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Retro Smarts


Apparently you can now get a smartphone which has the selling point of containing an emulator of the Commodore 64 computer. I’m not that interested, as I was on team Spectrum instead.

I’m not sure I would be entirely convinced even if there was an equivalent Sinclair Smartphone (in fact, due diligence shows that there was at least an attempt in 2009 although I’m not sure it came to market). Having a ZX Spectrum at home was invaluable for getting some early computer experience but I’m not sure that I’m desparate to program in Basic or play games where you can only have two different colours in any given 8×8 pixel square. That said, it did an awful lot given that it only had 48KB of RAM to play with. I wonder if you could use a smartphone to host an emulated array of multiple retro computers and get interesting results?

Given that the big bottleneck on my current phone, an HTC Wildfire-S (yes, not that current!), is the tiny internal memory where it starts to struggle when it drops below about 15MB free and can’t free up much above that threshold, I’m sure phone designers could learn a trick or two about limited resources from looking back at home computers from the 1980s and do something more useful rather than merely emulating them.

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