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What is your retro computing most "irrational want?"

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Posted (edited)

Permit me to rephrase some of that.

 

A physical computer or accessory is the end embodiment of a concept. Doesn't matter what it's for, to make money, to better the world, to complete a task, to entertain. Whatever.

 

It's very easy to get engrossed in the idea. Completely lost and absorbed in the possibilities. That's a fun thing to do whether you realize it or not. And as green kids back in the day, we had ample time and magazines to feed that. And with things tech there's always something new around the corner. So it even satisfies curiosity and discovery and learning. 3 powerful things.

 

So. Once a piece of vintage hardware is purchased, it's entirely possible it can immediately fulfill all that, particularly if said piece of vintage has evolved into some modern-day equivalent. All without spending huge amounts of time.

 

Currently I'm on a modem kick, soon to gravitate back into graphics. But am I going to splurge on modems on eBay? Not likely. But I will have fun reading some documentation and articles and advertisements from back in the day.

 

Will I go on a BBS calling spree? Not likely either. I may power up the external USR and fart around with the AT command set or something. Whatever. I can reminisce and continue learning something just be reading something I hadn't read before.

 

Maybe that's what's going on with the Kaypro thing?

Edited by Keatah
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Not super Retro but I would like my Sony GDM-W900 back again. I like it more than the FW900 with the flat screen. I paid $200 from a wholesaler on eBay for it in 2003. I got tired of lugging it’s 100 poundness from apartment to apartment so I eventually gave it to goodwill. I’m sure someone was excited that day at goodwill.

 

I remember playing Counter Strike, Baldurs Gate 2, and just watching movies on it. I didn’t realize how good I had it. I’m hoping Oled will fill the gap for me at some point. So far my 2007 42” Panasonic plasma from 2007 that does 1920x1080 is still my second favorite computer screen of all time. It’s almost as good as CRT, but not quite.

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On 5/3/2021 at 7:38 PM, Keatah said:

Permit me to rephrase some of that.

 

A physical computer or accessory is the end embodiment of a concept. Doesn't matter what it's for, to make money, to better the world, to complete a task, to entertain. Whatever.

 

It's very easy to get engrossed in the idea. Completely lost and absorbed in the possibilities. That's a fun thing to do whether you realize it or not. And as green kids back in the day, we had ample time and magazines to feed that. And with things tech there's always something new around the corner. So it even satisfies curiosity and discovery and learning. 3 powerful things.

 

So. Once a piece of vintage hardware is purchased, it's entirely possible it can immediately fulfill all that, particularly if said piece of vintage has evolved into some modern-day equivalent. All without spending huge amounts of time.

 

Currently I'm on a modem kick, soon to gravitate back into graphics. But am I going to splurge on modems on eBay? Not likely. But I will have fun reading some documentation and articles and advertisements from back in the day.

 

Will I go on a BBS calling spree? Not likely either. I may power up the external USR and fart around with the AT command set or something. Whatever. I can reminisce and continue learning something just be reading something I hadn't read before.

 

Maybe that's what's going on with the Kaypro thing?

I'm glad I always kept all my old computer junk. I still have my USR V.Everything external modem which makes it extra special because it is not only a vintage modem but my modem, the one I used back in the late 90s when 56k was the cutting edge. Yeah if I got something like a Kaypro II I'm sure I would load up some old word processors with the idea that I'm actually going to do productive things with it. Play some text adventures and join a BBS, but it would be just like when I got my Atari 800 online. I signed up for a BBS and spent a few weeks checking in every day and posting messages and then I just got bored of it. It's nostalgic for a while and fun to learn old stuff but the modern internet is much more entertaining.

 

Old computers and consoles feels kind of like Pokemon; I want to collect them all but once I have them they're just cluttering up the place and taking up space. Retro stuff is way too expensive now anyway but it's still fun to window shop on eBay and look at all the photos of cool stuff I'll never have. 😄

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Yes something like that.

 

It is important to define what pieces of retro equipment are important to you and what has meaning. This requires plenty of hindsight. And it's a bonus when you don't have to look further than your personal pile of junk.

 

I have my original MicroModem II and Apple-Cat II. And while I can get them on ebay it wouldn't be the same. My originals mean far much more than some ebay-bought item. Especially if the ebay item is to be a replacement for something once owned. It's a different item. The sequence of acquisition is different. It represents a different pocket of knowledge.

 

I always wanted USRs and hi-speed Hayes' modems from back in the day, enjoyed them vicariously through advertisements and articles and cordial discussions. Wanted them so bad I would often dream of having them and waking up to disappointment. I was able to pick up several USRs over the past years in the 5$ - 20$ range. Some NIB CIB. But its not quite the same as having experienced them back in the day. Not quite the same coming from ebay as it was trekking to Comp-USA and exploring the new tech back then.

 

On the other hand the USRs and early Hayes' ingot modems are still meaningful to me in that I seriously wanted them as a kid but couldn't afford'em. In this way it's different, much different, than seeing a piece of arbitrary retro equipment and buying just to buy it because old, because vintage. Here there's still some aura and connection to the past.

 

Like if someone plopped down an Osbourne, or C-128, in front of me.. I wouldn't really care even though they are of the same vintage. I had little interest back then. And less interest now.

 

Many ways to examine this state of affairs.

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My most irrational computing want still remains as a full IMSAI 8080 setup, with serial port, z80 card, lots of RAM, printer, ADM 3A terminal and a Model 33 Teletype...

 

However, a few have been added to the "irrational dreams" list: Apple Lisa 1, Twiggy Macintosh prototype (read a few old threads at 64kmla and applefritter that had interesting stuff that keatah said 15 years ago), blue bezel and label PET (like the one in my pfp), Tandy 6000, and to top everything off, an IBM System/1.

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