ZX81 Emulator for the Palm Pilot

What Is It?

Er, its an program that runs on the Palm Pilot range of handheld devices to emulate a Sinclair ZX81.

Currently, the program needs PalmOS V3.0 or above. It was written using the free GNU toolset.

If you need reminding what exactly a ZX81 was, look here.


Why Bother?

  1. Because I had a ZX81 many moons ago...
  2. Because I have a Palm III today
  3. Because no one had written one!


Latest News

Date Description
13 Nov 2001 First Public Release.
The emulator works but is very s-l-o-w. Keyboard entry is not finished. Load/save not yet supported.
11 Dec 2001 Updated web site to be Netscape friendly!
Added support within emulator for both the "improved" and "unimproved" ROMs, but still no update for keyboard entry or load/save :-(
Added some more documentation.



This software is still under development! Expect Bugs!

The files below are placed into the public domain. Please copy freely. This is in dedication to my 1 year old daughter, Annabell.

Note: Different distribution packages are available for the DBConvert program, depending upon your Operating System. The DBConvert program is the same in all the distribution packages. Please follow the guide below to select the correct one:


  Filename Version Size Date Description
ZX81Emu05.zip V0.5 46KB 11 Dec 2001 The ZX81 Emulator executable (PRC file), ZX81 ROM file (PDB), Instructions & Version History, and a few Sample Programs.
Coming Soon DBConvert10.exe
(Generic Win32)
V1.0 760KB ?? Dec 2001 Saved format conversion tool to convert between "P", "PDB", and "WAV" formats. Also acts as a "viewer", so you can view "P" files even if you don't have a Palm!

"Generic Win32" Distribution (See above note).

Coming Soon DBConvert10.exe
V1.0 2.1MB ?? Dec 2001 Windows NT4 Distribution (See above note).
Coming Soon DBConvert10.exe
(Windows 95/98)
V1.0 2.1MB ?? Dec 2001 Windows 95/98 Distribution (See above note).
ZX81ROMs.zip - 18KB 11 Dec 2001 This zip file contains the raw images for the "improved" and "unimproved" ROMs, plus a description of changes made between the two. The description can also be read on-line here.

NB: The emulator zip file already contains these ROMs in the required format; So only grab this file if you want the raw images or the complete description of changes.

Coming Soon Games.zip - 45KB ?? Dec 2001 A selection of my favourite ZX81 games to get you started (in PDB format). Includes "3D Monster Maze"!
Coming Soon Everything.zip - 3.5MB ?? Dec 2001 All these above files and a copy of this web site, for those people who must have everything!

NB: The supplied DBConvert will be installable to all the above Win32 platforms.


Future Plans

Things that will happen "soon":

Things that might happen later:

Thing that will never happen (just don't ask):



My links page can be found here.


Contact Information

If you would like to send me an email requesting the fact, I will add you to my mailing list and keep you informed if these pages are changed.

Comments and questions are welcome, but I may take a while to respond!

Electronic mail address: zx81@agate.f9.co.uk


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(C) Copyright Mr. S. C. Agate, BSc (Hons.)
Last revised: 11 December 2001.