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I’m thinking of taking a break

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I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by my retro-gaming lately. While I have a small collection, it’s been giving me a great deal of stress. I don’t have much money to put toward the hobby so I can’t afford to spend a great deal on it but I’m always coveting consoles I don’t have – Colecovision, Atari 5200, Vectrex, etc. – as well as homebrews since I like new games for old systems and supporting those efforts. All expensive things. Not to mention I haven’t been able to focus on my current collection:

  • 1 Atari 2600 4 switch woody with maybe 50 loose carts and 4 CIB ones
  • 2 Channel F’s with about 20 loose carts and 15 CIB ones
  • 1 Odyssey 2 with 6 CIB ones

I’m always chasing after something I don’t have (homebrews, other systems) that I neglect my current collection as you can see each individual one is quite paltry. Instead of beefing those up, I want to get others. Also, I haven’t been able to enjoy what I have much. I don’t have the time and I can’t seem to focus on my current systems. Also, I don’t have a lot of space so I can’t fill myself up with consoles and games.

 

Being that I haven’t been able to consistently play and collect on a regular basis nor enjoy it, I think I need a little break to clear my head and get it together. I’m just curious does anyone else experience this? Also, how do you go about collecting if you have more than one system? Or do you just focus on one? I see homebrews come and go for various consoles I don’t have and prices shoot up on eBay and I feel like I’m missing out.

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I feel emulation helps me not stress over collecting. I get to kick the tires with emulation before I go in deep. Even if you feel strongly about piracy there are plenty of homebrew games.

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I feel emulation helps me not stress over collecting. I get to kick the tires with emulation before I go in deep. Even if you feel strongly about piracy there are plenty of homebrew games.

I have no qualms with emulation. :) I do always end up playing on my keyboard though, do you ever use one of those USB controllers? Which emulator do you use? I've done MESS when I can't find a console-only emulator.

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I feel this way a lot. I think emulation is a great relief and most recently SD carts for different systems have helped a lot. I think having the ability to dump your homebrews onto your SD carts also helps. I am a huge fan of all the retro systems and I find it tiring and expensive even to think about owning even a 3rd of all the carts I would like to own. I have decided to just focus on the colecovision and the nes. Also I have an expansion module #1. To save time and money I have a SD cart for each one. I sold some homebrews and a modded Atari 2600 to afford it without feeling bad about it.

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I have no qualms with emulation. :) I do always end up playing on my keyboard though, do you ever use one of those USB controllers? Which emulator do you use? I've done MESS when I can't find a console-only emulator.

 

With Windows you can tie the ROMs to the emulator. So you can, say, tell Windows to open .smd (Genesis) ROMs with Fusion.exe (Kega Fusion)

 

I've never had any luck with MESS. For oddball systems I always end up finding the best emulator for a specific system.

 

I usually go for a Playstation to USB joystick adapter. Joypad evolution stopped there (for me.)

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That's my think too, I'm a fan of many of the retro systems and would like to have a collection of and support homebrew development for a bunch of them - Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Colecovision, Vectrex - of course I can't possibly own all of them at the moment due to cost and space limitations. I agree that SD cards and emulation would be a good way to go. Definitely more affordable and less space consuming. I like your strategy of selling in order to get it so you don't feel bad about it. I could consider that although I don't have anything worth much at the moment (and I don't want to part with one of the Channel F's).

 

MESS doesn't seem to work well for me, I get audio and a black screen usually, could be my old laptop though. I do have more luck with specific emulators like Emma O2 (for the RCA Studio 2) and AdVi (for the Adventure Vision). How do I tie the ROMS to the emulator?

 

I'll look into one of those USB adapters, I don't have much of a joypad preference since I stopped keeping up with current gaming a while ago.

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To tie a specific ROM type to an emulator just right mouse click on the ROM and a menu should appear. Click on Open with..

 

in the new window that appears browse for the emulator executable (say Fusion.exe or Stella.exe) and select that as the program to open your ROM.

 

Note that this only works if the ROM file extension is unique. Say, .A78 or .SMD. I dabble in both Atari 2600 and Sega Genesis development so Stella and Fusion are always fighting over the .BIN extension >:-(

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To tie a specific ROM type to an emulator just right mouse click on the ROM and a menu should appear. Click on Open with..

