From: jdrose_8_bit <rarecoinbuyer@...>
Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2013 1:46 PM
Subject: [cosmacelf] Re: Off topic but pretty wonderful PDP8 replica by spare time gizmos
You are probably right.
Was looking at it from my experience.
I definitely enjoy video games. It is my primary interest in 8 bit computers. However, some of my 1970s computer experience was at college using a PDP-8 and a part time job after school programming RPG III on a IBM System 38. So the
current home computer
retro trend created a nostalgia for mini-computers in me. Of course, that would not be true for everyone.
Must say that gaming is what led me to the discovery of the 1802 last year. Researching the Studio II console.
The Intellivsion to the PDPish CP1610.
--- In email@example.com
, "thinkpast" <hjohnson@...> wrote:
> I disagree with the idea that "old famous computers" are following the "current retro boom". They are two somewhat different trends and groups. I'll try to keep on-topic in explaining my view.
> It's simple arithmetic, that millions of people owned millions of various game machines and mass-produced gaming computers in the 1980's and 90's. There was intense user-group support for them, before
the Internet that was the only way to
go. Newsletters, developers, dealers in games and "consoles" and accessories. Even today there's still brick-stores that only sell gaming stuff.
> Some of the 1802-based gaming products, fall into that class.
> Decades later, former owners can either play those on their current computers, in simulation; or for tens or a few hundred dollars, they can buy surviving original machines. The Internet made it easy to get free games, free downloads, free simulators. And because these are free, this drives down the value of original games and original hardware. The fact so much of those originals survive also brings the price down. And computer gaming is very, very popular; so a small subset of classic gaming is still a lot of people.
> So classic video gaming is cheap, familiar, and available. That I believe is the bulk of the "current retro boom", which has actually been around for several years as interest in
> As for "old[er] famous computers": there were fewer of them, many were scrapped, they cost more to ship (heavy, large), they were (mostly) NOT for "gaming", they were expensive in the era (thousands of 1980 dollars). Most were sold for business or scientific or manufacturing use. Individuals who bought these, used them on-the-job or to create companies, products, services. They were NOT cheap - the price of a used car, in the era.
> A subtle point. In the 70's there were few standard machines (nobody dominated), many brands and models, many processor types. A good number of them were bus-based machines (S-100, SS-50, Digital Group, etc.) and came in many configurations and supported many different brands. (These were also sold into the 1980's and some into the 1990's, a fact often forgotten today.)
> My point? If you get one model of an Atari or Commodore or VIP, you know EXACTLY what it does
and does not do. Most 70's vintage computers were NEVER kept that way, because technology moved forward, they were bought to BE modified. This diversity greatly fragments interests in "vintage computers", to specific brands or lines or processors or operating systems.
> Also: many people interested in vintage gaming, have no interest in vintage "computing", non-gaming computers. If that old computer has no video and no games, what's the point of it, it's just an ugly box. There's an age gap, an experience gap too.
> So what's our common experience here? Among the VIPs and ELFs and other 1802 models, there seem to be enough common features, and enough use of 1800 family components, that they constitute a coherent "set". As Lee Hart demonstrates, an ELF-class computer can be produced for under $100 today. Other members here hand-recreate original VIPs and ELFs within that budget. Prices are STILL modest today,
for old 1802-class hardware. And there's challenges in programming these beasts. That, and the prior experiences many of us had with "the originals", is what unites us, via the Internet which "only" costs our time to use. (Access is not free.)
> So I guess it's fair to say that our 1802 community benefits somewhat from the "current retro-computer boom". But a small group interest in a particular vintage product or brand can sustain itself, when costs of the items themselves are low (zero in simulation) and costs to stay connected and get support are low (zero, if you don't need hardware). When costs matter, when hardware matters - that's a different story, as it's hard to compete with zero costs. Interest in hardware, or in original hardware, is a different class of activity.
> Herb Johnson
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