Now you probably know we’re big fans of the Spectrum in these here parts, so I was very excited to learn this morning that someone’s created a new clone of the Sinclair Zx80, dubbed the Minstrel. As it was the first computer that was available on the UK market for less than a hundred pounds, the ZX80 represents an important milestone in the development of computing, so it’s great to see it resurrected in a form that matches the DIY spirit of the original.
Based around (to use creator Dave Curran’s own words) a bag of TTL chips and a Z80, the Minstrel is impressively close to the original. The parts and the pins are the same as the Sinclair machine, and the only concessions he’s made to the modern world are sensible sympathetic ones (such as composite output in place of an RF Modulator.) Best of all, it looks a beaut too:
Thankfully, he’s still got a few boards spare. Obviously you’d need to connect a keyboard to actually use one (and put the rest of it together yourself,) but at £20 you can’t really complain. Read more over at the Tynemouth Software blog: here