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Your evolution as a collector

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I first dabbled with collecting Atari computer hardware in the 2002 - 2003 timeframe. In a short amount of time, I accumulated dozens of Atari computer systems, several 1050 drives, several 410s, a 1010, a couple printers, and also grabbed a C64 breadbin, a 64C + 1541-II drive, an Apple Color Composite monitor, a 7800 and a handul of mostly 2600 carts plus a couple 7800 carts. All of this - every bit of it - within about 18 months. At the same time I was raising three small children, growing my career, etc.

 

One night near midnight I found myself trying to out-bid someone on eBay for yet another example of a system I already had 3 of and realized I was becoming an obsessive hoarder. So I didn't make another bid, let the auction end. I closed my iBook and went to sleep. A few weeks later I packed everything up, stored it in the garage and didn't look back.

 

Fast forward more than a decade - my older kids were about to graduate high school, I've changed jobs and have a lot more time to savor my personal time again. Along the way I had a sudden illness that netted me in the hospital for emergency surgery for an unsuspected condition that might have killed me had I waited overnight before going to the ER. So one weekend in spring 2014 I pulled out one of my 800XLs, a disk drive, and that 7800 and started over. I'm going slowly, buying a game here, a system there, a handful of carts one weekend or a new homebrew once or twice a year ... I'm savoring each new purchase, each new hardware project build, each newly-discovered gem or turd in the 2600 library (and 7800 and 5200 as well).

 

Life's just too short to rush through it all and not enjoy the ride.

Edited by DrVenkman
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The NeoSD is around 500US$ (or NeoSD Pro around 630), there are around 150 total MVS/AES games so that comes down to about 3.3US$ (or 4.2US$) .... now assuming you only actually like say 20% of it that's 16.7US$ (or 21US$) .... the only caveat is that you have to buy it up whole (the whole 500 or 630) which is kind of scary but once you slice it down per game it's not really that bad (even assuming only 20% fits your cup).

 

I understand that 500+US$ upfront in gaming is a little hard to justify but "this is NeoGeo".

 

EDIT: crap, just ordered a NeoSD Pro ... look at what you made me do ... the wife is gonna get so pissed .... gotta sell my NeoSD to recoup some of the "impulse buy".

 

If I buy a Neo Geo in the next few days I'll give you a PM XD

 

 

As there are no publicly available auction or catalogue sales records (eBay does not count) as there are for art, there is no way to really assess value. There is no information on long-term market trends (e.g. x game has risen in price 15% per year over the past decade; y game has remained flat or even declined over the same time).

 

 

CEX based in the UK actually has a great library of entries and split into conditions and I'm sure they have the database to track their own prices historically though it isn't public, it initially started as a "currently on sale" second hand game shop, but its slowly delved (admittedly ground down to a halt now) into retro games. Even they don't cover Atari 2600/7800 though (Lynx, Jaguar is), which is a shame because I'd say 7800 at least would be worth them pursuing.

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Now that we've talked about what we've done, why not shift gears and talk about where we are going? Keeping in mind what you want your collection to be.. How long you want to stay in the hobby.. Considering swapping one system for another, entirely? Maintaining status-quo? Getting bored of classic hardware and gaming? Let's hear it all!

 

I personally am done acquiring vintage hardware with the exception of select spare parts and some manuals. I don't plan on going beyond these..

 

TRS-80 Pocket Computers 1, 2 and 4.

Apple //e and II+

Vintage Pentium III and 486 DX2-50

Modern-day i7 PC

 

That's enough hardware to keep me busy for ages to come. And I plan on being in the hobby for a long time.

 

So..The i7 lets me do virtualization and emulation and the other 2 machines are sentimental. Even the old parts too, like the AL440LX motherboard which was upgraded to BX-board.

 

And I've decided on staying with the Apple II material I had in the 70's and 80's. The good stuff. Most of the stuff I acquired after those decades is on its way out - not sentimental.

 

In fact the Apple //c consoles I still have don't fit my criteria any more. And 90% of the Apple /// stuffage is gone. And I'm thinking of doing the same with the IIgs as it's not really II series at heart. As the burden of stuff goes down it seems my enjoyment is going up.

