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corgski
Feb 6, 2007



Retrocomputing is a hobby:ins:

It is probably not a hobby you should have unless you have lots of space and an unusual love for the smell of blue smoke and offgassing ABS plastic. It also has significant crossover with retrogaming, but that's not required. Plenty of people have collections that feature computers known for being almost unusable for games, such as nearly every word processor, the Apollo guidance computer, and the Commodore Plus/4.

But why? :iiam:
It's really neat to preserve pieces of computing history and save these devices that were designed to last maybe 5 years at most from meeting their end in a burning pile of trash at a gold recycler somewhere in China. As a bonus, a lot of these systems still have some utility today, whether it's for retrogaming, word processing, image editing and printmaking, data recovery or even just as a spotify frontend.

Where can I learn more?
Vintage Computer Federation (VCF) - probably the easiest place to find info on retrocomputing in general, it's an organization devoted to the preservation of historical computers. They hold several large gatherings a year where people can show off their collections, swap gear, and more.
VOGONS - A discussion forum that is like VCF's forum but focused on retrogaming specifically.

In addition there are tons of forums and mailing lists for specific platforms, be it Commodore, Atari, Apple, IBM PC, or anything else you could imagine.

So, show off your collections of dusty old circuit boards and computers. I can't wait to see!

corgski fucked around with this message at 14:49 on Oct 18, 2021

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corgski
Feb 6, 2007



Here's a non-exhaustive look at my collection. I focus primarily on old Apple Macintosh computers, although I also have 3x Apple IIgs in storage as well a couple late 90s-mid 2000s PCs for retrogaming purposes.

Oh and all the photos were taken with a Sony Digital Mavica camera, the one with the floppy disk drive.

The (mostly) Apple Products:


Left to right: 1984 Macintosh, Macintosh Plus, Macintosh Classic
The first two are non-working but repairable, the Classic is only good for spare parts.


In the foreground is a Macintosh 512k with a memory expansion and the Macintosh Plus ROM upgrade, in the background is a Performa 637CD with a matching monitor - this is the system I play most of my early mac games on.


And an iMac G3 for later mac games. (at least ones that don't require 3D acceleration)


And on top of that desk, I have a PowerMac G5 with dual water-cooled 2.5GHz processors, a Power Macintosh 7300/200, and some old Dell Optiplex with an early Pentium 4 which I use to play windows 98 and XP games, all connected to a KVM.


The most aesthetic part of my collection is this G4 Cube with the matching CRT monitor. It works, but I have nowhere to display it while we're renovating our house so it lives in the attic instead of the living room. :cry:

The non-apple:

Who doesn't love a good ol HP Touchpad running the original WebOS?


And my trusty LaserJet 4+ with the optional Postscript ROM.

corgski fucked around with this message at 04:35 on Oct 18, 2021

You Am I
May 20, 2001

Me @ your poasting



Here's my current setup. Sadly I will need to move soon, so gotta start packing it up


The main vintage computer desk. The top has my home network setup, as well as an Apple II Composite Colour monitor and a Commodore 1084 monitor. Sitting on the desk is an Atari 1050 floppy drive, Atari 1040STe playing a demo on a Samsung TV which has SCART input and a B&W PowerMac G3


Under the desk is my PII Win98SE box.


From top to bottom:

- Sega MegaDrive series 1
- Atari 7800
- Apple Quicktake 200
- Amiga 1200
- Commodore 64C
- Atari 800XL
- Atari 520STFM
- Amiga A500 Plus
- Apple //e Platinum


Storage, mainly media, consoles, console games and parts. Commodore 486SLC lives down the bottom


Big box PC game, application and OS collection. Covers Atari ST, Amiga, IBM PC and Commodore 64. Atari 8 bit games are stored in another room


Old CRT with Wii, PS2, MegaDrive II and SNES connected to it

Karl Rove
Feb 26, 2006

Oh man, the Elders are really lovely guys. Their astral projection seminars are literally off the fucking planet, and highly recommended.

You Am I posted:


Big box PC game, application and OS collection. Covers Atari ST, Amiga, IBM PC and Commodore 64. Atari 8 bit games are stored in another room
This PC game collection is so good! Original Lucasarts games, AvP 2000 (a shamefully underrated game), and is that both Strike Commander and the expansion box?

GATOS Y VATOS
Aug 22, 2002





You Am I posted:

- Amiga A500 Plus


Old CRT with Wii, PS2, MegaDrive II and SNES connected to it

Is that a European SNES? I always hated the American body (I bought a Super Famicom back in the day) and was always envious that Europe got that body style.

