Thursday 26 May 2016 by Dan Sweryt

Britain’s nuclear deterrent software written by child on a ZX Spectrum


ZX Spectrum nuclear system

The software running Britain’s nuclear deterrent was written by a 14-year-old in his bedroom on a rubber-keyed ZX Spectrum, a Freedom of Information request has confirmed.

The software was subsequently available on a tape cassette for £1.99 from Woolworth’s computer section, repackaged as Codemaster’s Advanced Nuclear Arms Simulator 3.

Department for Defence director Simon Williams said, “This was cutting edge technology at the time. Unfortunately, no-one has had the funds to upgrade it to a more modern platform like, say, an Atari ST or Nintendo GameCube.

“Well, I say that, but it apparently costs £4gazillion a year to run or something, none of which appears to extend to buying a 3.5-inch floppy disk.

“We also have to only employ only young people too as anyone older seems suspicious when you type LOAD “” into the nuclear defence system, then wait for it to go ‘brrrrrrr BIP. Brrrrrr BIPIPIPIPIPIPIP…’ with all squiggly lines around the border.”

The DoD are currently in discussions with the company responsible for Angry Birds about a new system.

“Well,” continued Williams. “They really seem to understand gravity, don’t they? Plus, some of them have a haircut a bit like Kim Jong-Un. Which is the sort of realism you need for this, isn’t it?”

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