 

Been saying that for some time now, so it seems like a plan. And I don't plan acquiring any new platforms. Staying with what I already listed. There is "risk" in that the i7 machines will become vintage and I'll "freeze" the upgrade-cycle and throw one in my collection. Then start with a new platform. But that's likely years away.

 

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I didn't so much start collecting as I never stopped. Once the NES came out, my brother stopped caring about Atari, so I just grabbed our shoebox of carts and had it hooked up alongside my NES. We had this local movie store called First Run Video that sold NES used games for $10, so I'd buy one once a month with my allowance. A lot of the time they were selling them because they stunk, so I'd use them as trade bait. Pretty quickly, I discovered I could trade one average NES game for 20+ Atari carts. By the end of high school, I had three boxes of them. I thought I had the biggest collection in the world at the time 😛

Then a friend started doing it, and I found an Intellivision, then a 5200. Pretty soon, I met my good friend John while out thrifting and we both got the other to get interested in systems we didn't collect at the time. A few years later, he moved up north and I started visiting and we eventually started running conventions (NWCGE that became PRGE). Once the conventions got big, the prices (at the time) we super cheap, so my collection exploded into many, many systems until a few years later it got too much to manage and I sold everything I wasn't playing.

These days, I primarily play/ collect Atari 2600/7800/8-bit (particularly the latter) for the older stuff, and Genesis, TG-16 and Neo Geo for the 16 bit era. I rarely buy stuff these days, a I have everything I want that isn't really expensive.

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I've already wondered if ps3/360/wii u is the most modern consoles I'll ever buy. 

 

Probably not true, I will likely get a ps4 sometime after 5 is out, but I'm not interested in stream / download boxes (that's what my laptop is for) I also need a XB1 for rare replay.. Heh. 

 

I might get ps5 as a curiosity in 10-20 years but I can't see myself buying it in its lifecycle given I haven't bothered with current gen. Nothing right now is convincing me I need whatever is coming out next. 

 

In terms of limits, I've considered gunning for all UK based Cart systems and collections, it might be something physically possible before I'm dead, minus the AES. 

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I only really ever kept up with whatever system was current, that I was playing at the time until recently.

 

I started chasing scores about three years ago, had a nice PC with MAME and some EMU stuff, a Genesis somewhere in a box, w/o cords, and some GBA/NDS stuff.

I'd also done some moderating for a flashcart company, mebbe a decade ago, so I had a few flashcarts for systems I didn't even have.

Wanted to score on more systems, so I slowly started picking them up, pushing 30 different systems now, lol, prolly easier to tell you what I DON'T have!

 

Well the focus was on putting scores on the games, not actually the games themselves, unfortunately, for a while, and the flashcarts were fine(still are), but the bug to start picking up games that were special to me finally kicked in, so instead of "Just" a boxed copy of SNES Super Mario Kart, I have a whole SMK shelf, lol, every region, all the Hot Wheels cars, etc.

Activision, same thing, has it's own shelf, am even starting to pick up a few patches here and there.

Could really care less how much something is "worth", except to me, and in keeping my eyes open and being patient I have ran across several insane deals-my Vectrex was 75$, got an O2, with the Voice, and 25 boxed games, 50$(!), etc.

I don't have any Microsoft stuff yet, a Switch(soon!), or a PS4, I do lean more towards the classic stuff, but I really like it all, tbh.

There's a shelf of Tarantulas at the end-when I started collecting, it was three shelves of spiders, no games, so I guess one hobby kinda is pushing the other out.

One of the best things?

Less crickets...

:P

I also feel like the people I play along with are famous, Superstars to me, most definitely, so I have a few things autographed by my friends, trading cards or items that represent them specifically, certain games, etc, and that's one of my most fun collections, really.

Well that's about it. I really do think I came a long way in three years, from a standing start, and something tells me it's still only beginning...