 

in the new window that appears browse for the emulator executable (say Fusion.exe or Stella.exe) and select that as the program to open your ROM.

 

Note that this only works if the ROM file extension is unique. Say, .A78 or .SMD. I dabble in both Atari 2600 and Sega Genesis development so Stella and Fusion are always fighting over the .BIN extension >:-(

 

I imagine that if you're going to open them by filetype association, you could just rename them & the emulator would still recognize what you're feeding it. Call your sega roms .gen and atari can be .vcs.

 

Also, I agree that a playstation-compatible PC adapter is a great way to go for emulation. Not that controller development ceased with the Playstation, but it peaked... you can get almost any type of controller if you're looking at PS-compatibles. Digital six-button "fighting" pads, analog/digital combo if you want them, pads shaped like NES controllers, so many varieties of arcade stick... hell, you could probably play Kaboom with a NeGcon if you had the right adapter.

Edited by Rex Dart
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Thank you for the tips! I think I'll try this when I get home. Might be interesting to play some of the consoles I've been wanting to get - 5200, Colecovision, Vectrex - in emulation. At least it won't cost me anything, perhaps just the cost of the adapter and controller.

 

theloon - your 2600 games look fun.

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I feel you don't need a break but you do need to pace yourself. You will go broke quick if you try to get everything you want at once. You will also never stop coveting new things. As soon as you get your vectrex you will be consumed with a new obsession. That's how it has worked for me anyway. Learn to enjoy the hunt. I had been obsessing over a vectrex for probably 3 years. Then when I spotted one while driving by a yard sale for $15 it was so much more satisfying then had I just dropped $200 on eBay. Not because I saved money but because it was a drawn out but successfull hunt.

Edited by Dripfree
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I've seen .a26 on some Atari 2600 files. Maybe that is the official extension?

 

I think Stella uses .BIN but there was a "competitor" at one point in time that used .A26.

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Seriously guys - I'm reading too many posts about depression and videogame collections.

This needs to be fixed and here's how you do it.

 

The summary version:

Emulation is the answer! And here's how you transition into it.

 

1-

Pick 1 or 2 systems and keep these in the physical realm. Over time, no haste, collect bits and pieces with the full understanding you may never acquire a complete collection. This is your favorite system. The system you first had as a kid maybe. Or one you play most often.

 

2-

Whatever you pick will define you. Your spot in the classic gaming (or retrocomputing) sphere. This is yours! It's your vehicle into the realm of electronic gaming. Treat it with TLC. Nurture it. Love it. Care for it. Polish it. Clean it. Make necessary adjustments and fix worn parts. Over time, add items here and there. Some days you may get several items, and then nothing again for months. This activity could span years! This doesn't have to be a complete or psyche-crushing collection. Understand that you may not acquire everything. And what is not available today may become available tomorrow.

 

3-

Duplicate your physical collection in the virtual world via emulation. All the disks, roms, pictures documentation, scans, technical diagrams, listings, advertisements, videos, notes, accessories, memorabilia -- whatever! Configure an emulator to be as perfect as possible. Spend the time to set up the controllers and screen aspect ratios and and NTSC artifacting. Use real controllers if you want. Or build your own custom universal controller. Seek a higher power if you're not exactly sure how to do something. They'll help you.

 

4-

Pack your physical collection up nicely. Keep the main pieces, like the console, controllers, connecting cables at the ready. Immediately accessible. And begin using emulation. Spend the 1st year (or any arbitrary length of time) setting things up. Buy a new monitor or computer if you need to. Make it work. Make it real.

 

5-

Store a backup copy of your emulation stuff with your real physical collection. In real physical proximity. Same room. Keep all installable executables for future reference.

 

6-

Cruise through the internet and begin building your virtual collection. This includes other systems. For a while you may get single-minded and obsessive and download everything in sight. But this wears off. Soon you go through some purges and start settling into making your emulation a rich and vibrant virtual collection.

 

7-

You can explore new systems and add them to your virtual collection at will. It won't turn you into a hoarder. It won't take up space. It limits your contact with ebay assholism.

