Submitted by , posted on 02 September 2001

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This is a screen shot of a Sinclair ZX Spectrum emulator written in Java. You can see it in action here:

The Spectrum was built in the early 80's by Sir Clive Sinclair, in the UK, and was one of the first truly personal computers (affordable and reasonably powerful.) You can read more about the Spectrum here and here.

I wrote the emulator in part because of my own personal nostalgia for these machines (I got "into computers" because of them) and in part because I was curious to see if it was possible to make one run fast enough in Java. If you're a Java programmer, you may want to read a small article I wrote up about this emulator:

I only tested the emulator on my machine (Windows 2000, Duron 700Mhz, GeForce2 MX), using Netscape 4.78 and IE 5.01, with MS Jview 5.00.3802 and Sun JDK 1.3.1. On both JVMs, the emulator has to be slowed down considerably in order to run at the speed of the original machine (Java was surprisingly fast.) The code for the emulator was also remarkably concise and very clean (I had previously worked on two Sinclair emulators, written in C, and the code was rather messy and bloated.) I never though I'd come to saying this, but this project has convinced me further that Java is a solid platform and a great programming language.

I welcome your thoughts, comments and flames. :-)

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