Hardware Feature #29
Name Manufacturer Price
Floyd 40 Shive Instruments ltd 69.95

Floyd 40

The following review was taken from Your Spectrum June 1985

floyd.jpg (84399 bytes)

The Sinclair ZX Printer was unique - for its size and price, it was quite a remarkable technical achievement. Still, it did leave something to be desired. All those sweaty paw prints, left all over the silver listing paper. And the print quality would strain the definition of the word adequate, as well as your eyes.

One solution has been to find a way of linking 'real' printers, like the large dot matrix types. For that you need a commercial interface. This works, but your Speccy is now dwarfed by a huge printer - a bit of a shame when Uncle Clive has gone to so much trouble to keep it all small. And it causes even more problems if you've got to squeeze your computer setup into the confines of a cramped living room. That's good enough reason for me to look seriously at thermal printers.

So, what can thermal printers do that dot matrix or daisywheel can't. Well, nothing really - except save you a lot of space and some cash. Most of them are quite tiny, and the good news is that they're all comparable in price to a Spectrum. Thermal printers don't need inked ribbon because they use special paper impregnated with a heat-sensitive ink.The print head is still 'dor matrix' but the dots are small wires that can be independantly heated. The heat makes the ink visible in the correct dot paterns to display characters.

The Floyd 40 from Shive Instruments Ltd, requires no special interface to connect to your Spectrum, and is supplied with some nice software. The case.... this is the tattiest case of the reviewed four, but its got some pretty nice facilities.
This is another plug-in ZX printer replacement with a through connector, but this one draws power from the Sinclair power supply instead of its own. It offers several formatting modes which use embedded control codes flagged by ! Automatic word-wrapping is performed on printed text to make your paragraphs neat. The word-wrap also takes into account that characters may be printed double-width. You can also have double-height and inverse characters or any combination of the three that takes your fancy.
If your printing out listings, you'll get them with right-justified line numbers and everything else is indented and word-wrapped. All of which makes for very readable listings. Graphics mode prints everything just like the ZX printer. You'll have to get used to the slight inconvenience of the embedded codes, but the results are worth it.

Size: 115x162x54
Max Paper Width: 80mm
Max Chars/line: 40
Print Speed: 33 cps

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