You Am I
May 20, 2001

Me @ your poasting



Karl Rove posted:

This PC game collection is so good! Original Lucasarts games, AvP 2000 (a shamefully underrated game), and is that both Strike Commander and the expansion box?
It's the Speech Pack for Strike Commander, not the extra missions. The person I brought them from also copied images of the floppy disks to CD just in case the floppy disks had issues.

GATOS Y VATOS posted:

Is that a European SNES? I always hated the American body (I bought a Super Famicom back in the day) and was always envious that Europe got that body style.

Yep, PAL SNES, since I am in Aussieland :)

I do have a North American SNES that hasn't yellowed.

Empty Pockets
Jun 11, 2008


I want an Apple SE, but I have to come up with a use case before I can really justify getting one. What can be done with one in this millennium?

corgski
Feb 6, 2007



The SE could be used for word processing, retro graphics, some really early mac games like brickle, cannon fodder, a variety of infocom ports, and glider, and with a compatible network adapter and a raspberry pi, email, IRC, discord (via bitlbee,) telnet, and possibly even some light text-only web browsing.

If you upgrade to the SE/30 you could run a graphical browser with something like Web Rendering Proxy running on the Pi.

And of course you could always come up with a RetroChallenge project!

corgski fucked around with this message at 02:38 on Oct 19, 2021

Doccers
Aug 15, 2000


Patron Saint of Chickencheese

corgski posted:

The SE could be used for word processing, retro graphics, some really early mac games like brickle, cannon fodder, a variety of infocom ports, and glider, and with a compatible network adapter and a raspberry pi, email, IRC, discord (via bitlbee,) telnet, and possibly even some light text-only web browsing.

If you upgrade to the SE/30 you could run a graphical browser with something like Web Rendering Proxy running on the Pi.

And of course you could always come up with a RetroChallenge project!

You can also get a serial-to-MIDI controller, and use it to control MIDI audio devices. (Keyboards, synths, etc).

A lot of modern musical applications got started on 68k macs.

Empty Pockets
Jun 11, 2008


Thank you for this useful info. I also just realized I could use it for some light business tasks - inventory spreadsheet, stuff like that

Charles Get-Out
Nov 23, 2005




Young Orc

I've been collecting MSX computers & games for maybe 10-15 yikes years.

My MSX1 is a Toshiba HX-10D, you see these everywhere usually in black or silver. I think it looks cool as heck and it has nice clunky keys. Usually describe this one as "kind of a Japanese Commodore 64."


My 'daily driver' is an MSX2, the Sony HB-F900. Mine is a little finnicky due to the disk drive being PC replacement; MSX drives have a 'ready' signal that you can fudge on some PC drives, but it gets really messy if you try and have multiples.
At release, the HB-F900 was originally a business/editing model, coming with 256k main RAM, 2 disk drives, a mechanical keyboard, PC Speaker, and interconnects for video titling machines


Panasonic MSX2s, the FS-A1MkII and FS-A1F. The FS-A1F is a FS-A1MkII but boosted to include an underslung disk drive.




This was my first MSX, a Sony F1XDJ MSX2+. The disk drive was long gone when I bought it, so I eventually frankenstein'd a ribbon cable and power connector to a Lotharek disk drive emulator.


Here's a Panasonic FA-A1WX MSX2+ and FS-A1ST TurboR. Panasonic was the only company that made TurboRs, essentially an MSX2+ with a pseudo-16-bit R800 CPU replacing the 8-bit Z80. The R800 can be downclocked to match Z80 speeds and is theoretically (but not really) backwards compatible with the Z80 instruction set. These were released in 1990 and sold incredibly poorly due to the huge array of way more powerful machines for businesses and growing console scene. During it's lifetime, there were maybe 10 Turbo-R programs and games, but a lot of indie games take advantage of the faster speed either natively or with a CPU mode toggle.


Games are organized mostly by company with a couple leftover shelves that I need to get around to sorting. MSX has a ton of Konami, Falcom, and early arcade ports if you're into that sort of thing.


I have a thing for collecting ports & I'm 4 games short of a cRPG port full house. Only missing Ultima 1&2, the 'real' Ultima 3, and Wizardry 3.


Some of the weirder things I have are this port of the last part of Snatcher. Snatcher on MSX2 ends earlier than other versions, so Delta Soft digitized and ported the last bit from the SegaCD version and put it on 5 floppies because ???


Ports of some popular C64/CPC/ZX Spectrum games. Druid and Knight Lore are contemporary Japanese releases, Head Over Heels and Batman are indie ports from a Spanish company.


This is a MSX1 tape to MSX2 disk upscale port of a UK adventure game called Zakil Wood. Came in a weird bespoke box that got little fake grass everywhere.


