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Omega-TI

Whoa! He wants that much for a RPi 3 in a Model III case?

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On 8/30/2020 at 6:58 AM, Omega-TI said:

I know getting a real working TRS-80 in good condition is not exactly cheap, but << THIS EBAY AUCTION >> is for essentially an emulator in a TRS-80 shell.

 

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Yeah, this does look very cool.  However, the cost is pretty eye watering all things considered.  Still, if people are willing to pay for a Fairchild Channel F in not the greatest of condition for over $1k, then I guess this is not really too far off.  Still, its cool and I dig it, but seems to be asking way too much money imo.

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The price is stupid, but I'm impressed by the fact he actually rigged the Pi to the original monitor, and not just stuck some TFT in there.

 

I wish the pics were higher quality so I could see how well did he magaged to tweak the display (getting it to 1:1 like the original TRS is not easy).

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The work nicely done. Brightness, drive leds, working power switch CRT monitor.. Good enough to keep some essence of the original. But no printer or serial port. Something most emulators continue to lack.

 

I believe that we'll see more and more of these conversions.. Original hardware is becoming more cantankerous as time rolls on. And I think a new breed of hobbyists is emerging, whether the old guard likes it or not. Tough shit.

 

Turning a Pi or x86 NUC into another computer via emulation is easy. And it gets you more than 90% of the way there. But it does it with high reliability. And that IS very very important. People want to experience vintage software on a reliable platform. And this does it with style.

 

Another thing is upgrading. Once the bulky original hardware is out of the way all sorts of things can be put in there.

 

Or simply think of it as a casemod for a modern computer!

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On 8/30/2020 at 6:58 AM, Omega-TI said:

I know getting a real working TRS-80 in good condition is not exactly cheap, but << THIS EBAY AUCTION >> is for essentially an emulator in a TRS-80 shell.

 

Whoa not so fast. Yes it be a shell. It's also a casemod for modern hardware. And like I just mentioned I think (I hope) we see more of these for the aforementioned reasons.

 

I keep wanting to do the same thing with a Model II. Mostly to fulfill a childhood desire from decades ago. When we got rid of all our Model II systems a few years back we didn't miss the weight and noise and power consumption. We kept 2 shells after gutting them.

 

So would a conversion be fake? Sure. Does the essence of the machine live on. Sure, through the original styling and the recreated architecture in software. And it would be better in 101 other areas. I could finally play Lunar Lander on the Model II !! Woot !!

Edited by Keatah
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On 8/31/2020 at 11:10 AM, youxia said:

The price is stupid, but I'm impressed by the fact he actually rigged the Pi to the original monitor, and not just stuck some TFT in there.

 

As much as I love the Model III monitor, this original hardware is now close to 40 years old. I would be reluctant to buy it simply because it is approaching the end of its useful life cycle.  

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If it were me, I would have at least gone with BMC64...  Blazingly fast boot up and you can just power it off without worrying about SD card issues..

And you wire the keyboard directly to GPIO pins.

But still, a decent job...  I might prefer this to a replica minipet type of board.

Of course, I'd still prefer the original and wouldn't pay that much either way.

(Which is partially why I don't have a PET.  ;-)  )

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17 hours ago, Keatah said:

I keep wanting to do the same thing with a Model II. Mostly to fulfill a childhood desire from decades ago. When we got rid of all our Model II systems a few years back we didn't miss the weight and noise and power consumption. We kept 2 shells after gutting them.

 

So would a conversion be fake? Sure. Does the essence of the machine live on. Sure, through the original styling and the recreated architecture in software. And it would be better in 101 other areas. I could finally play Lunar Lander on the Model II !! Woot !!

Doing a Model II like this would be pretty cool imo.

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15 hours ago, Omega-TI said:

What?!?  In August he wanted $750.00... now he wants $5,000.00?  KMA buddy!

 

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The seller needs to lay off the chronic for a while, or cut back on the CBD product use just a tad.

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Maybe it's a placeholder price, ridiculously high so no one buys it till he makes another. Keeps the auction live, upfront, and ready to go.

 

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17 hours ago, bluejay said:

Also a Model III isn't exactly "very rare," is it?

Not really. They were throwing them in the dumpsters, too, back around the 286/386 era. I even accepted a skid-load of them. Kept them in the cellar for the longest time. Sometime in the past 5-6 years I cleaned them out.

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32 minutes ago, Keatah said:

Not really. They were throwing them in the dumpsters, too, back around the 286/386 era. I even accepted a skid-load of them. Kept them in the cellar for the longest time. Sometime in the past 5-6 years I cleaned them out.

As in, you threw them out? Yeah, sounds a lot like something you'd do :)

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Not exactly. These ones I put curbside. On a burlap tarp. Just too big and heavy to be packing for shipping. They were gone before the dustcart swung by. The tarp was folded and left behind. I put a tiny, near microscopic pinpoint mark on them. I wonder if they'll show up in a youtube video or for auction sometime?

 

I do that a lot with excess paraphernalia. Stuff that goes in the trash is usually really really trash or recyclable metals like, well, rusted or damaged 5150(gasp!) cases. Stuff like that.

 

What I dislike throwing out is motherboards. Especially the ones with battery corrosion. The Varta bombs. Those can usually always be fixed but it takes a lot of time. The techniques are easy. Just time consuming. In that case I just pull the chips and sock'em away.

 

I did heroics repairing my original 486 board. Something like 20 hours of de-layering a section, neutralizing the acid where it sank through a via and wicked its way along a trace. And then using fiberglass and epoxy to build it back up.

 

Mixing and matching the colors and textures to make it a pro repair is super tedious. This type of repair is nothing new. There are proto boards using $40,000 FPGA chips that undergo this level of repair. So nothing new. Just a level of work hobbyists are not accustomed to.

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7 hours ago, bluejay said:

As in, you threw them out? Yeah, sounds a lot like something you'd do :)

 

It's something he does in his fantasies.  There was never a skid load (or even one) to begin with.

Ask him to post just one photo of anything he ever talks about.

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Haha Mr. turbo-toucher. I find your fascination with following me around fascinating in and of itself. There's nothing unusual about a skid full of e-waste TRS-80's. Maybe less so today than a decade ago. But this isn't today.

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15 hours ago, Keatah said:

What I dislike throwing out is motherboards. Especially the ones with battery corrosion.

So you're okay with throwing out entire computers but not broken motherboards? Sounds like the weirdest logic I've ever heard since, I mean, it's too long to explain.

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Well, I mean, like you can fix trashed motherboards you can fix trashed cases. Throwing them in the dumpster seems a bit harsh, doesn't it? 

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Troubleshooting electrical parts on a motherboard is easy and fun even. A puzzle. Started out with a continuity tester as a kid. From Olson electronics.  Got my first DMM, a double-knob manual range Micronta from RS.  Eventually grew into Fluke meters. And BK Precision ‘scopes. Nowadays I enjoy the ones from Rigol, amazing featureset.

 

Desoldering chips and parts is easy. Started out with my original childhood soldering iron from RadioShack that I still have. Moved up to MetCal and Weller stations years later.

 

Learned to use a heatgun and air pencil. Made the homemade BGA oven. Hot plate for tinning. Completed the certification courses for official repair standards. Got an IR BGA station 2 years ago. 

 

None of this is fantastical fantasies. A 5 year stint as a technician in a good company, with just a trade school certification, will get you tons of skills like that. If you doubt it, try it yourself!
 

I found that people that label such things like that as extraordinary heroics and boasting are lacking something someplace. There’s not many. But they’re out there.

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