Talk:ZX Spectrum

Add topic
Active discussions


""The Z80 processor used in the Spectrum has a 16-bit address bus, which means only 64 KB of memory can be directly addressed. To facilitate the extra 80 KB of RAM the designers used bank switching so the new memory would be available as eight pages of 16 KB at the top of the address space. The same technique was used to page between the new 16 KB editor ROM and the original 16 KB BASIC ROM at the bottom of the address space""

It is the 8 bit processor which limits the amount of memory which can be addressed, not the address bus, which can be latched (as in the IBM PC). And I'm fairly sure because of the kernal and the way the pins on the Z80 are tied up, only 48 kB can be accessed in the Spectrum. I believe the extra memory on the +2 is accessed by paging in 16 kB at a time and swapping the original contents out "high" above 48K, using the offset addressing method available on the Z80. (talk) 04:02, 16 March 2018 (UTC)

In the case of ZX Spectrum 48K it is actually 16 kB ROM and 48 kB RAM = 64 kB. They are occupying entire 64 kB address space. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:07, 18 November 2020 (UTC)

Yep, the RAM starts at address 16384 (decimal). There were some add-ons for the earlier Spectrums that allowed the ROM to be bypassed, effectively swapping in the contents of a programmable aftermarket chip. Presumably that's also how the Hobbit managed to use 64K RAM without breaking compatibility. Pastychomper (talk) 10:20, 20 November 2020 (UTC)

Talk page archivingEdit

I've archived threads from this page, it's been 10 years, I thought it was about time. Have archived anything over 2 years or where the discussion had been closed. - X201 (talk) 16:06, 29 March 2018 (UTC)

GA ReassessmentEdit

This discussion is transcluded from Talk:ZX Spectrum/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.

This article was promoted to GA status in 2006, which is a lifetime ago in Wikipedia terms. Since then, our standards have improved a bit. As it stands, the article fails criteria 3 for not being broad in its coverage. There is almost no information on the development of the system or the commercial success of the system. The reception section contains one single review from an American publication, while the software section does not identify any particularly notable products. The legacy section likewise fails to articulate the significant impact of the computer on the history of the British computer industry and the global video game industry. Furthermore, several topics discussed in the lead are not present in the body.

The article also fails the well-written criteria, as there are numerous one-sentence paragraphs. Finally, there are some sourcing issues, such as the use of Planet Sinclair, which appears to be a fan site without editorial oversight or a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. While the article is certainly not terrible, it has so many issues, that I am doubtful that it can be recovered without a fairly substantial rewrite. Indrian (talk) 16:21, 29 March 2018 (UTC)

  • Revoke GA status. It might as well have a Template:More citations needed at the top. Cognissonance (talk) 11:44, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Revoke as per nom. Reception & Legacy are way too short in comparison to the cultural effect and the advances in computing the Spectrum actually had. ~ P*h3i (📨) 23:10, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

Looks like we have agreement here. I am going to go ahead and delist the article. Indrian (talk) 23:18, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

I don't think this is representativeEdit

"new software titles continue to be released – over 40 were released in 2019." I don't think this is representative of the actual success of the Spectrum. The software released in 2019 are part of the retro craze, which is seperate from the longevity of the product itself. And the word "software" is misleading. Are people still using the Spectrum for office work or business applications? How many of these are games? (talk) 21:50, 1 March 2020 (UTC)

