VOGONS


Reply 20 of 58, by DaveJustDave

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I think it also depends on where you are in life. If you're older, people don't think it's a big deal because you're nostalgic.

If you're a kid trying to get hipster cred by being into stuff none of your friends are into, then people might see it differently - which isn't to say there's anything wrong with that.

I have no clue what I'm doing! If you want to watch me fumble through all my retro projects, you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/user/MrDavejustdave

Reply 21 of 58, by Blzut3

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Warlord wrote:

but its like everything else only top tier items hold value, its why graphics cards that are the highest end old ones like TI series or notoriously good ones hold value while other ones are a dime a dozen.

I'm not sure that's actually true for computers. Sure there is the general trend with the top tier holding value, but we tend to also look at "top tier" in a vacuum here. Which is to say that a Voodoo 4 or 5 was not the top tier video card of their time, but yet they hold a lot of value here. Similarly we can look at CPUs like the AMD K6-III+ or the VIA C3 which are quite popular here. Saying nothing about the Super Socket 7 boards themselves we're talking about a mobile part released after Athlon for the former, the latter was low end no matter how you look at it. What about the popular Athlon boards with the KT133A chipset? Pretty sure those boards were described as "cost effective." I could continue listing counter examples for days, but the point is that in the retro computing space "top tier" seems to be determined by hindsight. To me that's part of what makes it very interesting. Very often the garbage of the time becomes interesting because of some feature no one cared about at the time, and as a result there's no objectively best set of parts.

OK "garbage of thee time" might be a bit strong since there's definitely stuff that obviously never had and never will have value, but I do think that the car show equivalent would look more like tricked out minivans with a few sports cars peppered in. 😜

Reply 22 of 58, by mothergoose729

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Vaudane wrote:
So my old 386 came up, and I was showing off pictures of it. Waxing lyrical about how the 30+ year old 80 MB hard drive has zero […]
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So my old 386 came up, and I was showing off pictures of it. Waxing lyrical about how the 30+ year old 80 MB hard drive has zero errors, bad sectors or other damage despite not having lived a blessed life. So I start discussing the whopping 2 MB ram of the thing when one of the people I am showing states

"It's a pile of junk"

"It's a computer older than you are that works as well as the day it was built... 😕 😕 "

"yes, doing very little."

There are some that don't understand the preservation of history and admiring it in regards to the timeframe it was built, nor building for nostalgia or other reasons personal to yourself.

Just took me off guard.

We have a word for people like that. It's called "asshole".

If someone shares your hobbies with you, telling them that their hobby is useless and that they should throw it out is categorically a "dick move". Fuck that guy.

When I tell people I build DOS PCs in my spare time people don't really want to talk about it, but I think it makes me seem more interesting. Then they talk about cars or whatever, which I don't care about, but I politely listen and ask questions anyway.

Reply 23 of 58, by VileR

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Scali wrote:

This reminds me of the term "Eternal September" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September)
In short, internet access used to be a privilege, generally only accessible to people at universities, DoD and a select few other organizations. The early internet had its own rules and values.
Every year at September, there was a new influx of students, who got their first taste of the internet. These people were not up to date with the rules and values, and were somewhat ignorant in general, so they conducted themselves in ways that were not socially acceptable in those circles, so to speak.

Hah, yep - heard the term, although I was never really on Usenet and my university age came much later. But the same principle held true for BBS culture, and just computing in general. While technology's evolving, there's a barrier to entry and "newbies" have to invest some effort and learn the ropes. When it gets accessible enough to gain a critical mass of new adopters who don't need to invest much effort, and can consequently take more things for granted, it becomes a crowd mentality / lowest common denominator kind of thing, since as crowds tend to do they'll lash out against whatever is perceived as non-inclusive or "elitist". Just the way the world works.

OT: gotta admit it's a bit silly to expect most people to be interested in / impressed by old hardware in and of itself. Some of them (but not too many) may be intrigued if they see that hardware doing things they never expect it to, or in creative or enjoyable things done *with* that hardware. Some may even grok that an old "pile of junk" typically squeezed a lot more useful work per cycle/FLOP/whatever than today's machines do (see Wirth's Law). But most aren't going to care, and why should you expect them to? Do your hobbies define you? it's mostly a matter of picking your battles.

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Reply 24 of 58, by kolderman

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Sounds like my first PC - 80mb / 2mb / 512k (vram), later upgraded to 4mb ram.

