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Keatah

Do you find yourself drifting away from the scene?

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Interesting points and observations on this thread!

 

As a programmer who took part in creating the scene in the 80's I find the pouet.net demo scene keeps it real.

 

The book Racing the Beam that was brought up keeps it real too and so does the ultimate Atari talk, the authors connection to the demo scene makes that pretty clear.

 

There is more than one scene though; you might like a different scene than me. Many scenes have retro influenced themes, like the Atari 2012 Pong Challenge I competed in where all of the other developers used 32-bit and 64-bit platforms to write Atari 2600 games instead of well, an Atari 2600 (Nolan sent me a classic development kit, not sure what he sent them).

 

Many of the retro influenced scenes are more varied with modern hardware and/or more commercialized, from my perspective they don't keep it real.

 

You could see this as drift but it depends on your definition of the scene and your definition of drift; drift is integral in Defender, Defender II, Defender III and Killer Satellites...

 

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My "scene" is mostly Atari 8bits/5200 and C64/Vic-20 on the computer side and Genesis/SMS and Saturn on the console front. While for the consoles, I only bother with original era stuff, the computers are my mainstay. I try keeping up with new brews, and even buy some of the improved hardware for them. There's actually a lot going on with those old machines. :)

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Huh, I never once thought "modern mainstream millennial media" was ruining the fun retro games. Im not sure what ".. Millennial media" is it YouTube and Facebook?

 

I find that, I'll be really into a system for awhile and then I'll get tired or it will get to expensive and I will move to the next system. I have done this with NES,7800,2600,Genesis and the Gameboy. They all have their nuancesses. Recently the 2600 has been super cheap and fun. The trick for me is to not be overly loyal to one console.

 

It can be frustrating when price are WAY overpriced. Like when a game on your list goes from $20 to $60, but I just elsewhere.

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If you need to break out the soldering iron and/or Dremel to get a system to accept an upgrade, though, that's usually where I draw the line. One exception is to overcome artificial limitations like region locks on game consoles, which are a restriction specifically *added* by manufacturers for business reasons, not anything endemic to a system's technological design or the era it's from (and plenty of people did mods like that at the time, with any given console). But otherwise, physical alteration is usually turning a system into something it wasn't meant to be. People are of course free to do whatever they want with the stuff they own, but I just wouldn't do something like installing an RGB mod in an Atari 2600. If you want your games to look that modern, just play an emulator or get a Retron77 or something - it's just as faithful and realistic as RGB output from a 2600 (which is to say, neither is). I don't really understand buying a console that's specifically of a certain time and then trying to make its output look modern to begin with, but especially when there are plenty of easier, cheaper and less destructive ways of doing it.

 

Earlier on like from 2000'ish to about 2014 modding seemed (to me) to be about improving the signal output. Getting a sharper picture. But the driving force to do mods has changed.

 

Nowadays I think most folks do video mods to gain compatibility with modern televisions first and foremost. It's one way of bringing the "Game Program" cartridge and a vintage console into the 21st century. Once a mod has been done the quality and characteristics of the final image you see are different than that of the standard vintage CRT + Television RF.

 

Judging whether the end result is better or worse is subjective and also dependent on the exact technique + display equipment used. Take the VCS for example, there are many off-console converters, and then there are internal mods ranging from the "transistor stuff" all the way to a TIA replacement with CPLD that outputs a digital signal. And most everyone wants their VCS to be at least compatible with a modern set. Ideally compatible with both vintage and modern displays.

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I've found modding to be an interesting aspect of the hobby. To a point at least. Watching RetroRGB, they keep coming up with new mods and cables for consoles, while I'm still happy with the original SNES 1-chip AV mod I did. At some point it's just more stuff piled on top of solutions that are already good enough, and news fatigue sets in.

 

No idea why so many people in this thread indicated interest in mobile gaming. That is purely a casual realm and holds no appeal to me.

 

It might simply be because everyone has a capable mobile device. Babies 3 years old and younger are drooling on and dropping iPhones - these are devices that have 6-cores and billions of transistors and gigs of storage! These are more than ready for gaming.

