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Questionable Bluetooth ZX Spectrum Funded

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I was just looking at an old ZX Spectrum on my desk and thinking that it would be pretty funny to connect it up as a keyboard to my iPad. Then I made the colossal mistake of searching for that on Twitter.  You know a weird idea is really an epic idea when someone has already launched a Kickstarter project to make it happen.  I kid you not, the ZX Spectrum is going to be a Bluetooth keyboard for iOS and Android.

Zx spectrumThe Sinclair ZX Spectrum was launched in 1982 and sold an estimated 5 million units over 10 years to make it one of the best-selling computers of its time.  And now it's being recast as rubber-keyed Bluetooth keyboard for iOS / Android for use with Spectrum emulator games.  

Elite Systems, a UK Spectrum software company that's been in business for 26 years (which sort of begs a different question), is seeking to raise £60,000 to manufacture the first 1,000 units.  The price to get in on this retro action is £50 plus another £10 to ship outside the UK.  

This fancy 21st century Speccy has been getting a ton of news coverage in support of the Kickstarter project.  For anyone with an interest in retro-gaming, this is definitely worth checking out.  If you don't go in for the whole nostalgia thing, then, please, do it for the kids... 

Update:
The project has now hit it's goal of £60,000 and has set a stretch goal of £67,500 to cover any shortfalls.  If you were on the fence about this, you've got until end of day Friday to sign up. 

Another Update:
In the final hours of the funding for this project, reports started surfacing that Elite had not been paying royalties to developers of several Spectrum games they were distributing.  A number of backers (myself included) dropped their support level down to £1 to wait until the matter was cleared up. Elite also appears to be about £81,000 in dept to creditors. The project was still funded, but it definitely casts a shadow over this project. I've posted several new links on this story below under Bad News.

Comments

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I hadn't seen this project before you linked it. But today I see a wave of complaint about it, from various people. Folks saying that Elite Systems hasn't covered its bases licensing all its emulated games, and hasn't paid the owners for the ones it *has* licensed.

Yes, I saw those comments and it's a bit of a black eye on this project. I downgraded my support to £1 to wait and see if Elite Systems came back with any kind of credible statement. Unfortunately, what they did respond with was too little too late in my opinion. Several developers posted very clear comments indicating a pattern of repeated lack of payment and seemingly distribution of their works without a valid contract. It's a shame but it does not cast the project in a good light.
--Zack

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