 

 

games.jpg

Systems.jpg

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Hey Rogerpoco, know what you mean about "easier to say what I don't have" XD for UK consoles all I need now is the SNK AES, Atari Jaguar + CD (thinking I'll save up and try and get a good deal with it all together at some point), and the nuon enabled DVD player - oh, and current gen PS4/XB1/Switch. I have a few more handhelds to pick up too, but its slowly drifting off my radar.

 

I respect people who pick up collections of series, I'm not particularly keen on memorabilia type stuff but I do admit it looks cool, just not something I have time, money or space for myself. I think if I hadn't grabbed everything I could when I casually collected, I might have stuck to certain series or even a genre like JPRG. I still kid myself that I buy things to make collections, but it doesn't always work like that!

 

I stand by my first post that cataloguing was the worst thing I ever did! I'm developing a new version that includes breakdown by region (UK, Euro, US, other) and then whether I've played on real carts or through romcarts. Getting heavy!

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I was an avid board gamer for years, still am really, but I hit a point where children and life in general made it incredibly difficult to get a game group together on a regular basis and my interest waned and I sold most of what I had. I used the money I got from that to start buying video games for no real reason. I've always liked playing them, but it was never really "my thing."

 

Now I realize I started because it's something I can do without needing another human being after the kids are in bed or whenever an hour presents itself.  At first I bought new PS4/Xbox One stuff, then I started drifting backward and when I hit the NES I said to myself that I really didn't care enough about Atari stuff to even get started. 

 

Flash forward several months to now and I have the first three Atari systems and am looking to get into the computer line. Atari and the first/second gen systems have become my favorite. I just like the simplicity and nostalgia plus the things are tanks that will probably outlive me. I have a few stacks of carts for the 2600, 8 or 9 for the 5200, and I think 6 for the 7800 (the first 7800 I've ever even touched). One of the retro stores near me sells any Atari cart they get for .99 and then buy 5 get one free on top of that so I'm not shy about just buying whatever.

 

Honestly I spend as much time cleaning and repairing stuff as playing it. I enjoy every aspect of this hobby... except the fact that everyone and their mother is into it now and prices are going crazy. 

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I obtained about half my collection during the 1990's when NES used games were getting cheap as hell and 2600 carts were bottomed out on prices (before ebay...Prebay?)....scooped up about 250 unique atari, intellivision, and colecovision carts over several years through flea markets and yard sales and never paid more than a couple of bucks each....

Also, I was never obsessed with sealed, MIB or CIB....that's why i like collecting cartridge based systems, fairly easier to collect for loose, and the manual and overlays not absolutely required to play it.

 

I currently 'passively' only collect for the following:

Atari 2600

Atari 7800

Atari 400/800/xe cartridges only

Intellivision

Colecovision

Commodore 64 cartridges only

Playstation 1 & 2

 

By passively, I mean I'm not willing to pay the going prices on ebay for the titles I'm missing.  Down to pretty much hard to find and expensive rares on most of the cartridge systems...If they come up for sale for a decent price I'll snag them.

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Started collecting 2600/5200/7800 carts and hardware around 2002-2003. Branched out into Commodore 64/128 territory, as well as Atari 8-Bit hardware.

 

It subsided for a while after getting married and having a couple of kids. I still collected, but it was pretty low-key. Collecting physical games fell by the wayside, as multi-carts are far more convenient.

 

Around 2013-14 I started modding OG Xboxes with a bajillion emulators/roms.

 

In 2015 I picked up Retrogamer's Amiga bookazine, and we were off to the races again. Got deep into the whole Amiga thing - which unfortunately also led me into CRT territory. I currently have about a dozen lying around the house, which is frankly, dumb.

 

With the advent of nice FPGA devices like the Analogue products, the Ultimate 64, and MiST/MiSTer - and filters that are decent at reproducing scanline effects - I can see myself getting rid of a lot of the old stuff before too long. 

 

 

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On 5/14/2019 at 4:22 PM, VectorGamer said:

Sold all the cartridges and use a Harmony cart. Takes up less space and less money.

Sold all my consoles and multicarts for a RetroPie. Takes up less space and less money.