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^^^ yup

"Purely casual" is incorrect, there's plenty of "hardcore" gaming on mobile, but I'm disinclined to argue with someone with such an obnoxious bias against the obvious

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i don't know if i'm drifting away so much as treading water. :) I'll try not to be too rambly, but I'll try to answer the OP, too, lol.

 

WIth myself, it's a weird amalgamation of collecting the original hardware but utilizing more modern solutions as they've evolved over the years. I am just flummoxed with the quality of homebrew titles and hardware solutions for the various platforms that have come out over the years and the sheer ENTHUSIASM that console and computer gaming has engendered.

 

over the last two years i reacquired both a console and a computer that had a great deal of nostalgic value for me personally- a TI 99 4A setup with loaded PEB and the FG99 multicart, and a very nicely AV modded 2600 4-switcher.

 

I obsessively started collecting TI carts (much to my wife's chagrin, but bless her she put up with my mania), but aside from some CIBs that held, again, nostalgic value, i ended up giving away probably 80% of my cart collection because I simply didn't feel any real connection to the media. Once I got the FinalGrom99 multicart, there just wasn't that drive because I had all these titles at the click of a button.

 

I ended up picking up a Sunnyvale light sixer, but wanted better picture from my el cheapo Wal-Mart so I picked up an AV-modded 4-switcher that meets every need I would have for an Atari. I kick around getting a Harmony cart, but in this case I like having physical carts of the titles that I really like- I pick up homebrews periodically for this.

 

I consider myself a 'modern gamer', too- we have an XBox One, we both have our 3DS consoles, and I recently picked up NES/SNES Minis. Everything has kind of their 'niche' at our house, and lately I've spent way more time gaming on the NES/SNES than any other device. Do I think it's kind of lame that Nintendo nickels and dimes everyone on their titles? Sure, but I can't dispute that throwing 30 or so games on a device that just 'turns on' isn't an attractive way to package the stuff. I guess if anything I'm part of the problem because I just keep buying their titles on like every platform known to mankind, lol.

 

anyway, bookending a bit, i have one foot in the past and one foot in the present. i think my collecting and playing more revolves around situational life stuff and what i can 'fill in the gaps' for my free time.

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i don't know if i'm drifting away so much as treading water. :) I'll try not to be too rambly, but I'll try to answer the OP, too, lol.

 

WIth myself, it's a weird amalgamation of collecting the original hardware but utilizing more modern solutions as they've evolved over the years. I am just flummoxed with the quality of homebrew titles and hardware solutions for the various platforms that have come out over the years and the sheer ENTHUSIASM that console and computer gaming has engendered.

 

I wouldn't worry about being too rambly. It's what message casual discussion forums are for. Despite what some detractors say, all opinions are valid and important. So don't worry about rambling. Some future digital archaeologist will thank you.

 

It's true there is great enthusiasm in this hobby. It's like when a new version of an emulator I'm using comes out. It's like getting a new console or pile of cartridges back in the day. Just like getting in the old beater Chevy, going to McDonalds and then Venture or Turn-Style and buying cartridges. An all-afternoon affair that was centered around me!!

 

When we got home we'd put the paper grocery bag on the table and I'd stand up on the chair and dig into the cartridges. It could be as many as 7 or 8 on good days. I'd haul them over to where my buddy was just finishing setting up whatever console. It was 2x fun when we knew the evening was going to be open for gaming and that the next day, Sunday, there'd be a trip to the local theme park or the planetarium/museum. So many cool things to discover. So much to be enthusiastic about.

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^^^ yup

"Purely casual" is incorrect, there's plenty of "hardcore" gaming on mobile, but I'm disinclined to argue with someone with such an obnoxious bias against the obvious

I'm genuinely curious what you're playing. And there's no doubt these devices are capable. I don't mean to be biased. I am simply not interested in it as a gaming platform.

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Capcom -- Monster Hunter and Ghost Trick are on iOS and work well with touchscreen controls.

 

SEGA Forever has a whole mess of Genesis games, some work better than others. The Sonic games are the Christian Whitehead remakes.

 

Capcom and SNK fighters are there but naturally work better with hard buttons.

 

There are tons of RPG and strategy games on there, which are more my speed nowadays. All the Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy oldies are present.