I notice on a lot of current gaming forums (e.g. reddit), the majority seem to sneer at playing games even from the late 2000s (10+ years old now), because the graphics don't have some pixel shaded effect or whatever. Even though we are talking about post-Crysis games here. The difference in graphics between games of that era and today are...not that great...and it really comes down to artwork more than anything. But to dismiss awesome games from the past that have incredible stories, level design, atmosphere, because of a near trivial difference in graphics is absurd and says a lot about modern "gamers". Or should we say modern gamblers? Because most of their gameplay revolves around aiming-assisted, level-balanced combat routines that are just a pretext for the next loot box purchase. I mean surprise mechanic!

Fact is I play games from 20-30 years ago as well, and I find the graphics melt away once you get into the gameplay - Q1 and Q2 on my v2sli look great, not that you notice as you are sprinting through crazy level designs that haven't been seen since. Hell Doom(1993) is a hellava game still. I fired up Space Quest 3 again recently, and the strong MT32 soundtrack more than makes up for the early graphics, which still capture a certain charm anyway. There is a lot to be said for wonderful hand-drawn 2D backdrops in games from that era...when was the last time you saw that in a modern game?

Would you give up a little graphic fidelity for the culture and humor and personality of the 90s compared to the greedy narcissistic social gaming phenomena of today? I know I would and that's why I love retro gaming.

Reply 25 of 58, by hwh

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Most people see it as trash, or at best, something to be resold or salvaged for metals. At some point, if people don't want it, it really is trash. But your average guy who doesn't know computers likely has no awareness that there is a market and interest in classic technology, and is basing his assessment of it as trash on what he does know. Most of my "great stuff" came out of a trash pile.

It's not just computers, though. Anything old - cars, buildings, books, tools, any products no longer seen in stores and known by youth can easily be labeled worthless by people who don't know what they're looking at and only see a lack of what they are familliar with.

As for what that says about them, perhaps nothing; everyone has their own different interests and areas of expertise.

Reply 26 of 58, by Scali

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keenmaster486 wrote:

But the fad hasn't extended yet to vintage computers. So it's still viewed as strange.

I'm not sure about that.
I think certain classic machines are quite popular still, even in the mainstream.
Commodore 64, NES, Apple II, Atari VCS etc.
You still see them in television shows and movies... And many of them have modern 'mini/classic' versions of them. So apparently companies think that it makes sense to re-launch these products.

I guess the same goes for many other things, such as cars for example.
Mainstream people aren't interested in just any old car. But a classic Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati, Jaguar, Corvette or whatever, anyone can appreciate those.
My brother seems to have problems understanding that. He drives a Mercedes E430 from 1998. In his mind it's a 'classic'. Most other people just see an old taxi. It's not a classic car to the mainstream. It doesn't have that X-factor, doesn't speak to the imagination.

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Reply 27 of 58, by MMaximus

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Anonymous Coward wrote:

The thing that pisses me off is that during the 80s and much of the 90s, you were tagged as a dork and socially outcast if you were into computers. These days you'll find that every jock douchebag is glued to their screen. These people don't deserve the access to modern technology for their past sins. I say anyone belittling vintage computers ought to have their phones and laptops confiscated.

Spot on. I guess the difference is that in the '80s and '90s, you were in it because you had an interest in technology and computing. Nowadays most people are glued to their screen, but they don't really have an interest in technology - they're only using it to satisfy their craving for social connection (i.e. Facebook Twitter etc.)

And for the OP, I wouldn't care about negative comments from others. Do what makes you happy! It's not like you're hurting anyone restoring old computers...

Reply 28 of 58, by Errius

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Mister Xiado wrote:

I deleted what I was typing about that initially, but basically, there has been an engineered campaign of anti-intellectualism in the west since shortly after World War II.

Popular culture is targeted at ordinary people with ordinary intelligence. It's all about numbers. That's where the money is.

“I like to dissect PCs. Don't you know I'm utterly insane?"

Reply 29 of 58, by Scali

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VileRancour wrote:

Some may even grok that an old "pile of junk" typically squeezed a lot more useful work per cycle/FLOP/whatever than today's machines do (see Wirth's Law).

