Back in the 80's, when I was a teenager I had a Sinclair ZX80 (which evolved into a ZX81 via an 8K ROM replacement) and a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Apart from the obvious Sinclair brand attachment, they all were underpinned by the Zilog Z80 Processor. After getting to grips with the BASIC programming language I discovered the world of machine code programming, writing code that spoke directly to the core of the machine, and so my journey began.
Luckily for me the Z80 was all wrapped up in a nice hardware parcel courtesy of Sinclair Research Ltd with memory, a keyboard and able to hook up to a TV via an aerial input (how quaint!). I didn't have to know about electronics, all I needed to know was how to store bytes representing the Z80 instruction code into memory via the old POKE command and then executing it to do whatever I had dreamed up that day.
My affair with the Z80 came to an end after I tried to wire up a reset switch directly to the chip. It never worked again after that and my Sinclair ZX Spectrum became a door stop.
By this time, the Personal Computer had arrived on the scene and my attention was drawn to this new and shiny world.
25 years later, and after a conversation reminiscing about the good old days of the Z80 and 6502 processors I end up buying a Z80 chip for £5 off of eBay and my journey continues...