Latest News

Something for the weekend: ZX Spectrum – hey, hey 16k

In recognition of the huge influence the ZX Spectrum computer has had on an entire generation in the creative and scientific fields, in the UK and beyond, SCI-FI-LONDON (The London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film) will honour Clive Sinclair’s invention in a light-hearted ceremony on Saturday 5th May, 2012 at 12noon at London’s BFI Southbank. The birthday cake (baked to a bespoke recipe by Gordon Ramsey’s former pastry chef Beth Watts) will be presented as part of HORIZONS: A CELEBRATION OF THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ZX SPECTRUM, the festival’s weekend-long free event, at the BFI South Bank.

The little machine that plugged into the living room telly will be honoured in a rich blend of fun, memories, and future-gazing. Visitors who were there the first time round will be able to play some of their favourite games and share their memories, whilst the generation who are only just beginning to scratch the surface behind their software can road-test the new Rasberry PI. These new computers are currently like gold-dust as demand has far exceeded supply. They are credit-card sized computers which also plug into your TV and a keyboard. The inventors want to see them being used by children all over the world to learn programming.

Speakers and performers over the two days, include: Dylan Smith: demonstrating the amazing Spectrum-to-Twitter client +  Saul Metzstein: director of BBC film Micro Men discusses his influences from the golden age of 80s computing + Matt Westcott: running the Chiptune music workshop – how to make music with the Spectrum + Dr Bill Marshall of RS Components demonstrates the workings of the Raspberry PI + Matthew C. Applegate on how the Spectrum gave birth to a generation of programmers + MJ Hibbett: performing Hey Hey 16k and other evocative songs!

Louis Savy, Festival Director for SCI-FI-LONDON adds: “As well as screening great science fiction, we are also serious about promoting science fact. Where one meets the other is where all the fun happens. The 30th birthday of the ZX Spectrum gives us an opportunity to promote the best in computing innovation today as well as celebrating the halcyon days of Sir Clive’s ground-breaking machine. We hope people will enter into the spirit of the weekend and come along to the BFI to play.”