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First post, by gerry

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i tend to have vintage computer interests that run in phases:

Low interest - just not that into it, longish periods of low but not absent interest
Fact finding - interested in technical or other information
Hardware - acquiring
Hardware/Software - setting up PCs
Using software - games and other types, here i go from installing and testing to actually using/playing something on and off for weeks

these are usually cyclic and often in above order, taking months - sometimes one element will be stronger than others. i'd guess it was pretty normal, its a wide ranging hobby and many other interests take the same cyclic pattern for me

the acquisitive phase is the 'worst' as this is demonstrably wasteful when in the 'using software' phase i am usually just on a couple of ten year old machines using win 7, dosbox and a mix of vanilla installs, gog and some mods to get things working!

it's the latter i am now more determined to remind myself of if i ever think of buying stuff again, the next purchase should be a newer PC really, a few years from now

how about you? does you interest in retro/vintage computing tend to run in phases?

Reply 1 of 18, by chinny22

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Overall I break it down to only 2 phases.

Software - In the mood to mess around with an old OS or play a certain game.
Hardware - upgrading or building a new PC.

Most my retro PC's are permanently setup so when I'm in the "software" phase and feel like a game of Doom I can simply turn on the 486, If I feel like Need for Speed I can quicky start the P3.
I've enough PC's that if one is having issues I'll just jump to another PC and troubleshoot the first when I'm in the Hardware tinkering mood.

I spend alot more of my time in hardware phase though. I'm also an opportunist now that I have the key dos,win9x, XP PC's covered. I'll score a certain system for free and work out what I can best use it for. Maybe a base to try niche tech like early 3D API's or different soundcards, maybe to play around with old Server OS's.
Alot of the time is also troubleshooting why a PC doesn't want to work after been left dormant for a year or 2 which still scratches that tinkering itch.

Reply 2 of 18, by megatron-uk

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Agree on th cyclic nature. I'm at the point where there is too much stuff on 'permanent' setup and it's driving me mad with the amount of space it is taking up.

Suspect I will do a big clear up and declutter my office and box everything up into storage. Also got a lot of concoles/shelving setup to have everything ready to turn on/display instantly.... and I just don't use it.

My collection database and technical wiki:
https://www.target-earth.net

Reply 3 of 18, by gerry

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chinny22 wrote on 2023-09-20, 04:02:
Overall I break it down to only 2 phases. […]
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Overall I break it down to only 2 phases.

Software - In the mood to mess around with an old OS or play a certain game.
Hardware - upgrading or building a new PC.

Most my retro PC's are permanently setup so when I'm in the "software" phase and feel like a game of Doom I can simply turn on the 486, If I feel like Need for Speed I can quicky start the P3.
I've enough PC's that if one is having issues I'll just jump to another PC and troubleshoot the first when I'm in the Hardware tinkering mood.

I spend alot more of my time in hardware phase though. I'm also an opportunist now that I have the key dos,win9x, XP PC's covered. I'll score a certain system for free and work out what I can best use it for. Maybe a base to try niche tech like early 3D API's or different soundcards, maybe to play around with old Server OS's.
Alot of the time is also troubleshooting why a PC doesn't want to work after been left dormant for a year or 2 which still scratches that tinkering itch.

makes sense to compact the phases into 2 broader ones. Having PCs set and ready to go certainly helps when in "actually using it" mode, i've increasingly concentrated all software around 2-3 machines though, where they can cope with just about anything given the right mix of dosbox, gog etc

Reply 4 of 18, by gerry

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megatron-uk wrote on 2023-09-20, 06:55:

Agree on th cyclic nature. I'm at the point where there is too much stuff on 'permanent' setup and it's driving me mad with the amount of space it is taking up.

