Tweeting with Sinclair ZX Spectrum! What was your Geek tipping point?

This triggered some fond memories of the passion/obsession that put me on the path I am today.

This guy has tweeted from his Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Very creative and probably quite challenging.

and here’s the tweet from

I remember my first ever computer. It was a picture of a ZX 81 pasted onto a notebook.


I couldn’t afford the actual computer at the time, but it was love at first sight and invoked the passion in me for something that has continued to this day.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I was busy Visualizing…

Every month I would buy ‘Which Micro?’ magazine and ‘type’ out the ‘ROM BASIC’ on the picture of the ZX81 to learn the key combination’s. I would then ‘RUN’ the program in my mind and then write out/draw the results in said notebook, debug the code and re-type any errors I found.

This continued for a year until I convinced the local electronics store owner to let me use a real, live ZX81 every Friday afternoon to code and test my programs. Nirvana!


After another 6 months I managed to purchase my first ZX81 with the expanded memory — a whopping 16k of RAM — heaven!

Later I progressed to the ZX Spectrum which had colour and 32k RAM and life was complete ;-)

Sinclair ZX Spectrum

I’m sure there’s some term for someone that types on a virtual keyboard pasted onto a notebook for a year, but don’t really care — it’s amazing how that little machine kick-started my IT career and enabled the rewarding life I’ve led so far…

What tipped you over?

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