 

I'm mainly doing what you might call casual. My main games right now

 

Lineage II Revolution (from the Guild Wars 2 people)

Six Ages (by the Dragon Pass people)

Tekken Mobile (akin to the Marvel or Injustice fighters)

Pianista (rhythm game)

Star Trek Timelines (card collecting)

Oddmar (slick platformer)

Reigns (card puzzle)

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It's been my experience that the only who actually say "millennial" are:

 

A) Old people who want to complain about young people like different things than they do.

B) Young people who want to blame old people for their lack of success in life.

 

Of course, I'm technically a Gen-Xer so you know, whatever. Or not. Imma listen to Nirvana and go skateboarding. Down with the man. Oops, now I'm the man.

 

Huh, I never once thought "modern mainstream millennial media" was ruining the fun retro games. Im not sure what ".. Millennial media" is it YouTube and Facebook?

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Fun topic.

 

For me, I have bought most of what I want, and now modifying and hacking games the way I like them. I am modifying my music too. I share the mods, some like them, but most important I have a game the way I will enjoy it. Gaming is still fun. Just took on a different type of fun.

 

I guess more and more video gaming is become less on how to move a controller, and more the puzzle of how to understand how a program is built. Also fun, thanks to the internet, to get to meet the developers of these programs if they are still around.

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I play solitaire on my phone... and that's about it...

 

As far as portable gaming goes, though, I have my 2600 Flashback portable and my PSP with emulators that have been my portable mainstays lately. I really prefer actual buttons over onscreen stuff.

 

There are still games out there I want, but I don't have a list. When I go to a store or flea market or convention or whatever, I don't say, "Okay, I'm looking for ______ ." I just kinda browse and if something catches my eye and the price is right, I buy it. It may be something that I end up loving. It may be something that sits on a shelf for a while. Eventually, a collection grows enough so that most things sit on a shelf regardless. Even if I loved every single one of the games that I own, I wouldn't have time to regularly play all of them. Some will get priority and get played more often... heavy rotation if you will... others will get an occasional "oh, I haven't played this one in a while" play.

 

It seems like, for some people, the "hardcore" part of the hobby is the collecting, not the gaming. /shrug Everyone's allowed to enjoy the hobby as the like.

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I've been trying to word this correctly for some time now. All the systems covered by AtariAge are new and relevant to me. I don't consider recent indie titles any different than old corporate brands. I don't collect: I play. No programming language is new wave or old school: they are all wonderful tools. Same thing with 256k SuperShip capable Atari 2600 carts or Amigas with Vampire 600 boards. It's all amazing, wonderful and imminently useful!

 

UPDATE: Yes, I am a little cracked :P

 

UPDATE II: I guess I should explain more than my everlasting excitement. Yes, there are people who greatly diverge from my viewpoint. But, over time I've found common ground and respect. It makes me want to involve myself more.

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I've been trying to word this correctly for some time now. All the systems covered by AtariAge are new and relevant to me. I don't consider recent indie titles any different than old corporate brands. I don't collect: I play. No programming language is new wave or old school: they are all wonderful tools. Same thing with 256k SuperShip capable Atari 2600 carts or Amigas with Vampire 600 boards. It's all amazing, wonderful and imminently useful!

 

UPDATE: Yes, I am a little cracked [emoji14]

 

UPDATE II: I guess I should explain more than my everlasting excitement. Yes, there are people who greatly diverge from my viewpoint. But, over time I've found common ground and respect. It makes me want to involve myself more.

It’s strange to explain to my Computer Developer buddies how much I like Retro gaming and Retro Computing. I would think it would be the other way around? Anyway, yeah we are a strange group. It’s good to be strange is what I’ve decided. If I ever left the United States I think I would like it in Poland.

Edited by adamchevy
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To phrase it differently: Do you find yourself becoming less involved in classic/vintage/retro gaming and computing as time goes on. Is the hobby becoming less important? Are you devoting significantly less time to it? Are you keeping up-to-date with developments & news like you used to? Are you tired of the commercialization of "retro"?

 

In continuing to ponder my own questions. I'm exploring the philosophy and history and other intangible "boring" stuff surrounding the hobby. It's been some months since I tried for a hi-score on any game.

 

The range of vintage hardware I'm keeping has/is certainly decreasing. But at the same time emulation is becoming more accurate and feature-rich. So it's shift in balance there.. I suppose.. The more I can cram into the PC the better.