 

8-

Continue to keep your system(s) you picked in step #1. This is a requirement, it provides a grounding reference. For without it none of this works. Continue to add to it from time to time.

 

9-

For quick gaming sessions or experiments or whatever, make your default choice emulation. You can always do it on the real thing if you want. It's just down the hallway in the other room.

 

10-

Must reiterate. Keep backup copies of all your hard virtual work. It would be devastating if something went wrong and the disk blew up. You'll probably fall into a deep depression and never recover. This doesn't take much time, and you can update the backup whenever you feel like it.

 

 

 

 

Final results, and what did you just do?

You now have 1 system, your favorite. You do not live like a hoarder anymore. You don't get un-easy feelings when looking at your stuff. You're not overwhelmed and depressed. You don't put off projects anymore. You have successfully transitioned from the physical world to the virtual world. Acquiring new items won't break the bank, or the walls trying to contain it all.

 

You can enjoy your classic collection without fear of wearing out controllers or some seemingly-irreplaceable rare part going bad. And since your classic collection is now virtual and hosted on modern contemporary hardware, it IS easily fixed or replaced. Who would have thought that after 37 years you can STILL buy hardware that lets you enjoy any one of the hundreds of titles available for that machine. In case you haven't guessed, I'm talking about a cheap crap commodity PC equipped with a State-of-The-Art VCS emulator.

 

I can beat up on Slot Racers or Missile Command and not have a care in the world if I inadvertently break something. It's easily replaceable by going to Target or Comp-USA.

 

You have a neat spiffy & shiny work area with a few classic pieces of hardware. We're talking high class. You have the time to explore the finer points of some games and hardware. With all this virtual stuff happening in your head you're at peace not having to expend extraordinary quantities of energy and time and money toiling in the physical world and dealing with asshole ebay sellers & dumpster diving. You don't worry about plastics degrading, or paper yellowing. You don't worry about glue eating through labels. You don't ride the videogame grading bandwagon. Emulation gives you advantages such as anywhere-anytime playability. You're not burdened with the bulky boxiness of a big-ass monitor anymore.

 

Emulation is perfect. Emulation is timeless. Svelte. Elegant. Absolutely Fantastic.. Believe it! Live it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TLDNR haphazard version:

I have a sweet and tight Apple II collection, TRS-80 Pocket Computer 1,2,4 stuff, and TI-59 & gear. While I think about the stuff every day. I don't play with it everyday. To do so would be maddening. I just go with the natural ebb and flow. There could be months I don't touch any Apple II stuff. And then I get intensely involved in some project or other for a few weeks. Then I put it all away again. I don't have a schedule or anything.

 

II used to have:

Intellivision, Astrocade, Atari 400/800/8-bit, Odyssey^2, Trs-80 model 1,2 and 3, Colecovision, Vectrex, Microvision, Aquarius, Adam, C-64, Vic-20, 2600/5200/7800, Kim-1, Timex Sinclair, Amiga 500/1000, Ti-99/4a, PSX, Nes 8-bit, SMS, SNES, Mac classic, Atari 520/1040st, nearly 600 handhelds, thousands of calculators and blank cassettes, various x86 based computers from 8086 through Pentium 4 +20 in all. All this and tons more, literally hundreds or thousands of cartridges and peripherals. And then there were the Arcade cabinets. This was the tipping point. I didn't want to continue renting a small warehouse. And trying to acquire more became crazy making with all the variants and ports and stuff. I even hired out people to help me complete the collection. But I got tired of the whole shebang. The monster in me got out of control! And I couldn't enjoy a damned thing. Not one iota! You tell me how one can enjoy such a state of affairs? You can't! In a fit of rage I got rid of everything and kept the Apple II paraphernalia and theTRS80 + TI59 stuff. This fills about a room's worth. And is mostly enjoyable, though the wife thinks it could be part and parceled out a little more. IDK.

 

But one thing's for certain, Emulation is an unbelievably fantastic way to enjoy the classics! And if you're a hoarder, you can be a digital hoarder, no one will be the wiser. All your "stuff" can fit in a McDonald's bag! Just don't throw it out! You can swap back and forth between systems without making a mess or enduring lengthy set-up & tear-down operations. None of it rots, collects bugs, or develops strange smells. It's instantly accessible. You don't need to wade through piles upon piles of stuff.

