure
felxibility of the editor more than
makes up for this (you can always
open images previously converted
elsewhere, after all) and - given
the frequency of Metalbrain's
updates so far - it wouldn't surprise
me one jot if future versions start
adding in more complex conver-
sion options. He's obviously a
seriously dedicated chap.
www.speccy.org/metalbrain/ for
more information.
> New Spectrum label
Inspired by Cronosoft , ZXF has
taken a step into the scary world
of software. Intended as a new
label for text adventures - or
Interactive Fiction , as these are
now called - ZXIF launches
alongside the publication of this
very issue of ZXF with the release of
its first 48k title, Blink . Blink takes
place in the fictional Cornish
village of Bostagel and involves a
bad case of time freeze for you to
sort out. Written by yours truely
using the Professional Adventure
Writing System, the game is heavy
on text and pitched generally at a
level that should accomodate the
beginner, whilst a couple of more
taxing puzzles should keep the
more seasoned adventurers
Blink can be purchased online via
PayPal from the load section of
the ZXF website ( www.zxf.cjb.net )
and will cost you £1.99 plus 99p
postage and packing for UK
> £1 for ZXF?
ZXF now has a voluntary
purchase scheme. If you have
downloaded and enjoyed an
issue of ZXF, and if you are able
to afford to, please consider
paying £1 for your issue via the
Paypal button on at the ZXF
website ('magazine' page).
ZXIF launches. Gawd bless her.
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ZXF05: 7
ZXF05: 8
> Spectrum looses to Amiga in the Micro Mart computer 'World Cup'
> New CDs from Mort
Remember the Crash CDs
reported on in ZXF03? You might
recall that a chap named Stephen
Stuttard (aka Mort at WoS Forums)
scanned every last issue (plus a
few extras), burned the lot onto 5
CDs and then practically gave
them away for a mere £20. Well
now he's gone and done it again,
this time with Your Sinclair ,
arguably the favourite Spectrum
publication of the UK scene.
YS ran for nearly eight years,
launching at the start of 1986
(following a couple of years under
the title Your Spectrum ) and
managing 93 issues in total.
ZXF hasn't yet managed to get its
hands on these CDs yet, but if
they're anything like as good as
the Crash CDs then fans are in for
a big, big treat. Indeedy.
Republic, MEGUS from Russia and
the UK's very own GASMAN.
> Hit counter soars at YSRNRY
Your Sinclair Rock 'n' Roll Years
webmaster Nick Humphries has
'come up trumps' with a couple of
new ideas recently, which have
brought visitors to his site in their
Clocking up hits in their thousands,
Nick's Spectrum Top Trumps page
has been referenced in a number
of non-Spectrum websites, making
it a top internet destination for
surfers worldwide. The premise is
faithful to Top Trumps as we knew
and loved it, with each player
receiving cards from a deck of 74,
each rating a classic Spectrum
title for each of the following
Whooshability - Was the game
dead fast to play, or was the
gameplay of a more sedate
Strokability - Did the game charm
you with its sickening cuteness or
did it have the hugability of
Margaret Thatcher?
Blastability - Were there plenty of
things to shoot, kill, maim or
destroy? Or was it a game you
could safely play in front of your
granny without her tutting?
Ponderability - How puzzling was
the game to play? Did you have
to stop and think every now and
then or was it a simple case of
shoot first and ask questions later?
Memorability - Do people still talk
about the game today, a couple
of decades since its first release?
Or do they rank alongside
Players then select one of these
categories (without knowing the
other's card) and then compare to
win the pair.
Nick's since followed this up with
second online game, Who wants
to be a Squillionaire , which - as
you can probably guess - consists
Alas, it was not to be... Beating
the Oric Atmos, the Vic 20 and the
Amstrad CPC to make it through
to the final round of Micro Mart
( www.micromart.co.uk ) magazine's
'Home Computer World Cup'
competition, the Spectrum found
in the Commodore Amiga an
adversary just too strong to
trounce. In a two week online
vote that pulled in several hundred
votes (the highest of the
competition), the final count was
45% to the Spectrum and 55% to
the Amiga.
The contest started in November
2002, with 16 home computer
formats selected to fight it out
against each other in a knockout
competition that saw weekly jousts
between opponents. Surprise
results on the way to the final
included the defeat of the Atari ST
in the first round at the hands of
the Amstrad CPC (and likewise the
Commodore 64 in the quarter
finals) and the PC falling to
noneother than the humble BBC
(which eventually ended up in
third place). The last battle
earned a full, two page spread in
issue 743 of the UK computer
magazine, with the Spectrum
argued for by yours truely and the
Amiga handled by regular 'Amiga
Mart' columnist Sven Harvey.
