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This page last updated on 2 May 2000

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5 emulators listed:

[!MZX] [!Speccy] [Spec128] [Speculator] [Z80Em]

!MZX v1.0 (Graham Willmott)

  1. Emulates 48K Spectrum.
  2. Loads .SNA snapshots.
  3. Saves .SNA snapshots.
  4. No real tape support?
  5. Requirements?
  6. Runs at approximately 60% normal spectrum speed on an ARM2 machine, and considerably faster on other machines - currently there is no speed control available.
  7. Freeware?
  8. Multitasks (can also single task if required).
  9. Doesn't emulate R register correctly, or certain undocumented instructions.
  10. No other comments.
  11. Available from NVG or World of Spectrum.

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!Speccy (Carsten Witt)

  1. Emulates 48K/128K Spectrum and Interface 1.
  2. Doesn't load snapshots. Loads tape files from disk in its own file format.
  3. Doesn't save snapshots. Saves tape files from disk in its own file format.
  4. Comes with application instructions for transferring tape files to/from real tapes through the serial port.
  5. Works best on a mulstiscan monitor if you want to multitask, as the display is inherently a hires display, and you get extended pixels, (i.e. twice the height). Does not run on StrongARM / RiscOS3.7, Runs on RO2-3.6.
  6. Runs at normal Spectrum speed on an ARM2 machine and very fast on an ARM3 machine. The speed is adjustable. For games such as Jet Set Willy & Manic Miner exact LDIR implementation can be switched, to run the games at the correct speed.
  7. Not freeware as previously suspected; cost £25 several years ago; may have changed now. Updates are free.
  8. Has an enhanced keyboard layout - there are keyboard short cuts to Caps Lock, Extended Mode, and also the cursor keys, the keypad, and other symbols (commas, colons etc.) can be entered easily.
  9. Doesn't fully implement the R register - however this doesn't affect most programs.
  10. Still doesn't load .SNA's. Carsten's format is a compressed type. !Speccy runs in the desktop very satisfactorily, providing you take into account the above comment about multiscan monitors. Considered the best of all Acorn emulators by at least one person.
  11. Available from the author:
    Carsten Witt
    Rostocker Str. 5
    45739 Oer-Erkenschwick

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Spec128 v0.15 (Joe Kelleher)

  1. Emulates 48K/128K Spectrum.
  2. Loads .SNA, .SLT and .Z80 snapshots.
  3. Saves .SNA and .Z80 snapshots.
  4. No real tape support.
  5. Requirements?
  6. Faster than a real Speccy, but can be slowed down?
  7. Freeware.
  8. Good points?
  9. Bad points?
  10. The only freeware 128K emulator for the Acorn; above comments apply to v0.13, so any updates welcome. Version 0.15 has AY sound support.
  11. Available from the Spec128 Home Page or World of Spectrum.

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Speculator (Dave Lawrence)

  1. Emulates 48K Spectrum.
  2. Loads in its own file format.
  3. Saves in its own file format.
  4. No real tape support.
  5. Requirements?
  6. Is extremely fast on an ARM3 machine. To get normal Spectrum speed an ARM2 machine or an ARM3 machine with the cache turned off is required.
  7. Status not known - not officially released yet.
  8. It is possible to return to the desktop from the emulator, and then re-enter the emulator at the point you left off.
  9. Bad points?
  10. Is not officially available at the moment - any copies circulating are pirate copies. As a result, documentation of the file format is not complete, and the conversion programs supplied with it do not work correctly.
  11. Not yet available?

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Z80Em v1.2 (Michael Borcherds and Anne Borcherds)

  1. Emulates 48K and 128K Spectrums with Cursor and Kempston joysticks.
  2. Loads .RAW, .SNA and .Z80 snapshots with level-loader support. Loads tape files from Z80's .TAP files.
  3. Saves .Z80 snapshots and to .TAP tape files.
  4. Can load/save? from/to? sample tapes (.VOC).
  5. Requirements?
  6. Runs a little slowly on an A3010. On a fast enough machine will run at exact Spectrum speed.
  7. Commercial - can be bought along with a CD full of games, the CD coming cheaper this way than if bought separately. However, see Question 4. On its own it costs £15 + VAT.
  8. Apparently has superb sound emulation, redefinable keymap, POKE feature.
  9. Level-loader support expects different filenames from the standard - instead of "GAME1.DAT" it wants just "1", etc.
  10. A demo version is available, though it runs 'for a few seconds' only.
  11. Available from Warm Silence Software; the downloadable demo version available from here. Warm Silence's postal address is:
    Warm Silence Software
    PO Box 28
    OX20 1XX
    Telephone: 01608 737172

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This FAQ is maintained by Philip Kendall; distribution is permitted only under the conditions specified in the copyright notice.
Primary site for this FAQ: http://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/~pak/cssfaq/index.html.