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About Retro-Z

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    Chopper Commander

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    I have a huge range of interests, everything from military history to the history of computer development. Recently started getting into vintage computing, programming, and repair.
  1. Hmm... so they are actually discontinuing the NES Classic? Bummer. I'm always amused by companies that don't like the idea of people downloading ROMs for free and using them on freely distributed emulators. Yet these same companies, like Nintendo, don't consistently offer products at an attractive price to entice people AWAY from the emulator/ROM/Raspberry Pi scene. There is obviously a demand for products of this type, and these companies are obviously capable of producing attractive retro themed video game consoles at good prices that are popular with their customers. They just choose not to do so. In the short term, I think the NES Classic was a great marketing move and a nice, attractive, "retro" video-game product. However, long-term, I think people's frustration when attempting to acquire one has only increased the interest and knowledge about what can be done with something like a Raspberry Pi. I've chosen to not play the "gotta hunt down a Nintendo (insert name here) console". If they want to make this stuff hard to find, I'll just go without it. Not worth the effort/trouble/time.
  2. Well, I've still never seen a NES Classic or Switch on the shelves of any of the local Wal-Marts, Targets, or GameStops. Not a single one. In fact, I've never even SEEN either one in person. Since last November, I've occasionally seen a few 2DS units on the shelves that included Mario Kart, but that's it for Nintendo systems. I haven't seen a 3DS on the shelves in months, either. Oddly, however, there seems to be plenty of games on the shelves, just no systems for them. I could walk into Target right now and pick up all of the currently available Switch games if I wanted... but they would just be paperweights... because there are no Switch consoles to play them. LOL.
  3. I've always preferred getting machines that are still in good, presentable condition. In some instances the discoloring is due to UV exposure, but in others it's simply caused by the chemical composition of the plastic. In other words, if the plastic components still look good 20-30 years later, there is a good chance they'll continue to look good for many years to come if stored properly. However, machines with plastics that needed the Retrobrite treatment will likely discolor again simply due to the composition of the plastic itself. Or... just focus on collecting vintage IBM PCs (5150, 5160, etc.) that used painted cases and much higher grades of plastic. LOL. I've not yet seen an IBM 5150 keyboard that was badly yellowed.
  4. Pretty much every single Commodore 64 or Atari 8-bit computer I've purchased from the original owners included a printer, some games, educational games/software, and some word processing and database software. Several others lots also included several books on BASIC programming, and in some rarer cases, books for more advanced programming. It's always seemed to me that most people, being cost-conscious consumers, simply tried to get the most utility as possible out of their then new home computers. Some people actually DID use 8-bit home computers for serious work. I know a guy that ran a motorcycle repair shop in the 1980s and he used a modified Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer (1st model) to run his business and keep track of inventory. He used this setup till well into the 90's when it got set aside in favor of a Pentium-powered MS Windows PC. That old CoCo 1 still works great!
  5. I don't purchase used games at GameStop for exactly the reasons you mentioned. Why buy something used if you can get it brand new for just a few dollars more? Or, better yet, go check the prices at the Target next door and get a new game for the used GameStop price? LOL. The staff at the local GameStop in my town are generally friendly and pleasant. The only thing they get a bit "pushy" about is the "disk protection" or whatever insurance they try to sell when buying a game. If I recall correctly, they have something similar for DS/3DS/Switch games, but I haven't picked any up there in 12+ months. There also seems to be more of their stores than necessary in my area, so I completely agree that they could close a few and be perfectly OK.
  6. Man, that's pretty cool. It's amazing what all is still sitting out there waiting to be found. LOL. I just came across a 3rd-party case that is styled just like a IBM AT. Oddly enough, it was set up with a 5150-style motherboard rocking an 8088 CPU.
  7. LOL. Those Joy-Cons look to be about the world's worst controller for NES games. Super tiny size coupled with no actual D-pad? No thanks... However, the Wii U Pro controller and the PS3/PS4 pads would work great, so at least the adapter is useful for that. Used & working PS3 controllers are pretty cheap right now.
  8. Yes, that's exactly what I've been saying. Like CPUWIZ said, this thread does seem like trolling...
  9. Most definitely an option (for instance, the PSP used optical discs). However, the cartridges used by Nintendo are a MUCH better option for 2017. Even Sony moved away from the PSP's "UMD" disc setup when they introduced the Vita.