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On 5/19/2019 at 2:23 PM, Keatah said:

The essence of videogames is in the bits and bytes and electronic circuitry and stuff. NOT cardboard boxes or plastic shells or other physical manifestations. Once I understood that it was an epiphanic moment. And it just so happened to be the mid-90's when emulation was just beginning getting underway.

 

The information that makes video games what they are and allow them to operate as games is critical.  No code, no functioning game.  But that has got almost nothing to do with collecting games (and systems).  A "complete" game is far more than the code, its the packaging, whether that means a cart or optical disc, box and manual, all of it for each game and console.  I have the PDFs of almost every arcade game operation manual/schematics that I consider a favorite or cool/interesting, but I only have like a dozen of the physical manuals and schematics sheets in my collection.

 

I agree with atarilovesyou that, yes, you can stream all music that is available and avoid the CDs or vinyl or whatever, but the physical part of the media is important.  It goes beyond holding the thing in your hand, too.  The process of getting the thing (game cart, record) onto the machine and making it function in order to play the game or hear the music is part of the nostalgia.  This, of course, does not apply to games that you didn't grow up with or media that you didn't use in your youth.  But part of a vinyl collection of having to stand up (no!), pull the vinyl record out of the sleeve (so hard!), put the record on the turntable (torture!) and set the needle where you want it in order to listen.  Part of the fun (for those who consider it fun) is dealing with the physical elements of the collection, maintaining the consoles and vinyl/CD stereo systems.  Sitting in front of a 2600 or 5200 or Vectrex (my favorites) and playing the games mentally transports me back to grade school/high school days, puts a smile on my face that playing the same game on an emulator simply will not give me.

 

Emulators are very effective and useful, and they help preserve the games because the ROMs are copied and stored in a million places for future gamers to play (or burn onto a new EPROM or disc in order to play on a physical system), but thinking that a bunch of ROMs and emulators is an actual collection is the same as thinking a bunch of files of books and Kindle style book reader tablet is the same as having a collection of 1st edition hardcovers of the same books.  No way.  Same information, yes, the story doesn't change reading it either way.  But one is a tactile experience, the other is just information.

 

As far as the OP's question, I never hit that "buy everything" level with my collections, mostly due to funds.  I had an original 2600 back when they were new and my brother and I got games for them.  But we were dumb/lazy and ditched all the boxes and most of the manuals once we'd figured out how to play the games.  So some years ago he wanted the 2600 and the box of loose carts for his future kids and I didn't even care because I hate loose carts.  But I have since gotten my own 2600 (had to get a boxed Sears Tele-Games 6-switch version) and I've slowly been collecting boxed games, mostly the Sears versions (our dad worked at Sears so half our original games were Tele-Games stuff) off eBay since I'll never see them at used game stores.  And I buy homebrews if they're good games and they're boxed.  I also am slowly amassing a 5200 collection and a Vectrex collection.  I don't want every game, some of those official titles ssuuuuuuuuccckk.  I don't get every homebrew, either, for the same reason.  But, man, some homebrews are fantastic, like 5200 Tempest or Vectrex Stramash Zone (Battlezone), boxed of course and Stramash Zone includes an overlay!  There is for me no comparison, having the ROMs on a hard drive allows me to play the same games on emulator, true, but much of my collecting joy comes from simply seeing the boxed game as I decide to play it, getting it out of the box and cramming it into the cartridge slot of the system.  I love the snap when I turn the switch/volume knob on my Vectrex and it powers up.  That is worth the expense and storage requirements of dealing with physical collections of video game systems.

 

I also have about 7 arcade games at home.  I'd have more if I had the money and room (wouldn't we all).  I love the unique controller layouts and, specifically, the vector displays (my favorites).  I cannot stand playing Tempest on computer with a mouse or trak-ball, I need the experience of the actual arcade game machine with a spinner and a vector monitor.  Much more work, but far far more satisfying.  Oh, and fuck gamepads, I want the correct/original controllers for whatever ancient system I'm playing, that's part of the collection joy as well, contributes to the nostalgia as well.

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12 hours ago, eddhell said:

By passively, I mean I'm not willing to pay the going prices on ebay for the titles I'm missing.  Down to pretty much hard to find and expensive rares on most of the cartridge systems...If they come up for sale for a decent price I'll snag them.

