Many years ago when I was a PhD student, I purchased a BBC Microcomputer second-hand. I had learnt computing on a BBC from the age of 9 and used it all the way through to the end of my A-levels 9 years later. On the more recent computer, I loaded up Elite and played it for 10 minutes and concluded that it was all good. Shortly thereafter I decided that I had no real use for this second hand beast and almost a month later I sold it on.
We also had an Atari 2600 when I was young. Occasionally I fire up Stella and play some games on my Mac having managed to purchase a clone Atari joystick that works via USB. I have fun, but it does not last long.
I read today that a company has re-created the original ZX Spectrum and made it easy for it to talk to modern HD TVs. The new Spectrum is really a controller to an iOS or Android app running an emulator. There is no reason that this is a bad idea, but it is very likely that the intended purchasers will be buying the device to relive old memories.
There is nothing wrong with recreating those old feelings – it’s just they will never be the same as the first time. Our memories are within us, not within things.
Picture by Gareth Halfacree.