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Geister

Almost dead, seeing double.

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After 6 episodes of chemotherapy, the worst I felt was last week catching a UTI.  If I wasn't almost dead, I was wishing I was!  But the day before that started I drove to Easton, PA to see a man about an Atari 1200XL.  I first saw the ad a couple weeks before on Craigslist and tried hard to ignore it.  I was a single 1200XL, a 1050 disk drive, a 410 program recorder, a half-dozen joysticks, and a theremin(?).  Of course, there was case of tapes, a few cartridges, and shoe-boxes full of disks.

I thought the $250 asking price was high and that may have been why the ad stayed on Craigslist for weeks.  Then I noticed a line of text at the bottom of the ad that said "some club disks".  That caught my attention as I was the librarian for the local computer club at one time and though maybe those are disks I put together for ABES ACES back in the day.  Suddenly I was interested, so I called the person and he was an ABES ACES member an thought that some of the disks were club disks.  Perhaps not wisely, I told the seller I would be over to buy the system and would pay his asking price; it's amazing what a little personal "skin in the game" will prompt a grown man to do. 

 

The owner went on to tell me that the 1200XL had in fact been a prize in the club's 50-50 drawings and I remembered that event because I'd dropped $10 in the pot in hopes of winning that computer.  Now I wanted that computer.

 

When I got to the man's house and was ushered into the living room I noticed a stack of Atari computers to one side of the pile of stuff I was buying.  I joked that he must be getting ready to post some more adds.  He said "no, these are for you.  I was rummaging around upstairs and found these too.  You can have them."  I was in shock, and my legs were wobbly (it may have been the onset of the UTI) but I started shoveling things into the van as quickly as I could.  The three additional computers were a second 1200XL, a 130XE, and a 400 with a B-Key keyboard (maybe a ram upgrade).

 

I immediately got sick the next day so I didn't do anything but haul the pile down to the basement that night.   As I waited to get back to normal all I could do was mentally tally everything and came to the realization that I now had two of every computer except my single 600XL.  There are two 400's with B-Key keyboards,  two 800XL's, two 1200XL's, two 130XE's, two 410 program recorders, a pile of disk drives, and a Theremin(?).  I don't even know what works and what doesn't.

 

I also got a stack of ANTIC and Analog magazines, plus a few SoftSide mags and a couple books, the most notable are Mapping the Atari, and The ANALOG Compendium. 

 

Once  I'm fully back on my feet, I'll start testing all the computers, and fix anything that broken.  I'll probably start selling the duplicates along.

 

I haven't had much luck with old disks so I'm thinking maybe passing them along to someone that has experience archiving disks and see if anything can be recovered for the community.  The same goes for the tapes as I haven't managed to get my 410 working yet and I don't expect the new 410 will be in much better shape. 

 

I know that the books and magazines have long been saved and curated so no worries there, but it's nice to have something to hold in the hand again as I tire of reading on screen after a while.

 

If I learned anything this week, it's that UTI's really suck, and that Atari's are still amazing.  And...sometimes paying the asking price for something pays dividends.

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WOW! Nice score. Sorry about the chemo. One would think that by this time there would be a surefire cure for cancer that wouldn't take such a toll on a person's body. I, once and awhile, hear of better methods, but I suspect this is just the news reporting on some new process that isn't fully tested and that doctors are just trying out. At least that Atari score will give you something to fight to live fore as well as a Theremin😆 to learn to play.

 

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I commend your strength and bravery, I hope every thing gets cleared out by the course and what a nice result you had with the Atari's...I hope it eased the pain a little.

 

Best wishes from the Irvine Household.

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@Geister,

 

I've been in touch with you before, I ran Starship... was a member of ABE's ACE's and LVAUG... you will find my BBS and ACUTE listed on some of the disks more than likely. You don't need to worry about chemo and radiation with me. I've had to deal with keeping people at distance from myself and keep my distance from others who were still hot after a round. I am very close and can give you a hand. You can beat this...

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What a story! Thanks for telling us. I wish you all the best with chemo and your UTI!

 

Here's a Theremin: (playing starts around 1:02)

 

 

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what a haul! you deserve the good fortune tho - get yourself back to full strength and enjoy your find!

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52 minutes ago, ivop said:

What a story! Thanks for telling us. I wish you all the best with chemo and your UTI!

 

Here's a Theremin: (playing starts around 1:02)

 

 

Wow! What a beautiful and talented lady.  That was from The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly wasn't it?  I didn't know there was a Theremin for the Atari until I saw the ad.

 

Thanks everyone for the well wishes.  And Doctor, I hope to find a lot of the past in those disks.  Maybe you'll get another shot at your BBS with this new network interface under development?

