Do your family and friends 'get it'?

on-topic Acorn-related news and discussions not covered by the other forums
Post Reply
Commie_User
Posts: 1133
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:50 am
Contact:

Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by Commie_User » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:03 pm

Inspired by the topic at Lemon 64, I wouldn't mind asking it here: http://www.lemon64.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=67519

How do your loved ones see your retro computing proclivities? (Sorry if it was asked before.)

For myself, my mother is interested that I can be so 'clever'. My dad scoffs at the point of running these old computers (and the market for them) and my brother's just happy that I'm happy. My girl encourages my adventures but that might stop if she has to live in my fun pit. (Hell, I'm even typing this on a 14 year-old Fujitsu Amilo I've got back to the land of the living with cheap RAM, HDD, fresh OS, wifi dongle, etc.)

User avatar
tricky
Posts: 2761
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:25 am
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by tricky » Sun Apr 08, 2018 5:45 pm

Mostly, they just tolerat my "obsession" as long as it stays in my office and doesn't get in the way of their repairs :O
My dad keeps asking how much will I make if my next game sells well?

User avatar
sydney
Posts: 2228
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 9:09 am
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by sydney » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:50 pm

The kids love it, my wife gets it but isn't interested. No one else seems to have an opinion.

User avatar
Lardo Boffin
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:47 am
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by Lardo Boffin » Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:43 pm

My wife used to have a C64 (then an Amiga) so kind of gets it but isn’t too interested. My kids are too young to get it although I now have a nice boxed beeb to give them each when they do (and they will!!!). :twisted:
My mate gets it but is too busy collecting watches.
Not sure if my family is aware of the level of my pursuits...
BBC model B 32k issue 4, 16k sideways RAM, Watford 12 ROM board, Viglen twin 40/80 5.25" discs, Acorn 6502 coproc
BBC model B 32k issue 7, turboMMC, Opus Challenger 3 512k, Pi 3 coproc
BBC Master, Datacentre + HDD, pi co-proc

User avatar
SimonSideburns
Posts: 286
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:09 pm
Location: Purbrook, Hampshire
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by SimonSideburns » Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:23 pm

I was not quite into double figures when the first computers came into our house in the early 1980s and while all the family used the machines (for games, typing in listings from magazines and enhancing them, and other miscellaneous uses), I think it was only me that became hooked on them and kept that passion.

My wife is happy that I enjoy vintage computers, and it gives me a hobby, but I don't think she's a fan of them herself and definitely doesn't 'get it' either. Her father worked at IBM and their family relocated a number of times over the years, but that was 'business computing' and when he passed away in 2008 that left a hole in my small social group of people with mildly similar interests.

It's only my wife and I that live in our home so that's pretty much it, but while I can tell a tale or two at times, and as for other friends, they are few and far between so I cannot comment.

I'm pretty sure that's it. A pretty solo affair and while I'm currently performing home renovations I don't really have any space or room to partake in the hobby, so I mostly have everything stored away in boxes that don't get to see the light of day very often. Hopefully this situation will change at some point in the future. I'm hoping to eventually turn the loft (attic) area in our bungalow into my own workshop/den/'hands on' museum/man cave so at least I can get everything out, set up, and play with it at whim without having to shove it all away at the end of the day.

Not quite sure when this is all going to happen, however. Got lots of work to get on with.

Eventually I hope to have on display my current collection that consists of:

2x A3020s
At least a couple of Beebs and at least one Master
An Electron
An Atari STF
A Nintendo GameCube
An old Compaq 286 luggable (the ones with white keyboard that lifts out)
A couple of Sinclair Spectrums - two Plus versions
A ZX81 (looking at modification to provide composite output)
A Sinclair QL with disk interface
A Sinclair Spectrum Next (when it finally comes)
Sinclair Cambridge Calculator
An Amstrad NC100 notepad computer

Several old style Monitors including at least one CM8833 and one CM8833-II, one Commodore something or other, one CUB and the Atari Hi-Res mono screen
A Grundig 22" Super Color TV (if it still works - it's been in a damp metal shed for around 6 years and could be in any old state)

I'm sure there's other stuff including a dot-matrix printer (Epson LX-400 maybe) and who knows what else (I've probably forgotten several items).

