Computer Collecting

Friends who have seen my electronics warehouse, err.. basement, know that I’m an avid collector of “antique” electronics. From the 8-Track recorder, yes you heard that right not just an 8-Track player, but a recorder, to my collection of cell phones and landline phones my interest in history seems to manifest itself in collecting bits of history.

As an information technology professional I think it’s both important and useful to realize how I got to where I am. For me this means both the people like “Mr. C” my elementary school computer teacher who showed me the inside of an Apple //e and taught me the fundamentals of computing as well as those early machines I worked with. This means that it has been one of my personal goals to collect some of those influential machines from my early years. A fun side benefit is the ability to play the games and software I remember from my youth on real hardware instead of an emulator.

This means that I also have quite a collection of computers in my basement, primarily Motorola 68k Macs and a few Commodores. I’ve even gone so far as to have similar minded geek friends over for a LAN party consisting of these early Macs in a LocalTalk environment. Nothing like a good game of Wagon Train 1848 (multiplayer Oregon Trail) to get things going!

Because of these interests I try to stay on top of what’s going on in vintage computing circles, subscribe to several mailing lists and visit quite a few websites devoted to the topic. There’s something to be said for experimenting with computers just to see what can be done even though it may not be practical (LocalTalk to Ethernet bridge for Internet access from a 512K Mac anyone?) though it seems to be something that occurs less frequently these days.

I recently ran across 1000BiT, a website devoted to vintage computing which I had not seen before. 1000BiT is a great website for finding everything you can related to a specific vintage computer in one place. From system specs to original advertising, brochures and manuals they’ve got it covered. It’s a great stroll through personal computing history and an easy place to get lost in for hours as you pour over the specs and adverts which built an empire.

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