The pursuit of classic systems is an expensive business

Over a few days I spent a bit of time bidding away on some (non-eBay) auction items in an attempt to add more systems to my computer collection and though I jumped into it with a great deal of enthusiasm I unfortunately found I had a great deal less money than the other bidders and saw all the items pass me by. The demand for classic computers of the 80’s is such now that whenever promising items are up for grabs you have to assume that someone else is going to know the value in them too and you’ll need to fight for it.

I did think at first that being an Atari fan in Australia might give me better odds as the country favoured Commodore systems far more before PCs obliterated them all. Finding a bargain Atari STE or Commodore Amiga was the goal for me as I was keen on an STE for upgrades and hooking up to a SD card or USB drive. It turned out the auction was a real fight for these systems (and more) and finding bargains was not going to be any part of the outcome. I could imagine the new owners of some of these were looking into the future by either selling systems built up from cannibalized parts or simply selling the individual parts. The SID sound chip alone from a C64 is worth a decent amount of money.

The insides of a C64 can be worth a lot of money.

It was only a few years ago that a box of 2600 cartridges could be picked up for a minimal amount of money but that’s changed and you’re sometimes lucky to get a single cartridge for a similar price. It’s the price you pay for nostalgia I suppose. Admittedly I’ve scored a few great deals over the years too so it hasn’t all gone against me. So I can walk away from it with a better understanding now of what I might need to do if I try again… it’ll likely involve a fair degree of saving too. 🙂

Categories: Gaming, Opinion

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4 replies »

  1. I’ve been trying to get a reasonably priced, working 1MB+ STFM for some time to no avail. I have an old-model 520ST that you can’t upgrade the memory on… and a 1MB STE that has compatibility issues with some software (as well as the inevitable knackered joystick ports), so I want an STFM for the middle ground between the two and hopefully maximum compatibility. It has so far eluded me though!

    I did get a complete in box and working copy of Temple of Apshai Trilogy for Atari 8-bit for a tenner recently though, that was a score and a half.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1MB+ machines are also what I’m looking out for! From what I’ve read anything more than 1Mb on an ST is needed to safely run hardware like UltraSatan (SD Card) and be able to play games off it. The STE also supports larger disk sizes but you can find work arounds on earlier systems. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • A lot of games have enhancements for 1MB, too — either simply loading more into RAM at once to reduce load times, or in some cases additional animations or features. It’s definitely worth doing.

        If I could figure out how to boot an earlier version of TOS on the STE it perhaps wouldn’t be so much of an issue, but so far I’ve had no success with that either.

        Liked by 1 person

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