I'm also always on the lookout for more systems including an Acetronic video game (with cartridges), an IBM XT (or clone from that era), Amstrad CPC6128 a Sam Coupe, an Acorn Atom, and a ZX80, but I'm not willing to pay the high prices found on ebay. I'm just waiting until lady luck puts me in touch with someone who has something in their loft or garage and who doesn't really know what they have, and are willing to get rid of it for a small donation. One can dream.
I'm writing a game where you can change your character from a Wizard to a monkey to a cat.

Well, Imogen that!

Commie_User
Posts: 1133
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:50 am
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by Commie_User » Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:56 pm

For myself, unless there's something I should know, I've completed my set. To cap the stockpile if nothing else, they virtually all have some kind of musical application - as I said elsewhere - and they age span from a couple of 1978 Pong clones and an Atari 2600, right up to an Xbox 360 in a retro sense. (But I can plug my electric guitars into that.) With almost the same span of time collecting excellent VHS or Laserdisc machines, Trinitron telly and all other bits and bobs to get the very best of this ancient tomb. And don't get me started on the peripherals!

My micros are mostly Commodore (64, 64c, Amigas 500 and 1200 and more than one of most of that), plus two BBC B's, one Atari 520, one 1040 with mono screen and I also count the NES because of MIDINES. I have a SNES with Super Magicom interface and ancient laptop as game server, Mega Drive, Master System, Game Boy, Playstation 2, Gamecube, Wii and whatever little TV plugin systems for good measure. No PC is older than the millennium now but that's how I like it - old enough for whatever special old stock to still work but young enough to still do anything real, like use my Dazzle 150 video capture box, as only an ancient OS will do! And a lot of my hardware is still perfectly serviceable and great quality for AV and recording, so why dump 'em just because computers are new?

Lots of fun all coming together. Good job I live on my own.

crj
Posts: 834
Joined: Thu May 02, 2013 4:58 pm
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by crj » Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:12 am

I hang around Cambridge geek circles, so many of my friends not only "get it" but are actively involved in such things themselves. Cambridge has that kind of eerie small-world quality that means I bump into Centre for Computing History staff at parties. (And the garage that maintains my car occupies the other half of their building.)

To less geeky friends, it's no less comprehensible than anything else I do. (-8

There's the same kind of range in my family: one cousin had to be warned severely not to use PowerPoint to give the groom's speech at his wedding; my mother has never figured out how to use a mouse.

User avatar
richardtoohey
Posts: 3590
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:13 am
Location: Tauranga, New Zealand
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by richardtoohey » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:23 am

No.

Ummmm ... no, they don't.

:(

But you guys do! :D

User avatar
Lardo Boffin
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:47 am
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by Lardo Boffin » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:29 am

SimonSideburns wrote: A ZX81 (looking at modification to provide composite output)
I have fitted about 20 of these now I think. Very good and very cheap!

https://www.sellmyretro.com/offer/detai ... -zx81-3712

For a more complete discussion:-

https://sinclairzxworld.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2146
BBC model B 32k issue 4, 16k sideways RAM, Watford 12 ROM board, Viglen twin 40/80 5.25" discs, Acorn 6502 coproc
BBC model B 32k issue 7, turboMMC, Opus Challenger 3 512k, Pi 3 coproc
BBC Master, Datacentre + HDD, pi co-proc

User avatar
1024MAK
Posts: 7868
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:46 pm
Location: Looking forward to summer in Somerset, UK...
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by 1024MAK » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:58 am

My hobbies are old computers (1980s and 1990s mainly) and electronics (as in building kits, designing my own circuits, experimenting, modification of existing items/circuits and repairs).

