Old and new – Sinclair ZX81 and ZXpand

Thanks to my good friend Jon who has kindly loaned me his ZX81, I’ve been playing around with this little black box of joy these past few days and I must say, despite it infamous dodgy keyboard, I’ve been totally blown away by this thing. I’m now starting to understand why my friends and colleagues at the Retro Computer Museum have such a huge soft spot them.


Jon had also included his ZXpand board so i’ve been able to load upteen images from SD card as well as play some of the homebrew games created just rescently. 30 years on and folk are still making software for it! Gotta love retro!

Just messin –


Also, whilst waiting for the above video to upload to YouTube, I started playing around with Pixlromatic on my iPad using one of the ZX81 photos i’d taken earlier on. I’ve had another idea, but for that I’ll need my trusty Photoshop.


In issue 99 of Retro Gamer, there was a great article on 3D Monster Maze for the ZX81, a game that I’ve never actually played myself, so that’s on my list of titles to play next. Does anyone have anymore recommendations?



5 responses to “Old and new – Sinclair ZX81 and ZXpand

  1. I love this machine. Christmas ’81 I got my first, with a memotech 16k RAM , Psion Flight Simulator and 3D Monster Maze. I think I had 5 hours sleep in the 14 days that followed, until I actually had to go back to school. It was a marvel and quite a few take pride in my collection today. She is a beauty.

  2. I have a feeling we won’t see much stuff for those in the future, but that is of course only a hunch that I’ve got. People that gew up with home computers back in the day learned to be creative with their machines.. picking up skills like programming, painting, tracking (music) and so on. It doesn’t seem like it is like this anymore. What do you think, mate? 🙂

  3. I think you’ve got that spot on right mate although there we do seem to be enjoying a whole host of creative ideas coming from indie gamers, musicians and artists on PC and modern consoles which may (and i hope) continue long after the giant game corps have moved away and on to to the next console generation.

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