Suspect I will do a big clear up and declutter my office and box everything up into storage. Also got a lot of concoles/shelving setup to have everything ready to turn on/display instantly.... and I just don't use it.

this is the counter point to the ease of having ready set ups. It's not space for me (although it is taking up lots of space...) but the fact that i can do almost anything with a small number of machines now

i have some old consoles, indeed they don't get used much at all now but then i'm much more into PC software / games than consoles and for me most games on consoles just aren't quite as good as their PC equivalents

Reply 5 of 18, by chinny22

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I've definitely got too many machines. I've only got 4 in regular use for dos, 9x, XP and modern gaming.
yet I've another 2 dos, 3 Win9x, 2 XP builds not to mention my retro servers and most these PC's dual boot.

but I remember before having "backup" machines when I'd want to play Need for Speed and the PC was playing up for whatever reason, by the time I'd fixed it I was no longer in the mood to play.
Do I really need a slot 1 AND a slot A build, course not but it makes me happy knowing I have them and the "backup machine" is a good excuse.

Reply 7 of 18, by midicollector

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I just now reached the point where I now officially have too much. I tried to keep from getting here, but here I am anyway. I'm looking at several things planning to try to get rid of them, probably give them away. The hard part is trying to find someone who will value them and won't just throw them out or raid them for parts. Vaguely thinking about going to a VCF just so I can put the stuff in the free pile, but I'm still worried someone will just grab some for parts.

Reply 9 of 18, by asdf53

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For me there are two phases:

1. Get new hardware, clean and repair it, then tweak and benchmark the hell out of it (the fun part)
2. Force myself to actually use it for more than 10 minutes until I realize that it isn't fun, then stash it away and never use it again.

Reply 10 of 18, by ThinkpadIL

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asdf53 wrote on 2023-10-14, 07:08:

...
2. Force myself to actually use it for more than 10 minutes until I realize that it isn't fun, then stash it away and never use it again.

Yeah, those moments when you "suddenly" realize that it is actually not a gem but a piece of old crap and your contemporary cheap generic PC is way much better in every sense. 😄

Reply 12 of 18, by ncmark

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I had initially made that comment about throwing away and switching to dosbox jokingly, but there are grains of truth in it.
I think - perhaps - some systems have aged better than others. For example, I will NEVER get rid of the two systems I have based on Asus CUBX - one 650 P3 and one 850 p3.
On the other hand, not sure about the windows XP box. That is a based on an Athlon XP, and really, those have not aged well. That system would be more useful today if I had used, say, a core 2.
Also on the fence about a tyan 1854 I built with a P3-1000. Like the Athlon, that Apollo chipset has not aged well.

Reply 13 of 18, by midicollector

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There are certain things that I value and genuinely love and would never get rid of. There's other stuff that it turns out I just don't care about. I try to always keep the stuff I genuinely love, in fact I try not to bring in anything I don't genuinely love, but sometimes a good deal just gets the better of me. I think that's the real trick, to just keep the stuff you genuinely love. There's one thing I have that I'm sure will be worth a lot, it's already worth a good amount, but I don't want it because I just don't really care about it. Whereas I have a couple of things that are worthless on paper that I wouldn't part with ever.

Most of the stuff I genuinely love is stuff that I once owned and spent many years regretting that I got rid of it.

Reply 14 of 18, by King_Corduroy

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Personally I was both passionate about vintage computers / retro tech and it was the perfect timing.

I got on the internet right in early 2013 and there was already a bit of a nostalgia wave going on with LGR, AVGN etc and I loved it all!!
Retrowave was coming up, Kung Fury came out only a few years later... you know just everything was amazing and then for some reason it just petered out. I got into a massive depressive slump and sold all my computers and games over the next two years, floundered around collecting 70's stereo junk for a while and MCM furniture and then kinda flirted with coming back but by then Covid had happened and prices had already begun to climb. Fast forward three years and I have a better job, my old 1997 Packard Bell Corner computer (bought it back from my friend), 1987 Tandy 1000HX and a 2005 HP DC7100SFF and most of my boxed games back (been buying them here and there on ebay except most of the FPS games because HOLY FUCK THE PRICES). Just recently my friend who has my other Corner Computer offered to sell it back to me too and I might take him up on that as well as buy back my Designer Tower.

Honestly thinking about taking a break from the internet in general these days just to kind of reset my brain from being sucked out of my head by social media and youtube but I was just listening to an album I listened to a lot back around 2015 and I was remembering how great it was to share my garbage picked finds with everyone and talk about all the old stuff. So here I am. 🤣

Maybe my timing is good again though because Kung-Fury 2 is supposedly coming out in November!!