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Posted (edited)

Yes, it's from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Carolina Eyck is indeed very talented.

 

2 hours ago, Geister said:

I didn't know there was a Theremin for the Atari until I saw the ad.

Could you point us to the ad? I can't find it.

 

Does a theremin for the Atari mean that the pitch and volume antennas are connected to the pot inputs and there's software involved to generate the sound?

 

Edited by ivop

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Hello guys

 

First of all: Geister, I hope your chemo goes well and the UTI (had to look that up.  Ouch!) goes away soon.

 

IIRC there was an article in one of the Atari magazines (can't remember which one, but it must have been one of the North-American ones) concerning the Theremin.  Might have been at the time when they where grasping for straws and telling us they had discussed all there was to discuss Atari 8 bit wise.

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

 

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The ad I was referring to was the seller's ad.  He told me that he built it using information from one of the magazine article and that he thought the software was in the disk collection he gave me.  I'm guessing that the software fed into the two analog lines and directly controlled the pokey chip.  The box for the device doesn't have antennas, but has two pairs of silver buttons that the owner said were capacitive discharge devices.  There is only one joystick plug so it can't be very complex.

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35 minutes ago, Geister said:

There is only one joystick plug so it can't be very complex.

Each joystick port has 2 potentiometer inputs, called PADDLE A/B, plus 5 digital inputs.

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3 hours ago, BillC said:

Each joystick port has 2 potentiometer inputs, called PADDLE A/B, plus 5 digital inputs.

well lets not forget they are bi-directional, and who knows, maybe the device could use the light pen facilities in some way as well... I do remember the project, but not much detail... Be kind of neat to read a magazine run down on it again.

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Posted (edited)

@Geister - Very nice pick up for you!  Sounds like you have probably been needing one too.  It also tells me that I should have been paying more attention to the LV Craigslist too, since I also live in Easton PA.  😛 I'm glad that you got the stash though and hope that everything turns out to be either working or an easy repair.  :)

Edited by SS

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Hopefully you can enjoy your time with the new haul, checking it all out... and having a grand time without a zillion pm's.

 

This could be a lot of fun and help you through all the medical stuff. I bet you're feeling a little better at times as it is now!

 

An Atari Computer Enthusiast is always just a call, pm, or short car ride away. Having had several good outings and getting some sunlight with fellow Atari users, some right here from AtariAge has been quite nice and refreshing.

 

_The Doctor__

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So far I've tested three of the computers.  I tested both 1200XLs first and found both of them working except for much of the keyboard. 

 

I then tested the 130XE and found that everything works but the power switch was very sticky.  Perhaps not so oddly, I found the same problem with my current 130XE, so maybe the switches were low quality parts from Tramiel's cost cutting.  I haven't ever noticed this problem on any of the XL series computers.

 

The last computer yet to test is the 400 with the B-Key keyboard. I expect it will work fine as my original 400 (w/ a B-Key keyboard) worked fine after years in storage at my sister's place (hot storage space too).

 

I've yet to try the accessories like the 1050 and the 410.  There's also a bunch of joysticks to go through including a Wico bat handle.  Shame there wasn't a TAC II in there.  

 

I went through the books and in addition to the Mapping the Atari, there's an original Atari Basic manual and Reference guide, and an Assembler Editor Manual (no cartridge).  There's also an original De Re Atari book, and an Analog Compendium.  Nice stuff!

 

Lastly, I have yet to try the Theremin, but I did find a one liner that should get some sound out of it if it still works at all.

 

Any suggestions on fixing the 1200XL keyboards?  Instructions for the resistor fix would be nice or a recommendation to just get the new mylars if that's a longer lasting fix.

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Thanks, feeling pretty good right now.  The doctors will put an end to that later this week as they have plans...

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Posted (edited)

Wow! Nice score! I hope you're back on your feet soon so you can really enjoy it. In the meantime, you can gaze upon the haul in all its glory and plan your attack! :) Those Antic and ANALOG magazines are lots of fun to thumb through a reminisce. Maybe you can enjoy those if you have more chemo sessions ahead of you.

Edited by mattsoft

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Posted (edited)

Doctors always have plans, I so hate hospitals, been in and out my whole life...The only surgery I turned down was a Breast augmentation, I have no clue how I got on that list but they kept writing to me to come in and have it even though it's not a usual male related item.

 

My man boobs are safe as they are thanks..

 

Geister, let them do their little plans and then get better asap..There's too much good Atari not to...

 

Take care, our best wishes and hopes are with you...

 

Sorry, a little lie crept in, I turned down another op on my spine, very risky one but I will most likely have it done at some point..

Edited by Mclaneinc

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