Most often questions asked:
  • Why do you need all those keyboards?
  • What do you use all those computers for?
  • You spend too much time on your computer.
  • How many have you got now?
  • Is that another one?
  • What is that? (referring to a parcel that has just arrived)
and in relation to the electronics:
  • That's never going to work again, what are you doing?
  • What's that for? / What's does that do?
Etc...

Of course they don't get it. But strangely enough, the questions don't get asked when family want something repaired/fixed, set-up or adjusted...
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk NOW!
BeebWiki‬ - for answers to many questions...

Andy1979
Posts: 110
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by Andy1979 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:55 pm

So far, I've restricted my hobby to fixing/maintaining the gadgets I acquired as a teenager through the 90s, including my A3010 and BBC Master Compact, plus some 386 and pentium-era PC gear. It followed on from having spent a fun few months sorting three giant boxes of mostly technic lego into their original sets.

My Dad "gets it", in so far as he's happy that all the gear he spent thousands on still works. He's also glad that I'm finally clearing out the things I'd kept in their loft.

I think my wife would prefer that I put it all on eBay, but she also appreciates that it's a low-cost hobby that keeps my mind active in a way that my job doesn't. All the gear is relegated to the loft and spare room, which I think is fair.

Spend more of my free time on more recent kit like arduino and raspberry pi, where a few of my projects have met with more approval e.g. a nature cam which has picked up some great wildlife in the garden and uploads everything to Google Drive, and an internet-connected temperature probe that tells us when we're about to run out of hot water.

My brother-in-law gets it - he has a similar stash of old computer gear, although his is mostly Commodore.

User avatar
trixster
Posts: 620
Joined: Wed May 06, 2015 11:45 am
Location: York
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by trixster » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:44 pm

My other half doesn't 'get it' but she doesn't complain either. It's all in an unobtrusive corner of the loft so it doesn't get in the way. She occasionally comments that the number of computers seems to be getting bigger which I try and deny.

The dog 'gets it' in so much he loves being up in the loft 'helping' me.

My brother 'gets it', he thinks having all the old computers up and running and getting expanded is great, but so far he's not expressed any interested in collecting as I think he realises just how expensive it is now. He seems to be happy to be constantly amazed that the BBC is still running! :)

My mates kind of 'get it'. Most of them have a computing background of some description, either from having them in the home as kids, using them in school, doing a computing form of degree etc, but only one has an active interest and that's quite muted. He's a Dr of Computer Science at York and I bought him a CPC6128 for his birthday 2 years ago. This was his home computer as a kid so he was thrilled. He fixed it up, did some programming on it and uses it in some of the Z80 workshops the students do (I think) but I don't think he has time to do much more. All my other mates seem nostalgic for the occasional game of Sensible Soccer or Speedball 2 but that's about it. I've no doubt they think I'm weird and often ask when I'm going to open a museum!

If my Dad were still alive I think he'd love all the Beeb and Amiga stuff, but I doubt he'd get back into it.

One mate is interested in retro consoles (90s stuff) and is keen on buying back all his old systems, but I dont think he's yet grasped how expensive that's going to be! He bought a megadrive recently along with a bunch of games and didn't have much change out of a ton. His wife was far from pleased.

I don't know anyone else into retro computing other than the good people on this forum and the Amiga ones. :? :( But that's ok as computing forums are great, especially Stardot!
A3020 | A3000 | A420/1 | BBC B + 128K RAM/ROM + 20K Shadow + Pi0 + VideoNuLA
Master Turbo + DC + BeebSID | Atom | A4000 060 | A3000 060 | A1200 060 | A500
Atari Falcon 060 | Saturn | PS1 | SNES | CPC6128 | C64 | 3DO | MD | Jaguar

Commie_User
Posts: 1133
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:50 am
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by Commie_User » Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:04 pm

My brother's girlfriend is delighted and amazed at what we can do with these things now, especially when a lot of us couldn't afford to do a lot with them back in the day anyway.