 

The best thing one can do is focus on one or two systems, and take a chill pill. Understand that unless the system is a small system it will take a ton of effort to acquire everything and every variant. The collection dilutes and consumes space. It's like a fat-ass whiney kid compared to a tight ship-shape Marine officer. Start picking and choosing what you get. Build it over the years and it becomes a special thing to you. It becomes an identity. An entity.

 

Then you duplicate your physical collection in emulation. Then you start emulating other systems. And through this progression of events, the emulated stuff now seems even MORE real than ever. Once you accept emulation, it becomes a bridge. A crossover to other systems. Believe me, they are as real as a real system. Soon you become obsessed with building a virtual collection.

 

If you have the need to look-it-over, you get something called WinDirStat. It's a disk mapping program that makes a little square for each file. http://windirstat.info/

 

You can also get something like Easy Duplicate Finder. http://www.easyduplicatefinder.com/

This is a paid-for program, but it works nicely.

 

And another thing called UltimateDefrag. http://www.disktrix.com/

Again, a paid-for program. The ultimate organization tool for your mechanical drive. Don't buy this if you're OCD, it will drive you insane and keep you up for days on end.

 

And of course the Windows NTFS file system and Explorer. An essential tool for swimming through all the virtual crap you accumulate.

 

I have observed this transitional behavior in many people. It's real. It's inevitable. It works!

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^HolyPhuckingWallofText

 

Didn't read...

 

not srs

 

Playing games on my laptop wouldn't cut it. I'd lose interest. I have to have the real deal.

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^HolyPhuckingWallofText

 

Didn't read...

 

not srs

 

Playing games on my laptop wouldn't cut it. I'd lose interest. I have to have the real deal.

 

It's kind of a try before you buy measure. Also, can't lug a Vectrex with you on lunch breaks.

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Seriously guys - I'm reading too many posts about depression and videogame collections.

This needs to be fixed and here's how you do it.

 

The summary version:

Emulation is the answer! And here's how you transition into it.

 

1-

Pick 1 or 2 systems and keep these in the physical realm. Over time, no haste, collect bits and pieces with the full understanding you may never acquire a complete collection. This is your favorite system. The system you first had as a kid maybe. Or one you play most often.

 

2-

Whatever you pick will define you. Your spot in the classic gaming (or retrocomputing) sphere. This is yours! It's your vehicle into the realm of electronic gaming. Treat it with TLC. Nurture it. Love it. Care for it. Polish it. Clean it. Make necessary adjustments and fix worn parts. Over time, add items here and there. Some days you may get several items, and then nothing again for months. This activity could span years! This doesn't have to be a complete or psyche-crushing collection. Understand that you may not acquire everything. And what is not available today may become available tomorrow.

 

3-

Duplicate your physical collection in the virtual world via emulation. All the disks, roms, pictures documentation, scans, technical diagrams, listings, advertisements, videos, notes, accessories, memorabilia -- whatever! Configure an emulator to be as perfect as possible. Spend the time to set up the controllers and screen aspect ratios and and NTSC artifacting. Use real controllers if you want. Or build your own custom universal controller. Seek a higher power if you're not exactly sure how to do something. They'll help you.

 

4-

Pack your physical collection up nicely. Keep the main pieces, like the console, controllers, connecting cables at the ready. Immediately accessible. And begin using emulation. Spend the 1st year (or any arbitrary length of time) setting things up. Buy a new monitor or computer if you need to. Make it work. Make it real.

 

5-

Store a backup copy of your emulation stuff with your real physical collection. In real physical proximity. Same room. Keep all installable executables for future reference.

 

6-

Cruise through the internet and begin building your virtual collection. This includes other systems. For a while you may get single-minded and obsessive and download everything in sight. But this wears off. Soon you go through some purges and start settling into making your emulation a rich and vibrant virtual collection.

 

7-

You can explore new systems and add them to your virtual collection at will. It won't turn you into a hoarder. It won't take up space. It limits your contact with ebay assholism.