A few searches at Micro Mart's
website will turn up the text for
each round of the competition if
you missed out on the drama. My
argument for the final is below.
downloaded now as a series of
free MP3 tracks from their site at
ZX Spectrum, Argued by Colin Woodcock
First published in MicroMart magazine, Issue 743, April 10th 2003
See also http://www.micromart.co.uk/content/features/default.asp?Category=Article&Type=&ID=1007
> Minigame competition 2003
It's minigame time again. Last
year, the Spectrum chalked up 10
entries in the quest to find the best
game written in just 1024 bytes;
although four of these made it into
the eventual top ten (with a total
of 62 entries), the crown of the
competition in the end went to
Robin Harbron's C64 title Splatform ,
with the highest Spectrum entry
being Paolo Ferraris' 1Kanoid at
number five. This year there are
two categories to the competition,
with the 1K game reprised for a
second outing alongside a new 4K
contest. The overal size of your
entry must not exceed these limits,
and this includes headers, loaders,
basic stubs, and data files.
The closing date for entries is
September 29, 2003, at precisely
12.00 GMT. You can make as
many entries as you like. Full rules,
alongside the details of any
submissions received so far can be
found on the minigame website
over at www.ffd2.com/minigame/
There's also a discussion board for
general debate and support, and
the site links also to the previous
two competitions.
The Amiga is a much-loved
computer. With good reason. When
I got my first glimpse of this
wonderful machine my jaw just
simply dropped. Even by today's
standards, the basic A500 can still
pack a punch. And on this, my best
Spectrum buddy's first step away
from the 8-bit world, I got my first
taste of a WIMP GUI, of photo-
realistic graphics, of amazing sound
and more. I wanted one.
In fact, the Amiga is the single
machine in this contest (other than
the PC and the Spectrum) that I do
now actually own. Last autumn -
some 13 years after first my eyes
grew green and greedy at this sight -
I finally got my hands on one. One
reasonably pleasant evening later
and it was consigned to a box in the
shed. You see I might be an Amiga
owner now, but I wasn't when it
counted. And the love just isn't there.
Why didn't I get an Amiga back
then? Cost. Practically packed with
high-spec hardware, the Amiga was
way out of my price range. Instead,
my upgrade route in 1990 was to the
SAM Coupé, and here's the thing:
despite three subsequent years of
happy computing with that superior
machine, it's still the Spectrum I return
I loved my SAM. 256 colours (no
colour clash), 512K RAM (what could
possibly use all that?), twin 3.5''
floppy drives, the best in-built BASIC
I've ever used; it was a dream come
true for this Spectrum user. I still have
it, but that too resides now in a taped-
up box. Meanwhile, my rubber-keyed,
48K Spectrum gleams beautifully on
my desk. Would it be any different if I
had bought an Amiga instead of a
SAM? Actually, I don't think it would.
Because the Spectrum is that first
love which just can't be forgotten.
Precisely because of its limitations
and because so many struggled so
hard to overcome them (and still do),
because of its low cost that made
computing accessible to so many for
the first time and because it was (and
continues to be) expanded on in more
ways than could possibly have been
initially envisaged, it represents the
very spirit of invention, inclusion
and ingenuity. The essence of
working with Spectrums today lies
in extremely creative thinking
within a very hard set of very real
restrictions; in that sense it is a
metaphor for life itself.
And thus it merits the crown of this
competition. The Amiga is a
fantastic computer. But the
Spectrum - I believe - is a legend.
> Riders release second album
Hot of the heels of their first
release, Y OU ARE ADULT, chiptune-
band AY Riders have released
their second collection of
Spectrum 128 tunes. DO YOU
REMEMBER? is a remakes album,
featuring a wide variety of tracks,
ranging from a version of Mike
Oldfield's Incantations 3 to an
extremely competant version of
That Titanic Song . There's also a
version of Tatu 's 30 Minut and, as
an additional track (and as a
rather splendid demonstration of
just how skilled these chaps are)
this has been mixed into the
original, vocals and all (surely the
girls could use this as one of those
extra tracks you get on CD
The AY Riders are a European
collaboration, comprising
YERZMYEY from Poland, FACTOR 6,
TDM and X-AGON from the Czech
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ZXF05: 9
ZXF05: 10
> ZXCF CompactFlash interface from Sami Vehmaa
YSRNRY (cont)
of ten questions, each with four
possible answers. Final answer?
Each question features a screen-
shot with four possible titles to
choose from.
On the response to Top Trumps ,
Nick told ZXF , "It was amazing,
especially considering that it was a
freak idea that came out of the
blue on a late Friday night! I sent it
to the b3ta mailing list on the off-
chance that they'd like it, they put
it into their newsletter, and I got
around 4,500 visitors on the
afternoon their newsletter went
out. To put that in perspective, the
average number of visitors to the
website is around 1,500 (lower in
the summer months).
"I started getting referrers from
other people's home pages all
over the world, including many in
foriegn languages from people
who I was rather surprised had
made the connection between
Top Trumps and the Speccy.
"The cherry on the cake was the
mention in Web User, a print
magazine that I've never heard of,
but hey, it's all good publicity for
the site.
"A month after I did Top Trumps, I
wrote the herbal-Nytol-induced
Who Wants To Be A Squillionaire?
b3ta plugged it again, and that
day I got over 8,000 visitors, and
the additional referrers from other
people's sites, blogs, Livejournals,
etc... The bandwidth for the month
Squillionaire came out came within
a few K of my 10Gb/month limit
(usually it hovers around 6Gb) and
was easily the most popular month
for the website.
