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ZX Spectrum turns 30, Google celebrates with doodle

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ZX Spectrum

© Rex Features / Nils Jorgensen

Sir Clive Sinclair's famous ZX Spectrum has today turned 30, as Google marks the iconic computer's anniversary with a special doodle.

The successor to the bestselling ZX81 is widely regarded as having brought computing to a mainstream audience in Britain, along with colour, high resolution graphics and those distinctive rubber keys.

Taking design inspiration from Bauhaus, the thin and sleek computer packed 16 kilobytes of RAM for the entry-level version, costing £125, or 48kb for the top-end model, priced at £175.

The Spectrum could handle a range of tasks, including word processing and database programmes, but it also enabled many British people's first experience of games.

Users soon became hooked on games such as Manic Miner, Boulder Dash and Jet Set Willy, featuring superior graphics for the time.

Much more advanced models came along later, such as the Commodore 64, but the Spectrum retained a devoted following and had more than 23,000 software titles made for it.

Google St. George's day logo
Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the ZX Spectrum and St George's Day, Google has posted a retro-style doodle on its search homepage, featuring St George taking on the dragon recreated in the ZX's 8-bit style graphics.

The top right-hand corner features the famous four colour stripes that cut across the right-hand corner of the Spectrum. Clicking on the artwork leads through to a series of search results on the hugely influential computer.

A new range of Spectrum machines were later produced by Lord Alan Sugar's Amstrad - now owned by Sky - after it had bought the brand, but none lived up to the original in terms of devotion.

The Spectrum was officially discontinued in 1992, but many games for the machine are still played on PCs, Apple Macs and mobile devices via retro gaming apps and programmes.

> ZX Spectrum Vs Commodore 64: Gaming's greatest rivalry

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