Thursday, March 08, 2012

It is only when they go wrong that machines remind you how powerful they are.


Ezra takes over the world! Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, Hobart. February 2012.

Those of you logging in today this merry Theme Thursday expecting me to wax lyrical about the distribution of a characteristic of a physical system or phenomenon, or a graphic or photographic representation of such a distribution or indeed list a broad sequence or range of related qualities, ideas, or activities will be sorely dissatisfied!

When I here the word SPECTRUM I think about a computer system that I have never seen in person, let alone used or owned. Yes, the Sinclair ZX SPECTRUM! To explain, we must travel back to the heady days of 1986...

NASA needed another seven astronauts; we were all let down by Halley's Comet; and we all suddenly discovered an obscure little place called the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Unlike the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, we had a Commodore 64 home computer. At the time, the terminally slow cassette drive did not worry us (although we coveted floppy disks in secret). In retrospect the fifteen minute load time to have another three-second crack at dying in Dragon's Lair just does not seem worth it.

But you see, it could have been worse… It could have been a SPECTRUM. The SPECTRUM gave me perspective. The SPECTRUM gave me hope.

7 comments:

smudgeon said...

Ah yes, the Spectrum. Clive Sinclair might have been a genius (apparently) & the Spectrum a phenomenon in the UK, but I don't think you can even pick them up for 50c at the Salvos down here...

janaki nagaraj said...

Nice take.

Kris said...

Smudgeon, these things were wonderful at the time but I confess that I have as much enthusiasm to go back and play the C64 as I do have surgery sans anaesthetic!

Janeki, cheers!

4U2 said...

A different way to take a picture in ... spectrum. Nice!

Roddy said...

When I see the word spectrum I think of the broad range of colours in a prism.

Mrsupole said...

I went to visit the link for the Spectrum last night and after watching it I think I fell asleep at the computer. I vaguely remember getting up and going to bed. I truly cannot remember ever seeing that and so was a little strange to see it.

When I was in college we had a computer that took up the whole basement of one of the largest buildings there. We were so amazed in that we could play multilevel tic tac toe with it. We had to move all the pieces and then input where we moved our pieces but it was truly amazing. Plus we rarely would beat it and there could be over 20 of us playing against it.

I have heard that the C64's are collectors items and worth a lot of money nowadays.

Happy TT and a great take on the Spectrum prompt.

God bless.

Tom said...

cool pic