Case moulds are here, an exploded Next, Baggers in Space and more!
The Next case mould is here!
Fresh from the factory floor, here are some pictures of the case mould being produced. From their humble origins as blocks of Japanese steel (Hattori Hanzo would be proud) all the way to the shapes that bring our machines into being.
We should be injecting the plastics to form our very first Next case shortly, in what is called a ‘metal safe prototype’, meaning the case will have the correct form, but will lack the texture and the fit of the parts should be a bit ‘loose’. Why? Well, you can always subtract metal from the mould (thus making the plastic ‘thicker’) to get a snug fit, but adding metal in case you carved out too much is a bigger problem best avoided.
Once we have the metal safe prototype and evaluate it, it’s greenlight for making the final mould adjustments in order to make the case parts fit snuggly, and then comes the chemical and electric process of embedding the right finish (not too polished, not too rough) you have seen in the original visualisations.
We’re happy the moulds production is on track now, and our next update with hopefully feature the first plastic prototype in the fle… erm… ABS.
Inside your Next
Since we’re looking under the hood, here’s a treat for every Next fan: Phil Candy, from Dickinsons Associates, produced an expanded view of all the Next parts as an assembly guide for the folks that will put the machine together at SMS Electronics. It’s also a great tool for anyone willing to tweak their Nexts later on, with no risk of a leftover screw or two…
Lemmings inside out
Mike Dailly continues his adventure bringing Lemmings to the Next, and now is documenting its journey in minute technical details on his blog. If you want to learn a trick or two about programming for the Next, you couldn’t wish for a better (or fun) resource: https://dailly.blogspot.co.uk/
The Next sound
Have you heard about the Next DAW Music Package yet (pun intended)? Well, you should! Set volume to ‘stun’ and check it out:
Baggers in Space by Rusty Pixel
I’m lost for words on this one... What starts as a simple Jetpac reimagination unfurls into a universe of exploration, dangers and adventure, with none other than Jim Bagley as the intrepid hero. If this is not reason enough to own a ZX Spectrum Next, nothing is.
Garry Lancaster continues hard at work making the Next BASIC the best 8 bits BASIC there is. The next iteration is currently in testing and should hopefully be coming to you in a new distribution soon (if not already).
Here is the change log for v1.98 (2018-04-27)
Implemented support for executing portions of BASIC programs in additional
memory banks, including the following commands:
BANK n LIST [#s;][l]
BANK n LINE l,m
BANK n MERGE
BANK n GOTO l
BANK n GOSUB l
BANK n PROC procname(paramlist) [TO resultlist]
BANK n RESTORE [l]
- Integer loops may now be used in direct commands (previously doing this generated a "Direct command" error).
- Updated the Gosh Wonderful ROM to new "Looking Glass" ROM (v01) from Geoff Wearmouth, which supports extended mode symbols using just symbol-shift in 48K BASIC mode.
Rick’s family condolences
Rick’s daughter, Daisy Dickinson, has made a lovely post on the Dickinsons Associates website talking about her father, and the unexpected support they’ve received from the community. There’s a condolences page for those wishing to leave a few words here: http://theproductdesigners.com/rickcondolences