Tuesday, September 13, 2005



I might have to brush up on the Pascal I last did at university roughly 15 years ago, so I've:

I've also gotten hold of Turbo Pascal

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Making a digital backup of my ZX Spectrum tapes

I've bought another Cronosoft game, "Gloop!"

The signal on the tape is very noisy, and I always like to make a backup. I use the backup until it no longer works, then I make another backup, use that, and so on.

I couldn't get a backup via Audacity to load up into my Spectrum, so I've spent the last couple of hours investigating how to make a digital backup. Here's how I did it:

  1. Played the tape into my laptop's "MIC" socket, and recorded an 8-bit uncompressed WAV using Audacity

  2. Used MakeTZX from the command line with:

    maketzx Gloop.wav -f

  3. Played the .tzx into my Spectrum from the command line with:

    tzx2wav.exe Gloop.tzx

Do a web search if you can't find the software I mention, or look elsewhere in this blog.

And no - don't bother asking if you can have a copy of any of these titles. Support Cronosoft in their effort to keep a retro games label alive, or it'll die.

Friday, September 09, 2005



I picked a copy up on eBay for 1p this week. Martin Gudgin had it way back when, but I didn't have a clue what to do with it. Today though, I found this so hopefully I'll get value for money out of the game!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Completed Higgledy Piggledy!

I read in one of the ZXF editions that there is a group of people who all play one game for a week, and discuss it. I think there is something going for the idea - there are so many games available in the World of Spectrum archives that it is easy to jump around them and not give any individual game the attention it may (or may not!) deserve.

It is also interesting that this is one of only a handful of games that I have ever finished. It is a very good game, but it also has a lot to do with the fact that I paid cash for it!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


JC's web site

While searching for a simple Z80 random number generator, I stumbled across Jonathan Cauldwell's web site - the author of past and present Spectrum games.

Monday, September 05, 2005


First 5km race in, er, ever?

I don't think I ever raced over 5km (although I did plenty of much shorter and much longer races). Given that I haven't done any running to speak of for 10 years, and that I can't train because my knees are so sore every time that I try to train, then yesterday's run in Alexandra Park in 24mins 22secs was a nice surprise.

Nostalgically, this race was in the park across the road from my secondary school. Every term our form would do a lap of the park - I can't remember ever losing.

I thought I'd be lucky to do it in less than half an hour given that I haven't done any running (just a couple of jogs). It'd be nicer still if I could get it back under 17 or 18 minutes which is what I'd have done it in before...


Loading a ZX Spectrum via an iPod Mini

I've had stress with this for a few days trying different things, but finally got it working.

Assuming you have a .TZX file (archives here), or a tape that you can sample as a .WAV or .mp3 (using something like Audacity or this) then you can do the following:

(1) If you have a .TZX, convert it with TZX2WAV.EXE into a .WAV
(2) Once you have a .WAV, load it into Audacity
(3) ... Boost the gain to +36dB using the slider on the LHS of the screen (I think I had to select the whole audio track with the mouse first, since you can boost just sections of the file)

(4) ... Export as an .MP3
(5) Add the MP3 to your iTunes library
(6) ... on the properties tab for that "song", boost the volume to +100% and set the equalizer to "Pop"
(7) On the iPod, play back at full volume, and make sure the "Sound Check" setting is off (in the Settings menu somewhere)
(8) Use a stereo socket to mono plug converter so that the Spectrum receives a mono feed from the stereo iPod. 85p from Maplin, order code FK14Q.

Phew. I'm sure there are other ways, but this worked for me. YMMV.

I also heard on comp.sys.sinclair about TZX support on Podzilla. I'll have to check that out some time.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?