Worth a Shufty (Links)
This page is devoted to those sites that I think might be of interest. Obviously most of these will have a retro-tinge to them – but not exclusively so. I will be updating this page over time:
World Of Spectrum: This is arguably the finest site for retrogaming on the web. Centred on the Sinclair machines with a fixation particularly on the ZX Spectrum, there is very little that cannot be found there. Indeed, this is where I ‘acquired’ most of my scans of Your Computer. If you ever intend setting up a site which pays homage to a favourite machine then you could do far worse than to start here for inspiration. Simply brilliant.
The Your Sinclair Rock ‘n’ Roll Years: This is the site that above all inspired, nay, compelled me to attempt to get Your Computer online. Your Sinclair was errrr…. eccentric (in its later life it dabbled in agony aunt-type columns). As the title suggests its primary area of interest was with the ZX Spectrum, QL and other Sinclair computers. The Your Sinclair Rock ‘n’ Roll Years website is a masterpiece of devotion, obsession and presentation. The site owner – Nick Humphries has even produced documentaries and pastiches of the BBC program The Rock ‘n’ Roll Years which scrutinise and celebrate the ZX Spectrum. There are a plethora of interviews, reviews and features available for your delectation and I would suggest that you pay this site a visit (whether you had a ZX Spectrum or not)
Crash Magazine Online: Another inspiration for me. I like to kid myself that I have gone for the more sophisticated end of the market with regard to getting old magazine’s online, but the truth of the matter is that my attempts pale into insignificance compared to the work that has been put in here. Crash was a magazine of almost quaint eccentricity dedicated to the ZX Spectrum (the Commodore 64 sister publication known as Zzap can be found here). It eschewed the more stilted approach of many contemporaries (such as Your Computer) and instead tended to be almost slapstick. Also noted for the work of the artist Oliver Frey – who I understand prior to working with Crash was known for his nudie-rudie artwork.
Lemon 64: No matter what fans of rival 8-bit systems may say, the Commdore 64 was undoubtedly the biggest selling and therefore the most widely known machine. This is not to say that it was the best. Lemon 64 is one the central resources for all things C-64 and contains reviews, game details, a music archive (the C-64 was after all most famous for its Sid chip) and a forum.
Llamasoft: This site is home to one of most legendary figures in video-game history: Jeff Minter. Mr Minter – who looks something like an exile from Woodstock – goes by the soubriquet “Yak the Hairy”. He is famed for developing some of the most psychedelic, fast, furious and outlandish shoot-em-ups ever seen. His fixation with ruminants means that most – if not all – of his games will contain camels, sheep and such like. See Attack and Revenge of the Mutant Camels as a prime examples of this. To my mind, his finest moment (of many fine moments) is the reworking of Tempest that he developed for the Atari Jaguar. Still, going strong after 30 years, Jeff Minter is now developing games for systems such as the iPad. Please visit his site which contains a history of Llamasoft, his work with Lightsynths, a forum and a blog.
Old Computers.Com: If you are interested in the contents of this site then it is fairly certain that you will be similarly transfixed by Old Computers.Com. Superbly presented this site hosts images, advertisements, history, has a forum, links to emulators and Lord knows what else. If you have ever wondered what a Triumph Adler or Pertec PCC 2000 look like and what they were capable of then this is the place to go. Some of the units are aesthetically quite exquisite although I suspect that in use such considerations would be far from the operators mind. The museum covers a period 1950 right up to 1999 (it is a sign of how quickly technology has progressed that a machine released in 1999 should be considered ‘old’). The owners of the site have not limited themselves to computers, they have also included consoles and software. Another fascinating aspect of the site are contributions from those that developed or worked for the manufacturers of the systems.