 

8-

Continue to keep your system(s) you picked in step #1. This is a requirement, it provides a grounding reference. For without it none of this works. Continue to add to it from time to time.

 

9-

For quick gaming sessions or experiments or whatever, make your default choice emulation. You can always do it on the real thing if you want. It's just down the hallway in the other room.

 

10-

Must reiterate. Keep backup copies of all your hard virtual work. It would be devastating if something went wrong and the disk blew up. You'll probably fall into a deep depression and never recover. This doesn't take much time, and you can update the backup whenever you feel like it.

 

 

 

 

Final results, and what did you just do?

You now have 1 system, your favorite. You do not live like a hoarder anymore. You don't get un-easy feelings when looking at your stuff. You're not overwhelmed and depressed. You don't put off projects anymore. You have successfully transitioned from the physical world to the virtual world. Acquiring new items won't break the bank, or the walls trying to contain it all.

 

You can enjoy your classic collection without fear of wearing out controllers or some seemingly-irreplaceable rare part going bad. And since your classic collection is now virtual and hosted on modern contemporary hardware, it IS easily fixed or replaced. Who would have thought that after 37 years you can STILL buy hardware that lets you enjoy any one of the hundreds of titles available for that machine. In case you haven't guessed, I'm talking about a cheap crap commodity PC equipped with a State-of-The-Art VCS emulator.

 

I can beat up on Slot Racers or Missile Command and not have a care in the world if I inadvertently break something. It's easily replaceable by going to Target or Comp-USA.

 

You have a neat spiffy & shiny work area with a few classic pieces of hardware. We're talking high class. You have the time to explore the finer points of some games and hardware. With all this virtual stuff happening in your head you're at peace not having to expend extraordinary quantities of energy and time and money toiling in the physical world and dealing with asshole ebay sellers & dumpster diving. You don't worry about plastics degrading, or paper yellowing. You don't worry about glue eating through labels. You don't ride the videogame grading bandwagon. Emulation gives you advantages such as anywhere-anytime playability. You're not burdened with the bulky boxiness of a big-ass monitor anymore.

 

Emulation is perfect. Emulation is timeless. Svelte. Elegant. Absolutely Fantastic.. Believe it! Live it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TLDNR haphazard version:

I have a sweet and tight Apple II collection, TRS-80 Pocket Computer 1,2,4 stuff, and TI-59 & gear. While I think about the stuff every day. I don't play with it everyday. To do so would be maddening. I just go with the natural ebb and flow. There could be months I don't touch any Apple II stuff. And then I get intensely involved in some project or other for a few weeks. Then I put it all away again. I don't have a schedule or anything.

 

II used to have:

Intellivision, Astrocade, Atari 400/800/8-bit, Odyssey^2, Trs-80 model 1,2 and 3, Colecovision, Vectrex, Microvision, Aquarius, Adam, C-64, Vic-20, 2600/5200/7800, Kim-1, Timex Sinclair, Amiga 500/1000, Ti-99/4a, PSX, Nes 8-bit, SMS, SNES, Mac classic, Atari 520/1040st, nearly 600 handhelds, thousands of calculators and blank cassettes, various x86 based computers from 8086 through Pentium 4 +20 in all. All this and tons more, literally hundreds or thousands of cartridges and peripherals. And then there were the Arcade cabinets. This was the tipping point. I didn't want to continue renting a small warehouse. And trying to acquire more became crazy making with all the variants and ports and stuff. I even hired out people to help me complete the collection. But I got tired of the whole shebang. The monster in me got out of control! And I couldn't enjoy a damned thing. Not one iota! You tell me how one can enjoy such a state of affairs? You can't! In a fit of rage I got rid of everything and kept the Apple II paraphernalia and theTRS80 + TI59 stuff. This fills about a room's worth. And is mostly enjoyable, though the wife thinks it could be part and parceled out a little more. IDK.

 

But one thing's for certain, Emulation is an unbelievably fantastic way to enjoy the classics! And if you're a hoarder, you can be a digital hoarder, no one will be the wiser. All your "stuff" can fit in a McDonald's bag! Just don't throw it out! You can swap back and forth between systems without making a mess or enduring lengthy set-up & tear-down operations. None of it rots, collects bugs, or develops strange smells. It's instantly accessible. You don't need to wade through piles upon piles of stuff.

