Old Computer Collecting vs Electronics Building

Tim Shoppa shoppa_classiccmp at trailing-edge.com
Thu Feb 2 16:51:34 CST 2006

Marvin Johnston <marvin at rain.org> wrote:
> One thing I've been concerned about for a while is what seems to be the
> lack of electronics building skills. *My* feeling is the desire to work
> on this stuff is going away and I'm not sure why. I DO NOT BUY the
> argument that components are so small now that nobody can build or hack
> equipment anymore as I view that more of an excuse for not building.
> It also seems that most (not all) of the people I know that collect
> computers now (and used them in the 70's and early 80's) are fairly
> competent at working on electronics.
> Are kits at all desireable to build by newer entries into electronics
> and computers? Or existing builders?

There are a lot of things to build that are not "computers" in the
box-that-sits-on-a-desk-with-disk-storage-and-CRT-and-keyboard realm,
but are interesting electronics.

Lots of fun is to be had playing with microcontrollers for all sorts of

Analog computers are always imminently hackable. Try building a circuit
for integrating the Lorentz equations for example. Turn a knob, and you're
tweaking the constants!

At the anti-digital end, some of us are still building radios with tubes
and coils :-).

I'm not going to say that there is no computer stuff to be built,
I'm just saying that many of us have been there, done that, and now
choose to do other things which we find more fulfilling.


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