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Everything posted by Turbo-Torch

  1. Cars from the 80s on back were considered used up at 100K miles and came with 1 year 12K mile warranties. Drive one in a rust belt region and rust holes from the inside out was likely to occur within one year. There's a reason most don't have a 6th digit on the odometer. 100K is now considered low mileage and many come with 100K mile powertrain warranties and 10 year rust perforation warranties. Up until the late 80s, our company fleet vehicles (mostly Ford truck F and E series) had a 5 year/100K mile life...the body and powertrains seemed to fail symbiotically. Unsafe frame rot and bodies separating from the frame were common. Things changed dramatically in the mid 90s. 12 to 15 years with 200K+ was common. Today we get no less than 300K miles on the same series Fords and the handful of GMs in our fleet. These are contractor vehicles that go through hell and back in the midwest, not highway cruisers in a fair weather state.
  2. Versus what? A new $300 laptop will fulfill all the computing needs of the average person today. That $300 would be $106.00 in 1981. $106 would have paid for an RS232 card. Want to make use of it? Shell out another $200 for a 300 baud acoustic coupler. Hell, that $106 wouldn't come close to paying for a 16K upgrade. My unlimited high speed fiber optic internet is $40 bucks a month. Compuserve was $12 an hour at 300 baud. Minimum wage was $3.35 an hour in 1981. What is it now, $9.25? Gas, food and utilities are cheaper by today's standards. Milk was $1.69 a gallon...that's what I paid yesterday! Car prices have stayed consistent and now you get something that lasts 3X longer and is 100X safer. When comparing anything electronic, it's next to free these days compared to back then. Those good old days when a 19" color TV cost $600...or nearly $1,700 in today's money.
  3. My Model III started life off as a 16K cassette based system @ $1,000 and $60 for the tape deck. I had a really cool uncle who decided it wasn't really for him and he gave it to me after I attended and passed the Level I and Level II programming classes that Radio Shack offered in their computer centers (he paid for those classes too). I was around 12 at the time. After seeing War Games, I had to get that thing online. RS232 card, Modem and Vidtex software was my first upgrade. Then followed countless other upgrades, many that went beyond factory, such as genuine double sided Tandon drives instead of Radio Shack's single sided Texas Peripherals. I've added things up going by the 1981 prices and it would be over $10,400 in today's money, and that's NOT including things that didn't exist back in the 80s like FreHD or any software. btw, the I, III and 4 in base form were aimed more towards hobbyist use. The 2, 12, 16 and 6000 were the business machines and all decked out would easily be in the $50K range in today's money.
  4. Arcades didn't really take off until Space Invaders and Pac-Man. The B&W games from the 70s were niche additions to places that had plenty of pinball machines, such as pool halls. The Atari Touch Me you mentioned is from 1974; maybe you would have seen something like that in the game room of a roller rink or bowling alley mixed in with the pinballs. 70s were not the time of video arcade games. Heck, the 2600 didn't really take off until Space Invaders. Finding arcade games in every 7-11, department store, grocery store, restaurant, ice cream shop, etc. was an early 80s thing. They made stupid amounts of money. Like anything in life, I'm sure there were duds during that time, but do you recall any? Go into my local 7-11 and you'd have something like Joust, Frogger and Donkey Kong...usually with a wait to play. My bowling alley had Jungle King, Carnival, Moon Patrol, Super Pac-Man, Missile Command and Tempest. You waited in line, especially after Saturday morning leagues. During the holidays at the mall, you waited to get into Aladdin's Castle because the place was exceeding fire safety limits. You also have to keep in mind that many of the coin counters are limited. I guarantee my Pac-Man has been rolled over at least once (like an old car odometer) and has 138,000 plays. I believe that would be about $30K in profit after factoring in original cost, repairs and business tax. My Missile Command is pristine and looks like it's never spent time on location. Like most Atari games, it has two counters with a total of around 36,000 plays. Even with that low use, it still made about $5K. There were a few money pits, such as Sega vector games...the G-08 monitors literally went up in flames, sometimes taking the building down with it. I also doubt crap like Dragon's Lair and Space Ace made any money. Expensive to buy and maintain and the wow factor went away quick after people realized they were simply stupid with no game play involved. First few weeks they got a lot of attention and then they sat abandoned with their 50¢ price tag, while people were still lining up to play Donkey Kong.
  5. The label "image" on the cartridge stating Includes Game Cartridge Only means it's safe to call it bullshit. You'll either get a standard Coleco cartridge or the later Atari release. It would be interesting to know where the box photo came from as I've never seen that one before.
