It happened. Another ZX Spectrum motherboard issue 3B in yellow has surfaced. I knew it was going to happen sooner or later and I’ve been awaiting the very day. Since 2015 one has been spotted once every year. They are rare. How rare? To put it into perspective the highly sought after “rare” issue 1 has been made in several thousand times larger quantities than the yellow 3B. And unlike most issue 1s, the yellow 3B can be picked up fairly cheaply in the wild owing to little awareness of this particular revision, very narrow demand and lack of easily distinguishing external features such as colour of the keyboard.
I have been keeping a close eye on all Spectrums that found their way on to ebay hoping that one day I might find another Yellow 3B there. I have decided in my mind that should another appear, common sense wasn’t going to stop me from obtaining it and I’ll be only too willing to throw all my money at the seller.
(You can read more about my obsession with yellow 3B boards here ).
But then, when the moment came, I was pondering just how big my offer should be. Luckily, common sense prevailed but not for the reason you would expect.
I imagined a reality where my dream comes true and I own two of the most dearest (to me) Spectrum motherboards. What did I gain, apart from bragging rights? Nothing. What did I lose? Quite a lot. My precious, the one and only, Yellow 3B wasn’t as special to me any more. Now I had two of them. I went back in my mind to the time last year when I obtained my first Version 9G – another rare motherboard which up to that point I never even thought I’d see in real life. I remembered how special it was to me and how much I cherished it, until I came across another and went out of my way to add it to my collection. The novelty of having two rare 128K motherboards was shortlived and I lost something that can never be re-gained (I’d have to sell one of them and that’s very unlikely to happen any time soon).
Rewind to one year before that and I didn’t even know that Yellow 3B or Version 9G existed at all and the only precious Spectrum in my life was a Yellow issue 4A which, although not as rare as Yellow 3B, is one of the less common board varieties. I went on a mad spree and I wanted to have as many as possible. At the last count, I had at least 5 of them and whatever special meaning they used to hold in the past is well and truly gone.
More Yellow 3Bs will no doubt continue appearing. There will be another one next year, and then the year after that. The most challenging part will be stopping myself from going out of my way to obtain them. The special relationship with my one and only Yellow 3B must be protected at all cost else it’ll all come to ruin. If you’re reading this and ever spot a yellow 3B on the auction be sure to put in a large bid – it might just stop me. You will be able to double your money easily when selling to a hardcore collector (But please, not me!)
This doesn’t apply to Spectrums only – if you have that one thing that’s special in your life, whether it’d be a computer, a car, a wife, etc. treasure it, the one and only.