Does the ZX Spectrum deserve its crown?

Best of Reader Comments: Ah, the memories…

Best of Reader Comments: Ah, the memories…

Amstrad or Spectrum? Commodore 64 or Acorn Electron? silicon.com readers have posted a flurry of comments around a poll we ran recently asking the question, what was your first home computer? Not only was it a very popular poll - but the results (and the hardware listed in the poll) caused quite a stir.

Many readers agreed with the overall winner - the ZX Spectrum - with one reader from Scotland commenting: "My old Spectrum sits in a small display frame to remind me of how simple computers used to be to use and how easy it was to do almost anything with it."

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Another reader reminisced about the ZX Spectrum's little quirks, saying: "I just remember having to get the volume absolutely right for the games to load!" And one anonymous reader said the reason they purchased the Spectrum was so "the younger members of the family could play games in colour".

But some were disappointed that their favourite wasn't included in the poll. Richard from the UK wondered why there was "no option for the earlier ZX80/ZX81 or for the Lynx"? And George Reywer from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne asked "what about the Acorn Atom?" He added: "I built mine from a kit which cost £299 (and came with plastic bags of components and a bare circuit board and required many hours of soldering)."

Steven Abrams from Liverpool pointed out that the poll didn't date back far enough, saying "home computing actually started in the late 1970s, with computers such as the Nascom".

Phil Hodgson from Gloucestershire was also in favour of the Nascom, saying "£197 and you had to assemble it yourself. 2k of RAM - luxury! Mine's still in the loft - it still worked last time I plugged it in".

Others were saddened by options that were included but which didn't do so well. Mark Kobayashi-Hillary from London said it was "strange to see the old C64 faring so badly" adding that "it had the polyphonic SID chip, the VIC chip that could simultaneously handle eight sprites (more if you started using raster interrupts) and the 6502 variant (6510) processor was a lot faster than the Z80..."

Unfortunately, there simply wasn't enough space to include all the early computers this time around, which means silicon.com will simply have to run a similar poll sometime in the future…