 

The best thing one can do is focus on one or two systems, and take a chill pill. Understand that unless the system is a small system it will take a ton of effort to acquire everything and every variant. The collection dilutes and consumes space. It's like a fat-ass whiney kid compared to a tight ship-shape Marine officer. Start picking and choosing what you get. Build it over the years and it becomes a special thing to you. It becomes an identity. An entity.

 

Then you duplicate your physical collection in emulation. Then you start emulating other systems. And through this progression of events, the emulated stuff now seems even MORE real than ever. Once you accept emulation, it becomes a bridge. A crossover to other systems. Believe me, they are as real as a real system. Soon you become obsessed with building a virtual collection.

 

If you have the need to look-it-over, you get something called WinDirStat. It's a disk mapping program that makes a little square for each file. http://windirstat.info/

 

You can also get something like Easy Duplicate Finder. http://www.easyduplicatefinder.com/

This is a paid-for program, but it works nicely.

 

And another thing called UltimateDefrag. http://www.disktrix.com/

Again, a paid-for program. The ultimate organization tool for your mechanical drive. Don't buy this if you're OCD, it will drive you insane and keep you up for days on end.

 

And of course the Windows NTFS file system and Explorer. An essential tool for swimming through all the virtual crap you accumulate.

 

I have observed this transitional behavior in many people. It's real. It's inevitable. It works!

Wow I think this is what I was looking for. You hit on so many things that I've been experiencing - the anxiety and depression over retro-collecting. Plus I've already been emulating the weird systems that I don't own - RCA Studio II and Adventure Vision - and have even started doing some of what you suggested by saving manual scans so I can easily find instructions to games I want to play on an emulator. I do need to be more disciplined about backing it up and saving files - definitely going home to save the .exe files. Plus I can try all these obscure systems without breaking the bank. I really like the idea of limiting the physical systems to just 1 or 2, it does make things more manageable and can help focus limited time and money. I can see myself down the line being able more or less to focus on the Atari 2600 homebrew scene and maybe that of another console, and everything else just emulating. I like the idea of packing up things neatly and keeping them stored so they don't clutter and fill up my place. I should probably print your post and keep it as a reference point. This is good.

 

I have been mostly a fan of the real experience - I do most of my gaming on actual original hardware, like loon said, I mostly emulate to try before I buy. I don't want to spend $100 on a 5200 or Colecovision, and find I don't like the games. Emulation lets me determine if I'm going to take the plunge. But emulating can also help me experience consoles I may either never afford (Vectrex, Astrocade for example) or won't be able to get any time soon. I had been one to emulate but only before buying but I think I might take emulation more seriously as its own legitimate retro gaming experience.

 

To your first point, I know I'll definitely keep the 2600, I've had it since I was a kid and am fond of it even if my attention has been drifting elsewhere. The #2 console will probably be the Channel F as I greatly admire it historically and have believe it or not enjoyed some fun times on it. The Odyssey 2 might be one that can go at some point however, while I streamline my collection.

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Here's how I did it since the 90's:

 

Emulation.

Modding.

Mullticarts.

Being organized.

 

I keep 2 or 3 80's systems hooked up because I have the room. A multicart is a must.

Everything else is boxed and stored neatly. I keep a database of everything I have. Everything. That way I never have to really go look for anything. A database that you can import pictures and manuals to or an online one can help visually. In other words by seeing pictures of the cart, screenshot and box you feel less inclined to go looking through your own stuff or a desire to buy it.

 

Things like this and especially emulation will really calm you down.

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Note that this only works if the ROM file extension is unique. Say, .A78 or .SMD. I dabble in both Atari 2600 and Sega Genesis development so Stella and Fusion are always fighting over the .BIN extension >:-(

I imagine that if you're going to open them by filetype association, you could just rename them & the emulator would still recognize what you're feeding it. Call your sega roms .gen and atari can be .vcs.

