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The Spectrum Show

Serving Spectrum Content Since 1983

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About ME & THE SHOW

I have been involved with computers since 1981, when a tiny, sleek home micro (as they were called back then) called a Sinclair ZX81 arrived at my door, and I have been hooked ever since. Initially computers were a fascination and more than just something to play games on, although I did my fare share.

I was interested in how they worked, how to write my own programs and how to plug things into them that didn’t end in tiny wisps of white smoke. After the ZX81 came the momentous Sinclair ZX Spectrum. A beautiful, colour, rubber keyed dream that even had sound. This machine is solely responsible for the UK IT industry as it is today, and rightly holds a place in many people’s hearts.

I was one of the rare breed of people who bought a modem for the Spectrum and ran a viewdata bulletin board called ‘The Hole’ running at 1200/75 half baud on Micron software using a Prism VTX5000 modem.

My next computer was the wonderful Commodore Amiga A500. It was at this point I also left my mundane day job and took up an offer from a local one-man computer outfit to help him with the business. The business grew and soon expanded into large premises with more staff, eventually becoming a large retailer turning over millions a year. 

I also kept up my communications, buying another modem and running my own Amiga BBS called Image Viewdata. Again running at 1200/75 using comms software called Ruby-Tel from Y2 computing. 

I began to write software in the ninties. Nothing special; a few public domain games for the Amiga were about as good as it got, although I was threatened by Games Workshop once for using one of their images!

My Amiga was upgraded to a B2000 with 20mb Seagate hard drive, yes that’s megabyte and not gigabyte! Then came the A4000, a cracking machine that I wish I had never sold. Soon the PC’s, previously only a business computer, began to become cheaper and real contender for home use - the rest is history.

There have been several interviews with me;
Popular Computing Weekly from 1988
Retro Gamer magazine issue 135
Retro Asylum podcast - Episode 100 (opens in new window)
Geoff Neil's Top 100 Speccy games (Youtube opens in new windows)
ZX Devs interview August 2016 (in Spanish - Use Google Translate)
Homebrew Legends interview (open in new window)

 

THE SHOW

The Spectrum Show, the monthly YouTube show that has now been going since 2012. Never missed a month, never late and always well received. How? Many people have asked how the show is put together, how long it takes, what I use for various bits and where all the information comes from. 

Information and Data comes from the numerous magazines I own. Reading these are the basis for all features in the show. Older episodes included a News section covering the news of the day and although I have a large collection of magazines, it is much more convenient to search through scanned pages. I prefer to look at weekly magazines such as Home Computing Weekly or Popular Computing Weekly, because of their regularity, tend to be quite accurate with dates.

The main feature, quite a lengthy but enjoyable task. If it’s a hardware review, I spend a good few days setting things up and generally playing about. Testing things out, making notes and often video. If I have hardware setup, I don’t want to do it all again to grab some footage later on, although this has been the case a few times.

Cameras: I use a Canon 80D stills camera and a Panosonic HC-VX980 4k video camera.

Audio: I record on a Samsung Meteor microphone using Audacity software.

Editing: I use Adobe Premier Pro.

Each show takes between three to four weeks to produce.