I passively collect for Apple II and PC and TRS-80 Pocket Computer 1, 2, and 4. That mainly means spare parts and manuals.

 

14 hours ago, TwoShedsWilson said:

Honestly I spend as much time cleaning and repairing stuff as playing it. I enjoy every aspect of this hobby... except the fact that everyone and their mother is into it now and prices are going crazy. 

There are times when I do enjoy doing repairs, cleanings, and tune-ups. But since I mainly do emulation, my real hardware doesn't see too much usage.

 

11 hours ago, VectorGamer said:

Sold all my consoles and multicarts for a RetroPie. Takes up less space and less money.

Smart move.

 

5 hours ago, ledzep said:

 

The information that makes video games what they are and allow them to operate as games is critical.  No code, no functioning game.  But that has got almost nothing to do with collecting games (and systems).  A "complete" game is far more than the code, its the packaging, whether that means a cart or optical disc, box and manual, all of it for each game and console.  I have the PDFs of almost every arcade game operation manual/schematics that I consider a favorite or cool/interesting, but I only have like a dozen of the physical manuals and schematics sheets in my collection.

I agree there. Box scans, manual scans, technical write-ups, schematics, side items, datasheets, reviews.. All of it is important and sets the tone.

 

I have physical manuals for my PCs and Apple II and TRS-80 Pocket Computer stuff. Most are the same manuals I had as a kid. And it's great nostalgia remembering bringing them to school and sneak-reading them in like history class or religion class.

 

5 hours ago, ledzep said:

Part of the fun (for those who consider it fun) is dealing with the physical elements of the collection, maintaining the consoles and vinyl/CD stereo systems.  Sitting in front of a 2600 or 5200 or Vectrex (my favorites) and playing the games mentally transports me back to grade school/high school days, puts a smile on my face that playing the same game on an emulator simply will not give me.

I personally rarely consider it fun to be coaxing old console hardware into working. Perhaps I'm biased, but my last solid memories of playing on real consoles involves smashing the DB9 connectors in pliers to get good contact, kicking the Zenith Chromacolor II 25" set to keep it in adjustment, farting around with dirty TV/GAME switchboxes hanging by 2 wire strands on those fork connectors - then having it fall off and me trying to solder it with a 200W Weller gun. Ughh.. And that's just one console.

 

On the other hand just a few short years ago I powered up my Apple's Disk II drives, the calibration/knocking sound was weak and seemed to have gotten weaker. That was FUN troubleshooting, easy enough as cleaning the internal contacts and connectors. All spiffy and sharp again. So..

 

5 hours ago, ledzep said:

Emulators are very effective and useful, and they help preserve the games because the ROMs are copied and stored in a million places for future gamers to play (or burn onto a new EPROM or disc in order to play on a physical system), but thinking that a bunch of ROMs and emulators is an actual collection is the same as thinking a bunch of files of books and Kindle style book reader tablet is the same as having a collection of 1st edition hardcovers of the same books.  No way.  Same information, yes, the story doesn't change reading it either way.  But one is a tactile experience, the other is just information.

I understand that I may disagree. I consider ROMs collectable. Perhaps from my childhood desire to have more than one game on a floppy disk, and more than one system in a single console. A method to eliminate the sagging shelves and a falling-apart bookcase. A desire to have instant access to any and every game ever made now and in the future. Currently at the moment a 16TB intel NUC is the pinnacle of that vision.

 

Book can be different though. I'll give you that.

 

5 hours ago, ledzep said:

There is for me no comparison, having the ROMs on a hard drive allows me to play the same games on emulator, true, but much of my collecting joy comes from simply seeing the boxed game as I decide to play it, getting it out of the box and cramming it into the cartridge slot of the system.  I love the snap when I turn the switch/volume knob on my Vectrex and it powers up.  That is worth the expense and storage requirements of dealing with physical collections of video game systems.

I also understand that. The Apple II beep in a hollow case, the hiss of the drive motor, the clanking as it "calibrates" to track 0. The swishing of the disk head and sudden silence after a game loads and comes alive on-screen. Once in a while I revisit that.

