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Tips for Managing the Size of an Atari Collection

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Don't come here, don't look here, forget here existed. That would probably be my only way, of course I'd have to repeat that with half a dozen Atari sites & forums.

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I like to collect for the joy of the hunt, for the learning that comes from the research, and for the feeling of being complete. The last one is odd. It's nice to have one of everything and know that you aren't missing out on something. I have to ask myself what joy would being complete bring me? What does that last missing object represent to me? Does it represent a milestone or a certain point of growth in my life? If it doesn't then why do I have it? Is it out of respect for the history? Am I trying to save a machine from the dump?

 

I grew up with an 800 and learned my first programming languages on it. Using the machine left an indelible mark on my life. It holds a special place in my heart for that reason. My STE machines represent my adolescence when I vaulted into what was high power computing to me. Ok, ok ... so I didn't have a STE back then. I had a STFM. 😏 But, I remember wanting a STE so bad back then! 😄 Getting one (or three) finally let me scratch that itch and I'm reliving not only what I had but what I could have had. I have each machine configured with a specific TOS for different levels of compatibility.

 

On the other hand, I totally missed the 2600-5200-7800 wave. Totally. It never interested me because of my 800. When I see a 2600 now I don't get any tingle or tickle. I can walk right by it. Same thing for 8-bit accessories like the 410, 850, etc. Ditto for a TT and the Falcon. I don't feel like I missed out on anything back then and I have no serious itch to explore it now. For something like that I can get my fix from an emulator on my Win10 machines.

 

Just goes to show everyone is different.

 

In the end, we should spend more time using the gear than collecting it. If you're spending more time on eBay than loading ATR or ST files or playing games then something isn't right.

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I don't know of anyone who has a 'complete' Atari collection of everything ever made or for the Atari. There were many custom made applications of the hardware in very small groups or batches not unlike todays' home brew offerings.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, scitari said:

I just posted some tips for managing the size of an Atari collection. Would love to hear your ideas!

I can really relate to your #5 tip "Tip 5 – Resist the urge to expand now".  I totally agree that we are at or just passing the peak in nostalgia bringing folks back to retro computing.  As you state, in 5-10 years all us "Atari kids" will be ready to retire and there won't be as many new enthusiast to replace us.  We have all we sought, buying up all the stuff on eBay the last 10 years and the demand will wain.   Supply is always dwindling, especially spare parts, but not as fast as demand will.  Sad to say, but I think you are right.  Then some of us with large collections will be able to unload some really nice stuff, but most likely at a nice discount compared to today's rates.  I've already noticed in the last year that demand seems to be on the downturn.  Atari 1200XLs don't go flying off eBay immediately when they are offered below $180.  I noticed an ATR-8000 just sitting on eBay for $200.

 

I like that SIO2SD, SDRIVE MAX and UAV are plentiful.  This could however be a double edged sword.  If the market is saturated with SIO2SD and SDRIVE MAX devices, prices will fall and some folks offering these wonderful devices might not find it worth their while to run a new batch.  Look at Incognito.  There is clearly a demand for a substantial new run, but apparently not worth the effort for anyone to pick up the torch.

 

If someone wants to breathe some new life into these machines, they need to make an "Incognito like" card that works on a 400.  Basically, a 400/800 that can run the XL OS and has at least 64K.  

Edited by ACML
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Nice rules, well thought out..

 

My thoughts are that people should decide WHY they are collecting, is it to horde or to enjoy....If its to horde then why?...Will you just leave it in the same spot until you simply pass away, will you make sure its passed on and not just thrown away. I personally prefer the notion that I collect what little I do because I want to see it and use it. The seeing it is just to bring back nice memories and maybe the only disagreement might be to lose the box, the box is a great reminder too but for HUGE collections I can see the lose the box point. Also I want to USE the stuff as best I can as space is everything as noted but there's real joy in plugging a cart in, loading a disk but with the few disks I have I tend to keep then safe as possible and use images more.

 

Another thing with big collections is that you should remember to still look after the items, the atmosphere they are in may be fine but dust etc still gets to these items so remember to give them TLC from time to time so they remain in great condition.

 

Lastly, if you live with someone and maybe have kids, remember they need space too, the guide rightly says to pick a finite space but avid collectors rarely do that and simply impulse horde. Try to remember that your partner may want the house to look a little less like a thrift store and more like a home :)

 

And yes, I'm guilty here, our bedroom / my man cave looks like the thrift store I mentioned with all my retro gear in the room.....Its not very romantic (good thing I am ish) and it looks bad, think about how it affects the living environment.