 

 

 

Yes, quite the shit, eh?

 

 

 

Ebegging, I'm rolling here!!

 

There's a difference in posting 10 pictures of your collection to show what you have, and a difference in posting 10 pictures of your collection to show what you have. Just don't seriously claim you are officially the best. You're good to go. There's a way to word it nicely. And a way not to. Thankfully most of us have to work at being asses and douches.

 

Casually posting pics of my emulation PCs wouldn't be tacky or attention whoring. Might even be boring because they're standard Shuttle XPCs and Intel NUCs. Folks may be genuinely interested in seeing how something is set-up. How something can be set up. If I were to post bragging photos they would be illustrating how well integrated into the decor my rigs are. The focal point being how unassuming and aesthetically pleasing a setup can look. Something like that. And it would be something you could do to. But I don't think it would be showing off. Some folks may garner new ideas on how to put something together or display something. It's always interesting. And it's no different than going to an exhibition or convention. You're there to SEE!

 

The "Show Us Your Collection" Sub-forum is full of all kinds of photos and set-ups. Some are nice, some are ratbaggy, others extremely opulent and show-offy. A few are even magnificent and grand in a stately kind of way..

 

Technical aspects, functionality, and practicality, are all important in setting up and displaying and using a gaming area. I've seen consoles displayed on wireframe AV carts. And collections displayed in seemingly custom-made wood/glass cabinetry. And everything in-between. Some look like nightmares to play on, others are models of simplicity and elegance. Some environments look warm and inviting. Others look like it could take a half-hour to prepare to play one game on any given system. Some are pig-sty heaven!

 

The wife likes things visually pleasing and harmonious and all that. Earthy and warm and quiet. Near rustic. Diffused lighting. So that means a whole ton of restrictions that need to be worked around if I'm to bring gaming into the main living areas. Balancing the presence and aura of a system - very important. So I take it from there and carry it through to a kind of functionality that fits in with those criteria. This by default means minimal hardware that's unassuming. Not boisterous. Think small efficient NUCs. A few compartments for custom controllers, parts and tools and peripherals, try to hide or eliminate all visible cabling, shit like that. No loud fans. Concealed printer. This also means we can't have walls of carts or piles of systems strewn about. No loud gaming PCs either. No displays of retro-memorabilia. I hate those things anyways. Over the years I've come to embrace reliability, consistency, and versatility, in a simple small package. Not to mention ease-of-access. It's why I do emulation.

 

In the end there is no right or wrong. It just is. There's really a solution and style for all kinds gamers.

 

A. Ah, ok... now I understand the question. The Hobby is as important to me today as it has ever been. I play a lot of video games and still enjoy them the same as I did the first time I played River Raid on the 2600 many moons ago. The Commercialization of Retro is positive imo, because of how many Indie developers have made great games for the PC and todays Consoles. A lot of good games have come from it imo.

 

I still like my hardware, but with my recent learning about the Super NT and the AVS, I have less care for Carts than I ever did, now that I've discovered Flashcarts. I quit caring about collecting Carts years ago when prices became silly, so my recent new love of Flashcarts is a Godsend.

 

B. Yes, yes they are! Playing these old games in glorious 1080p on a 54" Panasonic Plasma is heaven on earth!

 

C. I agree with your sentiment with regard to Collectors showing what they have. Where I take issue is with the clowns like metaljesus asking people to pay for their Hobby: it's disingenuious and patronizing to people who truly care about sharing their love for a Hobby.

 

I concur, it's interesting at times to see what folks have collected and how they've organized their setup, but again... what bothers me are people begging for money, for a Hobby.

 

"In the end there is no right or wrong. It just is. There's really a solution and style for all kinds gamers." I concur, well said. :thumbsup:

 

Thanks for your in depth response. :)

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Yeah, that's exactly what I'm talking about. The needless drama, the elitism, and the entitlement. I know a bunch of YouTube personalities from back before they got famous. The ones I'm friends with are cool people who happened to get recognized and are still the same people I met... and the rest are often extremely entitled, rude, selfish and generally unpleasant to deal with. I think the social media/vlog/YouTube aspect really introduced a lot of ego and (constant) validation seeking to a hobby that used to be about friends, games, hunting, and just general fun. I have no patience for entitlement or elitism. I don't give a rats ass about how many subscribers you have, what your gender is, how long you've been gaming, what high score you got, or how many ultra rare games you own:

 

I care if you are a decent human being.

