SkoolKit 9.0 has been released. To get a copy, please head over to the download page, the Python Package Index, or GitHub.

Yes, the 8.x series has come to an end. It had a good four-year run, but now’s the time for it to step aside and let 9.0 in. As you might expect from an N.0 release, there are some compatibility-breaking changes, which you can read about in the migration guide. But unless you were particularly fond of the #DEFINE macro (deprecated since 8.5), there’s not much to worry about. Most of the other breaking changes are in and, but I hope you’ll agree they’re all changes for the better.

The main new feature in this release is support for the (original) 128K Spectrum in and That is, can load 128K games from tape, and save 128K snapshots. And can then execute code in those 128K snapshots (or any other 128K snapshots you care to throw at it). The t2sfiles repository (a collection of ready-made argument files) has already celebrated this new capability by including over 1400 recipes for 128K games, which now accompany the more than 11000 recipes for 48K games.

The next most important feature in this release is support for a ‘phantom typist’ in Now, the right-minded among you will surely agree that there are few things more annoying in this world than a tape that requires something other than LOAD "" (or LOAD ""CODE) in order to LOAD and RUN correctly. Unfortunately for us, quite a few such tapes exist out there, but the phantom typist is here to help: it can enter a custom command line before starting the tape. For example:

$ -c 'load=CLEAR 35000: LOAD ""' Tridex.tzx

And perhaps the third most important feature in this release is support for writing SZX snapshots, which has been added to, and Until this release, SkoolKit’s one and only output snapshot format of choice was Z80, because it’s well supported by other software and adequate for most purposes. But occasionally runs into a deficiency in the Z80 format: it has no slot for the last OUT to port 0xFE. This value actually matters for some games that have poorly written keyboard-reading routines.

And there I shall stop, and advise any readers who want more information on the the new stuff in SkoolKit 9.0 to consult the changelog. After that, go and grab a copy of 9.0 and enjoy the 128K’s worth of goodness within.