 

Those on your own, pig away :)

 

:)

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Mclaneinc said:

Will you just leave it in the same spot until you simply pass away, will you make sure its passed on and not just thrown away. I personally prefer the notion that I collect what little I do because I want to see it and use it. 

I collect only that which I know I want to use, because the fact is, I have no children, and I can't think of a single person in my immediate or extended family that would see this stuff as anything more than junk to get rid of after I am gone. The best I can do is leave a will that emphasizes that it's not just junk, but worth some money, leave it to the whole family and tell them to sell and split the money. Unfortunately I just can't see these old electronics becoming family treasures handed down from generation to generation, even though that's what I'd hope for in a best case scenario. They just aren't keep-sakes like that to most people, beyond us who have the nostalgia for them from our youth. Now maybe a few of us do have children that grew up with the old tech and have formed a nostalgia for it to an extent, but I'm still not sure it would be as strong for them as for those of us who owned and used them as new, state-of-the-art items. I'm not even sure if the younger generations even form a nostalgia over their stuff like we did. Can anyone see 20 years from now there being Xbox or Sony Age, or PC age or whatever where the millennial's and more recent generations collect and use the stuff they grew up with? Do the younger generations even have that mentality? 

 

How many from our generation cling to items from our elder's generation? Are there many Ham-radio enthusiasts still that carry on the torch from the generations previous to us that were into that type of stuff? (since the home/PC computer didn't exist yet)

 

I've had some teen-ager's and twenty something's over on occasion for various reasons, they didn't seem to care in the least for the electronics I had that were from before their time, and the "newer" consoles like the Dreamcast, Xbox original and 360, they were like "I remember that from when I was a kid" but they didn't care to play any of them, and after that response quickly lost interest and forgot about it. Maybe that's just the few that I've encountered, but I'm not so sure...

Edited by Gunstar
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You could do what I am (apparently) doing. Just keep buying more shelving untis for the basement and stack the stuff up like cord wood and then not be able to find anything when you need it. (But, I don't recommned that approach...)

 

-Todd

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I have already been pondering the hording question and this thread has really made me evaluate the "why" do I have so much.  I absolutely have more than I could ever use, to include spare parts and my kids do not and will not find any value in these items when I pass.  So why did I buy so much?

 

1)  Some of it was just "a good deal" and "how can you pass this up"?  Before you know it, BAM!, you have five of something.

 

2)  Sometimes it's with good intent.  I buy more to acquire a better cosmetic version of something, say a 1200XL, with the intent of selling a lesser specimen when found.  I was pretty good at that early on, but then I forgot to sell the one after I bought another.

 

3)  Fear of running out of parts has something to do with it.  You can already see a shortage of spare parts (Best, B&C and eBay).  The "better get them now before they're gone" seems to get me.

 

4)  Simply buying something and changing your mind because you saw something today you had not considered.  I wanted a dot matrix printer and noticed that Epson MX-80 were few and far between.  Finally saw a FX-980 and bought it at a good price.  It was huge.  Then a saw a NOS Epson L1000 Action writer (i.e. LX-500). Bought it not realizing 24 pin printers don't play so well with 80's Atari software when it come to graphics.  Then I found two very nice Star N1000s and bought them.  I sold off the FX-980 at a loss, but now have three dot matrix printers. I really only needed one.

 

5) The "better to have a complete spare or two just in case" you drop it on the floor and destroy it beyond repair.  O.K that one is a bit of a stretch, but I think about it a little.

 

When I get some time off, I may just decide to downsize my collection.

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Posted (edited)

Guys, you lot just want to own everything :)

 

If I won the lottery I suspect I'd not expand my collection (well a small amount) but the real plus of the cash would be able to actually display and use it easily. Getting it down from the top of a wardrobe with my spinal and balance issues is an action adventure game in itself..

 

I'd just want a display for each and a bit of space to play on it..

 

As for the additions, only to have a spare of each incase the grim reaper comes for any of my kit...The notion of having everything does not do it for me, if you asked me 20 years ago I might have wanted it all but now I fully realise just how much free time I have and how much I can use to enjoy the hobby so having all the kit would be a huge waste of time and money these days, I'd never see most of it in use. I also think divorce papers would head my way if I spent the time I used to on stuff...

