THE JOY OF TZX
The STP project is undoubtedly a very worthy and inspiring one. The guys driving it forward spend hours and hours negotiating with people who have just bought rare titles on eBay and aren't aware they need preserving, fiddling around with leads and dodgy tape recordings and answering queries from people who like the idea of creating their own TZX files but don't have a clue how to do it.
And to what end? Not financial reward or personal fame, but the simple desire to see every small but important slither of Sinclair home computing history persevered for future generations to enjoy.
Go to the WoS Forums and you will find dozens of people coming forward with games that have not yet found their way into the STP archives. Some simply want to know where to send their tapes for preservation, while others actually want to have a go at creating TZX files themselves.
I count myself among the latter group. Why, you might ask, when for the price of a postage stamp someone will do all the work for you? Well, once you get a sense of what this dedicated band of people are trying to do, it pretty much inspires you to try to make your own small contribution.
As a self-confessed retro computer nerd, the first time I stopped and took time to learn about the TZX format, I was blown away.
The idea that there was software that allowed a 20-year-old Spectrum cassette to be played into a soundcard and converted into a type of file that could then be played and loaded on a modern PC was a complete revelation. I wanted to see how it all worked and to have a go at producing a TZX file myself.
At the time, I had a fair few titles lurking around in my collection that weren't preserved in any format. I knew they STP team would appreciate the chance to tick off a few more titles. So one weekend, I decided to take the plunge and made my first journey into the world of TZX. I mean, it couldn't be all that hard could it?