I think she'd be instantly overwhelmed and somewhat put off if she was to have a try at the amazing stuff - and she's a schoolteacher - but as spectators, I think people show more interest than we think. I don't think it changed from decades ago, when dads and uncles would look at us and wonder how the hell we could command all that wizardry.

I think we need to develop skills as curators speaking in a tabloid style.

VincentVega
Posts: 292
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:19 pm
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by VincentVega » Mon Apr 09, 2018 5:45 pm

Brother and mum are interested insofar as it lets them (very occasionally) play games we all used to play in the late 1980s, in particular Mr Ee, Crazy Painter and Chuckie Egg. I think my dad is possibly intrigued but he's happy with all the modern stuff like Android and his Linux laptop.

As for friends, you'd need to have friends to answer that question. So I'll skip that part.

Cosmo
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:39 am
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by Cosmo » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:55 am

My wife really doesn't understant (or care) so she just stays away from the "bunker" (room in 1st floor) :D
My daughter doesn't just care. What comes to my friends, if you're closing 50yrs old you kind of have to have a past with 8bit micros, so
many do "understant" atleast a bit. Maybe not just the ammount i have (room full of) heh. People usually do know Commodore 64, but anything else,
not really. They just wonder my Apple II's, /// or the Beebs having no idea what they might be or why i have them.
Acorn BBC Master w/Datacentre & PiTubeDirect, BBC Micro Model B Issue 7 w/Gotek
http://finapple.hho.fi/finapple

User avatar
Elminster
Posts: 3072
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:09 am
Location: Essex, UK
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by Elminster » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:33 am

Like most people my wife thinks its stupid, which is a unusual as she saved up her pocket money and took programming lessons at her local collage (30+ odd years ago) and holds a degree in networks & telecomunications, but she hates all my hobbies anyway.

My daughter is fasicanated and loves playing the old games (also owns her own Kano Raspberry Pi). My dad, if still alive, would get it as he worked in IT as well (and he built computer from kits). Friends (apart from one of my ousins and my uncle) and colleagues, regardless of whether they work in IT, just think I am a bit eccentric.

User avatar
1024MAK
Posts: 7868
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:46 pm
Location: Looking forward to summer in Somerset, UK...
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by 1024MAK » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:56 am

I revel in being a bit eccentric :mrgreen:
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk NOW!
BeebWiki‬ - for answers to many questions...

guesser
Posts: 210
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:21 pm

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by guesser » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:35 am

My dad grumbles that I'm filling his house with junk (but never complains when I have spare bits handy to fix his computer or wire something up for his radio). My mum is just happy that I'm interacting with other humans (to the point where she'll come along to an event if necessary to give me a kick up the arse to go out and talk to people!). :lol:
A web based teletext editor which can export as Mode 7 screen memory: https://zxnet.co.uk/teletext/editor

User avatar
jonb
Posts: 2244
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:42 pm
Location: South Coast of England
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by jonb » Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:44 pm

1024MAK wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:58 am
Of course they don't get it. But strangely enough, the questions don't get asked when family want something repaired/fixed, set-up or adjusted...
You hit the nail right on the head, Mark. And of course, one is supposed to be a "computer expert" who can answer such questions as "What's wrong with my email?"

Kazzie
Posts: 200
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:10 pm
Location: North Wales
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by Kazzie » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:43 am

My wife definitely "gets it", but she's an Electronic Engineering graduate and she's got a Dragon32 herself! (Her childhood micro.)

