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Thread: 8 Bit Guy new video - Restoring a PET

  1. #1

    Default 8 Bit Guy new video - Restoring a PET

    Current Vintage Equipment:
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    Asus P5A-B Socket 7 Box, Tandy 1000RLX-HD "B", VIC20, Zenith ZFL-181-93, Packard Bell 300SX.
    Looking for: Inexpensive 286 Laptop, 386 Laptop, 486 Desktop, C64.

  2. #2
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    He could of just said "rebuilding the keyboard on a Commodore PET". The other two things he did barely took two minutes each.
    = Excellent space heater

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    I watched and wasn't sure I agreed with his summation. I don't think PETs have been rare at all recently, nor were they unpopular back in my day, although obviously eclipsed by the C64. I sometimes wonder if he's helping or hurting the hobby.. in other videos he has kind of said things I don't think were accurate. What do you guys think?

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    I also disagre with the conclusion. I would encourage anyone to snag a PET if it's being offered. The PET would be a great project for a beginner. They are fun machines. They may have some hard to find parts, but the boards are big and open and not hard to troubleshoot, unlike many later machines with much larger scale iICs.

    That being said, I think he's helping the hobby. I haven't seen all of his other videos but perused his catalog just now and watched a couple. He's got a lot of people watching his videos, perhaps inspiring them to dig up (or rescue) and recirculate machines that would otherwise be lost. The repairs don't seem overly technical, and are easy to follow for folks without much tech background. He make the retrocomputing hobby seem fun. (OK, so he doesn't make it seem cool, but that's a tall order.)

    Rare is relative. The PET variants are not particularly rare, as one of the "big three" consumer machines in 1977, but were nowhere as numerous as the subsequent consumer machines from Commodore, Tandy, Apple, and Atari. By 1980, most C64 owners would have had no idea what a PET was.

    I can't comment on the accuracy of all his info, but I have heard inaccurate statements on RCR podast, Open Apple, Floppy Days, the Amp Hour, Embedded, and Spark Gap podcasts when they veer into unfamiliar territory, but I still find them interesting and enjoyable.

    Also, I personally approve of turning the iMac into a litter box. Can't think of a better use. <--edited to add smiley, just in case

    Dave
    Last edited by dfnr2; August 30th, 2017 at 09:56 AM.

  5. #5

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    I'd be hard pressed to say he's hurting the hobby, but of the videos I've watched I've noticed a trend of him spreading misinformation, and even misinformation that can be exposed by just one Google search. For example, he uses Windex on everything, despite it only being safe on glass. If you use it on plastics or acrylics the ammonia can discolor or cloud them, and he's been told this again and again.

    In the Osborne video he removed a filter cap from the PSU and claimed it was "like your appendix," in that you don't need it and if it goes bad you can just remove it. This was actually an output capacitor that prevented interference from going into other devices. The PSU also contained identical caps that were just as likely to blow, but he didn't replace them. This information is also available from a place like vcfed.org with just one general Google search. Multiple people also told him this in the comments.

    He also doesn't give very full or well-researched histories of the computers he's displaying. Compare his videos to LazyGameReviewer's. He goes into depth about the history and genuinely seems to love the information behind the computer, and not just having something neat looking on the shelf.

    Still he gets a lot of attention, though his videos are well produced and fun to watch.
    Last edited by JNZ; August 30th, 2017 at 09:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by falter View Post
    I watched and wasn't sure I agreed with his summation. I don't think PETs have been rare at all recently, nor were they unpopular back in my day, although obviously eclipsed by the C64. I sometimes wonder if he's helping or hurting the hobby.. in other videos he has kind of said things I don't think were accurate. What do you guys think?
    He is not always accurate. Before he started doing youtube full-time as a job, he had a team of people who would help him fact-check, but now that he needs to adhere to a release schedule to maintain his income, he no longer has time to wait for that.

    The consideration here is the tradeoff of "accuracy" vs. "bringing more people into the hobby via sheer numbers". Since the deterioration of history is unstoppable, I'll take the latter. I think his retrobrite experiments are way off (heat??), but he is otherwise earnest and pleasant. I try to support him where possible, since it's almost always a good thing to get new people into the hobby (eternal September not withstanding).
    Offering a bounty for:
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfnr2 View Post
    I also disagre with the conclusion. I would encourage anyone to snag a PET if it's being offered. The PET would be a great project for a beginner. They are fun machines. They may have some hard to find parts, but the boards are big and open and not hard to troubleshoot, unlike many later machines with much larger scale iICs.
    That is what I thought too.

    By 1980, most C64 owners would have had no idea what a PET was.
    There weren't any C64 owners until 1982. But you probably meant that. I didn't use a pet until September of 1983 as my high school had lots of PETs, Apple IIs and TRS-80s but no C64s. I only knew about PETs from reading Compute! magazine from 1981 on.

    I do think he tries to help, for the most part and he obviously likes what he does. But all in all it wasn't as bad as that AI video. LOL.
    Last edited by Zippy Zapp; September 1st, 2017 at 07:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippy Zapp View Post
    That is what I thought too. He does tend to get facts a bit off.


    There weren't any C64 owners until 1982. But you probably meant that. I didn't use a pet until September of 1983 as my high school had lots of PETs, Apple IIs and TRS-80s but no C64s. I only knew about PETs from reading Compute! magazine from 1981 on.
    Whoops--I did mean 1982. I remember the anticipation building up to the C64. I read the press releases with awe at how much they planned to pack in to those machines at that price. That's when many of my friends started owning computers. It definitely had the effect that Tramiel intended.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    I think his retrobrite experiments are way off (heat??) [snip]
    The heat trick appeared to work - or do you think he faked the result? I was very interested to see that video because I always felt that using a gel, cling film and sunlight was very hit and miss, and very difficult with tiny parts like key caps. The alternative would be to make a sort of bath of peroxide solution and immerse the item(s) fully; fine for the key caps but too expensive for larger parts as he says.

    I thought I'd try this heat based process and see if it works or not.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippy Zapp View Post
    But all in all it wasn't as bad as that AI video. LOL.
    I had to search out that AI video. That was the strangest thing I've ever seen from him. It made me realize that I enjoy watching him do things, but I don't enjoy his personal opinions on things.

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