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Why?

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    Why?

    Here's a simple question that someone just asked me. Why do you collect and use old computers?

    I was a little surprised to be taken aback by the question. I figured I knew why I collected them, but the answer wasn't right there on the tip of my tongue for some reason.

    In thinking about it I decided that my collection represents a logical merging of my fascination with history and my long-time association with computers.

    That still doesn't quite explain the need to actually OWN these old machines, but it helps at least justify my interest in them.

    How about you?

    Erik
    The Vintage Computer and Gaming Marketplace
    The Vintage Computer

    #2
    Re: Why?

    I collect mine because I first was introduced to comuters with a pdp-8/i.
    From day one I was fascinated and hooked. I always knew I wanted to
    get that 8i when it was scrapped, but never did. I now at least have an
    8e to play with and to bring back those fond memories. It is alot of fun
    getting these working again. There is so much software and so many people that know alot about them. Then later came exposure to the pdp-11 and I now have a few of those too. Even later came exposure to a pdp-10, but I don't have one of those.

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Why?

      "Erik" wrote in message:

      Hi Erik,

      > Here's a simple question that someone just asked me. Why do
      > you collect and use old computers?

      > I was a little surprised to be taken aback by the question. I
      > figured I knew why I collected them, but the answer wasn't
      > right there on the tip of my tongue for some reason.

      > In thinking about it I decided that my collection represents a
      > logical merging of my fascination with history and my
      > long-time association with computers.

      > That still doesn't quite explain the need to actually OWN
      > these old machines, but it helps at least justify my interest in
      > them.

      > How about you?

      I've had an Amstrad ever since they were released. I may not
      use it as much now as when I first got it, but it's still there &
      I do use it (usually if I'm not quite satisfied with the emulator).

      My second computer was an IBM XT compatable, so it's no suprise
      that I have a little thing for the ol' IBMs too. But the way the IBM
      compatable computers are they don't interest me one little bit.

      Since CP/M is the main connection between both machines, I have
      an interest in CP/M, however a little while back I used to think it
      was horrible, but since I learn to use it properly, I quite like it.

      Besides playing some ol' fashioned games (on my Amstrad) I do
      a little programming (as you well know) & since I saw CP/M-86
      on the IBM limited towards the types of software, found it to be
      quite interesting the way I could translate a DOS program to it.

      Cheers.
      Generic and Amstrad CPC based Programs written in Turbo Pascal 3

      Comment


        #4
        When I first used my own personal computer very few people had them back in the middle 1970's(it was pretty much a obscure electronic hobbiest oddity except for the serious mainframes and minicomputers field).

        I was utilizing my personal computer in a math class to the amazement of the math teacher(also in a chemistry,physics and astronomy class).At first most of the school teachers would not permit them because they falsly believed that using a computer was cheating.I explained to my teachers that I had to program the mathematical algorithms to solve complex problems and knowing HOW to solve the problem was essentially knowing how to arrive at the correct solution,otherwise an incorrect answer would be garbage in-garbage out.
        One teacher would not permit me using a computer though because she said that it was important to calculate mathematical problems by hand using simple addition,subtraction,multiplication and division.
        I told that teacher that it was silly to use those methods in a trigonometry class and that someone who did not know basic math should NOT be in a trigonometry class in the first place.
        Still most of the teachers permitted the use of a computer when I explained why using one was not cheating(well at that time you had to program it yourself).
        Most of my teachers were AWED at how I finished their tests in only around 5 to 10 minutes time.
        Later on I programmed huge differential and integral equations weaving them methodically into monster algorithmic equations that would take perhaps 50 man-years to solve by hand(It still took about a month of programming and de-bugging).
        My first computer had no CRT display but it was no mere TOY even back then.

        I realized that computing was a better way to solve many complicated algorithmic tasks more accurately and far more swift-To think differently as the Apple computer slogan later went.


        The reason I collect old Personal Computers is to remember how they evolved,how we got here to this new amazing age of technological marvels and how computing has radically altered all of our lives now.

        I'm sure we all are also trying to save digital artifacts (hopefully operational)as long as possible, so that future generations will want to view how and why their life was forever altered by the great ever evolving computer revolution.

        Sadly even these artifacts will eventially fail electronically leaving only their non-functioning form.
        At least emulators,the internet and digital archives of the bold old machines will still occassionally light up to educate future young students of computer archeology.
        MY IDEA I wish that there was a G.U.I. keyboard one that could be programmed by an application to display icons or text on each Key\'s L.C.D. screen.

        Comment


          #5
          Why not?

          No excuse...I just love 'em...
          The first computer I ever bought was a TRS-80, which I purchased from a thrift store for $35.00. Never did get it to work, but spent countless hours trying. My next purchase was a Kaypro II, which I had to find software for. After calling every computer shop in the book, I finally hooked up with a collecter who turned me onto some bootdisks and other software. I've been hooked ever since. I cannot explain my facination with computers, I just am...
          Teach your children how to think, not what, and hold 'em close, not tight.
          _____________________________________________

          Please visit the Vintage-Computer Wiki. Contributers welcome.

