Both the Atari 7800 and NES were third generation game consoles, and they competed directly with one another. Furthermore, they shared a common influence. So the Atari 7800 vs NES is a natural comparison. But one was much more successful than the other. Here’s why.
Commodore (in)famously owned its own chip manufacturer, MOS Technology, later known as Commodore Semiconductor Group. MOS was pivotal to helping Commodore keep prices low in the early 1980s, as it lowered Commodore’s overhead, and ensured a steady supply of chips. In 1983 and 1984, MOS produced 74LS logic chips. These chips are very failure prone. Here’s how to find MOS 74LS logic chips, and more importantly, what to replace them with.
Vintage computer games and vintage toys display better in their original boxes. But frequently those boxes are in less than ideal condition, especially if you got it at a good price. A pristine box can be worth more than the contents. I recently lucked into a couple of vintage Commodore game cartridge boxes. Their best days were behind them, but I was able to make them presentable again. Here’s my approach to game box repair.
I fixed up quite a few battered books in my day to make them more suitable for resale. The tricks I learned fixing books helped me with fixing game boxes and toy boxes as well.
I saw an interesting perspective this week on the hobby of collecting retro games, from another retro enthusiast. Prices on retro games, he observes, are increasing. That’s making him ask a tough question: Is collecting retro games worth it?
Any hobby seems like a waste of time to the right (or wrong) person. If a hobby, such as collecting retro games, helps you to unwind and get focused, and you can get some of your money back out of it as you lose interest or approach end of life, then I have to argue that hobby is worth it.
The Compaq Presario 425 and 433 are popular machines with retro enthusiasts. They are Compaq 486s from 1993, and they look like exactly what they are. They’re well built, have recognizable branding, and don’t take up a lot of space. In some ways they’re the ideal 486 today. Let’s look at why they weren’t necessarily the ideal 486 for 1993, but helped transform Compaq anyway.
Many modern computers don’t require any tools to work on. But that’s not always the case, especially with vintage computers, or less-expensive DIY cases. A nut driver, also known as a hex driver or hex nut driver, makes things easier. So what is the right size nut driver for computers? Or do you need more than one?
Cyrix was a scrappy, up and coming CPU manufacturer in the 1990s. They never had Intel’s name recognition, but for a few years they made life more difficult for its larger rivals, Intel and AMD. For a while, Cyrix processor chips were a popular choice for value-conscious PC buyers.
Cyrix contributed a lot of confusing alphabet soup to the 1990s CPU market, and their chips usually weren’t the highest-performing chips available. But they usually did provide good value for the money, even though Cyrix never was a premium brand.
The Atari 2600 and 7800 are directly related. After the Atari 5200 flopped, Atari needed a better successor to take over for the aging 2600. So the Atari 2600 vs 7800 is a natural comparison. Let’s look at the improvements the 7800 had over its predecessor, and why it wasn’t able to match the 2600’s runaway success.
The Commodore 1571 was Commodore’s successor to the notorious 1541 disk drive. It addressed many of the shortcomings of the 1541, partly because Commodore had more time to get it right this time. It was the same color and style as the C-128. And they worked as well together as they looked together. It was a high-end drive, but I hesitate to call it Commodore’s top-end 5.25-inch drive. I’d give that distinction to the SFD-1001.
Commodore introduced the 1571 in 1985 at a price of $299 US. It was a double-sided, double density 5.25-inch disk drive that was faster than the 1541 when you used it with the 128, and maintained good backward compatibility with the 1541 when needed.
I heard earlier this year that you can retrobright without chemicals, using only sunlight. I haven’t heard of a lot of people trying it. But I had a yellowed disk drive, and it’s summertime, so I decided to give it a shot.
A few people experimented with retrobright without chemicals in 2019, then the idea kind of faded away. I decided to try it, and found it works surprisingly well.