I dug the old ZX Spectrum out from under the bed and fired it up to celebrate the anniversary. It booted up just fine, but then I ran into trouble; the keys were sticky, tape images wouldn’t load and there was no sound. I tried using the Speccy emulator on my phone to load an image, then the Winamp Tap loader on my laptop. Eventually, after warming up for about an hour, the keys came to life, the sound started again and I was able to load some games!
For best results, I recommend Winamp Tap Player, set to Square Wave and 75% volume. I needed to use the original grey-headed leads that came with the Spectrum too, nothing else worked.
Rastan Saga was good fun, Judge Dredd wasn’t great. The loading times aren’t as annoying as I remember, but of course Winamp tells you exactly how long you have to wait and the R:Tape Loading Error is banished forever.
Anyway, Happy Birthday Spectrum!