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The Next Skeleton

This is a skeleton generator for quickly starting an assembler project for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Next computer.

It is targeted for Linux systems, but might also work on MacOS and Windows with some modifications.


Make sure the following packages are installed on your system. There should be precompiled packages available in your package manager.

  • ant
  • curl
  • mono
  • mtools
  • python3

The following third-party tools need to be installed too. There are probably no precompiled packages for them, so they must be installed manually.

  • sjasmplus for assembling the Z80N sources. Build it with make, then copy the sjasmplus binary somewhere in your PATH (e.g. /usr/local/bin). v1.15.0 or higher is required.

  • #CSpect is the ZX Spectrum Next emulator. It comes as a precompiled .net binary that can be run with mono. Just unpack the latest version somewhere in your system (e.g. in your home directory or in /opt/cspect).

Now add a small bash script called cspect that is located in your PATH and looks something like this:

mono /path/to/your/cspect/CSpect.exe "$@"

If you type cspect in a command line, a window with a ZX Spectrum 48K emulation should appear.

Of course, you should also have a copy of the Next Skeleton somewhere on your harddisk.

Everything is installed? Let's have a quick start!

Why is it called "Skeleton"?

Spooky, isn't it?

But it's a common term of computer programming. A skeleton is just the bare minimum that is necessary for running something, maybe accompanied by some pseudocodes or simple examples that are meant to be changed or removed.

As a software developer, it is now your task to "add flesh" to the skeleton, and make it a real project.

This skeleton has everything that is necessary for assembling, running, debugging, and releasing a ZX Spectrum Next program. You won't have to figure it all out by yourself, but you can immediately start with the fun part of your project: programming it.

Open Source

The Next Skeleton is open source software. The source code is available at GitHub, and is distributed under the terms of Apache License 2.0.

This licence does not apply to projects that were generated by this skeleton tool.