I'm also super into collecting pre WW2 typewriters and old books too though so I've kind of split between my two oldest hobbies. I still flip flop about going one way or the other but I keep telling myself to just keep both, both have their own value. I've been sending pen-pal letters typed on my typewriters to other typewriter enthusiasts and have even gotten a local friend interested. 😁

So uh yeah I guess it comes in waves for me too these days but I'm trying to keep centered, eat healthier, sleep at reasonable times and just generally stay away from social media so I don't slump into doom scrolling and staying up till 3am again.
HOPEFULLY that will keep my interest in my hobbies alive and light my passion for doing things / participating in my life more again. So far this has been a pretty good year!

mKkJpb4.jpg

I've recreated my computer room as it was mostly before I sold everything with some improvements (the painting and better more sturdy shelves)

avXCc73.jpg

Don't have this set up at the moment but here's a pic from when I got it in the spring of this year. God I love this machine, if it was 1990 and I had to buy something on a budget you bet your butt I would have bought one of these.

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My typewriter nook, where all the letter writing happens. My oldest machine is the Chicago on the bottom there, it's from 1892!! 😳

Check me out at Transcendental Airwaves on Youtube! Fast-food sucks!

Reply 15 of 18, by King_Corduroy

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asdf53 wrote on 2023-10-14, 07:08:

For me there are two phases:

1. Get new hardware, clean and repair it, then tweak and benchmark the hell out of it (the fun part)
2. Force myself to actually use it for more than 10 minutes until I realize that it isn't fun, then stash it away and never use it again.

Yeah this is why I generally stay FAR away from 80's machines these days. Loving my Tandy though but that's because it's dead simple, reminds me of my old PCjr I used to have.

Also personally I like to keep a journal on each of my vintage computers for fun. I also used to balance my checkbook on an old Windows 95 Packard Bell back before I had a debit card (aka before 2017) and I absolutely loved using it for that.
I have to say though if you want a "vintage" computer that will impress you get a mid 2000's Hyper Threaded Pentium 4 system with PCI-e. My little HP Compaq thing there can play games from 2008 and in the past I even ran GTA IV on one no problem. It can playback DVDs and video without issue, view 42MP photo's without lagging, and mine (fitted with a more modern 2TB HDD) is lightning fast starting up XP and navigating files! It always impresses the heck out of me how absolutely useful it still is. So much so that I was thinking of using it as my secondary main PC if I decide to give the interwebs a break since there's no real reason for me to have an i7 with a big ass graphics card plugged in just to play some old games. 🤣

Check me out at Transcendental Airwaves on Youtube! Fast-food sucks!

Reply 16 of 18, by chinny22

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King_Corduroy wrote on 2023-10-18, 02:52:

but I keep telling myself to just keep both, both have their own value. I've been sending pen-pal letters typed on my typewriters to other typewriter enthusiasts and have even gotten a local friend interested. 😁

If you have the space, I say definitely keep it. I've a few different hobbies and may take a couple of years to come back round but that's the whole point of a hobby, doing something enjoyable and once it isn't stop. The fact it's an interest good chance you'll be interested in it again and it's much cheaper dusting off something in storage then starting from scratch all over again.

Reply 17 of 18, by gerry

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King_Corduroy wrote on 2023-10-18, 02:52:

My typewriter nook, where all the letter writing happens. My oldest machine is the Chicago on the bottom there, it's from 1892!! 😳

i wouldn't collect typewriters and yet i'm happy others do, i can appreciate the interest in them

like many i have constantly rotating interests each having their 'turn' as being top of the list, but all getting attention

Reply 18 of 18, by Jasin Natael

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asdf53 wrote on 2023-10-14, 07:08:

For me there are two phases:

1. Get new hardware, clean and repair it, then tweak and benchmark the hell out of it (the fun part)
2. Force myself to actually use it for more than 10 minutes until I realize that it isn't fun, then stash it away and never use it again.

This is me 100%