Seems a reasonable claim to me. Software has been released regularly for the Spectrum (and C=64 and others) for the last 20 years. I don't think it falls into the "craze" criteria. Anyway, the fact that software is released is testament to the longevity, no matter how you see it. Software is a catch-all statement. It's not misleading (all releases are software - whether games or business, or utilities), but it's not meant to specify the type of software, only that it was released.
Why don't you think it representative? What is the issue with it? As I said, it seems fine to me. Chaheel Riens (talk) 22:26, 1 March 2020 (UTC)
I agree with the original poster 100%. This statement is incredibly misleading and lacks context. A reasonable reader of the article who knows nothing about computers could easily assume that these are commercial releases rather than enthusiast freeware and that they are evidence of a continued market for the computer when in fact the world at large has moved on from it decades ago. Also, I doubt this really says anything about the longevity of the computer, as I presume this software is being played by its relatively small audience on emulators and modern hardware clones, not actual Spectrums. Furthermore, a forum post is not a reliable source, and this info is not expanded upon in the body of the article, which violates WP:Lead. If someone wants to find significant coverage in reliable sources regarding the retro Spectrum game scene and discuss it in some appropriate spot on Wikipedia, then they are welcome to explore that. This misleading and unsupported statement given undue attention in the lead is not the way to go about it. Indrian (talk) 02:41, 2 March 2020 (UTC)
Why does it matter if the software is commercial or homebrew? Or if it's used on an emulator or real hardware? It's still a software release. Other points accepted, but not those I mention. Chaheel Riens (talk) 07:34, 2 March 2020 (UTC)
To clarify, I don't think it matters in terms of what topics to cover on Wikipedia, but I do think these facts should be clearly stated in any writing on the subject to avoid confusion. It's the context that matters. Indrian (talk) 08:20, 2 March 2020 (UTC)


As far as I can see, the Next is a (mostly? fully?) Spectrum-compatible machine with added capabilities. The same is true of the Hobbit and the Sam Coupe, both of which were sold while the Spectrum still had a market beyond retro enthusiasts. I take the anon editor's point that the QL wasn't much of a successor since several Spectra were released after it, but it was at least intended by Sinclair to be one, which isn't true of any of the others. How about we remove the "successor" heading altogether? Pastychomper (talk) 12:22, 28 June 2022 (UTC)

