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Technological Surrealism / Alec Nerds Out

“How does it feel to destroy something unique?”

I just ran across a comment on my old (now-defunct) Free Geek Vancouver Volunteer Blog that came in response to Challenger:

I’ve been reading all of your posts since the Compaq Portable III one, as I’ve just recently bought one with the intention of doing exactly the same as you have because I came up with the exact same idea.

Tell me, how does it feel to destroy something unique? I just had to comment on this one because I saw such a clearly easy restoration get destroyed by ignorance.

You could have simply had a wooden cabinet built instead of removing the microcomputer from this arcade machine and building a modern piece of crap. Instead you have replaced hardware that could have lasted for another 25 years with something that will only last for another 4 tops.

You have destroyed an original and unique piece of computing history and replaced it with a more modern but unreliable PC, STOP WRECKING THINGS!

I thought for sure that you were going to remove the guts out of that wire recorder and replace it with something stupid like an arduino. That is how predictable all of this is.

BY REPLACING IT WITH MORE MODERN HARDWARE we and future generations will never get to see what the hardware looked like. You do not even want to take the time to learn how these older systems worked so you can repair them.

For example that bridge rectifier made out of 4x diodes could’ve easily been replaced, the capacitors could have easily been replaced and you could have cleaned the corrosion off from that chip, then you could have gone over the entire board with a 25 watt soldering iron and a spool of solder and checked it for dry joints (heating the joint up, adding some new solder, moving onto the next one.)

I’m not even commenting about the HaD problem, seriously you need to stop fucking ripping the original equipment out of vintage gear and replacing it with newer stuff and start LEARNING about the older hardware and PRESERVING IT!

This echoes something I’ve gotten a few times on so I wanted to duplicate my response here:

“How does it feel to destroy something unique?”

It feels great.

The things I work with are only unique once I’m done with them and I’m not in the business of running a museum. If you’re passionate about preserving electronics, go forth and rent a warehouse. There has never a been a more passive hobby than collecting mass-produced products — all you need is storage space, an e-bay account, and unpopular tastes to help keep the artifacts cheap.

As I wrote in the article, this was a seriously damaged game that seems to have been left outside to rot. I rescued it from the back of a warehouse. I passed the board set on to someone who wanted it and offered the local pinball repair shop the control panels, artwork, etc. They agreed with me that these were of low collectability and poor condition. Between that and the photography and documentation in this article, I’d wager that this small effort contributes more to the preservation of antiques than you’ve ever done.

So, Stereotypical Complainer, stop telling me how to pursue my own hobbies and go get your own. Unless your hobby actually is lecturing me on building bridge rectifiers, because that’s just tiresome.

Be warned: I’m going to set a trap for the next outraged faux-archivist.

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