Original 8 & 16 bit retro's

I notice the PI is getting a lot of retro emulators, and got thinking where did all that stuff
go from the 1980’s.
How many people still have the orginal equpment and are using them?
In my case moving from place to place, I was forced to toss my classic computers
years ago because of space issues.

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I didn’t get into vintage computers until later in life, so I have a good number of them here in the Man Cave.

There are older systems (like the first PC I actually owned) that I now wish I had kept. But at the time, it was a used up machine and I had a shiny new fast system to play with.

I was gifted an Apple II way back and I still have it. I still have an original MK14 and I would still have my old BBC Micro if it hadn’t been stolen…

I did have an Acorn Archimedes but I gave that away thinking I was going on to bigger, better things… sigh

Now I have a small collection of Apple IIs and BBC Micros, but most of them are waiting for me to repair them and sell them on…


I still have my original Compukit UK101 and my original BBC Micro - but the retro machine I use, when I use one, is generally a BBC Master bought in recent decades (not sure when!)

I did have my original Amiga A1200 until I sold it earlier this year, but I think I still have my original A500. I didn’t use either.

Moving frequently is one way to lose an original machine, evidently having it stolen is another. And then, there’s leaving things in the parental home and finding they’ve been cleared out. All rather problematic.

Maybe amusing in this context, a message from the Centre for Computing History on the message board with the single letter (ex-bird thing; not a bank, yet):

A visitor wanted to play 3D Monster Maze as authentically as possible, so, 16K RAM Pack in our ZX81, loaded the tape in, intro appeared, then as soon as a key was pressed, RAM Pack wobble & white screen. That’s authentic right there #retrogaming

For this and some authentic photos documenting this remarkable reenactment, see:

Right now, my only system that’s plugged in and gets any regular use is a single Commodore 128. I don’t trust my 1541 drives, though, even since I caught my autistic daughter shoving … ehh … something … in the front. Oh well, not worth the risk of damage to the equipment to even try.

So, my “mass media” is an SD2IEC (a modern device that uses an SD card, rather than an authentic floppy).

HOWEVER, I must admit that my current usage is more like my classic old usage of computers in the store displays of old … power it on, and type stuff. In particular, programming PETSCII art is just plain more fun on an actual machine with keyboard icons, than on an emulator.

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I do have my original KIM-1 as a museum display above my desk. First microprocessor based machine.
Later machines like Toshiba MSX-1 and SVI.Xpress 738, DEC Rainbow and the first MS-DOS machines grew to a large collection of retro computer collection. All sold in 2013-2015 to make room and recover some money invested.
Now a small collection of SBCs is growing, like AIM 65, SYM-1, many KIM-1 clones, Superjolts and such.
Do I miss the large collection? Not really. Most stored in carton boxes after the first excitement of winning the auction and such. Some computers sold then I would keep nowadays, like a Rev A KIM-1, VIM-1 or a PC100. Again, they would be in storage unused.

I sold off my TRS-80 machines a few years back (Model 1 and a couple Model 3). I used to have a whole stash of Timex Sinclair 1000 machines, plus accessories, and a Timex 1500 with thermal printer; don’t even know what happened to them (might have lost them in our house fire). Had an Apple II-something (probably IIe) and a C64, managed to sell them before the house fire. Still have the TI-99/4A machines, but those are up for sale soon.
Clearing out a lot of my collection items (of various types). My daughter is uninterested in them, and I don’t want to leave her saddled with them (the record collection is probably next).

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