          Comment


            #6
            "Jon Jarmon" wrote in message:

            > When I first used my own personal computer very few
            > people had them back in the middle 1970's(it was pretty
            > much a obscure electronic hobbiest oddity except for
            > the serious mainframes and minicomputers field).

            > I was utilizing my personal computer in a math class to
            > the amazement of the math teacher(also in a chemistry,
            > physics and astronomy class).At first most of the school
            > teachers would not permit them because they falsly
            > believed that using a computer was cheating.I explained
            > to my teachers that I had to program the mathematical
            > algorithms to solve complex problems and knowing
            > HOW to solve the problem was essentially knowing how
            > to arrive at the correct solution,otherwise an incorrect
            > answer would be garbage in-garbage out.

            > One teacher would not permit me using a computer
            > though because she said that it was important to
            > calculate mathematical problems by hand using simple
            > addition,subtraction,multiplication and division.

            She might of thought, you'd be carting in a Harvard Mark
            I! (Well it just happens to be one of my favourite early
            machines, even though I've only seen pictures of it).

            > I told that teacher that it was silly to use those methods
            > in a trigonometry class and that someone who did not
            > know basic math should NOT be in a trigonometry class
            > in the first place.

            > Still most of the teachers permitted the use of a
            > computer when I explained why using one was not
            > cheating(well at that time you had to program it
            > yourself).

            > Most of my teachers were AWED at how I finished
            > their tests in only around 5 to 10 minutes time.

            > Later on I programmed huge differential and
            > integral equations weaving them methodically into
            > monster algorithmic equations that would take perhaps
            > 50 man-years to solve by hand(It still took about a
            > month of programming and de-bugging).

            > My first computer had no CRT display but it was no
            > mere TOY even back then.

            > I realized that computing was a better way to solve
            > many complicated algorithmic tasks more accurately
            > and far more swift-To think differently as the Apple
            > computer slogan later went.

            > The reason I collect old Personal Computers is to
            > remember how they evolved,how we got here to this
            > new amazing age of technological marvels and how
            > computing has radically altered all of our lives now.

            > I'm sure we all are also trying to save digital
            > artifacts (hopefully operational)as long as possible,
            > so that future generations will want to view how and
            > why their life was forever altered by the great ever
            > evolving computer revolution.

            > Sadly even these artifacts will eventially fail
            > electronically leaving only their non-functioning form.

            > At least emulators,the internet and digital archives of
            > the bold old machines will still occassionally light up to
            > educate future young students of computer archeology.

            Geez, this reminds me of how lucky I was getting out of
            school. When I did Yr12 in 1996, the school were trying
            to get everyone doing Maths (unfortunately Maths wasn't
            compolsery - but I chose it since I deemed it important)
            a Graphical Calculator. They told me that you didn't
            need one to do the exam, but they recommended it
            (sounds like Microsoft don't they!). Anyway I took my
            ol' Scientific Calculator to the Exam & passed it with
            flying colours! I still have my Scientific Calculator
            today & I think for what it does, it's essential for
            computing particularly because of the Hexidecimal,
            Decimal, Binary & Octal it supports.

            The following year I did a computer course & just about
            everyone there had the ol' scientific calculator (so I
            more or less had the advanced version!).

            Cheers.
            Generic and Amstrad CPC based Programs written in Turbo Pascal 3

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Why?

              Originally posted by Erik
              Here's a simple question that someone just asked me. Why do you collect and use old computers?
              I have a neighbor who has several old Fords. One is about 1965 and another is mid-thirties and others are just parts. I'm sure he's asked why he doesn't get a new car and get rid of them. (He's always working on them) I suppose that he/I/we just like them and someone who doesn't will never understand nor see much sense to it.

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Why?

                "barryp"] wrote in message:

                >> Here's a simple question that someone
                >> just asked me. Why do you collect
                >> and use old computers?

                > I have a neighbor who has several old
                > Fords. One is about 1965 and another is
                > mid-thirties and others are just parts. I'm
                > sure he's asked why he doesn't get a new
                > car and get rid of them. (He's always
                > working on them) I suppose that he/I/we
                > just like them and someone who doesn't
                > will never understand nor see much
                > sense to it.

                I agree. Even if they do ask that question,
                I belive any answer you'd give them is
                unacceptable. I don't treat that question
                as a question, I see that as a way of telling
                someone to mind their own business.

                Cheers.
                Generic and Amstrad CPC based Programs written in Turbo Pascal 3

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Why?

                  Originally posted by Erik
                  Here's a simple question that someone just asked me. Why do you collect and use old computers?
                  It's great fun ...

