Does it not sound mysterious these days that those strange noises recorded on an audio cassette may actually be a computer program? Games for ZX Spectrum did seem somewhat magical decades ago - when people explored the possibilities of this simple text-mode enhancer, making use of its scarce colours and inbuilt beeper for their immense curiosity and imagination. However, there is no point nowadays in digging up the attic, fighting for a TV set and tolerating several minutes of horrible loading noise to play a tiny game of yore: all we need is our PC and Spectaculator.
Spectaculator is capable of emulating all major ZX platforms, among which are Spectrum 48K and 128K, Pentagon 128 and Scorpion 256 - this enables you to play virtually any game for Speccy you may think of. Speaking of which, most of these games are now available free of charge (e.g. on http://worldofspectrum.org/), being several hundred Kb in size at most. Still, Spectaculator allows you to connect an external cassette recorder and load your games in an old-fashioned way; or it can generate loading noises itself to suit your nostalgia best.
What we may also find extremely useful is the ability to record occurring events in different formats. We can export our audio output to a WAV file, dreaming to make a ringtone of our favourite in-game melody. We can brag about our achievements by showing somebody an AVI file of beating a big boss, or by uploading an RZX file (which is, simply put, a record of one's keypresses) to an internet resource, where our exploits will be admired, and our new friends will keep asking, 'How did you pull this off?'
Moreover, Spectaculator allows saving a snapshot of present memory state - it basically means that we can save our progress and continue playing whenever we want, or try different approaches on a difficult level without having to play a game all over from the very beginning. Now, where on earth is that last cherry Daisy asked me to find?..