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ZX Spectrum reaches 30th anniversary

One of the world's best selling computers reaches its 30th birthday.

Thirty years ago today on April 23rd, 1982 the ZX Spectrum was released by Sinclair and went on to sell five million units worldwide.

The 8-bit computer was one of the first to reach a home market in the UK and remains popular these days with new titles still being made for the system.

Sinclair's new colour system replaced the black-and-white ZX8 to become one of the most powerful and affordable computers on the market.

It was priced at £125 for the 16kb model while the 48kb version set customers back £175, which severely undercut other rivals such as the £299 BBC Micro.

The ZX Spectrum was also famous for its Bauhaus-esque lo-fi design that made it simple to look at yet sleeker than anything else on the market.

Many middle-aged gamers will have cut their teeth on the system. They will recognise the familiar jarring noise that the tape cassettes, which were the Spectrum's software medium, made when they were loading, and they will certainly remember such classic titles as Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy.

Due to the system being so easy to use, many bedroom developers began copying code from magazines and generating their own software. As such, over 23,000 titles were created for the computer.

The system palmed off the competition from the more powerful computers such as the Commodore 64 and the Amstrad CPC and went on to release two follow-up models.

However, bad business decisions meant that Sinclair had to sell the computer to Lord Alan Sugar's Amstrad in 1986 and the line was eventually discontinued in the early 1990s.

The retro 8-bit graphics that the system revolutionised remain a cultural mainstay. They are littered over t-shirts, music videos and throughout the internet. The sounds that accompanied the software even went on become the foundation of a whole dance music genre that is widely popular among underground circles.ADNFCR-1220-ID-801346711-ADNFCR