Yea, there's a thing. It's a trend I think I actually see with machines that I've had new and are still in active service.
For example, I bought a low-budget laptop in 2015, a dual core machine.
Now, Windows 10 and most apps ran fine on that initially. However, it seems that the recent trend of "thread all the things!" has led to software that isn't necessarily faster, but just uses more threads/cores, because even the simplest of tasks are put into a threadpool.
When you have 4+ cores, that's fine, you won't notice. But with only 2 cores, I find that certain software just basically grinds to a halt. One such example is Microsoft Solitaire Collection. It used to run just fine, but recent versions seem to lock up when it's busy trying to sign in and sync with the cloud.

http://scalibq.wordpress.com/just-keeping-it- … ro-programming/

Reply 30 of 58, by 640K!enough

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Scali wrote:

Now, Windows 10 and most apps ran fine on that initially. However, it seems that the recent trend of "thread all the things!" has led to software that isn't necessarily faster, but just uses more threads/cores, because even the simplest of tasks are put into a threadpool.

BeOS introduced the concept of "pervasive multi-threading" in the nineties, and it was generally more responsive on the modest hardware of the time than modern Mac OS X (pardon me, "macOS" now), Windows or Linux on current hardware. I agree that there is a problem that desperately needs attention, but I wouldn't heap all of the blame on the use of threads.

Anyone following at the time may remember that there was quite a debate about that architecture, with at least one relatively well-known software figure (I have forgotten who it was) commenting that it was a sure-fire path to disaster, and that it would never scale.

Reply 31 of 58, by jmarsh

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Scali wrote:

However, it seems that the recent trend of "thread all the things!" has led to software that isn't necessarily faster, but just uses more threads/cores, because even the simplest of tasks are put into a threadpool.

Windows 10 initializes the default threadpool (one thread per cpu core) for every process regardless of whether it even gets used. This is observable by debugging a simple C "hello world" app under windows 10 vs. earlier versions of windows.

Reply 32 of 58, by SquallStrife

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Vaudane wrote:
So my old 386 came up, and I was showing off pictures of it. Waxing lyrical about how the 30+ year old 80 MB hard drive has zero […]
Show full quote

So my old 386 came up, and I was showing off pictures of it. Waxing lyrical about how the 30+ year old 80 MB hard drive has zero errors, bad sectors or other damage despite not having lived a blessed life. So I start discussing the whopping 2 MB ram of the thing when one of the people I am showing states

"It's a pile of junk"

"It's a computer older than you are that works as well as the day it was built... 😕 😕 "

"yes, doing very little."

There are some that don't understand the preservation of history and admiring it in regards to the timeframe it was built, nor building for nostalgia or other reasons personal to yourself.

Just took me off guard.

Did they ask you to "wax lyrical" about the 30+ year old HDD? It might have simply been the case that you were boring them, or at least the individual that spoke up as you describe. They're still jerks for trivialising your hobby like that, but also try to see it from their perspective.

When you're super in to something, and other people aren't, it can be a hard pill to swallow. You're so excited to talk about and share your passion, but others aren't really interested, and either humour you, or be rude about it, like the person you described.

People aren't "wrong" to see computers simply as a means to an end. Old computers use a lot of desk space, mostly aren't very nice to look at, and aren't useful for what most people use their computers for today. Compare this hobby with something like classic cars, where classic cars are visually striking, and perform their task of transportation just as well as a car purchased today.

There isn't a "right" or "wrong" here, no "us" and "them". I know that my eyes glaze over when people I know start bragging about their sport/athletic achievements, and once upon a time I might have given them a gentle ribbing for voluntarily doing something that just makes you tired and sore. It's just human to show disinterest in something you're, well, not interested in.

MMaximus wrote:

they're only using it to satisfy their craving for social connection (i.e. Facebook Twitter etc.)

It's broader than that, really, and doesn't have to be condescending. All sorts of people have to use computers to perform their jobs. Emailing, point-of-sale, data entry/lookup, document preparation, spreadsheets, etc etc etc.

They have no interest in the machine used to perform these tasks, only that it is capable to do it. I used to find that inconceivable, but I got older and realised it's the same as any piece of technology really. Most people couldn't describe how an Internal Combustion Engine works, and wouldn't bother to maintain a classic car, but still drive to work every day.

We can have our hobbies, everybody can have their hobbies, and we don't all have to show interest in everyone else's hobby. The problem isn't that OP's friend didn't care about old computers, the problem is that he was low-key a dick about it.

