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The woes of early tech adopters.


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Okay, I don't believe I'm alone here, I believe everyone has a story to tell about how they jumped on the bandwagon when a new techo-goodie was released, only to kicked to the curb, abandoned and ended up regretting the purchase.  Sooooooooo, what was it?

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I have one I can think of. 

It was all the way back in the late 90's.  I wanted a fast PC to play games on, but didn't have a big budget.  The Cyrix 6x86 processor had just come out, and it was killing the Pentium in benchmarks AND was about half the price.  So I got one.  And I was happy....for a while.  It did work great on the games at that time.  But then Quake came out, and....uh oh.  The processor's flaw was a terrible floating point unit.  Quake results were pretty bad.  Every game after that used the same type of engine.  Insert sad trombone sound here for RickR! 

It wasn't much later that a superstar CPU came out that DID live up to expectations.  It was the Intel Celeron 300a that easily overclocked to 450 Mhz and was just as fast as the Pentium 2 450. 

 

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Mine is not Betamax, 8 Track, Laser Disk or anything involved with the PC, no mine had to do with the TI-99/4A Home computer.  At the time, they advertised it as a 16 bit machine (what a joke), and since it had color and a respectable entry level price I bit.  Damn, once I got it, I found that sucker was S E V E R E L Y  L I M I T E D.  So, I poured even more money into it to get an expansion box, disk drive, 32K, RS-232 card and modem... then the bastards at Texas Instruments ABANDONED the dang thing.  By this time I was financially locked into it and could only upgrade things piecemeal with third party stuff over the next few years with the CorComp Disk Controller, Triple Tech Card and multiple drives.  While this was going on, all my friends got rid of their TI's and moved on to Atari's, Commodores, Apples, TRS-80's and later PC's.  I was "the last man standing" in my local area as far as TI users were involved.  I finally bailed out in 1990 and got into the PC scene.

Strange things happen over time, when I looked back at my 7 years as a TI'er, the feeling of "nostalgia" began to hit, I found an Internet discussion group, discovered Classic 99 and then hooked up with another active TI guy about 100 miles north of me, and started to re-acquire hardware again.  This time around lasted longer than the first, mainly because I was able to realize all the dreams I ever had for the TI, and really I enjoyed it up until a few months ago.

  

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Honestly, that's just the way it was back then.  I got my Atari 800XL in 1984, and had outgrown it by 1988.  It was a PC that was needed in college, as all the newest software was on that platform.  It doesn't mean I didn't love that machine.  I did!  It was so awesome and I used it almost every day of those 3 or 4 years.  Nowadays, it's a way to relive my youth.

The VIC-20 had an even shorter life-span for me...I think I bought it in 1982 or 83, and it got replaced by the Atari in 84.  Again...I loved it so much.  I learned Basic and programmed so many things myself.  My career as a software engineer has it's roots in that machine! 

Enjoy those things for what they are, and for the memories they provide.  It was an era of things getting out-of-date very quickly.  And that's ok. 

Check out this pic of the boxed consoles I own.  The VIC-20, 800XL and VCS are my ORIGINAL machines from back then.  I can't believe I kept the boxes and all of this stuff survived!  Pretty cool and I'm very grateful.

It takes a lot of effort to find like-minded nerds.  I can find others with a VIC-20 interest, for example, but they may like things I have no interest in.  For example, new games or some fancy new dongle.  It takes effort to listen and try to find a spot in those groups.  Luckily, there's a ton of YouTube stuff to find and enjoy with the topics I'm interested in.  It can be a bit lonely, sure.  But still fun. 

Example:  @nosweargamerjust reviewed an old 8-bit game called Orc Attack that I had never heard of.  Well, he loved it and ranked it at the top of his list.  So boom, here I am discovering an old game for the first time and LOVING it. 

 

 

 

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