The Rise of Retrocomputing

kamxam

[H]ard|Gawd
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Mar 2, 2005
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Was looking into my old stuff and found my old Radeon 6990 card still in working shape. :cool: I do remember it worked equally well as a space heater but nice to know i still have it. Probably still have computer stuff from the 90's in my attic. lol
As for retro gaming, i could have gotten an emulator for instead of the actual Amiga, but like others have said, it's more fun using the original setup imho. (Really wanted to play Midwinter again as i played the heck out of that game years ago)
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2011
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Still have two new-in-the-box and still sealed Voodoo 2 12MB cards. Even has the CompUSA mail-in rebate code.

I have a bunch of retro systems, but I haven't gone below a Pentium 75 mhz. I tend to collect more oddball systems. The weirder or more artistic, the better. My primary retro PC is an NEC Ready 9733. I got it because I love how weird the case design is; CPU up front, crazy riser board for all the ISA and PCI slots, reverse drive layout. It's crazy cool and I love it. I put a P200 MMX in it, 128mb EDO, Voodoo 2, and Soundblaster AWE 64 GOLD and use a CRT monitor.

Here's a link so you can see what they look like.

https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/nec-ready-9733-intel-pentium-mmx-166-1852436589

If anyone has a vintage Acer Aspire in black or green, or the matching CRT monitor, I would love to buy it.
 

Starfalcon

Gawd
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
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945
Yeah I have a computer case similar to that except it has the plug in riser on the bottom, but it does have the P2 300 in the bottom front of the board. My fav things to get were socket A and duallie boards. My likely rarest stuff I have is a boxed Game Blaster card, and a SLI only voodoo 2 card without display outputs that you had to order special. I have a lot of rare duallie boards and a lot of good Abit and Asus boards too.
 

brinstar117

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 11, 2010
Messages
210
Still have two new-in-the-box and still sealed Voodoo 2 12MB cards. Even has the CompUSA mail-in rebate code.

I have a bunch of retro systems, but I haven't gone below a Pentium 75 mhz. I tend to collect more oddball systems. The weirder or more artistic, the better. My primary retro PC is an NEC Ready 9733. I got it because I love how weird the case design is; CPU up front, crazy riser board for all the ISA and PCI slots, reverse drive layout. It's crazy cool and I love it. I put a P200 MMX in it, 128mb EDO, Voodoo 2, and Soundblaster AWE 64 GOLD and use a CRT monitor.

Here's a link so you can see what they look like.

https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/nec-ready-9733-intel-pentium-mmx-166-1852436589

If anyone has a vintage Acer Aspire in black or green, or the matching CRT monitor, I would love to buy it.

Your NEC computer is a nearly maxed out version of the first computer my family ever got. It is a funky layout as you mentioned, NLX form factor I believe. However, your experience with it seems to be much more positive than my memories of that particular tower. On ours the CD-ROM drive was so bad that it caused me to lag out of Diablo 1 games over dial-up. Yes, you read that right. The CD drive could not load data fast enough and I would time out and the server would disconnect me. It was some Goldstar brand (now known as LG) piece of junk. Being a computer neophyte at the time I was nervous when updating the firmware of the CD drive in a longshot hope that it would help the CD drive performance. It ultimately did not and I replaced the CD drive later. The dial-up modem was advertised as 56k but would only connect at 28.8k at best, once I swapped out the modem I was able to get 56k speeds. I did have some good memories as once I upgraded to a Voodoo 3 2000 I was able to play some games like Unreal and Half-Life fully graphically accelerated. It was a world of difference over software rendering. The final upgrade I put into the computer was a Soundblaster Live! card and a some generic ethernet card for LAN parties.

Our NEC computer came from CompUSA and for a bit of fun here's a quote for it:


 

Format _C:

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 12, 2001
Messages
3,755
Your NEC computer is a nearly maxed out version of the first computer my family ever got. It is a funky layout as you mentioned, NLX form factor I believe. However, your experience with it seems to be much more positive than my memories of that particular tower. On ours the CD-ROM drive was so bad that it caused me to lag out of Diablo 1 games over dial-up. Yes, you read that right. The CD drive could not load data fast enough and I would time out and the server would disconnect me. It was some Goldstar brand (now known as LG) piece of junk. Being a computer neophyte at the time I was nervous when updating the firmware of the CD drive in a longshot hope that it would help the CD drive performance. It ultimately did not and I replaced the CD drive later. The dial-up modem was advertised as 56k but would only connect at 28.8k at best, once I swapped out the modem I was able to get 56k speeds. I did have some good memories as once I upgraded to a Voodoo 3 2000 I was able to play some games like Unreal and Half-Life fully graphically accelerated. It was a world of difference over software rendering. The final upgrade I put into the computer was a Soundblaster Live! card and a some generic ethernet card for LAN parties.