 

5 hours ago, ledzep said:

I also have about 7 arcade games at home.  I'd have more if I had the money and room (wouldn't we all).  I love the unique controller layouts and, specifically, the vector displays (my favorites).  I cannot stand playing Tempest on computer with a mouse or trak-ball, I need the experience of the actual arcade game machine with a spinner and a vector monitor.  Much more work, but far far more satisfying.  Oh, and fuck gamepads, I want the correct/original controllers for whatever ancient system I'm playing, that's part of the collection joy as well, contributes to the nostalgia as well.

I can play Tempest equally well with a mouse or spinner. And my score seems ever so slightly better with the mouse. Though I may attribute that to a more comfortable setting than being forced to stand in front of a cabinet for an hour.

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8 hours ago, Keatah said:

I agree there. Box scans, manual scans, technical write-ups, schematics, side items, datasheets, reviews.. All of it is important and sets the tone.

 

I have physical manuals for my PCs and Apple II and TRS-80 Pocket Computer stuff. Most are the same manuals I had as a kid. And it's great nostalgia remembering bringing them to school and sneak-reading them in like history class or religion class.

 

And I can understand the desire or need to minimize all that clutter once you go down that most/every system path.  I'm only interested in 3 classic systems, and I'm not killing myself to collect all of any one of them, so I can handle the amount of storage room and clutter they force on me due to wanting boxed games and multiple controllers.  I have a Starplex button controller for the 2600 and a Wico joystick & keyboard controller pair, for example.  But I can only imagine what a pain in the ass it would be to have all/practically all the games and gear for like 10 older systems.  But for what I do own and want, boxes and manuals and the rest are as important as the games themselves.

 

8 hours ago, Keatah said:

I personally rarely consider it fun to be coaxing old console hardware into working. Perhaps I'm biased, but my last solid memories of playing on real consoles involves smashing the DB9 connectors in pliers to get good contact, kicking the Zenith Chromacolor II 25" set to keep it in adjustment, farting around with dirty TV/GAME switchboxes hanging by 2 wire strands on those fork connectors - then having it fall off and me trying to solder it with a 200W Weller gun. Ughh.. And that's just one console.

 

Well, to be fair, I was never waxing nostalgic about the shitty aspects of owning/maintaining ancient gear.  That is why I'm all for modding my 5200 and 2600 for RCA or S-Video or whatever outputs in order to connect to more modern TVs and avoid the flat coax cable bullshit, etc.  It's like with anything old, the good parts are great, the bad parts ssuuuuuuccckkk.  Muscle car fans love the sound/performance of those classic machines but they never smile when they have to deal with bad carburetors or points ignitions or drum brakes or the rest of that obsolete crap.  Some things are preferred, such as actual CRTs to play the old consoles on (4:3, baby!) but not quite required.  Nobody needs those cheap shit switchboxes in their lives.

 

8 hours ago, Keatah said:

I understand that I may disagree. I consider ROMs collectable. Perhaps from my childhood desire to have more than one game on a floppy disk, and more than one system in a single console. A method to eliminate the sagging shelves and a falling-apart bookcase. A desire to have instant access to any and every game ever made now and in the future. Currently at the moment a 16TB intel NUC is the pinnacle of that vision.

 

Book can be different though. I'll give you that.

 

There's collectible and collectible.  What I mean is what you're talking about, acquiring all/most of the ROMs for a given system, is collecting in terms of amassing all the games and the emulator to play them.  But they're not collectible, there is no first edition/limited run of bytes where you can compare or brag about how you have the earlier more desirable or rare collection of 0s and 1s.  There's no way to show that your copy of a program is an original or directly acquired from the publishing company, it's identical to whatever it was copied from (ROM dump) and it's one of probably millions by now.

 

But there are people who don't give a goddamn about such things, they just want to play all the games without fighting cords and carts and cables and switchers and all that crap.  I wonder if there's a typical tipping point in collecting game systems where "fuck this, too much clutter, time to switch to emulation" kicks in.  Is it 4+ systems, is it 100+ physical boxed games, what exactly.