"And the reasons for the games,
apart from strange brainwaves
that occasionally hit me? Mainly
just to teach myself something
new when it comes to program-
ming Perl CGI scripts. It's also a
way of avoiding my commitments
to The Tipshop (thousands of
apologies to Gerard - I'm meant to
be programming for him right now,
but I've just finished writing a script
that does something incredibly
silly, and that idea was implanted
by a friend of mine who casually
mentioned "I wondered if you'd
thought of doing something like
this?" - I managed to twist it into
an idea which will teach me a
new Perl thing, and there goes
another 48hour project...)
"Now that things have calmed
down after the two game
releases, Top Trumps continues to
be slightly more popular than
Squillionaire - guess it's the
nostaglia value."
And all this while Nick's main
project is progressing - the Your
Sinclair Rock'n'Roll Years TV show .
Planned for later this year, the
documentary will be 30-40 minutes
long with plenty of movie clips of
Spectrum games accompanied
by an 1980s soundtrack. The
project is extraordinarily ambitious,
but a look at the preview page on
the YSRNRY website will convince
you that Nick is taking the task
very seriously and has already
developed some serious video
skills. The demo of the Interface 2
'flyover' is particularly impressive.
So it's hardly surprising, with all this
work, that Nick's site flipped 1
million visitors earlier this year.
Congratulations, I believe, and
Top Trumps:
Who wants to be a Squillionaire:
> YABUS.ZX from Jarek Adamski
More hardware, and this one looks
mightily impressive. Jarek Adamski
is a name you might recall from
ZXF03 as the hardware guru
behind Andrew Owen's ZX
Spectrum SE . Jarek has, for some
time now, been an innovator of
add-ons for the various Spectrums
and the Sam Coupé. He's also
authored the ZXVGS operating
system for Spectrum compatibile
His latest creation is the YABUS.ZX,
an edge-connector interface
offering an external bus for a
whole range of peripherals. Just
so that we're clear, these are
perpherals designed for use with
the YABUS, not just any old
peripheral, but a considerable
range of such interfaces do
already exisit.
Here, Jarek describes the YABUS.ZX
in his own words:
What is YABUS.ZX? Two YABUS slots
in a small, through interface, that
connects to the rear slot of the ZX
It could be you wanted to
connect some extra interfaces to
your Spectrum. You had to join
them in "a sequence" behind the
Spectrum or disconnect one
before connecting another, as
many of them were non-through.
The connection was not always
perfect and you had to do some
experiments with the 'angle of
insertion', etc.
Now it can be different; with
YABUS.ZX, you can connect the
extentions easy and easily
disconnect them (of course whilst
the power is off!)
I don't know if you ever tried to
build your own interface - perhaps
8255, perhaps AY, perhaps
something more advanced. My
experience says there always were
two important problems:
1) how to connect the signal bus,
2) what to do to keep the
possibility to connect something
else (non-through, such as a Timex
FDD 3000 interface).
YABUS.ZX removes both these
problems at once. It's a through
interface and the YABUS slots are
easily accessible from the top of its
box. I might mention that in YABUS
(as a whole) modules called
YAMOD are plugged into the
YABUS slots.
Several years ago I made a
prototype of YABUS for my Sam
Coupé. To have more fun, I built a
YAMOD with AY-3-8910. It worked
and played music. :-) Now, I've
plugged this YAMOD into
YABUS.ZX. It is correctly detected
and works!
This is a special property of YABUS -
the hardware independency. The
same YAMOD can be plugged
into a wide range of computers
based on Z80 CPU - e.g. ZX,
Spectrum, Timex FDD 3000, Sam,
MSX, CPC...)
Of course, it doesn't make sense,
but it is important in case of some
kinds of YAMOD. I didn't try with
computers with different CPUs
(6502, 68000), but this is also
possible (I would like to try with
Both the YABUS and most of
YAMODs are very simple, so they
are cheap.
I've mentioned that you can easy
build an YAMOD. From my side,
I've designed several modules and
That there is a Compact Flash
card peeking out of the Spectrum
above. yes it is. And since last
issue's feature of Roelof Koning's
work, the subject has been
creeping up quite a bit in online
discussions recently.
Sami's system above uses Garry
Lancaster's ResiDos to access the
CF card and also features a
Versatile Memory Unit that offers
up to 1MB RAM in (lots of) 16K
pages. He is also working on a
version for the +3 which is
compatible with the latest of
Garry's +3e ROMs.
The bad news is that the soldering
is far from easy, so electronics
lightweights like myself will have to
be content to look on in envy for
the time being. Perhaps, however,
another significant step has been
taken towards the plug-in
interface that someone, one day,
is going to design and get Sintech
to distribute. I'm allowed to
dream, aren't I?
You can read up on the ZXCF at
http://home.sol.se/amiga/ , Sami's
ZX Spectrum Hardware DIY site,
and ResiDos can be found - along
with information about the +3e
ROMs - at www.zxplus3e.plus.com .
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