This is my vintage / retro computer and games collection and has been keeping me fascinated for the past 13 years. The collection covers systems from various manufacturers over a period of more than 35 years and ranges from machines, consoles, games, software, magazines and books to just about any other retro or vintage computing related items.
My primary area of focus is IBM and IBM Compatible machines starting from the 8088 up to the early Pentium II systems (last of the DOS days) but the Commodore Amiga, Commodore 64, Atari 520ST, Creativision, Apple II, Machintosh and Sinclair ZX Spectrum also make an appearance as many of the games from the IBM DOS days also appeared on these systems and it's awesome to see how the versions differ over the various platforms. Some of the systems in my collection represent machines that family or friends owned and as such contributed towards my computing interests.
I was never into the console game scene when I was younger and only really got interested in it later in life with the Sony PS2 so for me IBM PC systems from the DOS era with a sprinkle of Windows 9x have the most prominent place in my collection.
On occasion some of the computers in my collection have been used in television adverts, miniseries and film productions.
If you don't see items for a specific system on the website it may mean that I have not had time to capture them or it's something that I don't have in the collection.
As with any collection there are always items that the collector is on the look out for. In my case this would be the following ...
I am also always on the look out for IBM PC software and games. A more complete list can be viewed here.
Why an Amiga ?
I'm sure many have nostalgic feelings towards the Amiga systems and the Commodore brand but my interest in the Amiga range stems from my other passion for MS-DOS based games. The Amiga was a competing platform to the IBM systems and many of the games I enjoyed on the PC platform either originated on the Amiga or were also ported to the Amiga. My collection does not include many boxed Amiga games but perhaps that will change over the coming years. What has interested me is the subtle differences between the various PC and Amiga version. What I can say is that the sound on the Amiga was far superior to the IBM, even with a Sound Blaster card installed.
My first Amiga systems:
Some years back, around 2009 or so, I acquired an Amiga 500 as my very first experience with an Amiga. The machine was provided with a few games and Workbench 1.3 but sadly a faulty A520 meant that the system was limited, at least for me, to only being in black and white. After spending some time considering how to get colour I managed to get a SCART cable and fast forward a few more years I managed to get a CM8833 Philips monitor. Very impressive machine. Still not being able to easily transfer files onto diskette, my attention moved towards looking at the A600 or A1200 which would have a built in hard disk drive. At some point an Amiga 2000 and 4000 came into my possession, sadly not 100% working, but what I really wanted was the "keyboard" style machine since it takes up very little space and, I think, adds to the vintage feel of these machines. Somehow the normal case, monitor and keyboard setup for an Amiga just doesn't appeal to me. Perhaps I associated the separate case, keyboard and monitor more with IBM and their compatibles.The other reason is that I actually have a fairly small amount of space to setup and enjoy these machines so the more compact form factor is perfect since the bulk of my free space is reserved for IBM's and compatibles. Before finally acquiring the machine I have today there was a brief attempt to use the serial port to transfer files to a diskette on the A500. This worked but as I am sure anyone can imagine it was a rather tedious experience.
Finally an Amiga 1200:
During the early part of 2018 the option for an Amiga 1200 presented itself. Not only did the machine come with a more modern mouse but also an external HD diskette drive and Blizzard 1230 IV card running at 50MHz. This seemed like the ultimate Amiga for me given that my real reason for wanting one is to experience some of those older DOS based games on the alternate platform. I have since ordered and received a CF to IDE adapter to replace the old 120MB hard drive, a PCMCIA Etherlink III card for networking and PCMCIA CF adapter. This for me is the ultimate Amiga setup and will cater for just about anything that I am likely to do with the range of machines. There are still a number of other improvements that I would like to do such as a replacement underside cover with better cooling for the Blizzard 1230 IV card, retro bright or replace the key caps and look at a better way to connect the A1200 to an LCD screen (remember when I said my space was limited).
Overall the A1200 has far exceeded my expectations for the platform and the Amiga community makes this an easy to work with system, for someone who did not grow up on it.
As you can see from the picture above the key caps do need a little "retrobrite". The rest of the case is in excellent condition and will hopefully remain that way for a while.
To answer the final question. Yes it runs Doom !
Doom on the A1200 after many hours of trial and error
October has turned out to be the slowest month this year and, although there have been many such months in the past, not running around trying to add stuff to the collection this month has given me the opportunity to sit back and ponder why I have collected some items. The result has been a refocusing of my collection
and has involved parting with some items that fellow collectors will
appreciate more than I ever could.
The act of juggling home and work commitments has left many projects buried deep in the garage and not being part of any trades or charity shop hunts has given me the opportunity to sit back and look at some of these with an eye to making some progress.
It was always my plan to build IBM PC clone machines that, where possible, resembled machines I used or owned in the past and looking at my spare parts collection it seems there is no better time to start the undertaking. Pulling up a chair, some paper and a strong coffee I started the process of listing all the machine configurations I could remember. The list took some time but as expected ended with the 8088, 80286, 80386, 80486, Pentium, Pentium II and III class CPUs. Problem is that over the years I had various versions of each CPU class and various configurations. So I was back to the drawing board until a possible solution to the dilemma became apparent. There will be 7 machines with various replacement parts for each to give me the different configurations and also act as spares whilst keeping the storage requirements to a reasonable level. Since DOS gaming is a large part of my vintage interests these machines will allow me to enjoy those old classics on a machine closest to the recommended specs. As some will point out the Pentium II and III systems are way over the top for DOS gaming but since I do have the occasional Win 9x favourite it seems only appropriate to add them in.
Armed with some sort of plan it's now time to pull out those parts, clean up some casings and set to work building a few good machines.
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