You got a TI?? Sweet!
I had a full setup at one point. Scored it all for about $20, because it was a TANK!! I think TI computers are pretty interesting, and deffo have not seen enough love. Lots of great things to be done on those computers, IMHO.
The 8bit era is just beautiful. I had collected a lot of machines and stuff in the early 90's. That was a sweet time! I had an Apple ][, well equipped too. Disk, 80 column, mockingboard, etc... TI, CoCo 3, Atari, C64, VCS, Genny, along with an old crappy PC, that could barely get on the net.
For a few years, it was great and I spent time with the machines, doing stuff. Somebody talked me into letting it all go, and the kids needed the room, so I basically did, but for my core Atari stuff. I regret that big. Still do.
The upside, was I did move to some high end stuff, scoring SGI IRIX computers sometime around 2000. (they run MAME very well, and I built Xmame for a few of them) Those were (and are) as fun as the 8bitters were, because they had lots of cool engineering, custom hardware, and great input devices.
On a forced move, that all got purged, and my Atari stuff was stolen, but for a few nice things that were moved early.
So, now I've come back and the kids are slowly leaving, and it's harder to get some things, but still possible. In fact, I think it's a good time again, because some of the other machines are seeing good things happen now. TI and CoCo 3 are two machines I am very much wanting to see exploited, like the popular ones have been.
Deffo scale down the stuff, and if you've any interest at all, stock up on some cool hardware and set up a bunker. That's what I'm gonna do here over the next few years, because once again, I'll have the room to do it!
For me, a nice room, with an arcade cabinet, work bench with the electronics gear, scope, solder, components, etc... for working with the micros and fixing things, a few retro stations, etc... would be damn cool. No SGI computers this time though. Done with those. Really like them, but I'm wanting to stay smaller scale.
So that's kind of an exp
ression as to why to continue the Atari hobby. Do it, but maybe expand some to capture the era, and frankly, better appreciate the Atari!
If you get to run a TI, CoCo 3, C= 64, Apple, with some cool interface hardware so as to avoid the real, and aging media, I think you will seriously continue to appreciate Atari computers. When in good company, Ataris are often more fun.
Edit: Just saw the post above.
I don't think it's off course at all. I can honestly say that Atari machines are the core of my retro hobby leanings. I'll never give them up, nor the VCS. If those machines didn't exist, I might not be doing much retro at all.
But, that whole era rocked, and running other retro gear is totally a part of appreciating how nicely done Atari machines were. Same goes for building retro stuff. I find it very interesting to note that when things are built Atari style, others appreciate them. Go check out Prop projects sometime, and you will find that "Atari" look on a lot of them, and a big part of that is me, looking at my Atari machines, and coding up some text, and graphics that do things the Atari way. Others liked it!! I grin when I see a CP/M implementation running, with an Atari 8 bit font, on TV @ 80 columns... (And that font kicks on TV at that character density, and was part of Atari engineering at the time, taking into account artifacts and TV limits, where other machines simply used data intended for monitors and such...) Doing that also introduced me to other Atarians, who aren't into gaming. Glad I met them, and one of them slipped an 800 XL my way, to replace the one lost earlier. Damn cool. That's really my current Atari story. I'm currently not gaming on them much, but doing tech stuff and appreciating how the machines did things. I've met those other Atarians, and we all wear the badge with pride, grinning at the others, who may have done Speccy, C=, etc...
So then, it comes down to what the goal is. If it's sheer quantity of Atari stuff, keep it, because it's hard to get that much stuff these days. Probably, not all of that is needed. Enough people like Ataris that getting one that works will continue to be possible for quite some time yet. We will have built new ones before the old ones come to an end. That's my opinion.
If it's just having a lot of Atari stuff to play / work with, then consider selling some off, and get new, different Atari stuff, or expand to ST, etc... IMHO, that's a serious option for the OP to consider at this juncture. Deffo think on that one. There is lots of additional Atari stuff to be had, selling off a nice chunk of the spare gear, and others will snap it up, eager to start their own "bunker". That's all Atari still. With all that spare gear, a sell off could net the SIO to modern interface, monitors, ST, and lots of goodies.
If it's enjoying that retro Atari experience, mixing in some of the other machines will seriously enhance that. Ataris stand tall among the common retro machines. It's hard to really appreciate that without checking out some of the other machines. That's more retro, and the Ataris will stand up just fine. Once an Atarian, always one.
The coolness isn't going away at all. Trust me on that one. Ataris rock, it's that simple.
The OP wanted some food for thought. What better food than others retro hobby experiences, motivations, etc...? There is no threat here. Either he grooves on the Atari stuff, or doesn't, and will either be inspired, or not by others sharing, and that's just the sum of it right there.
Edited by potatohead, Sat Apr 3, 2010 12:01 PM.