Articles by Steven


Steven has written 107 articles.
Star Fight Is a Simple ZX81 Shoot ’Em up Game
Back in 1983, Star Wars imagery flooded my life. With the release of Return of the Jedi that year, it only fueled the inspiration of my young teenage self . So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I would create games with that look and feel…
Posted Nov 26 5 min read

Windmill Is a Quick and Dirty zx81 Animation
There are a ton of windmills in Idaho. Mostly big ones for power, but you see a few smaller ones used for irrigation and wells. But, when I wrote this month’s programs I don’t remember any around where I lived in Indiana. No matter…
Posted Oct 30 4 min read

Tabular Is My Simple and Easy ZX81 Word Processor
To date, most of my programs have been games and animations. It may come as a surprise that I also wrote a word processing program. Using a custom printer command, I designed a font that would allow you to use lowercase letters…
Posted Sep 25 6 min read

Quickly Avoid the Spiders in the ZX81 Game Tarantula
Tarantula, August’s program of the month, was part of a pair of games that made me think I was a game developer. At the age of fourteen, I didn’t let problems like the lack of a distribution channel tarnish my dreams…
Posted Aug 30 6 min read

How Long Can You Last against the Attack
Wanting something interesting, I struggled to find a ZX81 program to share. Plus, it was getting close to the end of the month. Digging into my old notebook, I stumbled upon Missile Defense. Although short, I expanded it into a something worth playing. Let’s dig deeper. Signs of the times…
Posted Jul 27 5 min read

My ZX81 Tic-Tac-Toe May Not Look Pretty, but You Can Win
As June winds down, I find myself reminiscing about writing month’s program. 34 years later, I still remember the glow of the TV as it lit the notebook in my lap. Although I have fond memories of Tic-tac-toe, time isn’t as kind to it. Let’s dig in. Would you like to play a game…
Posted Jun 25 6 min read

Can You Get the High Score in the Worst ZX81 Dice Game
Okay, although not the worst ever, Dice Game is pretty dull. With only two dice, no strategy, and no replay value, you might think this an odd program of the month. But for the young teenager that wrote it, it was pretty cool in 1983. Let’s dig in and see why. It’s all about the code…
Posted May 28 7 min read

Bringing an Old ZX81 Sketch to Life with BASIC Is Absolutely Crazy
Foreign to many developers today, I have notepad and binder full of ideas from my ZX81 days. The notepad contains early program snippets. In contrast, I have sketches and designs crammed into a binder…
Posted Apr 30 6 min read

Bet and Win in Stud, a Simple ZX81 Poker Game
For March’s program of the month, I offer up Stud. Written in 1984, it was my first computer card game. Calling it a card game is disingenuous as Stud is a simple high/low betting game. There are no rules or even a deck of cards. Yet simple can be fun in this random poker game. An infinite deck of …
Posted Mar 24 3 min read

Pictures Are Pretty, How to Make a ZX81 Draw
Sometimes one function can do a lot. For February’s program, picture uses a line drawing routine to draw a pretty picture. Okay, pretty is in the eye of the beholder. But, nonetheless, it is a picture. The fun, though, is in watching it draw. A computer and a boat, together are art…
Posted Feb 25 4 min read

Can you hack the computer and save the world?
“Agent 51, your goal is within reach, but there is a problem.”"Understand,” you reply. Professional as always, you only allow a hint of annoyance in your voice. “Explain.”“Well, the plans are in the room in front of you, but the floor is a trap…
Posted Jan 22 5 min read

Check Out My New Look For The Site And Programs
After a serious bout of procrastination, I updated the look of my ZX81 site to match that of my main site. In doing so, I’ve corrected the various errors that cropped up from my hosting upgrade. Clean and comfy, time to enjoy the new features this theme offers. More polish, less fluff…
Posted Dec 29, 2016 3 min read

Can you guess the right code to win?
I used to play Mastermind when I was a kid, a simple code breaking game. One player would set up a sequence of colored pegs and the other would have to guess it in a set number of turns. My version, called ZX Master Mind, has the computer creating the code…
Posted Dec 22, 2016 5 min read

Can You Avoid Death in the ZX81 Game Stick Shift?
Dodging games were the rage back in the early ’80s. Wanting to add my own take on the genre, I created Stick Shift, November’s program of the month. The goal is simple. Dodge other cars, oil spills and spikes while not crashing into the wall. Mess up? Well, it’s game over for you…
Posted Nov 24, 2016 3 min read

Bugers Will Kill You in October's ZX81 Program of the Month
While working to improve the way I display my ZX81 programs, I ran across one that didn’t have a picture. Finding that odd, I did some research and found that I’d written a page for it back in 1999. To my surprise, I’d never uploaded it…
Posted Oct 25, 2016 3 min read

Trail Blazer is my ZX81 Tribute to Tron’s Light Cycles
One of the coolest movies when I was a young teenager was Disney’s Tron. What geeky kid didn’t want to watch a movie about computers and video games? Sprinkle in some computer animation and how could I not fall in love. Needless to say, Tron was the inspiration for more than a few of my programs…
Posted Sep 18, 2016 6 min read

Electon is August’s ZX81 Program
I painted more borders on the ZX81 than just about any other shape. An easy way to confine movement, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Electon starts by building a box. And before you ask, this month’s ZX81 program isn’t another version of snake…
Posted Aug 22, 2016 8 min read

3D Image is July’s ZX81 Program
Not everything I wrote on the ZX81 was a game, although I did write a lot of those. In fact, some of my first computer programs did nothing more than print pictures. 3D Image, a badly named program, is one of my experiments in animation on the ZX81…
Posted Jul 20, 2016 4 min read

Vargen Crown is June’s ZX81 Program
“Jealous of Vargen’s accomplishments, a rival kingdom has attacked and kidnapped your king. As head Knight, you mount a quest to return the King, hidden somewhere in the forest by his captors. But hurry! The King's ransom has a time limit…
Posted Jun 27, 2016 9 min read

Up Is Down in Faller, May’s ZX81 Program
Walls and creatures always make for a nice game and Faller, our program of the month, has both. It takes a bit of imagination, but watch the icky spider climb up the wall towards you. Their goal, of course, is to knock you off and claim the wall for themselves…
Posted May 21, 2016 6 min read