EVERYTHING was much better in the 1980s - especially the excellent eight-bit computers.
That's why everyone at Computing is getting childishly excited about the imminent release of the Elite Systems' ZX Spectrum. Backed via a crowd-funding campaign, the company has promised delivery of the first units in September.
The computer itself, though, isn't a faithful recreation of the popular home computer. Instead, it's more of a box with a rubber keyboard and a Sinclair emulator running on either an Android or Apple iOS tablet computer. Prices range from fifty quid - which is cheaper than the original entry-level 16K Spectrum (which no one sensible bought).
Of course, to fully recreate the original Sinclair Spectrum experience at least half the units will have to be faulty.
However, the company is faithfully recreating Sir Clive Sinclair's commendably flexible attitude towards deadlines: with production starting this month and deliveries to "investors" scheduled to start "within 90 days", according to the company, the first units may not actually turn up until late November.
It won't hit general sale until spring next year, however, so best wait until then before sticking the octa-core PC with 12GB graphics card and liquid nitrogen cooling tower on eBay.
Sometimes, the power of the mainframe is the most cost effective answer. Computing's Peter Gothard puts Computing's readers' questions on the future of the mainframe to IBM's Z13 expert Steven Dickens.
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