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Reply 33 of 58, by VileR

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At least OP's reaction sounds reasonable - he was caught off guard, but came to realize that not everyone values the exact same things. A fact that too many these days seem unable to face without lapsing into a temper tantrum, shutting off reality, and losing their delicate six-fold crystalline symmetry. 😁

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Reply 34 of 58, by Con 2 botones

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I tend to respect people´s passion for a subject, activity, collecting, etc. If I don´t share the taste for it or even if I dislike it, I´ll reserve my opinion (unless that in what you are engaging in, is harmful to somebody who isn´t aware/doesn´t deserve it, or the collective/nation), I don´t see the point in that sort of "it´s a pile of junk" disrespectful comments. Maybe that attitude is more common when you are younger.

On the other hand, one should be able to "smell" where and to whom (context) is ok to share your enthusiasm for a particular subject/activity, and when it is not the case.

Reply 35 of 58, by Baoran

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I would assume that after I die, most of my stuff will be put to e-waste. Nobody who would end up with my stuff would understand or realise that they are worth saving and you could get thousands of euros by selling them on ebay.

Reply 36 of 58, by Unknown_K

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I don't like being lumped into "US" just because I collect old computers. There are people who jump into this hobby collecting all kinds of stuff they never use and then leave in a couple years because of boredom and then hop into the latest fad. I got into collecting for a few reasons about 20 years ago when very few people understood the hobby and still mess around with the stuff today.

Some people only collect vintage computer equipment because of gaming. So a fellow collector who likes playing Pirates! on an old 286 would look at somebody with a 286 running OS/2 and wonder what is wrong with them. I collect vintage analog video capture and editing gear and that is a niche within a niche hobby. Sure I love vintage too.

These days with rising prices you have people who grab stuff just to flip, not being collectors at all.

Collector of old computers, hardware, and software

Reply 37 of 58, by Hamby

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Mister Xiado wrote:
I'm not particularly interested in antique televisions, but I can appreciate people's fondness for the classic sets from the ear […]
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I'm not particularly interested in antique televisions, but I can appreciate people's fondness for the classic sets from the early days of the technology. I admire the craftsmanship that went into their engineering and outward design, so I can see why others would have an affinity for them. I don't like green peppers, but I respect them, and don't think that they have no merit. I recognize that others may enjoy them a great deal. It takes some degree of mental maturity to recognize the feelings of others, and that their minds are whole separate perceptions of reality. Also, I could hardly call myself an archivist, and collect classic computers, video games and firearms if I dismissed others' passions for relics and such.
With that said, it's rather vogue these days to be ignorant. There's no guarantee of success and wealth for those going into STEM fields, so hardcore programmers and electronic engineers are becoming fewer and farther between. The days of the basement programmer hacking out masterpieces to be saved on a re-purposed cassette or floppy, surrounded by stacks of spiral bound manuals, and spiral notebooks, are pretty much gone. People barely know how to cook, sew, perform simple vehicle maintenance such as changing one's oil and filters, grow a vegetable garden, or pretty much any practical skill that used to be taken for granted.
Without getting too dour, it's not impossible to find others who share your passions. I mean, there's this site. And... uh.... hmm. But never mind that! Find your happiness in life, as there's no reward for being miserable. You just get used to feeling miserable, and it becomes your new default mood. You should avoid that at all cost.

I asked all of my coworkers, friends, and relatives to keep an eye out for old computers and other tech for me. Fifteen years, and not a single report from any of them. 😒

We had a huge storm last night that brought this home to me. 117,000 people had their power knocked out. The winds just knocked over power poles, trees... it was bad.

I get on the power company's twitter feed to see when they can restore power to my area... and I'm shocked at the ignorant and self-centered vitriol I see directed at the power company, demanding instant restoration of service... while the thunder, lightning and rain were still storming outside! Complete disconnect of what goes on behind them plugging their usb cable into their power converter into the wall and magically having light and internet access.

Reply 38 of 58, by Hamby

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There's a Retro Games group on Gab.com, and someone could start up a related retro computing group
(I would, but I haven't the self-discipline or time to moderate it...)
https://gab.com/groups/58

Reply 39 of 58, by manbearpig

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Wonder what those guys would think about my Teletypes?

Premio 212B motherboard (MSI MS-6112)
Intel PentiumII 333MHz Slot 1 66MHz bus
384MB ECC 66MHz
SIIG ATA133 controller --> Seagate Barracuda 80GB
SIIG Gigabit Ethernet (RTL8169) / USB 2.0 / IEEE1394 controller
ESS 1869 soundcard on board wavetable synth