Our NEC computer came from CompUSA and for a bit of fun here's a quote for it:



CompUSA nice I worked there from the time I was 16 (Year 2000) till they shut up shop I was sad to see it close as that was a job I actually loved I then went to GeekSquard who turned me down for being to smart!
One test was a PC that would boot 1 second after I opened the case I found the IDE cable was not plugged into the motherboard (it was buried under a mess of other flat ribbon type cables
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2011
Messages
696
CompUSA nice I worked there from the time I was 16 (Year 2000) till they shut up shop I was sad to see it close as that was a job I actually loved I then went to GeekSquard who turned me down for being to smart!
One test was a PC that would boot 1 second after I opened the case I found the IDE cable was not plugged into the motherboard (it was buried under a mess of other flat ribbon type cables


I worked at CompUSA as well during my junior and senior year of high school. Remember the push for TAP? LOL. Our store actually replaced a lot of computers that way due to power surges.

I was actually one of the black-shirted Mac specialists for the Apple store within a store, though I still just as many PCs. I even lent a hand from time to time in the repair shop.

I was there for the original iMac launch. One of the actual Apple reps got grumpy with me once because I replaced the standard OG iMacs demo with the trailer for Star Wars Phantom Menace on repeat. When he saw the crowd around it though he backed off. Steve Jobs once surprise secret shopped our store, but I recognized him right away. He showed up at a couple other stores in the area during the week. Come to think of it, a letter to the editor I wrote about working for the Apple Store within a store to MacWorld or Mac Addict got published. I'll see if I can find it. The editor who published it has since passed away.

CompUSA was a fun place. Rows and rows of software. Playing with the newest tech. Even got my A+ through them. On my last week, the GM let me work for 50+ hours, and gave me the corporate employee discount for all my college tech I was buying. It was a lot better than bagging groceries like most of my friends did.

Later, between college and starting my career, I worked in the Best Buy PC department. It wasn't nearly as fun, and the GeekSquad had nothing on our old tech crew.
 

ManofGod

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
12,654
I worked at CompUSA as well during my junior and senior year of high school. Remember the push for TAP? LOL. Our store actually replaced a lot of computers that way due to power surges.

I was actually one of the black-shirted Mac specialists for the Apple store within a store, though I still just as many PCs. I even lent a hand from time to time in the repair shop.

I was there for the original iMac launch. One of the actual Apple reps got grumpy with me once because I replaced the standard OG iMacs demo with the trailer for Star Wars Phantom Menace on repeat. When he saw the crowd around it though he backed off. Steve Jobs once surprise secret shopped our store, but I recognized him right away. He showed up at a couple other stores in the area during the week. Come to think of it, a letter to the editor I wrote about working for the Apple Store within a store to MacWorld or Mac Addict got published. I'll see if I can find it. The editor who published it has since passed away.

CompUSA was a fun place. Rows and rows of software. Playing with the newest tech. Even got my A+ through them. On my last week, the GM let me work for 50+ hours, and gave me the corporate employee discount for all my college tech I was buying. It was a lot better than bagging groceries like most of my friends did.

Later, between college and starting my career, I worked in the Best Buy PC department. It wasn't nearly as fun, and the GeekSquad had nothing on our old tech crew.

Damn, I miss CompUSA. Yeah, it is no Microcenter but, it was the only retail store we had in my area and with them no longer in business......
 

Format _C:

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 12, 2001
Messages
3,755
Damn, I miss CompUSA. Yeah, it is no Microcenter but, it was the only retail store we had in my area and with them no longer in business......
Never been to a Microcenter I don't even know where one is, I don't think Connecticut has any? BestBuy GeekSquad sucks! Too smart what A$$hattery that is!
 

ManofGod

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Never been to a Microcenter I don't even know where one is, I don't think Connecticut has any? BestBuy GeekSquad sucks! Too smart what A$$hattery that is!

I am certain that there are at least 3 Microcenter stores around the New York City Area.
 

Format _C:

2[H]4U
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Jun 12, 2001
Messages
3,755
There's one in Boston if you don't mind going for a drive.
That sounds better since I usually travel to Vermont around August and Boston is sort of near where I am on the way to Vermont I think one exit said Boston but did not really pay 100% attention to that.
 

matt167

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 18, 2016
Messages
1,125
I miss CompUSA. Never even seen a Microcenter or Frys.. Computer shows are the retro thing that I really miss.. I still have a package of 1.44mb floppy's that I bought at probably the last show I ever went to. They are dated 2002 which is about right
 

Mazzspeed

2[H]4U
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Dec 27, 2017
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3,161
PC's...Meh.

Get a real retro computer...

