Classics long overdue a Boot.

Sean Caron scaron at
Thu May 19 17:06:36 CDT 2016

On Thu, 19 May 2016, Austin Pass wrote:

> Swift's thread on the "ones that got away" got me thinking about another
> source of guilt/regret common to the classic computer collector:
> Systems we've neglected or failed to boot recently.
> I've had a re-jig of my storage, and whilst it was great to uncover gems
> that I'd forgotten I even had, it also brought some regrets for the systems
> I've neglected - lots of them not booted in 10 years or more.
> Because they were easily accessible I pulled out my Colour Classic and G4
> Cube (is the latter on-topic through the "10 year rule" or are we sticking
> to pre-millenials?):
> Quick check-over and they both booted just fine!
> The systems I'm feeling really guilty over neglecting are:
> SGI Crimson VGX (skins perfect but needs some TLC before power-on)
> Micro PDP 11/83 (same)
> Maxed-out Acorn A3000 (my home-brew external SCSI Podule needs finishing)
> And I have a vast box of Sinclair Specturm games on tape that would
> probably take the rest of the year to load if I fired up my +2 and played
> them sequentially!
> -Austin.

Here's my best story along these lines. I've had a NeXT Cube for quite a 
while and it sat for some time in my parent's basement while I went off to 
school and got my adult life together.

A few years ago, I made a pass through the town where I grew up with a box 
truck (on the way to Indiana to grab my ROLM CBX) and picked up all the 
remaining stuff I had in storage there and brought it home with me.

I connected the monitor, keyboard and mouse and plugged the Cube in. Hit 
the power button on the keyboard and it powered up and booted right into 
NeXTstep as if it had just run a few days ago. I think the system must 
have been sitting idle for almost fifteen years before I got back to it. I 
even managed to remember the password ;)

Since then, I've restored pretty much everything I was able to bring back 
to running condition. I try to fire them all up a few times a year, at a 
minimum. In general, things have held up pretty well. Drives tend to be 
the greatest challenge - but can sometimes present the greatest surprises 
as well :O



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