 

Elitism is a loaded term, I think. Some of my tendencies are definitely cork-sniffer material (I love original equipment, proper control setups and CRTs)...and for that, to some I may come across as acting elitist. You never really know what is going to set people off these days.

 

One thing about the youtubers, though, and one video in particular I watched recently about the Sega Saturn: I'm getting extremely bored with these youtubers who have all sorts of opinions and 'facts' about a system that most of them weren't out of diapers yet when they were released! There's only so much you can learn about this stuff, in context of the times they were released, by reading stuff on the internet. But then, they'd have nothing to talk about....and it's clear, because like five of the guests all parroted the same info...much of it, not really accurate, because they have ZERO context for what the scene was like in those days.

 

I lived those times, and I know exactly how a system like the Saturn was perceived...and to whom. But youtubers (and sadly, I'm sure those who follow them) don't understand that video games simply weren't as socially acceptable back in those days as they are now. People didn't generally own more than one or two systems, nor did they import games from Japan or get any other kind of information other than what you could read in a magazine. I wish more youtubers would at least acknowledge this. Most times? They're reading something off of Wikipedia and a few forums and feel that they know exactly why a system did or didn't 'fail'. All this talk, but very little personal experience. And then the very few youtubers who actually ARE old enough?...they weren't aware of the release of the Saturn? What?...I can tell you this; any video game enthusiast I knew of BITD knew about the Saturn. But I digress.

 

While we're not talking about 'serious' history such as the world wars, it is important to realize that some of these youtubers have zero credibility, and in fact are simply cashing in on what amounts to a popular topic on youtube, with some money to be made. When I have more knowledge than a guy on youtube channel for retrogaming, especially when they come across as knowing their stuff? Ugh.

 

It's why my youtuber retrogaming short list is about five people long. I like entertainment as much as anybody, but some of these historians are really getting it wrong.

 

And that hasn't exactly helped attract me to the scene of today.

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I agree that the youtube scene has definitely changed and although I love guys like MJR, the social aspect of these youtube channels has diminished in favor of in video ads, patreon requests, superchats, and algorithm analysis to maximize views. It was a more intimate and friendly activity 8 or 10 years ago and I miss those times. I'm also not a fan of the e-begging and it seems everyone wants to open a video game museum and shills for donations. One of the few I don't mind doing this is the 8-bit Guy since he makes truly informative and entertaining videos with the equipment he gets in from viewers, and doesn't just show shit off and put it on a shelf.

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Kinda drifted off. Rarely look for games on ebay for games anymore. Too sick and not enough money or motivation. When I'm on ebay, it's usually sports cards. Usually playing more recent strategy games. Might upgrade my 3ds sometime. I'd have to see a wider range of classic downloads for me to get into Switch.

 

Kind of tired of seeing the same retro games available for download/disk collections, too. The same 30 or so Genesis games and so forth.

Edited by Zookeeper

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Kinda drifted off. Rarely look for games on ebay for games anymore. Too sick and not enough money or motivation. When I'm on ebay, it's usually sports cards. Usually playing more recent strategy games. Might upgrade my 3ds sometime. I'd have to see a wider range of classic downloads for me to get into Switch.

 

Kind of tired of seeing the same retro games available for download/disk collections, too. The same 30 or so Genesis games and so forth.

 

I remember reading a lot of your posts.

 

Why not build up an all-in-one classic gaming box stuffed with select and quality emulators. Software Emulation is rather complete for everything up to the PS1 era. Make that your hobby maybe?

 

For me I have little choice but to go that route because of the desire (and wife prodding) to keep things neat. And the small time blocks in which I can actually sit down and mess with the stuff. With emulation it's easy to start-stop-start-stop as necessary efficiently and annoyance-free.

 

Though as that can change and is changing slowly, I gravitate toward vintage PC hardware and it all kinda ties together.