XsWReBr.jpg
 

matt167

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I have a similar setup except it sits ontop of a late 90's Compaq Deskpro ( retro in itself ) because I have an X1541 adapter to write games/ software to disk with the 1541.. The Compaq has the serial port I need
 

auntjemima

[H]ard DCOTM x2
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Mar 1, 2014
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Have you checked prices recently? That monitor cost me $50.00 and I had to replace the flyback transformer and the HOT, which was fine as I can do all that myself and both components are fairly cheap. Nowadays the same monitor working fetches ~$500.00.
I meant I have a commodore 1702 monitor lol. I don't know what kind is in your picture.
 

auntjemima

[H]ard DCOTM x2
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The 1702 would be worth more than my 1084S. The 1702 is older and therefore rarer. Also, as you implied, it's the perfect fit for the C64 Breadbin.
Just pure luck I ran into it. Commodore stuff isn't exactly common (lol) where I live and one day it just popped up for $50 on FB marketplace. Guy even delivered.
 

Mazzspeed

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Just pure luck I ran into it. Commodore stuff isn't exactly common (lol) where I live and one day it just popped up for $50 on FB marketplace. Guy even delivered.
I tried everything to get a 1701/2, in the end I gave up and got a 1084S. Essentially the 1084S is probably a slightly better monitor anyway, with more in the way of connectivity, it's IQ is absoultely fantastic as I've spent ages carefully tuning it and tweaking the focus on the flyback. But I've got a soft spot for the 1701/2 - Enjoy it, you need to find a nice breadbin C64 if you haven't already. I've been watching modern demoscene releases on mine today, the things coders can do on the platform now really is amazing considering the machine first saw the light of day in 1982 - I just love the sound of the SID chip.
 

painintheworld

Limp Gawd
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149
The 1702 would be worth more than my 1084S. The 1702 is older and therefore rarer. Also, as you implied, it's the perfect fit for the C64 Breadbin.
I haven't noticed this trend. If this is the case, I'm going into my storage and pulling some of them out and trading them immediately. I have a couple of 1902/1902A, but no 1084/1084s :(

On the bright side, I got my third new to me 8 bit Atari in this year and a mint Indus GT with case.
 

1_rick

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I haven't noticed this trend. If this is the case, I'm going into my storage and pulling some of them out and trading them immediately. I have a couple of 1902/1902A, but no 1084/1084s :(

On the bright side, I got my third new to me 8 bit Atari in this year and a mint Indus GT with case.
Oh man, I had an Indus GT back in the day with my Atari 400. Coolest looking thing.
 

Mazzspeed

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On the bright side, I got my third new to me 8 bit Atari in this year and a mint Indus GT with case
See, I hate you and I don't even know you! ;)

I've been looking for an A8 for months, they're all about $500.00 which is about $300.00 too expensive - And none of them come with an Indus GT! Now all you have to do is get an Ultimate 1MB and SIDE2/3 and you'll have my A8 dream machine.

The worst thing is: In the 80s I got a brand new 'sealed' in the box 600XL and I never used it, it sat in that box under my bed until I moved out of the parents house and I threw it out...
 

dtnh

n00b
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Feb 6, 2021
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I wish I had my very first computer again.

I took it apart years ago and left it and overtime the parts got cleaned away.

It was a Canon Innova 486SX 33MHz based computer with integrated Cirrus Logic graphics at 512KB of VRAM. I miss using it. Great memories
 

clockdogg

[H]ard|Gawd
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Dec 12, 2007
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1,175
I was going to say something cheeky about nGreedia expanding into the retro market with the new (old) 1050ti, but... saw all these images... and got nostalgic. Now I just feel old. Probably bitter too.
 

Dopeyman

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 2, 2008
Messages
85
We have been cleaning up our storage room (12'x16' or so)...and there are 13 Atari 800XL,5 Atari 600XL, 2 Atari 1200XL, 4 Atari 130XE, 1 Atari XEGS, 7 Apple IIe, 11 C64, 2 C128, 3 CoCo 3, 2 CoCo 2, 2 TI 99/4A, 2 Atari Mega ST4, 1 TRS80 Model 3, and associated storage devices. I have a number of these working in my studio/computer/office room, in addition. I did also find a pair of Voodoo II. That is my style of retro.

painintheworld
Is any of that stuff for sale?
 

painintheworld

Limp Gawd
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149
painintheworld
Is any of that stuff for sale?
I'm sorry, but no. As a matter of fact I am going to have to start going to AA (Atari Anonymous). I got a couple of PokeyMax (FPGA Atari Pokey sound chip replacement, setup as two Pokeys and one Covox), an Antonia 4MB (65c816 CPU upgrade and 4MB RAM upgrade), a Sophia 2 (Atari GTIA replacement chip with DVI output), and another Atari 800XL in since that post.

I need to find two more Indus GT disk drives, besides those on eBay for big bucks.
 
