More retro reading from The Virgin Computer Series

Here is another series of books from Virgin that I was not aware of until this popped up on eBay. I now HAVE to get the whole set, which appear to be even more rare than the ‘Games for your’ series. Again, there is a ‘More’ version of this!

I know of this for the ZX Spectrum, and can only assume that its available for BBC MIcro too. The hunt is on for the rest of these books.

Eventually, the whole collection WILL be mine!!! Mwahahaha.

New Book/Old Book

I have finally, after many months of searching, found ‘Games for your Sinclair QL’ – It turned up on eBay and I was the only bidder!

It is in great shape for it’s age, and a fine addition to my ‘games for your’ collection. I only need 5 more now for the whole set!

Coming Soon!

Coming to a video player near you soon.

I have purchased an “Untested” Atari ST ‘Console’ from eBay.

Really love it when things are listed as ‘Console’ when they are actually computers. This is either a ploy to stop them from selling, or a genuine mis-understanding of what is on offer!

Anyway, this has been powered on, and the ‘Green light glows’ so its anyone’s guess as to its actual condition.

It looks to be all there, apart from the mouse. The mouse in the pictures is an Amiga mouse, that probably works on the ST .. We will see.

Once I receive it, tear down and refurbishment will commence, all the while recording for youtube.

The video should be up and online either just before or just after Christmas 2019, as I have umpteen parties and social gatherings to attend between now and the new year (2020)

Appears to be complete, except for the keyboard! An extra drive also looks to be included, making me wonder if the original one died?
What is this? The Atari didn’t have a PSU like this … Interesting.
It is always good to have a spare 720K floppy drive hanging around!
Looks to be in good condition! Lets see whats it is like after shipment.
Wires! … So many wires!
Oh … There you are. Hiding under the case top 🙂 and a non-standard floppy drive to boot!

Hopefully, there is nothing significantly wrong with it. If I can’t repair it, I will have to break it down for parts and get my money back that way.

If it is repairable, I will be putting it back on eBay and use the money to buy another refurb project!

Keep an eye out in the future!

Update: 10/12/19 – The Atari ST was delivered yesterday, while I was on leave from work. Checking it this morning it is completely smashed. The outside box is not damaged in any way, but the contents … All I can say is this …

If you ship old and delicate computers, please wrap them in copious amounts of bubblewrap.

My cheap Atari ST is now a 1000+ jigsaw puzzle! 🙁

I think I will need to put this into a PC tower case at some stage.

First off, I will clean the main board and make sure its all working

UPDATE: – When this was removed from the shipping box for a proper examination, it turned out to be an STE with 4 SIMM chips in it. Its either a 1 MB machine or a 4MB machine. Until I fire it up, I can’t tell, and I won’t be firing it up until I am certain there will be no magic smoke!!

Not so happy days!!!

New refurbishment videos on YouTube

The newest refurbishment videos are up online now via my YouTube channel.

ZX Spectrum 128 +2a tear down, clean and fix to a state that makes it usable for the job at hand. It still needs work, but in the time I had to complete the refurbishment, I think its been left in a pretty good state!

Part 1 – Tear down, clean and test
Part 2 – Tape drive belt replacement and final testing

New Einstein Books

I have acquired 2 more Einstein books.

Relatively Basic – an early guide to getting the most out of the Einstein’s XTal Basic – By Solo Software

File Handling in Basic

A guide to using basic to access data in files (Obviously!)

Both of these books are in transit to me and will make a fine addition to the ever growing Einstein magazine and book collection.

Scrub that! The Data File Handling book has been eaten bu the UK post office. It never turned up and I got refund from the eBay seller. Shame really as they are hard to get hold of!!! Harrumph!!!

Antique, Vintage or Retro?

What does it all mean?

These classifications have been banded around for many years, but what are they and what relevance do they have?

This is how I see the differences in terms of time scales.

Antique – Anything that is 100 + years old.

Does not seem a long time ago, but at the time of writing this post, 100 years ago was 1919 – My Grandfather on Dad’s side was 16 years of age 100 years ago!

The Wright Brothers first powered flight took place in the same year (1903)! – The world is moving on!

Vintage – Anything that is older than 50 years but younger than 99 years.

Wine is generally classified as vintage, but it can be applied to anything really. Clothing from the 1970s will soon be vintage, as will I!

Retro – Anything that is older than 25 years, but younger than 50 years.

Currently, that puts me in the retro category of life. In a couple of years I will Vintage! ha ha.

Computers and game consoles come under this category, as do cars, boats, clothes etc – Usually this means anything from your childhood.

This is where my web site and YouTube channel is aimed. RETRO all the way!

More Retro Book Goodness

I had completely forgotten about this range of books, until I rediscovered them on eBay.

Patrick Bossert was a child prodigy who first wrote a book in 1981 (At age 13) about the Rubiks Cube ‘You can do the cube’, along with a graphical notation, designed to be easily understood by novices. He featured on many kids TV programs in the UK in the early to mid 1980s demonstrating how he solves the puzzle.

Philippa Dickinson is the former head of Penguin Books.