January 27, 2023

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One Of The Worst Keyboards Ever, Now An Arduino Peripheral

One Of The Worst Keyboards Ever, Now An Arduino Peripheral

For British little ones of a certain age, their 1st experience of a pc was very likely to have been in entrance of a Sinclair ZX81. The lesser-identified predecessor to the wildly-effective ZX Spectrum, it arrived in at below £100 and sported a Z80 processor and a whopping 1k of memory. In the very long tradition of Sinclair goods it experienced a few compromises to reach that price point, the most obvious of which was a 40-key membrane keyboard. Those people who discovered to code on its frustrating lack of tactile comments may well be shocked to see an Arduino venture presenting it as the best way to quickly hook up a keyboard to an Arduino.

Like many retrocomputing components, the ZX81 ‘board has been re-created, to the pleasure of many a Sinclair fanatic. It is therefore readily readily available and relatively low cost (we feel they can be found for considerably less than the mentioned 20 euros!), so remarkably it’s a realistic alternative for an Arduino venture. The process of trying to determine by touch the imperceptible difference in thickness of a ZX81 crucial will carry a accurate retrocomputing encounter to a new generation. Perhaps if it can be performed on an Mbed then a person may possibly even make a ZX81 emulator on the Arduino.

We’re fantastic admirers of the ZX81 here at Hackaday, for some of us it was that very first personal computer. Prolonged may perhaps it go on to delight its admirers!