                  I'm a collector, genetically. In fact, I could be called a super-collector by genetics. My maternal grandfather was a collector, my mother was a collector AND my father was a collector. I've collected a lot of things in my life, and most collections I still have. (We often joke that I collect collections).

                  Coins, stamps, ball-point pens, rocks, records...I've collected it...

                  But not until I gave computers a shot, did I find something that keeps my interest without fading over time. So it's the ultimate collectible, to me at least.

                  And it IS great fun. Many machines have nostalgic value, because I played with them as a kid. But most are just a great peek at the history I was part of...
                  Thus spake Thomas Hillebrandt
                  www.thomashillebrandt.com

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Why?

                    "Thomas Hillebrandt" wrote in message:

                    >> Here's a simple question that someone
                    >> just asked me. Why do you collect and
                    >> use old computers?

                    > It's great fun...

                    > I'm a collector, genetically. In fact, I could
                    > be called a super-collector by genetics. My
                    > maternal grandfather was a collector, my
                    > mother was a collector AND my father was
                    > a collector. I've collected a lot of things in
                    > my life, and most collections I still have.
                    > (We often joke that I collect collections).

                    > Coins, stamps, ball-point pens, rocks,
                    > records...I've collected it...

                    As long as it's a collectable!

                    Cheers.
                    Generic and Amstrad CPC based Programs written in Turbo Pascal 3

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Why?

                      Originally posted by Thomas Hillebrandt
                      Coins, stamps, ball-point pens, rocks, records...I've collected it...

                      But not until I gave computers a shot, did I find something that keeps my interest without fading over time. So it's the ultimate collectible, to me at least.

                      And it IS great fun. Many machines have nostalgic value, because I played with them as a kid. But most are just a great peek at the history I was part of...
                      I agree wholeheartedly. I've collected (and still collect) a lot of things but computers and related items have held my interest and passion for the longest.

                      I'm also convinced that the much of the history of computers is at great risk to being lost for the ages because of the super-fast replacement cycle and how quickly equipment goes from state-of-the-art to useless.

                      Helping to preserve aspects of this history are also important to me (which is why I try so hard to collect old magazines, ads and newsletters).

                      Erik
                      The Vintage Computer and Gaming Marketplace
                      The Vintage Computer

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Why?

                        "Erik" wrote in message:


                        > I agree wholeheartedly. I've collected (and still
                        > collect) a lot of things but computers and related
                        > items have held my interest and passion for the
                        > longest.

                        > I'm also convinced that the much of the history
                        > of computers is at great risk to being lost for
                        > the ages because of the super-fast replacement
                        > cycle and how quickly equipment goes from
                        > state-of-the-art to useless.

                        > Helping to preserve aspects of this history are
                        > also important to me (which is why I try so
                        > hard to collect old magazines, ads and
                        > newsletters).

                        I agree too. I feel history is important because
                        it's shown us what happens in regards to
                        everything. Without them, no-one will know
                        what something was like. It's like asking an
                        egyptian how they built a Pymanid, the
                        documents seems to have been mislaid & no-one
                        really knows how they built them back in the
                        early days!
                        Generic and Amstrad CPC based Programs written in Turbo Pascal 3

                        Comment


                          #13
                          From CP/M USER
                          I agree too. I feel history is important because
                          it's shown us what happens in regards to
                          everything. Without them, no-one will know
                          what something was like. It's like asking an
                          egyptian how they built a Pymanid, the
                          documents seems to have been mislaid & no-one
                          really knows how they built them back in the
                          early days!

                          ************************************************** ********
                          CP/M User you hit it right on the nose.That was a EXCELLENT response and one of my major reasons for collecting older computers.
                          Bless you Aussie cousins.I wish that all you computer collector people were my next door neighbors.
                          MY IDEA I wish that there was a G.U.I. keyboard one that could be programmed by an application to display icons or text on each Key\'s L.C.D. screen.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Jon Jarmon
                            I wish that all you computer collector people were my next door neighbors.
                            That could make for some fun neighborhood parties

                            No, actually, I think it's rather good that we're not all neighbors! Imagine the fights we'd have at the local fleamarkets and boot-sales...
                            Thus spake Thomas Hillebrandt
                            www.thomashillebrandt.com

                            Comment


                              #15
                              You are right Thomas.I see your point.Then again some of us collectors are machine specific collectors.I like especially to collect Apple Stuff althought I do have IBM and some other oft brands.
                              Hey we could trade parts and machines easier,but then again there WOULD BE FIGHTS.I AGREE.I wish we could hold a collector group party.My dad goes to his B17 bomber U.S.A.A.C. 463rd bomb group reunions.It would be cool if somehow at least a bunch of us could hold a party.
                              MY IDEA I wish that there was a G.U.I. keyboard one that could be programmed by an application to display icons or text on each Key\'s L.C.D. screen.

                              Comment

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