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From ZX Spectrum to Blazor: Emulating a ZX Spectrum with .NET 7 and Blazor


Every journey begins with a single step; mine started with the hum of a ZX Spectrum. Picture this – the year is 1985, and a wide-eyed seven-year-old me is unwrapping my first ever computer, a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. The device might seem quaint by today's standards, but back then, it was a portal to a world of infinite possibilities.

The first order of business? A simple yet profound line of code:

  • 10 PRINT "Jimmy"
  • 20 GOTO 10
  • This wasn't just code. It was a proclamation, a declaration of my intent to bend the machine to my will. And in that electrifying moment, the seed was planted – I knew I was destined to become a developer.
  • The ZX Spectrum was just the beginning, the gateway into an expanding universe of Commodore 64, Amiga 500, and more. But it was the Spectrum, that humble start, that secured an irreplaceable spot in the annals of my heart.
  • As I grew and honed my skills, a tantalizing question kept gnawing at me - "Could I, perhaps, build an emulator?" And thus began a quest, an odyssey across the vast landscapes of development that I'm eager to share with you in this session.

    From nostalgic 1985 to the cutting-edge era of XNA, Zune, XBOX, HoloLens, and finally landing in the realm of Blazor, I've traversed a diverse spectrum of tech. We'll delve into the nuts and bolts - registers, memory management, the symphony of sound, the dance of input and output, all within the tapestry of a Blazor WebAssembly application.

    So join me, as we embark on this thrilling journey, retracing the steps of my path from a starry-eyed child to a seasoned developer. Let's turn back time, dive into the depths of coding, and rekindle the magic of our own origin stories.

Jimmy Engström
Erik Penser Bank
  • Jimmy Engström has been developing ever since he was 7 years old and got his first computer.
  • He loves to be on the cutting edge of technology, trying new things.
  • When he got wind of Blazor, he immediately realized the potential and adopted it already when it was in beta. He has been running Blazor in production since it was launched by Microsoft.
  • He is the author of "Web Development with Blazor" and the co-host of Coding After Work (podcast and stream.
  • His passion for the .NET industry and community has taken him around the world, speaking about development. Microsoft has recognized this passion by awarding him the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award 9 years in a row.
  • He occasionally blogs at engstromjimmy.com, codingafterwork.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter
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