On the left is a ZX Spectrum. It is a legendary British home computer first released in 1982 by top boffin Sir Clive Sinclair. (And that's him holding his baby.) Being a relic of the early eighties, it is barely three steps ahead of a pocket calculator in power and ability.

On the right is 21st century pop act Girls Aloud. Despite being the pop-group-by-numbers product of a TV talent contest, they're quite good. (Or at least whoever's running them through Autotune is.)



And should you combine the two? Click the video to find out!
Something Kinda Spectrum was surprisingly popular during its run on YouTube. Popular enough to receive a takedown notice by one of the Sinister Megaglobal Corporations that run the world.

SKS was also a step forward in full motion video playback on the ZX Spectrum, and was followed up by other developers who'd be shown a way forward.
Making the video run on a Spectrum required writing three separate programs in three separate languages. The first, written in Perl, converts the downgraded audio stream from the original music video into something the Spectrum's primitive hardware can understand. It also splits the data into a series of frames for mixing with the video data. The second program is written in C, and simply combines the chopped-up audio data with a generated series of Spectrum screen files. The third and most important program is written in Z80 assembly language, and is the video player itself.

For an intensely detailed explanation of precisely what's going on, and source code for all the software I wrote to make the video, you can read my original article on the YS3 blogzine.

As a follow-up, I converted another video to the ZX Spectrum, only this one didn't get kicked off of YouTube:

Developed:
2008
Platform:
ZX Spectrum