ZX Spectrum & St. George’s Day: United In UK Google DoodleBy: Josh Wolford - April 23, 2012
If you’re Google, and you have two significant historical events that you want to celebrate with your Doodle, which one do you pick? Well, at least for today, the answer is both.
Today’s awesome Google Doodle is a mash-up, as it celebrates two important occasions. First, the 30th anniversary of the ZX Spectrum, and second, St. George’s Day.
St. George’s Day is celebrated every year on the accepted date of St. George’s death, April 23rd. St. George is a very important saint in many denominations of Christianity, as he serves as one of the most famous martyrs. He is probably most known for the story of St. George and the Dragon, which records trace back to the 10th or 11th century.
That, of course, is where the image of the mounted knight and the dragon originates.
But what’s with the retro look? That’s due to the second component of the celebration – the ZX Spectrum. One of the first real home computers in the UK, the ZX Spectrum was an 8-bit device first launched in 1982. It is oftentimes compared to the Commodore 64 in the U.S. Google explains how today’s Doodle complies with the rules of the ZX Spectrum:
The ZX Spectrum used only a 15-color palette, with no more than two colors (or any light/dark hue pairs) in any 8-pixel square, so our 256×192-pixel doodle adheres to those constraints. How do we know for sure? A UX designer working with the doodles team wrote a program to validate that the doodle was complying with the rules. It took a surprising 29 revisions to get it right!
Check out this amazing 80’s ad for the ZX Spectrum:
Today in the U.S. we don’t have anything this cool – just your everyday plain old Google logo. I’m kind of jealous. Oh well, we did have a pretty sweet Earth Day Doodle on Sunday.