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them zx81 pimp my spectrum 16K RAM power

Who can solve the mystery of the world’s most pimped-out ZX81?

From the archives of the National Museum of Computing comes this monstrosity:

In case you can’t tell, it’s what appears to be the world’s most pimped-out ZX81.

For reference, this is what the ZX81 looks like in its natural state. It has a sort of sleek coolness. Well, for 1981-era consumer technology.

Pic: Wikipedia

Not this brute of a beast of a 33-year-old desktop computer though.

Fun fact: this computer is the same age as Jesus when he came back from the dead

It’s been equipped with:

  • A different keyboard
  • A built-in ZX Printer
  • Upgraded power supply unit
  • A massive cooling fan
  • An expansion board for the Z80 bus
  • A 16K RAM Pack

…and here’s the mystery:

  • Some other kind of expansion board

The chap who found it fixed up a broken circuit board and put it back in action, nicknaming it “Bluto”. Here it is purring away (or rather roaring away, as the fan is tremendously loud.

Even the printer works

Still, two mysteries here - can you solve them? What’s the expansion board for? Who on Earth would have use for such a monstrosity - and what for?

More about this on the blog of Mr P J Evans.

  • 4:20pm Jan 08, 2014
  • 10 notes