 

Yes. Conflicting extensions are cause for concern, but easily fixable. I suggest a bulk-renaming utility. Many utilities out there are complex, versatile, and intimidating. So try this one. http://lifehacker.com/5145204/d+filemu-renames-your-files-on-the-go

 

If you like complexity then this is your ticket. http://lifehacker.com/5100037/bulk-rename-utility-blasts-through-your-file-naming-tasks

 

 

 

I feel you don't need a break but you do need to pace yourself. You will go broke quick if you try to get everything you want at once. You will also never stop coveting new things. As soon as you get your vectrex you will be consumed with a new obsession. That's how it has worked for me anyway. Learn to enjoy the hunt. I had been obsessing over a vectrex for probably 3 years. Then when I spotted one while driving by a yard sale for $15 it was so much more satisfying then had I just dropped $200 on eBay. Not because I saved money but because it was a drawn out but successfull hunt.

 

Give up the hunt. Enjoy the gaming and nuances of each system.

 

I've seen .a26 on some Atari 2600 files. Maybe that is the official extension?

 

.A26 was the first VCS extension I saw. And that was back in the 1990's. I've never seen .vcs. But really, use whatever floats your boat.

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I think I need to give up the hunt and just enjoy the systems I have although admittedly of my current collection the Channel F and Odyssey 2 are limited in the fun department, so I should focus more on the 2600. I can leave the more obscure systems to emulation.

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I find that I have always had a 2600 and a Jaguar with a substantial cart collection, plus I usually have a couple of other cart-based systems at any given moment. I tend to buy a base console bundled with a few commons off eBay, and then the collection slowly grows. Eventually I have a system with maybe a good 30 or 40 carts, and it's lost it's luster for me. I usually end up auctioning it off on eBay and getting my money back.

 

More and more, I am leaning on emaulation. For example, lately I've taken an interest in the TG-16. A base console seems to be about $100 on eBay, plus about $15-$25 for common games, meaning that even a base system with a half-dozen games will lay me back a few hundred bucks. Yet there are some great emulators for the TG-16, and for nothing I can get 80 or 90% of the gaming experience. A system has to really strike my fancy before I'm willing to invest the money into buying it.

Edited by ls650
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I find that I have always had a 2600 and a Jaguar with a substantial cart collection, plus I usually have a couple of other cart-based systems at any given moment. I tend to buy a base console bundled with a few commons off eBay, and then the collection slowly grows. Eventually I have a system with maybe a good 30 or 40 carts, and it's lost it's luster for me. I usually end up auctioning it off on eBay and getting my money back.

I am similar. Through the years I've had an Intellivision (twice but I just can't seem to get into that system, although it has its fans), Colecovision, and Atari 5200 all with similarly sized collections. I get bored and sell either here or on eBay. The ones I won't part with are the Channel F and the 2600. I also forgot that I did have a Jaguar but sold that as well. I haven't been inspired at all to grow my O2 collection, cool looking console and game boxes but the game play is kinda shallow to me. Guess I haven't played a console in a while that has really grabbed my attention. The 2600 I think is awesome but I've always had it so it's not a new thrill.

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Games are supposed to be about fun. This hobby is supposed to be about fun. When it is not then you need to re-evaluate your position and goals and formulate an action plan. It's pretty much that way with everything.

 

 

Playing games on my laptop wouldn't cut it. I'd lose interest. I have to have the real deal.

Then you must do exactly what makes you happy. Some folks like to have tens of systems and hundreds of carts. Maybe thousands. You know what? That's alright as long as it doesn't distract you and burden you. If your happy then I'm happy.

 

I personally like the idea of one system to rule them all. Emulation fits the bill for me.

 

 

 

Wow I think this is what I was looking for. You hit on so many things that I've been experiencing - the anxiety and depression over retro-collecting. Plus I've already been emulating the weird systems that I don't own

Tich'k and a wink of the eye.

 

Find balance in whatever you do. You have it easy because you are not in the predicament of having to get rid of dumpster-sized-amounts of gear.

 

Sounds like you like the Ch. F a lot. I would keep both consoles and count them as one system. One console could be pristine and the other could be source of parts for future repairs. Or one could be used for daily play. Just a thought. I did that with my Apple II stuff. I purchased a bunch of seemingly random Apple stuff and stripped several consoles down into parts, screws, springs, TTL chips, fittings, connectors, all that.

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