  10. What??? LOL. Try stuffing a DVD drive into a Switch. It's pretty easy to see why the optical discs wouldn't work in that application. I would guess that the decision to use "cartridges" was a very practical one dictated by a variety of things, ESPECIALLY the tiny size and portable nature of the Switch handheld unit. Besides, the durability and costs for hardware that uses solid-state cartridges, compared to an optical drive for reading disc-based media, was likely a very important factor as well. The optical drive would be more expensive, likely less durable, would likely use more battery power, would take up too much room in the handheld (room that could otherwise be used for something like a larger battery), would add hardware costs to the device for something like a door to access the drive, etc. I've always thought the UMD drive in the PSP was super cool in a tech-gadget sort of way (literally like having a miniaturized Playstation, complete with discs!). However, the limitations of the little discs and the mechanical complexity of the drive were some drawbacks to the PSP system. Nintendo knows the Switch will likely be handled/abused by less-than-careful kids, so a delicate door for inserting disc media probably isn't the best approach for avoiding warranty repairs of broken products. Finally, the storage capacity for things like SD cards is increasing and getting cheaper every day per gigabyte of storage. So, those little game cartridges for the Switch will likely just get cheaper and cheaper for Nintendo, and allow them to put larger and larger games onto them.
  11. Yeah, that's a pretty good plan when buying "untested" or "parts/repair" stuff off eBay. Keep your expectations low enough and you may even be surprised! LOL. Back to the main topic of this thread, I've found that there's really only two groups of people still left on Craigslist: 1. People looking for incredibly good deals (around half of retail/market pricing or less) 2. People looking to buy for eBay resale (in other words, willing to pay very low prices) Really, it's not that surprising. Why deal with Craigslist when eBay can be so much easier? There are still lots of great deals on eBay, the items get shipped directly to the buyer's door, and the eBay return policies are pretty friendly to buyers to guard them from sellers listing defective goods. I generally only use Craigslist for items to are too large/bulky to ship economically. Even then, I've had horrible luck the past few years, with very few replies to anything I list, even when at a price substantially lower than anything similar someone might find on eBay. Of course, a LOT of people are starting to use the Facebook Marketplace...
  12. Hmmm... it's perfectly fine to sell non-functioning items for parts/repair. In fact, these types of items are great for buyers when repairing other similar items, or to use as a base for a new restoration project. Generally, if an item is described as being non-functional and for parts/repair, it's difficult for them to claim a non-functioning item as "Significantly Not As Described". Also, very rare vintage hardware is often desirable in any condition, whether it's tested/working or for parts/repair, and often sought out by eBay users. I've seen some vintage PC cards in completely untested condition sell for several hundred dollars and up. As with anything, if the item is accurately and honestly described (with lots of pictures) and priced fairly, it will likely find a happy buyer. If it's listed as an auction, those same buyers will decide for themselves what they are willing to pay. Sellers obviously need to be realistic about the pricing for untested/defective/non-functional merchandise, and buyers should be aware of the issues brought up in the descriptions for each item listed. It's unrealistic to expect all of the vintage hardware on eBay to be fully functional, and it's also unrealistic to expect all of the eBay dealers to have the necessary equipment/knowledge to fully test old electronics, video games, computer systems, etc. Believe me, the sellers are already taking a risk with EVERYTHING they sell on eBay whether it's fully tested or not, and ESPECIALLY with vintage electronics. So selling only tested/functioning items on eBay really isn't going to alleviate any risk...
  13. Seriously, the "scalpers" aren't the problem. Sure, they buy up a good portion of the available inventory out on the market, then stick it up for sale with an inflated price. Guess what?... people STILL buy them. Even when they KNOW the original retail price is $59.99. If NOBODY bought them from the "scalpers"... then the scalpers would have no incentive to sell them, the prices would normalize, and then everyone would be happy. Consumers are free to not purchase things. The scalpers aren't forcing anyone to do anything. Why would eBay ever restrict any "second-hand upcharges"? Why make the fees off of a $59.99 item when that same item can sell for $200 in the current market? Again, eBay isn't forcing anyone to buy anything. eBay is a website with market driven prices (yes, even the "Buy It Now" listings are market driven, as items won't sell if they're priced too high). The consumers will decide how much they want to pay... and eBay will make a bunch more money if the consumer is willing to pay $200 for a $60 item (in other words, you'll never see eBay restrict second-hand price increases on current production goods). The only time you'll see that "scalpers" move on to something else is when it isn't worth their time to sell an item. When the NES Classic isn't getting much more than $100, the scalpers will likely relent. There isn't much profit from $100 when the item is $60 + sales tax and about $15 in eBay fees.
  14. TxK for the Vita has quite a few fans. Unfortunately, Atari wasn't one of those fans...
  15. The price does seem a bit steep... While there IS a market for these (and the buyers do have some serious coin to spend), it's still a very small market. $12,000 is a LOT. I could see this setup, if indeed fully functional, selling in the $4,000 to $6,000 range. The desk with built in drives, while cool, might not be something every collector really wants (takes up a LOT of space). Also, many people just wanting an example of an Altair 8800/IMSAI 8080 style computer are fine with just the main computer unit and related documentation. That's why the computer itself can get $1,500 to $3,000 while a bunch of additional parts/accessories don't really add much to the overall value.
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