  6. Every tape recorder I've owned simply uses an on/off switch for the "Rem" (either on the mic or something like a foot pedal). My TRS-80 Model III has a relay that opens and closes to start and stop the tape deck. If the remote jack just opens and closes a circuit, does the 2600 joystick port have that ability? How much voltage is on that circuit...you may be sending 6 VDC from the tape recorder into your joystick port? Also, does the tape recorder isolate that circuit or does it carry the load of everything, including the motor? I always assumed the Kid Vid had a modified tape deck or some type of interface built into the cable.
  7. That's sort of what what I meant by included items that weren't mentioned. Browsing just one page of his auction items is enough to back out immediately and delete your browsing history. Those also weren't new to eBay bidders that got into a bidding war over a common game...look at their feedback score.
  8. Last sane bid was $14. There is no shortage of nice boxed/complete Kaboom games on eBay for less than $25 at any given time (including right now). Makes one wonder what was so special about that "game" (or included with it but not mentioned) that two people were willing to bid it up to $172.50.
  9. This one flat out claims it and it's not a photoshop.
  10. That's one of my all time favorite 2600 games. Loved it from the moment I popped that cartridge in back in '82. I had watched the movie sometime in the 70s but never associated it much with the game. To me, the patients were just random people with varying degrees of health issues as you were always moving from one person to the next after clearing the giant clot at the end.
  11. I have most of the games. Just looked and Communist Mutants, Frogger and Rabbit Transit are white.
  12. I don't know anything about an ATR-8000, but this is what I'm thinking of trying with my TRS-80 Model III. http://www.dbit.com/fdadap.html I have two brand new 8" drives and countless 8" floppies kicking around. There's nothing cooler than monster 8" floppies, so getting those drives working with my Model III is on my future project list.
  13. The guest speaker who told the story was an engineer out of Fort Worth.
  14. The plastic bezel has a hard time supporting the CRT in the III/4. Double boxed or not, one drop by the UPS guy and it's done. This was a problem back in the day when they were being shipped to stores brand new. The Model II series was just as bad and it was even brought up by Mike Yetsko at the recent Tandy Assembly. RS delivered 10 from Fort Worth to FL and all 10 arrived internally smashed. When the Model 16 was created (but no one was supposed to know about it), they decided to do small shipping test runs of 10 disguised in Model II boxes to see how they held up. Once at a store destination, they were to be shipped right back to Fort Worth. That turned out to be a funny story as they got back nine Model 16s and one Model II. Some guy got a Model 16 that didn't exist and he refused to give it back. After signing a non disclosure, he got to keep it for free.
  15. Only one set of specs on a new 4D. Unlike previous models, there were no lesser options ranging down to a 16K cassette model. Interesting that it lasted from 1986 to 1990 with a price of $1,199.00. My 1000EX with a color CM4 monitor, extra 3.5" floppy drive and a + board giving a full 640K was still less money and light years ahead of the 4D. It's not possible to put a set value on these systems. If you put it on eBay, it'll depend on who sees the auction, how bad they want it and how close they are to you. Many collectors who are willing to spend a small fortune on a III or 4 will NOT have them shipped. No matter what shipping company you use, it will likely arrive with the CRT ripped out of the front bezel (all plastic broken and top case of the computer ruined) and the neck of the CRT busted. Some guys will remove the CRT and ship it separately. If you're willing to do that, you'll probably get a much better price. You'll also be able to take pictures of the insides proving it isn't corroded due to being stored in a damp basement at some time during its life. On the other hand, it won't really be "new" anymore after being disassembled and the warranty sticker punctured. In the perfect situation, I think $500 would be possible. If you put it up for auction, put a reserve on it as you could easily get stung with a high bid of less than $100.
  16. Can't give them away in my area and the garbage man waste management professional won't take them. You have to pay to get rid of them. There's currently about 20 on my local CL and another 35+ on Facebook marketplace for FREE. Hundreds more that people want money for but will eventually end up free.
  17. Yeah, I remember watching when it aired and those Model IIIs instantly caught my eye. They were quite outdated by 1991. I bet they were props seen in more TV shows and movies.
