My ZX Spectrum Next has arrived!

(OK, it arrived 2 weeks ago, but I forgot to add it to this site).

It’s a dream come true – a souped up ZX Spectrum with all the bells and whistles that allows me to access files as and when I want off an SD card.

It’s what I thought the ZX-MMC would do for my +3, but it’s leaps and bounds ahead. I can see the +3 being sold off once we’re all back to normal, whenever that may be.

Whilst I’m working from home due to COVID-19, I can’t give the machine the full attention that I want to do. There are rumours from work that we might be made to go ‘one week on, one week off’. If this does happen, then I’ll be able to give the machine a lot more of the spare time it needs.

My hats off to Phoebus Dokus as the manual is lip-smackingly gorgeous. As a technical author by trade, it makes me go a little green at the gills 🙂 I just need the time to read it and start programming something in NextBASIC, but that will have to wait a bit.

However, using the good old DZ80 disassembler, I’ve already created some infinite lives pokes for two of the commercial games that I bought and working on the others. These will end up on here as tutorials at some point.

More updates on my progress as the spare time allows!

Wading through my back catalogue

After rescuing the content to recreate an old page from one of my original websites that covered Atari ST cartridges, I started going through all of the other bits and pieces that were on my website’s ‘To Do’ cards on Trello. There’s still quite a bit to get through!

New pages

There are now two new “odds and sods” pages: one for the ZX Spectrum and the other for the Nintendo DS. If you’re a teacher or maybe a quiz master, you might want to grab the NDS stuff, as two of the downloads were as a result of extracting the content of some games aimed at kids. As with anything that anyone extracts from an NDS game, Ninty don’t tend to look on you with bright shiny smiles. So grab ’em whilst you can 🙂

Tools used sections

More guides will be forthcoming on the tools I use / did use to extract the information from both the ZX Spectrum and Nintendo DS will be coming soon.

This also includes my long-winded method on extracting music from NDS games and converting them via MIDI to work in OpenMPT. Although these days it doesn’t support the older Impulse Tracker format, so the guide needs tweaking a little bit first.

Temple of Apshai

Due to the above work on the website, I’ve had to postpone my Atari ST guide on hacking the saved game for this old Epyx title.

The text is approximately 75% complete, but I’ve not made a start on the accompanying saved game editor, which as always, will be coded in GFA BASIC. I might also take a look at the saved game files on other systems too, but that would be a follow-up to the article. AKA don’t hold your breath.

Saved Game Editor source (GFA) available

I’ve been procrastinating for too long. This is an example of the ‘simple shell’ that I created for the majority of my saved game editors.

Get it from this page.

The .ZIP file contains: the hack routine itself, plus a few embellishments like a new GEM font and some music (upgraded to use SNDH format) which plays in the background whilst you’re altering the saved game file(s).

The editor covers the game Legend Of The Sword by Rainbird which was released way back in 1988 (31 years ago!!) and it will allow you to alter the location where your character is currently situated in the game.

The code should be fairly simple to work out and re-use for other games – in case you have an idea for a saved game hack lying around? If you do use it, let me know how easy it was to adapt.


All Chip SID Shows now online

After a flurry of work – albeit slowly due to the snail-pace connection at the B & B where I lodge during the week – I’ve created an official page where you can get all episodes (so far) of Max Hall’s SID radio show. This includes the original streams in FLAC format too!

I have recently bought into the MiFi device by Three, which gives me a lot more speed when I’m at the B & B. Here’s hoping it helps speed up the process outlined above.

The FLAC files are, as you would suspect, rather large, so they are hosted on my DropBox account, as are the MP3 versions. However, the MP3 variants are also hosted on this website too, with the exception of episode 10 because it was larger than 128Mb.

I didn’t realise was a limit of download files for WordPress sites hosted by my provider, until it blocked me from uploading this particular episode.

In theory, there will still be a minor delay between the episode being made available on MixCloud through to the FLAC/MP3 files appearing on this page. After all, it’s all done in my spare time, so patience is a virtue.

Click here for the Chip SID Show official download page


Latest ChipSID Show (Ep. 9)

Max Hall is back with the latest episode of his ChipSID Show that he does for Radio Free Matlock.

And, as per usual, a few days afterwards, here’s the downloadable MP3 version done by me for Max.

There are the links for the DropBox and Box-hosted variants below. As previously mentioned in other posts, could some of you please try to use the Box one and not just hammer the DropBox one. A few of you are (according to the Bit.Ly stats produced), so my thanks to you.

I am working on finding a “proper” hosting of these files: either via my own website space and/or make an area available on my NAS to share them from there. However, working away from home each week takes its toll on small projects like these, especially when the broadband speed in the B & B I stay in is 1/50th of what I get back home 🙁

Download from DropBox:

Download from Box:


Latest ChipSID Show (Ep. 8)

After uploading the previous 7 episodes to my DropBox and Box cloud accounts for Max, he recently sent me the .FLAC file for episode 8.

So after falling asleep (*) whilst waiting for the dual uploads, here are the Bit.Ly links that point to the latest episode.


(Please try to alternate between the two so that neither cloud host twigs that I’m hosting a radio show!) 🙂

As per the original post, we are using’s URL shortening so that Max can get a rough idea of the total number of downloads.

(*) Mental note: When working away from home (based in the countryside) and using the B&B’s quite slow internet, don’t try and upload the MP3 to both Box and DropBox at the same time … zzzzz

Lending a hand

A good retro mate of mine, Max Hall, has been doing some C64 SID music radio shows on Radio Free Matlock.

His show is called the ‘Chip SID Show’ and a new show is done once a month. You can join his FB support page by clicking the logo above.

Max was hosting the shows in .FLAC format, but as he was using a freebie cloud account, there were a few problems due to their size – weighing in around 2gb for the 7 shows so far – it limited what else he could do with his personal cloud account.

So, to help him out, I’ve converted the .FLACs into .MP3 format and uploaded to my Professional DropBox and freebie Box cloud accounts.

I’ve put the links below in case anyone wants to grab hold of the current collection of episodes.

(Please try to use the alternate links for the various shows. It will help prevent both of my cloud accounts being hammered too much!)

MP3 Downloads for Max Hall’s Chip SID Show

Episode 1:


Episode 2:


Episode 3:


Episode 4:


Episode 5:


Episode 6 – Benn Daglish Celebration:


Episode 7:


Download and listen (and enjoy)!

(The use of Bit.Ly links is purely so that Max can get some sort of download stats …)

Old Windows trainers found

I was trawling through an old hard-drive last weekend and I found a very old website backup from the early 2000s. Within the folder “trainers” were a lot of my old Windows 95/98 trainers which were mostly done using Trainer Maker Kit.

Grab your VirtualBox / Virtual PC, blow the dust off your Windows 95/98 images and track down (if they can be found) some of these old games and play around with these trainers.

The download link is on my Windows 95/98 page.

There’s still a few (e.g. Tomb Raider 4) where all I have left are the .NFO files inside the .ZIP, but not the .EXE trainer itself 🙁

They could be out there in the wide world, but then again, there were (and still are) better trainer makers out there whose work would have been preserved more than mine.

Hey ho, I’m glad I found some of them 🙂