Computing Department of Slightly Pointless Retro

The Mahler Project

A short documentary about an event inspired by a one liner in the original ZX Spectrum BASIC handbook. The challenge was to program in the entirety of Mahler’s First Symphony on the ZX Spectrum using Sinclair Basic. Evidently the original challenge wasn’t thought out – there isn’t enough room in a Speccy’s memory to hold all the BEEP statements required, even if you were determined (or masochistic) enough to type it all in, line by line.

But being merely impossible was no impediment to the dedicated spec-chum, so, only 30 years after Steve Vickers unwittingly set the challenge, 12 working Spectrums were networked together using the spectranet ethernet card, and with a Raspberry Pi to act as conductor, the stage was set for a performance of the First movement of Mahler’s First Symphony, in glorious piezoelectric mono sound.