The unlike the Sam Coupe, the Spectrum Next is an official Sinclair product, branded as such. This sets it appart from the Sam Coupe and other community-driven projects such as the UNO etc.
The editor MrMajors has been engaged in endless editing wars on the ZX Spectrum Next page itself, has put forward for deletion the Wikipedia entry of the people running the project and has overall pushed for a personal vendetta against the Spectrum Next. I suggest disabling his ability to edit the entry for the time being. (talk) 15:43, 28 June 2022 (UTC)
I am gonna have to side with this. MrMajors seems to be simply sabotaging other peoples work to match his personal agenda, without any real goal of actually improving the articles. 2001:14BA:16F7:5700:E54B:DFB1:75E1:3F00 (talk) 11:23, 24 July 2022 (UTC)
The only agenda here is that of a small number of Spectrum Next fanboys attempting to promote their obscure toy. MrMajors (talk) 11:32, 24 July 2022 (UTC)
Why would something that is no longer commercially available need any promoting? What purpose would the promotion serve? I think it is more just the case of documenting that such a reproduction version exists. 2001:14BA:16F7:5700:E54B:DFB1:75E1:3F00 (talk) 11:48, 24 July 2022 (UTC)
As an addendum, the rationale that the QL wasn't an 8 bits computer and therefore can't be a successor doesn't stack up. No one would dispute that the Mega Drive was a successor to the Master System, or that the 80286 was the successor of the 8088 on such grounds. (talk) 16:06, 28 June 2022 (UTC)
The QL was the computer created by Clive Sinclair after the Spectrum, it is therefore the successor. The Next is not an official Sinclair product, the name is used with permission of the rights holder. Even the Sam and the Vega's have a greater claim to be the successor as the Coupe was created by Miles & Gordon who were ex-Sinclair, and Sinclair Research was a director of RCL, the company behind the Vega consoles. MrMajors (talk) 16:19, 28 June 2022 (UTC)
This is strange. You've claimed earlier in the history that the QL couldn't be a successor because it's 8 bits. Now that's no longer an issue?
As you've mentioned, the Next is a licenced product from the rights holder, therefore an official Sinclair product -- it even carries the brand, something none of the examples you've mentioned do.
This seems very much like a personal issue of yours, not an objective reason that applies to the readers of Wikipedia. (talk) 16:38, 28 June 2022 (UTC)
1. It was another editor that said the QL couldn't be a successor.
2. from the Nexts' own page: "Despite the name, the machine is not directly affiliated with Sinclair Research Ltd., Sir Clive Sinclair or the current owner of the trademarks, Sky Group."
3. the Vega also used the brand Sinclair, licenced from Sky, so is "therefore an official Sinclair product" according to your own criteria, and even moreso due to the involvement of Sinclair Research and Clive Sinclair himself
MrMajors (talk) 17:41, 28 June 2022 (UTC)
I'm kind of with MrMajors and his rationale on this one. The QL is the branded successor to the Spectrum despite many differences and obvious incompatibilities WP:OTHERSTUFF notwithstanding, but the Commodore 64 article includes the Amiga as a successor, which I would also agree with, and the thinking that includes it there applies here as well.
IP 37.157 asked for another editor to weight[sic] in - so I have. Chaheel Riens (talk) 17:58, 28 June 2022 (UTC)
First of all, sory for this wall of text. I must say, that I find the question of "successors" somewhat hard to define when it comes to early home computers. It all depends on what you mean by "successor". Is it simply a product brought to the market by the same company and cronologically following the "predecessor"? In this way QL is the successor of ZX Spectrum, Amiga is the successor of Commodore 64 and Atari ST is the successor of Atari XL/XE.
However I, for one, do find this approach overly corporate-centric and disregarding large parts of computing history. So should we focus on the people involved in the development of machine instead? In this case Amiga could be seen as a successor of Atari 2600 but not Commodore 64/128. Atari ST is a botchjob thrown together with Jack Tramiel in the lead, precicely like Commodore 64 before it. Does that make Atari ST the successor of Commodore 64? Probably not, but you might get a different answer if you asked Jack Tramiel. I know I am oversimplifying hugely here abd bringing other machines to the discussion. The reason for that is just to show that it's all very vague when it comes to early home computers, including, but not limited to ZX Spectrum.
We could go further, down the line, ZX80->ZX81->ZX82/Spectrum (or Pet->MicroPet/Vic20->MaxMachine/C64->C128) and there would always be some level of shared architecture, and in many cases even some level of compatibility (albeit not necessarily very extensive level) involved. I'm actually not sure to what extent does QL built on top of an old ZX architecture, but at least the processor is different. Amiga has nothing whatsoever to do with older Commodore machines, same as Atari ST has nothing to do with older Atari 8 machines. They are simply products that ended up being released by the same company as their claimed "predecessors", more often than not by the whim of destiny more than anything else. They are in-laws more than relatives and their real family is elsewere.
So is ZX Spectrum Next the successor of ZX Spectrum? Well yes and no. It does have the license for name and branding, it is software and hardware compatible, it has the original Spectrum ROMs and Rick Dickinson from the original ZX/QL team has been present in the development, so in that way maybe yes? However, while the Next can be seen to build on top of ZX architecture, it is still an FPGA implementation that incorporates much of the development done in the ZX Spectrum/Pentagon user community during the past 40 years. Predecessor/successor? Go figure... 2001:14BA:16F7:5700:E54B:DFB1:75E1:3F00 (talk) 13:31, 24 July 2022 (UTC)
Successors must be computers released back in the day, with some connection to the predecessor, and positioned as such on advertising / commercially. Usually they follow each other on the market (ex: computer A is discontinued at the same time computer B is introduced by the same or related company), occupy the same niche (ex: home/games computer that you connect to a TV) and have a similar price range (ex: low cost entry model). So for the Spectrum this would be the SAM (I favor this due to compatibility) and the QL (but the infobox might show both), but not any clones or modern devices. 4throck (talk) 15:42, 24 July 2022 (UTC)
But QL was in no way intended for the same audience as ZX Spectrum, nor was it anywere near the same price range. QL was meant to be Sinclair take on a business computer to compete with IBM and Apple products, while ZX Spectrum was clearly targeted to the home market for hobbyists, education and gaming. This also becomes apparent in the QL commercials of the time. Now I'm not saying that QL isn't a successor of ZX Spectrum, but your grantedly valiant attempt to define "successor" doesn't seem to work in this case. 2001:14BA:16DC:3300:9DEA:DBA9:6DA8:D0A5 (talk) 11:55, 30 August 2022 (UTC)

IEC instead of legacy units, e.g. 48 KB -> 48 KiBEdit

Would it make sense to update the page to use IEC units (KiB, MiB, GiB) instead of legacy units (KB, MB, GB)? HenrikB (talk) 09:06, 16 July 2022 (UTC)

No. There are specific guidelines that say they should not be used, except in a few specific circumstances. See the last paragraph of WP:COMPUNITS - X201 (talk) 10:18, 16 July 2022 (UTC)