 

Wife, daughter and cat first here, ok, may the cat might get ignored in favour of a good Jumpman session :) 

Edited by Mclaneinc
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I have such a hard time with Atari hardware, especially Atari Computer hardware.  I am sitting in my living room and not 10 feet from me I have four 2600s, two 7800s, four XLs, and bunches of peripherals to go along with them. It's not overwhelming... yet... but it could be soon.  Still, I keep finding myself looking at more to buy.  I tell myself that I already have more than enough but then I think about how much I'd like to have a 48K modded 400.  And maybe one more 600XL to do some different modifications on.  And one of my 7800s is incompatible with my CC2 so maybe just one more of those.  It's like some sort of disease.  I'm doing pretty good at keeping myself in check at the moment but it's hard and I know that I'll likely slip up eventually (probably on a third 600XL!).  

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My wife thought I had enough in 1984!  Well, I think there is more to get.  Hopefully it will not cause a divorce.  We've been married 37 years.  Who knows?

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Well I'm a year or two longer and I also hope it causes no divorce but apart from the joking I do find that those with extreme collections tend to forget the partners choices (if there is one), I always ask if its ok to get stuff (free or paid) as the flat is small with 3 of us already in plus the cat (thank god he's not a collector )  :)

 

For those with a proper man (or lady) cave who collects then its not an issue...Thankfully my wife is fine about it all but I've seen many a ruckus between partners of hording of one sort or another, one guy had an engine block in his front room, needless to say he wife cleared off a little while later :)

 

Thankfully 1050's are smaller :)

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Posted (edited)

I am an equal opportunities speaker of collecting...Even if the choices of words may have been a little er easy to sexualise :)

 

Mind you, I prefer that to 'Lady Shed'  :)

 

Edited by Mclaneinc

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12 minutes ago, flashjazzcat said:

We need to talk about the phrase 'Lady cave'.

Well, I googled "cave antonym" trying to come up with a funny replt.  It linked me to an innocent looking Power Thesaurus website.  The last 25 of 35 suggestions were rather nasty slang for the ole bellend.  I am so glad I don't have kids - internet can be disturbing at times.

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Very, my daughter did a design based on my sister in laws inability to say Crunchie ie the choc bar, she called it a crampie and you don't want to search for that as I did....All true...

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1 minute ago, flashjazzcat said:

Just don't try to store your Atari gear there, and you're good.

 

 

LOL......I'll try to let my wife know :)  No surprises.........

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Once you've enjoyed and explored a thing until you are content just pass it on to someone who would like to do the same.

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Wow, this is some timing. After writing about buying spare parts for the "just in case" situation, I fired up one of my 1200XLs and the keyboard did not respond.  Don't think its the mylar as it was fixed via Bob Woolley's Retro-bits article.  I'll first try another keyboard as I have a spare or three.  If it's still dead, I'll try the 4051s and then the POKEY (yes, I have spares on those too).  Darn it, this is going to make the decision to downsize a bit harder sell now.

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7 hours ago, ACML said:

1)  Some of it was just "a good deal" and "how can you pass this up"?  Before you know it, BAM!, you have five of something.

 

2)  Sometimes it's with good intent.  I buy more to acquire a better cosmetic version of something, say a 1200XL, with the intent of selling a lesser specimen when found.  I was pretty good at that early on, but then I forgot to sell the one after I bought another.

 

 

These two points really resonate with me...  Point 1 is how I ended up with six 800s, three 400s etc..

And I'm very guilty of #2, as well. I'll upgrade to a boxed version of some cartridge or other, then not get around to selling the loose copy. Oh well, at least now I'm lucky enough to have two Powerstars.

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Talk about a timely post by the OP, Jugen has put me in a right quandary with his release of the Super Speedy 1050 that ticks a lot of the boxes from this thread..

 

1. I want it but I don't need it......I just want it...Rule broken..

 

2. I really can't afford it but I don't want to miss out on the  release as I have no clue when or if another one will happen..This also breaks the above rule..

 

3. I'm convincing myself because its going to go inside an item so I can sneak it in and it won't be more clutter, again breaks my rules...

 

4. Will I use it much, probably less than than the wanting but its just that....Its a damn fine bit of kit that I've never had and always wanted..

 

Pah, rules, made to be broken :)

 

Seriously, it just shows how we convince ourselves very easily....Now all I need to do is get the cash,  anyone want to buy a kidney :)

 

And so are the issues of collecting, if you collect and its doing no harm or affecting your income badly ie its become a TRUE hoarders mental health issue then it is up to the person to be sensible but I beg that people try to think about what is going to happen to their gear if someone passes, there's getting less of this stuff out there so lets try and make sure it gets spread about. There's nothing worse than seeing a set of working good stuff going to landfill. It won't always be possible I know but give it a thought..

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A good read!! Was so inspired by the spirit of this post this morning... Today I threw out over seven hundred new old stock icd MIO 1MB's I had stored in a spare room here.  Anyone want to see the video?

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