The keyboard is a ‘GO’
It was a perfect fit, really. In our last update we had a sneak peak of the keyboard via a photo taken at the factory, right before it was shipped over to the team. Now we have tested it for the case fitting, and the happy news is that it just slides into the case as it was meant to.
Phil had the chance to put his clinic eye to the task, and the keyboard’s details through its paces, with just four tiny adjustments needed:
- The Enter key felt heavier to press than the other keys;
- Four keys missed the tweak to remove a tiny injection bulge;
- The connector ribbons had to be extended a bit and;
- The screws inserts should be 3mm rather than 2.5mm
These changes are small. So small, in fact, we have given the ‘go-ahead’ for mass production, which will start any time now, in parallel to the injection moulding of the case.
We’ve also made the decision to ship the keyboards to the case manufacturer, who will assemble the two together and then ship them over to Nottingham as a single unit, making it simpler at the final assembly stage -- and saving some carbon footprint by not shipping two things halfway across the globe to the UK.
What happens now is the keyboard manufacturer starting the production line and shipping us half a dozen or so keyboards out of it, as the first one we got was manually crafted and assembled. This is particularly important as the keyboard membranes we currently have are hand-built, meaning they have alignment issues that are to be eliminated during the automated manufacturing.
Long story short, this all means that now we’re ready to produce the keyboard, case and ship them over to get the Next assembled and sent to the backers.
So, without further ado, let’s indulge on a slew of Spectrum Next photographs courtesy of Phil Candy from Dickinson Associates. As a note, the case Phil has was a tampo print test, meaning that the ‘ZX Spectrum Next’ red colour is gone. Don’t panic, this is an old issue we solved a while ago. ;)
All the Spectrum Next games in one place
Mike Cadwallader has created a portal tracking the Next games (and just started on applications) so we can now head to a single destination to check out everything that’s available to play or under development at the moment. Make sure to check it out, and do let Mike know of any missing game of project in order to make the site an all-inclusive directory of what’s brewing on the Next.
More cool stuff for the Next
David Saphier shared his video of dNext, a graphics editor for the Next featuring palette cycling. It’s a neat art package super useful for special cycle FXs for great memory-saving animations. Check out his video of dNext in action, also featuring mouse support, something not everyone has tried or seen on the Next quite yet.
Hot from its successful Kickstarter, Lunark seems like it will make its way to the Next thanks to the folks at Thalamus, who secured the rights from Canari Games. It’s a lovely platformer reminiscent of Eric Chahi’s Flashback, it will be awesome to see it in the Next. Which reminds me... We got to ship some dev boards to the folks at Thalamus!
Software Amusements continues to lead the way with another wonderful game you can get right now, and in physical form too: Dweebs Drops is a lovely match-three title that will look good in anyone’s Next collection.
Alex Evans has updated his github repository, which now features dozens of image tools for several of the Next video modes, all with source code available. Check it out:
Get the keyboard and case mass-manufactured and shipped to the UK. We hope to share some assembly line pictures and loads of boxes being hauled from A to B shortly...