For those of you who don’t know, the eagerly awaited ZX Spectrum Next is due to come out in the next couple of months or so. This is the next generation of Spectrum computers and all things point to it being extremely good. It has sparked a real buzz around the Spectrum community.

While we wait for this next step of the Spectrum’s journey, I thought I would go back and revisit some of the old Spectrum magazines, to relive some of the memories around the birth of the original Spectrum. I absolutely loved my old Spectrum magazines. They had such a good vibe. I poured over them every single month. It was so exciting to have so many games and so much development each month. First up I’ll be taking a look at Your Spectrum, which ran from Jan 1984 until Dec 1985, before being relaunched as the fantastic Your Sinclair. Here is the opening editorial in the first edition of Your Spectrum.

There are magazines and there are magazines – and when it comes to microcomputer publishing, there are even more magazines. But however wide the choice, always there seems to be an unquenchable public thirst for more.

The Sinclair Spectrum has been an astounding success story. Who, after all, could resist saying “Wowee!” to the idea of 16K plus colour for under the ton (even though many buyers promptly added the extra £30 to triple the available memory)? And even if the machine is no longer ‘new’, still nothing seems able to staunch the flow of demand.

However, times they are a’ changing and yesterday’s newcomer aspires to be today’s Spectrum literate. Your Spectrum evolved with them in mind. It’s for those who are eager to step beyond basics. For those who enjoy testing and stretching their own knowledge an expertise. The magazine, in comparison to others, may seem a bit of a ‘Vogon’, but that’s because we’re on a new insterstellar highway – one which doesn’t stretch logic to the point of boredom. And at times the content may seem a bit tricky to you – tough, that’s what progress is all about!

Don’t give up, because we’re in business to broaden your computing spectrum.

Your Spectrum will be many things to many people: a forum for ideas; an open door for those who ‘do’ to explain how they ‘did’ it; and a space where Spectrum owners are able to share their enthusiasm with others.

Your Spectrum is about YOUR Spectrum – keep in touch. Accept no substitute. Tell us what you think.
Bruce Sawford

I often particularly love the adverts in these magazines. Here are the standout pages for me from Your Spectrum Issue 01. All images are taken from the Internet Archive. Here is the full magazine if you want to take a closer look. Kudos to Jason Scott for uploading it.

In the image above you can see the Sinclair Pocket TV. I was lucky enough to get one of these a few months ago. Great to see it advertised back in the day here.

This Trick Stick fascinates me. I’ve never heard of it before. I need to investigate it!

Wow. Welcome to the 80s. Does sex even help sell modems?

I love these cover images. Great to have two full page ads of them, side by side. I know for sure that the Jet Set Willy image is by Roger Tissyman. Is Manic Miner too perhaps?

I quite like this advert. Very cosmic. Almost reminds me of the Protovision advert that Matthew Broderick finds in WarGames.

I always wanted this Currah Micro Speech. Must have been so cool to hear speech coming out of your Speccy. Again like in WarGames.

There you go. Some of the highlights of Issue 01 of Your Spectrum. Stay tuned for Issue 02 in a few days!