 

8 hours ago, Keatah said:

I also understand that. The Apple II beep in a hollow case, the hiss of the drive motor, the clanking as it "calibrates" to track 0. The swishing of the disk head and sudden silence after a game loads and comes alive on-screen. Once in a while I revisit that.

 

Exactly.  Works the same with muscle cars.  They sound and smell different when they're running, even compared to a modern V8 version (new Camaro/Mustang/Challenger), it's something I prefer, to the point of installing shorty headers and Flowmaster mufflers on my '95 Thunderbird in order to get closer to it sounding "right".  Floppy drives, man, I miss those.  Not for anything productive, they don't hold shit, they can get bent into uselessness, etc., but there's just something about pushing that thing into a floppy drive's face and hearing it spin up.

 

8 hours ago, Keatah said:

I can play Tempest equally well with a mouse or spinner. And my score seems ever so slightly better with the mouse. Though I may attribute that to a more comfortable setting than being forced to stand in front of a cabinet for an hour.

 

I can't, I'm way better with a spinner.  Major Havoc owns me no matter what, but I play way better with the original roller controller than when it's running on a converted Tempest with the spinner controller.  But, again, having to stand in front of the machine to play the game right (with a vector monitor, dammit!!) is part of the nostalgia.  It's even better if there are other games nearby in order to get that packed arcade vibe that a solo game won't provide.  But now we're going down a rabbit hole of increasingly specific requirements needed to ensure the "correct" environment that leads to wearing '70s clothing and sitting on shag carpetting and then... your family is visiting you in the mental hospital, with hopeful but sad faces, saying supportive words about how you look much improved and the doctors say you might be able to leave the facility and move back home with family supervision in a few months!  Hahahaa, not going there, nope.

 

Of course none of this applies to the yout's alive now who never laid eyes on a CRT or the original consoles or the insides of a real arcade.  For them, they probably grew up with emulators and ROM dumps to begin with so they think I'm an idiot to give a shit about boxed games and carts and all that space-wasting garbage.  They are gloriously free of the weight of nostalgic need.

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15 hours ago, ledzep said:

I agree with atarilovesyou that, yes, you can stream all music that is available and avoid the CDs or vinyl or whatever, but the physical part of the media is important. 

I'm one to disagree. I'm in the minority that I prefer to own the music instead of using a streaming service like Spotify so that I can stream from my own Plex music library commercial free. My library contains bootlegs and other releases that aren't available on a service like Spotify. Having said all that, I will buy the CD if I can't get it on iTunes. But as soon as I get the CD, I'll rip it, upload it to my NAS, do a library scan in Plex and throw the CD in a tub. To me the music is the most important.

 

In the long run, I may be spending more dough than if I actually paid for a sub to Spotify. But my music collection has been in the works since the 80s and not yet ready to abandon it.

 

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2 hours ago, ledzep said:

But there are people who don't give a goddamn about such things, they just want to play all the games without fighting cords and carts and cables and switchers and all that crap.  I wonder if there's a typical tipping point in collecting game systems where "fuck this, too much clutter, time to switch to emulation" kicks in.  Is it 4+ systems, is it 100+ physical boxed games, what exactly.

It's tough figuring out when or why one gives up collecting traditional physical stuff.

 

For myself it was the futility of trying to be a completist, having everything for every system ever made. The time, the space.. both became an issue. I couldn't continue to amass gear at a rate which matched what was coming out. It was like a disease and almost blew-out my Apple II stuff.

 

The end was near when I had to take stuff "offsite". To relatives houses. And eventually my own rented storage space. Then there were things like ports. I found it rather pointless to get 5200 versions of 400/800 games. They played the same, they were the same. A similar pain point was disk vs. cassette vs. cartridges. Games sometimes came on more than one media type and that meant doubling the size of a given 'library'.

 

So in the late 1980's (beginning 90's) I had little or no videogames in the house at all. And it was a bleak and depressing time. I tried to find other things to collect, but it was a hollow pursuit.

 

In the mid-90's emulation got underway and at first I found it satisfying to play games I had seen in over 10 years. And some nebulous time after that I discovered it could be a collection or repository.