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It's weirdly telling that all these older computers are now far easier to buy than any half-decent modern GPU in this messed-up market, isn't it? Alas, scalpers are still out in full force if you've got the right hardware.

I actually got very lucky indeed that I never had to pay much for my collection of 3dfx Voodoo cards (Diamond Monster 3D V1, two STB V2 12 MB cards, V3 2000 AGP, V5 5500 AGP), and that my Amiga 4000/40 in particular only cost me $200 due to lucking out and meeting the right guy who had three of them, alongside an A1200, a CD32, a CDTV, several A500s and A2000s, and a working A1000 with various peripherals and upgrades for all of 'em. I haven't even seen most of it yet.

He knew what this stuff sells for on eBay nowadays, too. Go ahead, look up the Amiga 4000 on there and watch your wallet weep when you see the working examples... one listing closed at $1,750 shipped with no upgrades beyond a common CD drive and an Indivision AGA scandoubler (so you don't have to hunt down an OSSC or a 15 KHz RGB-compatible monitor), which is more than even an RTX 3090 at MSRP!

Even more interesting is the upgrade market for these things; that A4000 can take an MNT ZZ9000 card that... well, "ReTargetable Graphics card" is an understatement with that thing. It does RTG and scandoubling over HDMI for the native AGA chipset modes via the video slot, but it also has Ethernet, USB, extra Fast RAM over the Zorro III bus, and - the real kicker - a few ARM cores running orders of magnitude faster than the stock 25 MHz 68040, which can be used as coprocessors if the dev community that still exists is willing to write code to run on them, much like the old PowerPC accelerator days.

It's kinda hilarious to consider that retrocomputing's gotten to the point that add-in boards and upgrades have more processing power than the base computer itself, and often mainly to interface said old computer with modern standards (see above about USB, Ethernet, HDMI, etc.) so you're not hunting down equally old peripherals that can be damn near impossible to source at reasonable prices.

Oh, before I forget: I know another guy with an Apple Lisa 2/10, but it doesn't power on and I didn't see a keyboard with it. The latter's a big problem since unlike most other computers, the Lisa does not have any sort of community-homebrewed keyboard adapter on the market for anyone to just plug a Mac keyboard in.

The 1702 would be worth more than my 1084S. The 1702 is older and therefore rarer. Also, as you implied, it's the perfect fit for the C64 Breadbin.
For me, it's firmly the opposite; 1702s don't do RGB, only S-Video. Same guy with the aforementioned Lisa has a couple of 'em, along with two C64s (only one works), a C128, and a C128D with a dead PSU.

The Amiga dude has a bunch of 1080/1084 monitors, both the Daewoo and Philips varieties. Not all work, sadly. One used to work, but suddenly popped the magic smoke during testing. Another monitor (interestingly Magnavox-branded rather than Commodore-branded, but clearly the same type of monitor) starts off as a bright horizontal line, but warms up into a complete picture... that I'd dare say looks better than all the other examples, very nice color rendering. Second best monitor after his PVM-14M2U. Probably needs a recap somewhere.

15 KHz RGB-capable CRTs are the most valuable ones, hands down - but in the wake of My Life in Gaming distilling the information I had to learn the hard way sifting through GamesX/NFG Games a decade ago, prices on all of those shot up big time, especially PVM/BVMs. Might have to opt for an X2VGA or XRGB-style scandoubler paired with a 31 KHz VGA CRT like a GDM as a cost-effective alternative, for those seeking the CRT look and near-nonexistent input lag.

For S-Video on the C64/128, I'd just wire up some kind of double-RCA to mini-DIN adapter (why didn't Commodore use the mini-DIN like everyone else did for S-Video?) and use any old CRT SDTV. Done.
 

w1retap

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Yea keeping the 15kHz monitors working is a pain. I have two physically good condition monitors -- the 1084S-D2, and the 1902A. The 1084S-D2 works well, except the green cathode isn't working. I've tested and replaced a ton of components in the green circuit, but it still doesn't show green. Might be the actual CRT internal to the glass itself. My 1902A needs the degauss circuit repaired -- for now I'm using a manual degauss coil.
 

PurduEE

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I have a similar setup except it sits ontop of a late 90's Compaq Deskpro ( retro in itself ) because I have an X1541 adapter to write games/ software to disk with the 1541.. The Compaq has the serial port I need
I suspect I wrote some of the BIOS code for your Deskpro...
 

w1retap

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Picked up a brand new Eizo FlexScan LCD in preparation for RTG ZZ9000 + Buffee Accelerator. (currently running a TF534 030 + Indivision ECS v2) I also have a RGB2HDMI Pi Zero graphics slot card I'll be building and testing this week for use with the Super Denise that will be replacing the Indivision ECS v2.

Du98X4i.jpg

hSvvibb.jpg
 
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