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APF Imagination Machine acquired

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Upon silly luck, I was able to get an imagination machine. It powers on, and was able to get something on the screen. I have several questions about the system. I know that that it is rare, but does anyone know how many are in collector hands these days.

 

How am I able to access the keyboard function to get something to type on the screen? I am pretty ecstatic to have such as rare item in my collection. Anyone with info that can help me would be most appreciated.

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Hmm... If putting in the BASIC cart and typing all the keys doesn't get you into something interactive, then the keyboard might be dead. I don't know anything about the APF, but lots of those old keyboards had membrane internals, and old thin ribbon cables that deteriorate and go bad over time.

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I was flipping through a 1981 issue of Australian Personal Computer and saw an advert for one of these, which must have been at the end of its commercial life. It actually looks pretty sophisticated for 1978, although I understand that access to its high-res graphic modes was difficult. It's an interesting failure that you never really hear or read about today.

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They are currently in a that odd, in-between state. Rare enough to be somewhat collectable, but not enough enthusiasts to make it really valuable. They usually sit on eBay between $100-300. Given how little software was every written for it, I think that is pretty fair.

 

Since there is no larger retro-community around them you have to depend on manuals and old documents to figure out its workings.

 

Luckily quite a few great resources were uploaded to Archive.org

 

https://archive.org/details/apf_imagination_machine

 

Happy reading!

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See also this thread about the APF M1000 / MP1000 where the Imagination Machine comes into the discussion a couple of times. In particular on page 3 where I discuss how those apparently were packaged and sold as bookkeeping systems to farmers in Sweden.

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/276205-apf-m1000-ownership-and-appreciation-thread/

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It's rare, but not highly sought after due to the limited and somewhat poor game library.

Seems to me the hardware even supports the 6847 hi-res mode, but it's designed to only use it for sprites... or could that be considered tiles.
It's a little odd.

Too bad it didn't fully support the mode or it could have been a much better computer.

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It's rare, but not highly sought after due to the limited and somewhat poor game library.

Seems to me the hardware even supports the 6847 hi-res mode, but it's designed to only use it for sprites... or could that be considered tiles.

It's a little odd.

Too bad it didn't fully support the mode or it could have been a much better computer.

The sad thing is that, even with these limitations, it does not seem like a bad system at all. It’s got to have the worst game library I have ever seen for a game console, though. Brickdown looks okay, but the rest...yeesh.

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