Friday, 26 April 2013

Retro Geek

I am the luckiest man alive.  Not only does my wife acknowledge that I am a geek and have an unhealthy obsession with computers but she feeds this geek behaviour with some outstanding presents. However she has outdone herself this time as she has bought me a commodore 64.

It was meant to be a Christmas present for me.  However the guy that sent it didn't wrap it and as I answered the door when it arrived the cat prematurely escaped from the bag.  The commodore 64 was the first computer that I owned.  We did used to have a dragon as well, however that was more my dad's computer.  The commodore was just mine.  I learnt a lot about computers from that machine, from how a light gun worked through to how data was stored and some very basic programming.  That machine will always be special to me.  To have one now at the age of 30 is incredible.

I took it to the local maplins store, where a huddle of geeks clustered around me and the commodore, admiring it's good condition and asking to have their photo taken next to it.  The store manager even walked out of the store as I entered asking if the box truly contained that which was advertised on it.  We needed to go to maplins to purchase a RF cable to connect the Commodore to my LCD TV.  Naturally this being maplins they knew exactly what I needed and passed it to me.  We took it home and started the unboxing.

Like I said the box was not wrapped when it was sent so it was COVERED in parcel tape.  This is annoying.  The original box is part of the vintage retro feel.  5 minutes of painstaking picking and pulling and the unboxing could commence.

Once unboxed and all connected up the fun could start.  I found that my TV needed to be tuned to 590Mhz to pick up the output from the computer.

Amy graciously allowed me to then spend the whole evening playing vintage games.  Working out that a light gun will not work on a LCD screen (It uses cathode ray gun timings, which of course, are not available on a LCD screen), getting beaten by her on Mike Reids pop quiz etc etc and writing my first program (again)

Thank you to Amy for allowing me to geek out for the evening and re-live my childhood again.  It is a wonderful gift that I will never forget.
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