Basic Usage

Window Layout

When the emulator start, the emulated Spectum will take a few seconds to boot, and then you will be presented with the standard copyright message, as shown in Figure 1.

Fig. 1: Main emulator window and copyright screen.

This window is divided into three sections. The top section contains the menu bar, which allows access to several commands to control the emulator, and to load and save snapshot files. Just below the menu bar is the toolbar which contains shortcuts to many of the options in the menu, plus buttons to call up the debugging and options screens. The rest of the window, and the dominant part, is taken up with the emulator screen. This panel contains a simulation of the screen display of a real Spectrum.

Controlling The Emulated Spectrum

Clicking in the screen display panel allows keyboard input to the Spectrum. The Spectrum keyboard was quite different to a more modern keyboard, and so the mapping of some keys is not immediately obvious. The alphanumeric keys (0-9 and A-Z) are mapped onto their equivalents, but the Spectrum enter key maps to the ";" key, the Symbol Shift to ",", Space maps to "." and Caps Shift maps onto "\" (backslash). This mapping keeps the physical layout of the keys similar to the original (see Fig. 2).

Fig. 2: Sinclair Spectrum keyboard layout.

Figure 2 also shows the BASIC keywords assigned to each key on the spectrum. Pressing a key will enter the keyword shown in white (e.g. pressing "P" will cause "PRINT" to appear on screen). Holding down "Symbol Shift" and pressing a key causes the red keyword to be entered ("Symbol Shift" and "G" enters "THEN"). Pressing "Symbol Shift" and "Caps Shift" together changes the cursor to an "E" and allows access to the keywords and symbols above and below the keys (keep "Symbol Shift" held down to get the keyword above a key).

Due to the nature of the spectrum keyboard, it may be possible for a key to become "stuck down", and keep repeating even though it has been released; if this happens, simply press and release the key.

As well as being able to control the Spectrum with the keyboard, you can also reset it (to a cold reboot) by pressing the Reset button in the toolbar.

Leaving the Emulator

To exit the emulator, either select exit from the file menu (you will be prompted to confirm your choice) or use the normal close widget of your windowing system.