  18. A TV show. I did crop the picture as showing all would give it away.
  19. My 2004 XP 3 GHz Pentium desktop has a built in floppy controller and no problems running floppy drives. You'll also need to select the correct cable for your system. The 5¼ drives will have an edge card connector while 3½ uses a 34 pin IDE connector. There are combo cables with both style connectors on them. Most setups will require a "twisted" ribbon cable where several center wires are twisted around going to the far end connector. This is how drive A and B are selected. Drive A requires the twist so you would need that cable even when using one drive. Drives will also have jumpers or DIP switches to select 0-3 and I think PCs require both set at 0 as the cable is doing the selecting. Older computers, like my Model III, use the jumpers.
  20. Gotcha. From the # of posts I see here vs the other brands (based on AA forums) I thought the TI had a huge fan base on par with Apple, Commodore and Tandy, on the other hand, they have multiple dedicated sites and AA is more of a secondary hangout. Poor planning doesn't help either but at least Chicago is a prime location. At Tandy Assembly, I made it there around noon on the first day and was already #94. And that was a bizarre location for the midwest.
  21. Not trying to be mean here, but in that photo, there appears to be only 3 or 4 people in the 40ish age category. Was the TI used in ham radio during the early 80s, so more popular with the older crowd back then? I recently attended Tandy Assembly and it seemed to have a much more diverse age group. The majority in their 40s and 50s, but surprisingly quite a few in the 20 to 30 range.
  22. I clean them with alcohol and then use a q-tip to lightly coat them with 3 in 1 oil. The cone assembly (plastic flower looking thing that mates up to the metal hub) is often the source of noise. There's a bearing on the cone shaft that you can oil but it's a bit involved to get the cone assembly out. I just swapped one out from a parts drive a few days ago because one of the plastic fingers broke off, so even those are getting brittle with age. Latch doors too, but someone has a file to 3D print them. I've also read that a squirt of WD-40 on the stepper motor bearings can quiet them down. Keep each side upright for a while to let it soak in. This is the factory manual for the Tandon drives. You may have Texas Peripheral drives which are nearly identical, but with some cost cutting involved. http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/tandon/TM100-1_-2_OEM_Operating_and_Service_Manual_48TPI_1981.pdf
  23. Someone got a killer deal. Close enough I could have even picked it up in person. I already have my original and a practically new backup I picked up on CL for $25...but at $70 I would have grabbed that one too. If anything, replace the x caps, clean/lube and align the drives on a scope and then detail it so it looks as nice as possible. List it on eBay describing what you did, a youtube video of it in action and include a few DOS disks; now you're looking at a $350+ machine. Seems 99% of them are listed AS IS because they don't have a DOS disk and that tanks the price. Diskette? is a good sign, and if a seller knows enough to boot to BASIC, that's even better. Still, most collectors know the drives most likely won't work and guaranteed non DOA Tandons will run at least $100 each.
  24. People are praising the 5200 trackball controller for good reason...they are arcade quality. The internals are basically the same as used in Atari's arcade games using the mini trackball (Centipede and all the cocktail cabinets). When the 5200 trackball controllers were being sold on clearance back in the early 90s, many arcade collectors bought them to use the parts in their badly worn out arcade games. Shafts, bearings and ball are identical.
  25. Tandy Assembly was awesome. I'm in northern Indiana so it was only about a 4 hour drive. I was the guy that asked about the ECS thinking it was a Tandy version I never heard of. Was the PT210 also yours? All the guest speakers were great. Not a boring moment and so cool hearing about all the inside corporate stories from back in the day. The location was....well different. I had second thoughts about going when I read the crime rate is 172% higher than the national average and only 5% of the US is considered safer. I did tour the town a bit and it didn't seem that bad, but still.... The hotel at $155 a night in that location was ridiculous. The staff and conference areas were very nice, but my room was mediocre. Paint peeling off the entire bathroom ceiling, back of toilet area cringy, no microwave and paper thin walls (can literally hear neighbors phone conversations and their coffee pot gurgling in the morning). Also right next to railroad tracks and the cheap windows allowed you to hear them all night. Then factor in crappy TV/cable and no free breakfast That place was on the level of a $60 per night budget hotel. I noticed many Illinois and Indiana plates in the parking lot. If they have it next year, I hope they choose a place like southern Indiana in late September or early October. Perfect place would be Columbus Indiana right off I65 on 46 (maybe 150 miles from this year's location). La Quinta there is phenomenal...reasonable rates, spotless rooms, fridge/microwave, huge TV, "happy hour" in the evening with free drinks and snacks, full free breakfast, etc. It's also minutes away from Brown County with endless restaurants and attractions. Imo, one of the most beautiful areas in the country.
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