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I can still remember the day way back in 1982 when I walked into the 'computer club's' open day display and was absolutely mesmerised by their 2 or 3 home made computers. I worked hard and saved up enough money to buy a Vic 20. Spent endless hours during the school day drooling over the descriptions of the programs in those books that I would later, painstakingly enter into the Vic later that night. The descriptions were nothing like the actual program, but that didn't matter! In those days, we still used our imagination. Then I upgraded to the C64 but it wasn't long before I switch to the atari 800xl (I know, a significant political decision that to this day has divided friendships). I can still remember the day I could afford a second hand 810 5 1/4 disk drive. I could finally play Ball blazer and Behind Jaggi lines ("Fractalis").

Those were the days when computers were really special, mysterious, magical, unique, individual, and had "that smell" and "that sound".. It was a new world, shared by only a few believers.

Around 1985-86 I tried to sell my 800xl and all the peripherals (including 100s of disks). I remember some cheeky kids rang me after seeing the advert in the paper and just laughed at me over the phone. They couldn't believe I actually wanted to get money for this laughably old technology. Fortunately it never sold, and was stored in my parents garage for the best part of the last 25 years.

Maybe it's an early mid-life crisis. Maybe it's escapism, back to a time when we had one on one control with what we did with computers and when we did it or maybe it's reliving and recapturing those childhood moments that's recently got me drooling again over the commodores and Atari's. Either way, slowly building up a collection of vintage computers and now 'repairing' my commodore 8032 with the help of great vintage-computer.com enthusiasts, has been a real hoot!

My list
1) Commodore Vic 20 (now missing 3 x 2114 video ram chips!) with peripherals
2) Commodore 64 X 2 with peripherals
3) Commodore SX64
4) Commodore PET 8032 x 2 (one with 3 're-furbished' 2114 video ram chips and one still DOA) with 4040 disk drive
5) Atari 400
6) Atari 800xl with peripherals
7) My own vintage style 6ft6 robot named Eugene, not really a computer, more a peripheral!

Vintage computers, vintage robotics, mid century modern design
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Health care and musician


"DAVID: Is this a game... or is it real? JOSHUA: What's the difference?" 'Wargames' 1983