World of Spectrum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
World of Spectrum
Web address
Commercial? No
Type of site
Registration Forum posting only
Owner Martijn van der Heide
Launched 30 November 1995
Current status not active 14 March 2015

World of Spectrum is a website devoted to cataloging and archiving material for the ZX Spectrum home computer popular in the 1980s, and has been officially endorsed by Amstrad which holds the rights to the ZX Spectrum brand.[1] It was started by Martijn van der Heide in 1995 as a website dedicated to hosting Spectrum games, but grew into hosting anything and everything that was remotely connected to the ZX Spectrum.

The site contains an extensive database of information about games, utilities, books, hardware, magazines, adverts and relevant companies.[2][3] In December 2005 Retro Gamer wrote "World of Spectrum is not just the best Speccy site on the Web, but arguably the best retro resource full stop."[4] From the FAQ: "'The WoS is the world's biggest and most popular archive of Spectrum related material."[5] As of July 2012, that catalogue includes 24,000 software titles, 1000 hardware items, 1,500 books and more than 350,000 references, which can be accessed using a custom built search engine Sinclair Infoseek.[6] The collection of Spectrum related magazines includes CRASH, Sinclair User, and Your Sinclair, scanned page-by-page.

One of the website's goals is to obtain distribution permission from copyright holders of the software kept in its archives, and has received hundreds of permissions to date.[7] In 2003 the Interactive Digital Software Association filed a complaint against the site for copyright infringement, but this was later retracted.[8]

In August 2013, van der Heide announced to senior staff members that he was getting married and was thus having a sabbatical. He made an official announcement on the site's updates page on 15 September 2013.[9] With this, updates on the site ceased which spurred speculation about the site's future within the community. It was initially believed van der Heide would officially announce his departure from the site on 30 November 2013 - World of Spectrum's 18th birthday but no such announcement was made.

Updates to the site commenced again on 1 January 2014 but ceased on 5 January 2014.[10]

On 7 August the forums to the site were inaccessible due to an SQL database error, forcing many visitors to the site to use the newsgroup comp.sys.sinclair instead with speculation rife that this might have been the start of the decline of the WorldOfSpectrum website which had not been updated since 5 January 2014.

On 13 November 2014 the following message appeared on the website

Please join us in a Q&A on-line chat session on Monday 17 November, starting around 19:00 CET (GMT+1) Apart from my farewell, we'll try to fill you in on the next steps towards the new WoS!

On 9 March 2015, the following message appeared on the Forums, following a day of no access:-

Database crashed again - we will try to find a permanent solution...

On 13 March 2015, the server was down.

On 17 March it became known the server hosting the site died a couple of days ago. Work is under way to revive the site on new hardware[11]

On 18 March 2015, the site was up, but the forum was still not live.


  1. ^ van der Heide, Martijn. "Endorsement". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 4 August 2008. 
  2. ^ .Net magazine, June 2002
  3. ^ The Daily Mirror, 23 October 2001
  4. ^ Retro Gamer, issue 19 December 2005
  5. ^ van der Heide, Martijn. "THE WOS FAQ". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  6. ^ van der Heide, Martijn. "Sinclair Infoseek". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  7. ^ "Software - Distribution Permissions - Individual Programmers/Artists". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 8 February 2010. 
  8. ^ Lettice, John (7 March 2003). "Games anti piracy bot fingers ZX Spectrum archive site". The Register. Retrieved 8 February 2010. 
  9. ^ van der Heide, Martijn. "Updates at this site". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  10. ^ van der Heide, Martijn. "Updates at this site". World of Spectrum. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  11. ^

External links[edit]