Jump to content
ACML

I have everything I want for the Atari 8-bit. Now what?

Recommended Posts

Here's an idea. How about archiving all your stuff. Disks to ATRs, Cassettes to CAS images, manuals to pdfs, boxes to jpgs, etc. If you don't have your own Web space, just put them on archive.org.

 

Allan

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, those keyboards I mentioned were originally 2-3 times the price of the entire Atari computer back then - and they're just keyboards!

 

This is the main keyboard I use - 1980 IBM 3278 beam spring (USB converted):

 

post-12824-0-62279800-1543959947.jpg

 

It was actually my memory of the beautiful Atari XL computers that started my obsession with finding the best keyboards ever made.

 

But... I've gone too much off topic, so I'll stop ruining this thread. ;)

I have a 1200XL without a case, originally just a motherboard, but a friend donated a keyboard to me that had a couple of broken/missing keys, which I repaired actually with a couple of keys off the 600XL I have that I use as spare parts. I had to maverick the keycaps to the plungers, but they match up pretty well except those two keys are textured rather than smooth (see picture below). I did a full blog/thread on the repair of this keyboard over on Atari Sector.

 

Anyway, before I was gifted the keyboard, my original intent (since 1200XL keyboards are rare and expensive, going for over $100 usually these days) was that since I was going to build a custom case for it anyway (probably made of mahogany or cherry wood) I was going to get a BBC micro computer keyboard to adapt to it, since they had similar layouts and I'm told it has a very good keyboard. But maybe instead of either of those, I will find a keyboard like the one you pictured here, and build a custom 1200XL case around it instead.

 

I have a third 1200XL, with a case, also being restored, and I got a new condition keyboard from the same friend that I'm using it for this fully restored stock machine. But the custom case one I want to be a tour-de-force with fine wood case, and real gold leaf trim, and every Lotharek upgrade available installed in it, so it's worth it for this one to get the best possible keyboard I can, but it has to be a vintage keyboard like yours. Then I'll just save this repaired 1200XL keyboard for a spare or parts.

post-149-0-61969400-1545014422_thumb.jpg

post-149-0-87566300-1545014457_thumb.jpg

Edited by Gunstar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But maybe instead of either of those, I will find a keyboard like the one you pictured here, and build a custom 1200XL case around it instead.

I don't think you'll have any luck with that. IBM beam spring keyboards have gone up in price 10-20 times from when I got mine. Expect a bidding war and a minimum of $1300 - if you're lucky. (one sold recently for over $2000 :-o )

 

Nice vintage keyboards are getting very hard to find cheaply on eBay anymore - and even if you did find one, you'd have to find some way to convert the keyboard protocol to work with the 1200XL. It's easier and cheaper just to find another 1200XL keyboard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello ACML

 

I have to admit, a lot of the enjoyment has been in acquiring items, fixing some, changing your mind, and basically the pursuit of what you want. I think I'm at a point that I have everything I want. I know I can just sit back and enjoy the hardware, but like most, I seldom have the time to relax. I guess I'll just have to get out of the "what next" mindset and enjoy something we used to have back in the day, free time. I'm about to turn 55 and I'm still pretty sharp, always chasing something whether work or hobbies. Lots of new stuff has come out for the 8-bits in the last few years. Time to dive in and enjoy the stuff. It will take some getting used to, but It's a nice problem to have.

 

Now that you don't need to spend all your money on hardware, you can save some of it for a trip next year to the Fujiama 2019. Next years Fujiama will last a whole week. Imagine that, a whole week of talking about the Atari, playing the Atari, maybe some coding or soldering...

 

Check out my meetings page for more information.

 

Hope to meet you there.

 

Mathy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think you'll have any luck with that. IBM beam spring keyboards have gone up in price 10-20 times from when I got mine. Expect a bidding war and a minimum of $1300 - if you're lucky. (one sold recently for over $2000 :-o )

 

Nice vintage keyboards are getting very hard to find cheaply on eBay anymore - and even if you did find one, you'd have to find some way to convert the keyboard protocol to work with the 1200XL. It's easier and cheaper just to find another 1200XL keyboard.

With this particular project, cheap and easy isn't the object. I thought my description of what I intend to do clearly defined that (espensive wood, gold leaf). And Keyboard protocol can be worked out. ;) This is a new decision, inspired by you, to go all out with the best possible keyboard I can find for it!

 

I'm quite happy with the 1200XL keyboard I fixed otherwise, you really can't tell two keys don't belong unless you look closely like the pictures and it works perfectly, I spent time getting it right, except for textured keycaps. I didn't get them perfectly positioned inserting them, they are a millimeter off due to my bad eyes, but again, you can't tell unless you look closely straight down on them, and I can re-adjust if I feel the need. They work perfectly.

