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27717re: [midatlanticretro] To change or not to change? Re: NorthStar Horizon Woes

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  • B. Degnan
    Oct 17, 2012
      >
      > It's funny to read these days, about concerns of "modifying the system
      from original", when talking about S-100 systems. It's funny to me, because
      quite simply, I was there at the time they were so-called "original".
      >
      > People - like me - bought these old S-100 systems to USE, not to protect
      with plastic covers and never scratch them up. Most of these systems NEEDED
      upgrades, and required several different brands of cards, to eventually do
      something "standard". There really were NO STANDARDS, for many years.
      >
      > And cards were bought as kits, bare boards. They were chopped up. That's
      why these systems had busses, dudes - for more cards! And often, old
      hardware was TERRIBLE - it had to be replaced. Some of it didn't even work
      when designed.
      >
      > And then, there's today. Do you own one of these puppies to show off on a
      shelf? to sell on eBay? or to USE?
      >
      > I say - put this old technology to USE!


      First of all I don't want to beat up on those who do see vintage computers
      like baseball cards and want "mint" condition specimens in the original
      boxes. I am quite happy to sell my specimens on Ebay and make top dollar
      to those who want them.

      Herb and I have collaborated recently on restoring an old Bell and Howell
      Apple II plus on Ebay, and we did what we could to merge our parts into one
      complete "black" setup with two drives, so that we could get top dollar for
      it. Herb did a great job re-paining one of the disk drive covers. My
      point is that there is a time and a place for this kind of thing.

      It will be interesting to see if the person who bought the Bell and Howell
      Apple II plus will ever use it.

      I have a boxed Apple iie that I never use, I guess because it's in the
      original box. I always pull out the closest one on the shelf instead
      because it's loose and with no special collectable value. I don't want to
      "waste the good one" I suppose.

      Anyway, I personally got into vintage computing to learn more about
      electronics, and getting the systems to work is where I get the
      satisfaction, not so much whether I trashed the case or replaced a part to
      do it.

      Corey of our group seems to have a good mix of the two. He likes to
      restore items to stock, but he does the electronics himself to accomplish
      this, that's where he gets his joy. And he does use his systems, i.e. the
      MARCH Apple I replica.

      >
      > Free your minds! of visions of eBay auctions of "mint" Altairs! You have
      nothing to lose but your chain-store computers! Go write some 8080 binary
      code! Burn some solder! Burn the EPROMS! Burn some electrolytics! Burn them
      all! Be like your predecessors. Make the world safe for personal computing
      again!
      >

      Good thing I have insurance and a fire extinguisher. Our workshop next
      weekend is going to be a barn burner (I hope not).

      BIll
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