Re-Fused: Spectrum emulation

The computer with the infamous rubber keyboard, the Sinclair Spectrum, was a popular platform back in the early to mid-1980s; it was fairly cheap for parents to buy for their kids and, for those kids, there was never a shortage of games available for it. And despite the computer’s fairly low resolution screen, some of them were actually quite good fun.

If you want to play those old games today, one option is to dust off the Spectrum you have in your loft, find a television that works with it, along with a cassette player, dip your hand into that box of old cassette tapes to find your chosen one – trying not to think about what that damp squidgy thing might be that you just touched – and hope everything works.

Or you could run a Spectrum emulator – such as the very popular Fuse, which began life on Unix, but has since been ported to various platforms – including RISC OS in 2012, courtesy of Chris Gransden.

That was version, though, and the emulator has moved on a bit since then; it now stands at version 1.5.7 – so for some time we have been trailing quite a way.

Until now, thanks to our friends at Cloverleaf; a port of the latest version is available to download.

Playing Jetpac in fuse on an ARMX6
Playing Jetpac in Fuse on an ARMX6.

No games are included, so you’ll have to source those yourself – there are plenty to be found online via websites like Retrostic. However, if you’d like the hassle of doing that taken away and would rather have the digital equivalent of that box of cassettes (and squidgy things) ready to rummage through, the plan is to include the emulator and a collection of games as part of the standard Cloverleaf RISC OS distribution, and if you don’t need new hardware there’s a tier on the Kickstarter that will get you that without setting you back too many pennies.

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