In a world where millions of people carry supercomputers from the 1990s in their pockets, it’s fun to revisit technology from a time when a 1-megahertz machine on a desktop represented a breakthrough. Recently, a collector named Brian Green showed off his collection of vintage computers on Twitter, and we thought it would be fun to ask him why and how he set up his computer lab at home.
By day, Green works as a senior systems engineer in Arkansas. But in his spare hours, “Ice Breaker” (as he’s often known online) focuses his passion on a collection of vintage computers he’s been building for decades, and a bulletin board system (BBS) called “Particles.” which it has been running since 1992.
Green’s interest in computers dates back to 1980, when he first used an Apple II+ in elementary school. “My older sister brought home a printout of a BASIC program she was working on, and she fascinated me that you could tell a computer what to do using something that looked like English,” recalls Green. “Once I realized you could code games, I was hooked.”
Despite his early encounters with the Apple II, the 1982 Commodore 64 really won his heart. As his first computer with a drive was too expensive for a child, so he spent an entire summer saving money from his newspaper route to buy one. “Most of my friends had one at the time,” he says.
Today, Green’s collection of vintage computers spans a wide range of machines, the rarest being a 1982 Commodore B128-80. As part of the failed Commodore B series of computers, the model barely walked out the door before that the plug was disconnected. thrown away, according to Green. “Of the Series B, this is the most common, with about 10,000 made,” says Green. “While other models had as little as a few hundred.”
We asked him which computer was the hardest to track down, and he pointed to the ill-fated Apple III, which Apple released in 1980 as an enterprise-capable follow-up to its more famous prequel: “I probably looked for an Apple III. Most computers you can get if you’re willing to spend the money on eBay, but that’s not nearly as fun as buying something at a show or flea market. I found a working Apple III at the last Vintage Computer Festival Midwest for a good price and proudly display it.”
Setting up your computer lab
From these images, it’s clear that Green’s home computer lab is an exercise in weapons-grade technological nostalgia. Her goal is to recreate the computing experience of the 1980s, when she grew up reading magazines like Family Computing.
“Every month, a new computer was announced or reviewed,” he says. “I was a kid then and couldn’t afford any of these computers, but I’ve always been fascinated by all the different hardware. I wanted to try them all! I try to use as much ‘correct’ hardware as I can, although there is a small amount of newer hardware out there as well.” These machines”.
Tech – Ars Technica