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I agree that the youtube scene has definitely changed and although I love guys like MJR, the social aspect of these youtube channels has diminished in favor of in video ads, patreon requests, superchats, and algorithm analysis to maximize views. It was a more intimate and friendly activity 8 or 10 years ago and I miss those times. I'm also not a fan of the e-begging and it seems everyone wants to open a video game museum and shills for donations. One of the few I don't mind doing this is the 8-bit Guy since he makes truly informative and entertaining videos with the equipment he gets in from viewers, and doesn't just show shit off and put it on a shelf.

 

I think YouTube monetization, at least in its current form since 2013, has killed off a lot of the channels I used to watch from Classic Game Room to Turbo Views. Same goes for patreon.

 

It ironically brings me a new appreciation for Irate gamer who did all the editing and special effects himself and basically almost never asked for money. He did it for fun and for his fans, who asked him if THEY COULD give him money. Now that's how it should be!

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I had a feeling that this thread might be yet another of Keatah's EMULATION IS GOD proselytizing exercises and it sure did end up in the now familiar territory.

 

To be honest, I find it a bit tiresome by now, I've been here only few months but it's like a regular fixture. Now, if emulation works for you and you enjoy it, it's perfectly fine but is there really need to try to convert everybody to this method? Especially while painting the usage of the original hardware as some hellishly painful and cumbersome exercise and people undertaking it as stuck up luddites with mental issues? Never even mind the laborious and questionable pro-emulation arguments such as the one that "it attacks the problem from complex and "weird" angles"....not sure what does that even mean. Or the one about colour adjusting, as if people do not spend endless hours tweaking their emulator/PC settings.

 

Not really. The thread is on track in discussing what might cause a hobbyist to drift away and what might entice them the come back or remain.

 

I don't see anyone using original vintage hardware as ostentatious. Or as stuck-up luddites. That isn't on my mind. Well maybe except for certain collectors that show-off select carts in uncool ways.

 

I always found original hardware to be tedious to work with, and am happy to have found a way to enjoy vintage gaming while minimizing that problem.

 

I'm sure people do spend time tweaking their emu settings. I am more than pleased to set a setting and have it stick and not have to re-visit it again out of necessity. I recall always having to play with the color/tint on the big 'ol Zenith Chromacolor II, especially when going back and forth between broadcast TV and videogames.

 

Setting up emulators is a cost. Similar to the cost of acquiring, cleaning/refurbing, connecting/disconnecting, and organizing a console & cartridge collection. A different kind of cost, that's all. Some people may enjoy the ritual of doing all that. I do not, not anymore. And there is no right or wrong.

 

---

 

Having said that I maintain a collection of Apple II series hardware. A whole room full. 25% is my original stuff I had as a kid, and the other 75% is stuff acquired on ebay. Been that way for years. So I'm not original-hardware averse. And I shouldn't have to justify it. But.. Anyways..

 

In the Apple II ecosphere I find emulation highly complimentary to the hardware. It is ultra easy and convenient and fast to work with for preparing and organizing disk images in the PC environment. Then it's just as easy to transport them to that real hardware I still keep. And there are multiple ways of doing the same thing too. Enough variety for anyone playing in the Apple II arena.

 

This fusion of modern hardware and tools and vintage equipment enables me to do the things I wanted to as a kid. In ways I couldn't have envisioned. Think lightspeed file copy operations. Perfect for collating and compiling and gathering hundreds and thousands of programs from all kinds of sources. With current focus on "saving" and "recovering" material from past and long dead Apple User's Group, including our own.

 

While the toolset I have today didn't exist in the 1990's or early 2000's, the writing was on the wall and seeds of the infrastructure were being planted. And it is one of reasons I got back into the hobby after a nebulous hiatus in those 90's.

 

The 1990's had seen explosive changes in technology on many fronts, sound, graphics, storage, processing speed, communications.. And more! Every aspect of computing was being sped up at breakneck paces. The two aspects were it didn't change were displays and mouse/keyboard i/o. We're still stuck using hands/eyes mostly.

 

This change of pace was almost scary. And for people that liked to keep on top of it all, it was potentially disappointing because it became expensive to stay abreast of every new graphics board or processor speed increase. As a side note I don't feel that bad about mindless spending on graphics boards and processors. The money the industry made off me then is being made up by me now by reduced spending. And it's not only me, PC sales have been trending downward for a long time now.

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