The kids aren't out of diapers yet, but the eldest likes bashing away at an Archimedes keyboard and watching letters appear on the screen.
BBC Model B 32k issue 7, Sidewise ROM board with 16K RAM
Archimedes 420/1 upgraded to 4MB RAM (mid- restoration)
Acorn System 1 home-made replica

User avatar
Elminster
Posts: 3072
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:09 am
Location: Essex, UK
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by Elminster » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:40 am

Kazzie wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:43 am
My wife definitely "gets it", but she's an Electronic Engineering graduate and she's got a Dragon32 herself! (Her childhood micro.)

The kids aren't out of diapers yet, but the eldest likes bashing away at an Archimedes keyboard and watching letters appear on the screen.
Read my reply above. My wife has simialr background as yours but doesnt get it. Perhaps we can run a trace on them and see where my wife went wrong.

User avatar
dgrubb
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:36 pm
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by dgrubb » Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:30 pm

My wife doesn't really get it, per se. However, she appreciates that I have a hobby which is useful ("help! The printer isn't working!", "Grandma's WiFi isn't working" etc) and which has ultimately led to a career that, while not exactly landing us in the lap of luxury, has provided me with decent job security over the years. She much prefers that to, say, an obsession with a particular sport, or something, and has said as much.

On the other hand, my kids think it's wizardry. When she turned five I bought my daughter her first soldering project and it was a great experience for her. :)

Kazzie
Posts: 200
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:10 pm
Location: North Wales
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by Kazzie » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:18 pm

Elminster wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:40 am
Kazzie wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:43 am
My wife definitely "gets it", but she's an Electronic Engineering graduate and she's got a Dragon32 herself! (Her childhood micro.)

The kids aren't out of diapers yet, but the eldest likes bashing away at an Archimedes keyboard and watching letters appear on the screen.
Read my reply above. My wife has simialr background as yours but doesnt get it. Perhaps we can run a trace on them and see where my wife went wrong.
Interesting.

Other personality traits that may indicate my wife's attitude include the fact that she's inherited her mother's penchant for rummaging for bargains in charity stores, and the fact that she longed for a Mega Drive in her youth (but knew it'd be too expensive for her parents to buy*) and finally bought one second-hand when she went to University.

*The aforementioned Dragon32 was bought second-hand, as I understand.
BBC Model B 32k issue 7, Sidewise ROM board with 16K RAM
Archimedes 420/1 upgraded to 4MB RAM (mid- restoration)
Acorn System 1 home-made replica

User avatar
Elminster
Posts: 3072
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:09 am
Location: Essex, UK
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by Elminster » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:47 pm

Kazzie wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:18 pm

Interesting.

Other personality traits that may indicate my wife's attitude include the fact that she's inherited her mother's penchant for rummaging for bargains in charity stores, and the fact that she longed for a Mega Drive in her youth (but knew it'd be too expensive for her parents to buy*) and finally bought one second-hand when she went to University.

*The aforementioned Dragon32 was bought second-hand, as I understand.
Hmm, and mine would rather chew her own foot off than buy second hand, maybe that is the key. Although she would buy antiques. I did try telling her that Retro was the modern antiques, but didn’t work.

VectorEyes
Posts: 151
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:48 pm
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by VectorEyes » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:53 pm

Elminster wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:47 pm
Hmm, and mine would rather chew her own foot off than buy second hand, maybe that is the key. Although she would buy antiques. I did try telling her that Retro was the modern antiques, but didn’t work.
On eBay, Acorn computer stuff is listed under "Vintage Computing", if that helps!

User avatar
Elminster
Posts: 3072
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:09 am
Location: Essex, UK
Contact:

Re: Do your family and friends 'get it'?

Post by Elminster » Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:56 pm

VectorEyes wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:53 pm
Elminster wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:47 pm
Hmm, and mine would rather chew her own foot off than buy second hand, maybe that is the key. Although she would buy antiques. I did try telling her that Retro was the modern antiques, but didn’t work.
On eBay, Acorn computer stuff is listed under "Vintage Computing", if that helps!
I suspect she may try to sell me on eBay as vintage one day. :(

Post Reply