33906RE: Intertec Superbrain
- Jan 6, 2014
I mostly agree with Mike - generally, leave the vintage computer as you obtained it. At least to start. Then figure out why it is that way. *Then* make a decision about what to about that configuration. There's no rule about this - the actual rule is "know what your predecessors did, and why". And by extension, know what your plans are, and why. Part of my interest in vintage computing, is decoding what the previous owners did.
Today, there's a bias to "restore to mint condition" because there's an assumption "the factory" got it right, the system as sold was "correct", and users (note I did not say "owners") will get it wrong, mess it up, "spoil" it somehow. The subtext now is, what users do, doesn't matter, the value is in the "original" computer.
Well, I'm from "the era". In the era, we computer owners were often obliged to change "the factory" design, because the designers goofed it up, or parts were unavailable later, or better parts became available, or...just because what it did wasn't useful anymore, and our magic "mod" will make it useful or more interesting, or teach me something.
Some vintage computers aren't even "factory" - they were reconstructed from scratch, or from published designs. Some were custom ordered - these cards and not others. Vintage computers did dramatic things, unintended and unanticipated by "the factory", thanks to owners who ordered and redesigned them. In the S-100 world, people still buy prototype boards for a reason. ;)
The point used to be, these computers were malleable things, and we made the changes to suit ourselves,. because "the original" computer was merely a starting point. Today, computers are "complete", so the idea of "original" condition is considered restoration, rather than removing valuable history.
So it depends on the things I've mentioned. Vintage car owners have similar issues - "stock", "custom", "semicustom", "street rods", "farm beaters" - for similar reasons. LIke some cards, some vintage computers have a story - consider preserving the story, that's a good "rule".
---In firstname.lastname@example.org, <mike@...> wrote:
It's personal choice, but I'm leaning more and more towards leaving systems in as operated condition, rather than returning to as shipped from the factory.
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