And a few expansion cards with a slot expander to let you plug more than 2 things in. The OPL4 Shockwave is a soundcard, the PowerGraph Light is a video card, and the CF640 is a CF-HDD thing. The Playsoniq lets me play Sega Master System games in theory, but I've not had a chance to test it as I need to build the video cable for it.


Money shotz

Boot screen


Unlike other 8-bits, programs on MSX tend to auto-boot, often including an MSX-DOS kernel and autoexec.bat if they're fancy enough.


This is Graph Saurus, a drawing program that lets you select different MSX screen modes to draw in. Each has different properties and color specs, Screen 5 was apparently used in most games due to sprite and scrolling capability.


It features really zippy fill and circle tools for an 8-bit, as well as adjustable windows.



Don't know where I got this MSX game, but she's really good at waiting for treats.

Charles Get-Out fucked around with this message at 00:58 on Oct 21, 2021

You Am I
May 20, 2001

Me @ your poasting



Impressive collection! MSXs are rare in Australia, usually see the Yamaha ones with the music keyboard, otherwise you have to get them in from Japan. Always liked the look of the MSX game boxes as well

Charles Get-Out
Nov 23, 2005




Young Orc

That Yamaha setup with the keyboard is on my list of stuff I'd like to have, but doesn't seem reasonable from a space or cost perspective. I think I'm pretty close to "done" collecting for MSX, really only interested in stuff I'd play or use and I'm not sure the juice is worth the squeeze to fill in those gaps.

I like the VHS-style boxes a lot, but most of the later library is just the PC-98 or PC-88 box & manual with different disks and a paper insert titled "MSX version." The most egregious one I've seen is a space 4x game where the insert details all of the features gutted for the MSX port.

kreeningsons
Jan 2, 2007



it's an apple extended keyboard II. i got one of these guys so i can use it on my PC, which works great. https://www.drakware.com/shop/p/adb2usb

You Am I
May 20, 2001

Me @ your poasting



Nice, I use an AEKII through a Griffin iMate ADB-USB converter on my work MacBook

Vampire Panties
Apr 18, 2001

Congratulations on not getting fit on Sunday, dumbass!



Nap Ghost

You Am I posted:

Here's my current setup. Sadly I will need to move soon, so gotta start packing it up


That collection is :discourse:

The Commodore 1084 monitor, wow. I don't think I've so much as seen a picture of one since I got rid of mine in 1998. That thing was amazing back in the day.

Dignity Van Houten
Jul 28, 2006

abcdefghijk
ELLAMENNO-P


Odd question but... was that plastic always that shade of yellow or was it white / light gray when originally manufactured? If it's discoloration, how much more will it discolor in 10 years? 50 years? Are there any organizations preserving the hardware in a cool, dark, dry space?

Pablo Nergigante
Apr 16, 2002



You Am I posted:

Impressive collection! MSXs are rare in Australia, usually see the Yamaha ones with the music keyboard, otherwise you have to get them in from Japan. Always liked the look of the MSX game boxes as well



The Yamaha MSX is one of the only two retrocomputers I have, the other being an Atari 800XL that I got for $10 including the 1050 disk drive at a thrift store. As you can probably tell by the dust, they donít get much use but Iíd like to get a proper setup going.

I donít have the keyboard for the Yamaha, there were two revisions of the FM synth module and the later one actually supports any MIDI device but mine has the earlier revision unfortunately. Still really cool and someday Iíll get that keyboard lol

Charles Get-Out
Nov 23, 2005




Young Orc

Dignity Van Houten posted:

Odd question but... was that plastic always that shade of yellow or was it white / light gray when originally manufactured? If it's discoloration, how much more will it discolor in 10 years? 50 years? Are there any organizations preserving the hardware in a cool, dark, dry space?

Western computer stuff was usually off-white/gray, Apple included. Most old plastic used in retro computers and consoles will discolor like this to some extent, gray or white makes this more noticeable. It seems to have to do with heat and UV light, but it's not consistent, e.g. in 10 years it may or may not have gotten more yellow.

A lot of people have gotten into "retrobrighting" discolored plastic, which is a term for a huge number of ways to smear hydrogen peroxide on the plastic and expose it to UV light for a period of time. Depending on the time of day, products used, astrological sign, windspeed, dew point, and/or whether Hecate smiles on you, this can move the color back towards it's original shade. Consensus is that the plastic will usually re-yellow after some indefinite period of time.

Adrian's Digital Basement uses a couple methods in this video with differing results:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtH8IhudWMI

Pablo Nergigante posted:



The Yamaha MSX is one of the only two retrocomputers I have, the other being an Atari 800XL that I got for $10 including the 1050 disk drive at a thrift store. As you can probably tell by the dust, they donít get much use but Iíd like to get a proper setup going.