Edited by Gunstar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it was just about the 1200XL keyboard not being mint and perfect for this project, I could swap it with my current working 1200XL. You just inspired me, Mr.Amiga500, to go for the best possible keyboard I can since it's going to be one-of-a-kind custom build anyway and I'm going top-notch on the case anyway.

 

Soon, which I have been waiting for, I'll be done remodeling my house, and with that money-pit filled, money will be no object for this project.

Edited by Gunstar
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now you have everything you want, you can start going through the amazing software catalog and trying it all. Maybe start documenting it all or reviewing it all or correcting errors in the names and stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It does come down to actually using it all, in whatever way you choose. And if you don't have the desire to do that, then all that is left is admiring a museum collection or selling. I have never understood anyone who collects the stuff but never uses it. I'm not talking about not owning museum collections, but two sets, the ones you use and ones for collections. I don't know what the attraction is to collecting something you don't want to use or are bored of using. If that's the case, maybe collect stamps instead, or fine art.

 

I collect computers and consoles, but I don't worry about keeping it new and shrink-wrapped up on a shelf or in a display case, unless it's a double, but I don't generally collect more than one of something, if I have more than one of something it's because I intend to use them all for some purpose or it just came to me. I'm satisfied with having a collection that gets used, is used, but kept in mint condition or restored.

 

I totally understand the excitement of the search and buying and acquiring, but that can become an addiction like gambling or like women who are constantly buying new shoes and have a closet or two full of them they never wear. If that's all this hobby is about for you, seek help.

Edited by Gunstar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it was just about the 1200XL keyboard not being mint and perfect for this project, I could swap it with my current working 1200XL. You just inspired me, Mr.Amiga500, to go for the best possible keyboard I can since it's going to be one-of-a-kind custom build anyway and I'm going top-notch on the case anyway.

 

Soon, which I have been waiting for, I'll be done remodeling my house, and with that money-pit filled, money will be no object for this project.

 

Wow :thumbsup: - I used to have a similar plan, but for my Amiga 500 - with ultimate upgrades, custom case and an awesome keyboard (spherical double-shot keycaps). It was going to be an "Amiga 800XL" - Amiga awesomeness with XL beauty. But then I ran out energy, realized that it would be futile and gave up the whole idea. (yes, I give up too easily - but I'm old with only a few decades left)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that you don't need to spend all your money on hardware, you can save some of it for a trip next year to the Fujiama 2019. Next years Fujiama will last a whole week. Imagine that, a whole week of talking about the Atari, playing the Atari, maybe some coding or soldering...

 

This is actually a very good idea. :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Wow :thumbsup: - I used to have a similar plan, but for my Amiga 500 - with ultimate upgrades, custom case and an awesome keyboard (spherical double-shot keycaps). It was going to be an "Amiga 800XL" - Amiga awesomeness with XL beauty. But then I ran out energy, realized that it would be futile and gave up the whole idea. (yes, I give up too easily - but I'm old with only a few decades left)

We are all mostly old, with a few decades or less left. For me, that makes me strive harder see plans and dreams (within reason of age-for dreams of being an NFL Star, Rock Star or Astronaut the time has passed decades ago) fulfilled. I spent the last two years restoring a 1200XL and turning it into the "poor mans 1400XL" with PBI and all that, and then went far beyond what the 1400XL was to be, except for maybe stuff like Amy voice chip and internal modem, but I'm happy with peripherals for that bit.

 

So I completed that dream. And as this thread states, for me it is sort of "what next" but only for that part of the hobby that includes tinkering with the hardware. But I already know "what next" so I didn't need to start a thread like this. I'm set now for all the rest of the hobby already, and will be enjoying a completed dream while I work on a couple more; Atari robot and ultimate in extravagance, one-of-a-kind Atari. (well, maybe not ultimate, I'll stop before it's diamond encrusted with a solid gold keyboard)

Edited by Gunstar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello ACML

 

 

Now that you don't need to spend all your money on hardware, you can save some of it for a trip next year to the Fujiama 2019. Next years Fujiama will last a whole week. Imagine that, a whole week of talking about the Atari, playing the Atari, maybe some coding or soldering...

 

Check out my meetings page for more information.

 

Hope to meet you there.

 

Mathy

Mathy,

 

Looks like a lot of fun. I miss the user group meetings in the San Diego area back in the 80's. You are correct in that I'm not spending too much money on hardware anymore, but that savings just gets diverted to paying for my children's' college tuition. Until I get them off my books, I'm afraid a nice European vacation will just have to wait.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...