Retro Computers

New Hardware - Summer 2020

My original plans for 2020 were to write more and complete more projects. And you would think that being locked up in a house all spring and summer would be the perfect time to do those things. However, I have kids and a job that increased in demand due to the circumstances, and so my projects were put on hold.

I’ve got a handle on things now and have made a few new purchases this summer: a NeXTstation Color Turbo, a Commodore 64, and an Amiga 500.

NeXTstation Color Turbo

I was surprised when I won the auction for the NeXTstation Color Turbo for about $140. Normally, I see these go for much, much more. However, in addition to not coming with a hard drive, keyboard, or mouse (which I could use from my original NeXTstation), I don’t have the Y-cable, sound box, or monitor that are needed to actually use the computer.

A NeXT sound box is hard to come by and will probably cost more than what I paid for the computer. An actual NeXT color monitor will also be hard to come by but can be side-stepped with a custom VGA Y-cable.

Commodore 64

The Commodore line of 8-bit micros was my first exposure to computers, and I’ve wanted to play some of the games I remember on the actual hardware. Breadbox versions of the C64 are incredibly plentiful and decently priced. I got one in pretty good condition with the box from a friend of my dad who found it cleaning out a storage unit. I just need to clean it up, test the power supply, and get a video cable so I can hook it up.

I think the C64 is going to be the most fun. I have very fond memories of the C64, and there is such a vibrant community around it with loads of games, software, peripherals, and retro mods that are easy to find and fun to make.

Amiga 500

In another surprise auction win, I placed a low bid on an Amiga 500 that reportedly boots but has a badly damaged case and maybe some port issues. I think I can get this to work and repair the case.