 

 

Edited by Keatah

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42 minutes ago, Keatah said:

It's tough figuring out when or why one gives up collecting traditional physical stuff.

For me it's equally storage and convenience.

 

I guess in that respect I have the gift of not getting attached to this stuff. I recently put up all my pinball machines for sale and people were like "dude, you're getting rid of all your pinball machines that's crazy" and I was like they're just pinball machines it's not like I'm selling my dogs or anything.

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I used to collect everything with a leaning towards Sega. I've had a complete US Saturn set a couple times and a complete 32x set once. I have 6 arcade cabinets that I still buy boards for and support homebrews here & there. 

 

I'm selling/have sold a lot mainly for rooms sake.

Edited by syn

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On 5/14/2019 at 12:47 PM, 20ohm20 said:

1994-2004: Amass everything I could get my hands on

 

2005-2011: Buy very specific things I didn't already own and/or really wanted, but only if the price was right

 

2012+: Rarely buy anything except a couple homebrews every year

This is almost exactly me except the first set of years is more like 1998-2006.

 

Nowadays almost every Atari thing that I buy is Atari computer hardware related.

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5 hours ago, VectorGamer said:

I'm one to disagree. I'm in the minority that I prefer to own the music instead of using a streaming service like Spotify so that I can stream from my own Plex music library commercial free. My library contains bootlegs and other releases that aren't available on a service like Spotify. Having said all that, I will buy the CD if I can't get it on iTunes. But as soon as I get the CD, I'll rip it, upload it to my NAS, do a library scan in Plex and throw the CD in a tub. To me the music is the most important.

 

In the long run, I may be spending more dough than if I actually paid for a sub to Spotify. But my music collection has been in the works since the 80s and not yet ready to abandon it.

 

 

I'm with you there, I don't use any streaming service and I buy/own all the music I have except for the very rare occasions when I have to get the thing digitally because the physical version doesn't exist (was never released on vinyl/CD) or it's hundreds of dollars.  I was agreeing with atarilovesyou more in the general digital files scenario of not dealing with packaging or vinyl records/CDs or players or any of that physical stuff.  I, too, rip every CD I buy.  But I keep the CDs and their cases/booklets because I like to have the info (many remastered CDs have interviews or rare photos or whatever) and the CD is basically a hard backup of the music, should my hard drive ever take a powder (knock on wood).  The few times I've ripped someone else's copy of a CD, I still end up buying it if I like the music later off eBay or somewhere.

 

Discogs is a good resource for minimizing the cost of rare/out of print music.  They offer a wantlist and using that I, for example, managed to finally get Vol. 2 of the original Battlestar Galactica soundtrack (they released 4 volumes total) used for about $70(?).  New it would have been around $30 but the email notification from Screen Archives Entertainment (really good movie/TV soundtrack CD store) somehow went into spam and I missed the release.  Every attempt to bid on a copy on eBay went way over $100, many of them would show up at $200-$300, no way I was paying that much.  Periodically Discogs would email that someone was selling a copy, also like $250.  Then one day I get a notice that there's one for sale for only like around $70, done!  Lesson learned but it was worth waiting.

 

I'm not abandoning my music collection, either.  Digital files are convenient copies to listen to on media players, not a replacement.

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3 hours ago, VectorGamer said:

For me it's equally storage and convenience. I guess in that respect I have the gift of not getting attached to this stuff.

 

I used to be attached to this stuff in the extreme. Then I realized just how little data and MHz per cubic meter an arcade cab stored. Not much.

 

The data and stuff that "makes it go" doesn't take up a lot of room nowadays. A cubic liter or two is more than sufficient to house graphics, sound, power, bus, storage, memory, and other miscellaneous interfaces and goodies. And with Intel (and other mfgs) continually pushing for more integration - the state-of-affairs is only going to get better.. blaahablaahhblaa

 

Shit. I remember playing with my Busy Bath back in the 70's. It was so cool and had so many things to do. I think that got me hooked on all-in-one devices. Either that or it was the first multi-function toy I had. Aside from those science kits which were next in line.. blaahhblablah

 

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