Hello World

Welcome to my blog!

If this is the only post on the blog then you are very resourceful and managed to find me before I have even made it public.  I don’t know how long it will be before the novelty wears off but in the mean time I hope to put up some small writings of personal interest about (at least mostly) retro computing and gaming.

I’m nostalgic about 70’s and 80’s personal computers and games consoles through to the modern-day, and particularly the Atari 8-bit and Texas Instruments TI-99/4a home computers.  Neither the Atari or TI were my first computer, that would be the Sinclair ZX81, but my second computer was the much underrated TI-99/4a.  The TI was the machine that I really learned the foundations of programming on but in those days Texas Instruments attempted to lock-down the platform to prevent other developers from creating low-level software for it.  I needed to learn more about how hardware functioned and that was the main reason I migrated to the Atari 600XL.  I struggled along on the Atari for a while with tapes and 16K before adding the extra memory, then a 1050 disk drive and then a second disk drive.  The second drive came with a free 800XL in the sell-offs of the XL line before the new model XE appeared and that machine became my workhorse.

TI-99/4a Home Computer.
My TI-99/4a running Q*bert.

I tried to write games on the Atari for a while but I don’t think I knew enough back then or just wasn’t talented enough.  Both of my completed efforts ended up in Page 6 as subscriber disks or specials (“Brik-Bat” and “Symbolism” if you want to look them up at Atarimania).  In the end I decided to get a “proper” job and started programming as a career.  It was a sad day when my trusty 800XL died on the very day I bought my Amiga with almost my first wages, it was as if it knew.

Having moved on to PCs and now Macs I never lost the nostalgia and started collecting vintage computers when money was a little less scarce.  I’ve reached the point where there aren’t many mainstream ones I don’t have and I’ve picked up some of the rarer ones too.  In parallel, I started to pick up games consoles and the split is probably 50/50 between computers and consoles in my collection now.  I tend to show them on Instagram fairly regularly.

Every now and then I come up with a vague idea for a game and think of getting to the 800XL or (more likely at the moment) the TI-99/4a and developing again just for the hell of it. One day I will complete something and not just tinker…

Anyway, enough about me, tell me about yourself!