I donít have the keyboard for the Yamaha, there were two revisions of the FM synth module and the later one actually supports any MIDI device but mine has the earlier revision unfortunately. Still really cool and someday Iíll get that keyboard lol

MSX computers just have that je ne sais quoi to me. I see the giant big box version with the keyboard in auctions occasionally, but always for quite a bit.

Get your setup going! Play some Penguin Adventure!

You Am I
May 20, 2001

Me @ your poasting



Vampire Panties posted:

That collection is :discourse:

The Commodore 1084 monitor, wow. I don't think I've so much as seen a picture of one since I got rid of mine in 1998. That thing was amazing back in the day.

I was using it up until recently on most of my retro gear. Since then I have been using a 19" Samsung LCD TV which has a ton of input connections like SCART, S-Video, Composite, Component, VGA and HDMI

corgski
Feb 6, 2007



New addition to my collection, a 13" Magnavox B&W television. Perhaps I'll make a clone Pong board to connect to it.



GATOS Y VATOS
Aug 22, 2002





drat that tv takes me back.

SAY YOHO
Oct 5, 2021


Checking in as a retrocomputer hoarder. My first love was a C64 I got as a hand-me-down. 80's computers after IBM/PCs took over were very cheap. I got a few bit from tag sales, flea markets, way back when.

ChesterJT
Dec 28, 2003

Crescent Fresh




GATOS Y VATOS posted:

drat that tv takes me back.

The thunk of those channel knobs is just the best.

TheMadMilkman
Dec 10, 2007



A retro computer lot popped up on a local classified site today for dirt cheap, including at least 2 Atari 800s, 3 C64s, a VIC-20, at least 1 Commodore monitor, many disk drives, and piles of software. Couldnít figure out which one from the photos.

Iím headed to look at it tomorrow.

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Woolie Wool
Jun 2, 2006



This is my IBM rig, built to be broadly compatible with as many DOS and older Windows games as possible with the specific stipulation of having a 1GHz+ motherboard, AGP, and fully functional ISA. The heart of this machine is an Abit KT7A motherboard with a 1733 MHz AMD Athlon Thoroughbred, with 1.5 gigs of RAM, an nVidia GeForce FX 5900, and a Sound Blaster AWE64. Most games from the dawn of the IBM era up until the mid-2000s run fine, though Doom 3 and Microsoft Flight Simulator 9 make it struggle at times. The IDE slave hard drive (there are also two SATA hard drives) can boot either Windows 98 SE or Windows XP, and there is also a card reader in the back plugged into IDE master that can take one of three CompactFlash cards that I have, which pre-empt Windows and boot into some flavor of DOS.


Cable management? I'll manage! :v:

I built it over three years ago and it's been dead reliable for as long as I've had it. Some really finicky DOS games (e.g. TIE Fighter) don't like it but it seems about as good as one could expect for "one retrocomputer to play them all". The case is a server case so the computer is super loud (though a dual-slot GeForce FX and three hard drives certainly contribute their share to the noise) but I'm used to it at this point. My external MIDI synth doesn't work in DOS protected mode because of some quirk of Creative's DOS drivers, so I usually run DOS games in AWE32 mode. The PSU is probably complete overkill but I was advised to either get a vintage PSU or an overkill one to feed the Athlon with plenty of 3.3V and +5V, so I decided to go the overkill option because I don't trust old PSUs.

Full specs:

Chenbro SR209 beige case
Corsair RM 750x 750W ATX PSU
1.5GB PC133 SDRAM
AMD Athlon XP Thoroughbred @ 1733 MHz
StarTech socket A air cooler
Abit KT7A KT133A motherboard with modded KT7ASB4 BIOS
nVidia GeForce FX 5900 GPU
TEAC FD-235 3.5" floppy disk drive
TEAC FD-55GR 5.25" floppy disk drive
Apple 678T0191 6X IDE DVD-ROM drive
PCI CompactFlash rear bracket, 2 swappable 16 GB and one 2 GB CompactFlash cards (boot disks)
40 GB WD Caviar IDE hard drive
2 x 500 GB WD Green SATA hard drives
Netgear FA31105 10/100Mbps NIC
StarTech USB 2.0 controller card
StarTech SATA controller card
Sound Blaster AWE64 Value ISA sound card
Logitech MX518 optical mouse with PS/2 adapter
Dell Bigfoot AT101W PS/2 keyboard (black Alps)
Sun Microsystems GDM-5010PT 21" Trinitron CRT monitor
Roland SC-55 MkII MIDI synthesizer
Windows 98 SE
Windows XP Professional
FreeDOS 1.2 (boot disk #1)
MS-DOS 6.22 (boot disk #2)
IBM PC-DOS 7 (boot disk #3)

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