05 July, 2016

Side Step...John's mountain of old computers

(I am doing this as a writing exercise to get my brain back into writing mode.  With the fun of the last roughly three weeks, I have not been focused on writing.  I am also doing this for a laugh.  Or perhaps this will prove something else.  Hmmm....)

     Once upon a time, my brother and I jokingly said we ran Ancient Technologies Inc.  We had amassed all kinds of ancient computer gear from various places, but we just took in whatever came our way.  Sometimes we parceled out the stuff we got in the spirit of reuse and recycling.  Sometimes we used it to power and fix the odds and ends we had.  And sometimes, we were the last stop and the item(s) in question went straight to the trash.
     I will admit to the following:  My favourite home computer system was the Commodore Amiga.  It was a fun system, was ahead of its time, and it was a solid video platform.  My third computer was an Amiga I got from an old friend who had upgraded.  The reason I mention this will be apparent as you read further.
     I was doing some cleaning recently, and took stock of the amount of old hardware I have at the house.  To some of you, this list is going to mean little.  To others, it may be a trip down memory lane.  For others, you may be speed dialing the loony bin.
     So here goes, a list

     Commodore 64C (The Amiga looking case version.  This was the second home computer we owned, after a Texas Instruments 99-4/A.  I bought it off a friend and pounded out some stores and articles for the Pittsburgh Commodore Users Group on it.)

     Commodore Amiga 500 (I had let my original A500 go to someone along the way.  This one belongs to a friend I just talked to.)

     (3) Commodore Amiga 2000 (A friend salvaged these for me.)

     (3) Commodore Amiga 4000 (Bought two of these and can not remember where I got the third.)

     (2) Commodore Amiga 1200 (Bought both of these)

     It had been my intention to work on all of these, and then sell them back into the Amiga community.  Sadly, my skill with the touchy hardware of these beasts is not good any more.

     But wait...there is more!

     Tandy TL 1000 (This was the first PC I ever owned.  It has a fully configured Renegade BBS setup on it.  I bought it off a friend, and got a discount for taking the printer.  I think the printer is in orbit somewhere.)

     486 DX2 50 [I think] in a Data-Stor case  (I actually had two of these, but sold one for a song and a dance, and more Amiga stuff.  A friend got me this eons ago.  If memory serves, the hard drive had OS/2 installed on it by me.)

     HP Pavilion a530n (One of my brother's old computers, it was the last one I used that ran Windows.  I switched it over to Linux before retiring it.)

     eMachine T6410  (Another one given to me.)

     A Franken-machine powered by a quad core AMD processor  (This was the last edit machine I used for video editing and it was built by a friend.  Much like the Monolith or Darth Vader, it is large and very black.  I may turn it into my home PC replacing what I am using now.)

     Dell Latitude D600  (This one was bought off eBay.  The only thing that ever went wrong with it is it decided to eat batteries.  It still runs, but running Linux of course.)

     sMacintosh Powerbook G4  (This was given to me courtesy of a friend.  I actually use it, as it is running Debian, which is a Linux operating system.)

     I know, I have too much old computer stuff.  Some of the items on this list will get sold at some point.  Some will get given to a good home if needed.  Some might wind up recycled.  And some are never ever going anywhere.  I am a sentimental type.
     I did not just write this for practise to get back into writing.  For some of us, this may be a trip down memory lane.  A trip to a time when there was choice in computers, operating systems and really fast boot times.  A trip to the days of beating a keyboard more than a mouse. For rest of you, I am certain you have come to the conclusion I am just nuts.
     Feel free to share any good old stories of old computers you may still have.  And if anyone has a working Apple IIgs they want to get rid of, let me know. :-)

1 comment:

  1. I also was into the Commodore computers and the Amigas. I finally gave away my old Commodore 64 but still have the Commodore CD computer. I also have an Amiga 4000. That was a great computer and one of the first computer that would multitask.

    I also belonged to the PCG computer group. I was the editor for several years for their newspaper. I enjoyed that very much and met many people because of it. I won 2 contests at the PCG for programming the Commodore 64 and Amiga computers. I was paid $50 only for what I did on the Amiga as they said I should not win more money so they can give the other $50 to someone else. That was ok with me. I miss going to meetings every week.

    Thanks for bringing back old memories.

    BTW keep writing your stories as they are great to read.

    Captain Ezy alias Dave