Soon to be entering the crowdfunding arena, the ZX Spectrum Next isn't merely a bluetooth keyboard.
It isn't even some aborted horror that looked like it was removed from Clive Sinclair's womb before being torched by a flamethrower. It's a genuine, brand new version of the old ZX Spectrum+. I think.
Here's what some guys have to say about it: "The Spectrum Next is a reimplementation of the original at hardware level, ensuring it runs all the software out there - old and new. And it's also compatible with most expansions made for the ZX Spectrum.
"Faster, more memory, new video modes, SD storage, HDMI output... It takes the Speccy to a whole new level. And it's totally open source, so the community can expand, improve and take it into the future."
Hey - HDMI output! That's my main issue with the Spectrum Vega dealt with. Nevertheless... this is something like the fourth recreated Spectrum to be announced or released in the last 12 months. Do we really need it? And more to the point... can I stoke sufficient indignation to sustain this opinion piece?
Ha ha: you thought this was going to be an article about the ZX Spectrum Next! Don't feel too stupid; so did I, until I started writing it.
Because I realised... I don't actually know how much I care? I mean, strip away Digitiser2000, forget I moonlight as Mr Biffo, and would I actually give two nips? Or even one nip? And what's a nip anyway?
Is it a nipple? What do I mean by that? Why am I talking about nipples all of a sudden?
You'll have to excuse me. I woke up at 5.45am this morning, following a needlessly vivid dream in which I hacked away at the walls of a gingerbread house with a foot-long serrated knife.
Then there was a bit where I pulled a tapestry off the wall to see if it too was edible (it wasn't), and underneath was a banner supporting LGBT rights. At this point I announced, proudly, that it we were going to have "The first gay Oktoberfest in history!".
No, really. That's genuinely what I dreamt about last night.
Generally, I'm never one for sleepng in. Too much to do. Still, 5.45am is a little earlier than I'd usually start the day, but I thought it would be an opportunity to get ahead. Write some Digitiser, then get cracking with everything else I've got to do today.
As I write this, it's 8.38am. Since I woke up, I've been laying here in bed looking online for game-related topics that might provoke just enough flammable material for me to write something. And the closest I came was there being another ZX Spectrum remake. But do I care? And will exploring that question prove to be enough to get us to the end of this article?
Let's find out together!
The reason I started this article is that I had a few people ask me if I was going to cover the Spectrum Next - presumably because I so loathed the Vega.
I mean, we all enjoyed me giving that a kicking, so why not repeat the show? It could be my new thing; stomping on every single remake of the Spectrum.
Unfortunately, there's not actually a lot to cover at the moment, regarding the Next. They've announced they'll be asking for crowdfunding pennies... and that's about it.
Still, let's say I had never brought Digitiser back. There's every possibility that I would've bought a ZX Spectrum Vega last year, even if I wasn't going to review it.
There's every possibility that I'd have been as disappointed and annoyed by it in that parallel universe as I was in our world. No HDMI lead? Really?! See, even now that genuinely bugs me. The Next though...? I dunno. I could try and get annoyed by it, I suppose, though right now I'm more legitimately annoyed by the noise my neighbour is making; it sounds like he's vomiting repeatedly into a bucket.
But this is how opinion columns work on the whole; we have to go looking for things upon which we can form an opinion.
I don't want you thinking that I'm always manufacturing fake outrage. I don't know how other writers do it, but anything I've ever written on here was entirely sincere and congruent. I can't fake getting annoyed about something. Not these days. Perhaps in the past, but I've lost that ability. I need to write from a platform of honesty.
On the whole, I don't walk around in a rage, gnashing my teeth and waving my fist at shadows, but obviously there are things that matter to me, that provoke me, more than other things.
TIE A YELLOW RIBBON ROUND THE PROVOKE TREE
As far as games go - much to the disappointment of many of you - the endlessly repeating car crash that is Gamergate continues to be one of those topics. It's a poisoned chalice to write about, however. It has a huge impact on the site's hits for a couple of days, and then our readership drops off a cliff - as all the GGers and anti-GGers wander away... along with many of Digi's regulars, it seems.
If I wanted Digi to become a huge site, with lots of juicy ad revenue and a Patreon fund that I could live off, all I'd have to do is tie my colours to the mast of one side or the other. Which, suffice to say, makes me suspicious of so many GG commentators. How much of their ire and alleged integrity is a business decision? From my perspective, GG would be great for revenue - after all, our donor fund has dropped a fair bit in recent months - but not so good for the soul.
Nintendo squandering its potential is something else I feel strongly about - because I love the Nintendo of old. Plus there are all sorts of things outside of gaming that I could easily write thousands of words about.
But let's look at what the ZX Spectrum Next is. It's some guys, who are having a crack at something they're probably quite passionate about, and hope they might make a few quid off. Do I think there are too many ZX Spectrum remakes on the market? Probably. Not least because I can play Spectrum games in my laptop browser.
Were it not for Digi... would I really care, though? They're not hurting anyone. If the Next flops, it's no skin off my snout. At the top of this piece, I tried... and failed utterly... to have any sort of concrete opinion on it.
And that's what this is piece is ultimately about, I realise.
Every time you get annoyed by a Katie Hopkins or a Piers Morgan... please question how much they would actually care, were they not paid to have opinions.
I'm not saying that Hopkins doesn't believe what she's saying. I actually think she does. Were she not writing for The Daily Mail, I could see her standing as an MP.
Most of her opinions are foul, and I suspect she exaggerates them to ensure maximum noise, but you can be certain that once she's submitted her copy, she just gets on with her day. It's the journalistic equivalent of letting off a firework in a henhouse, and walking away.
If Jim Sterling, or Totalbiscuit, or Anita Sarkeesian - to pluck a few prominent names entirely at random - writes something that annoys you, or stokes your ire, you're playing the role the mediasphere wants you to play. In a world dominated by voices and opinions, the only way you're going to stand out as one of those voices is to be louder, more outrageous, and more controversial than everyone else.
Better still if you can find those issues that you know are flashpoints - antisemitism, immigration, Gamergate...
Donald Trump is an absolute master of that audience manipulation. And cleverest of all, by keeping his message sufficiently vague, he casts his net as wide as possible. "Make America Great" is as meaningful as "Down with this sort of thing", yet it appeals to a general sense of dissatisfaction among certain parts of the American electorate. Two people might believe very different things, but Donald could be speaking to either of them.
His supporters can join in with him, by saying "Yeah! I'm angry too about some things, The Donald!". By giving voice to people who know they're angry - even if they can't articulate why - they boost his inarticulate kindergarten rhetoric exponentially.
As an aside, I want to believe he doesn't stand a chance in the general election, but I think it would be a mistake to underestimate him.
So what am I saying? I'm saying it's worth thinking next time you read an angry opinion piece, and you get angry too. Are you just being played?
Before you storm onto the comments section or Twitter, ask yourself what you're really angry about. Have you simply been wound up and unleashed to parrot somebody else's insincere wrath through your own filter? Were your buttons pressed? Are you contributing to the debate, or simply fuelling it?
And had you not read that opinion piece, alerting you to the latest outrage, how would your day have been impacted by the issue...?
More to the point: what about that ZX Spectrum Next, eh? Utter pile of shite.