Jürgen, born in 1971 in Bavaria Germany. Since I first sat in front of a Commodore PET at school and typed my first lines of BASIC code, computers have fascinated me and still don’t let me go. At that time, that was in the middle of the 80’s and the Commodore C64 was already in all mouth with the kids. On the radio the New German Wave was spreading with Nena (99 Red balloons), Falco (Kommissar, Jeanny), Hubert Kah, Spider Murphy Gang and the Synth-Pop with great bands from England, like Depeche Mode, Simple Minds, Human League, or Kraftwerk from Düsseldorf.
For me, however, there was only one topic: computers! I nagged my parents until they finally gave me the long-awaited Commodore C64 for Christmas ’85. That was really an enormous purchase, because the C64 still cost about 800 DM at that time. That’s why I only got the computer as a present … without datasette or floppy drive to save programs, because that would have blown up the budget. Nevertheless I was thrilled! So I had to deal with the enclosed BASIC manual first. But every time I turned off the computer, everything was gone again, of course. And that was the case at the latest when the parents wanted to watch the evening program on TV, because of course I blocked the only TV in the house! But I had a steep learning curve and after a short time I mastered most of the BASIC commands … My entry into the digital world!
But a short time later I bought at least a datasette and a Quickshot joystick from my savings and was finally able to dive into the world of games. In the schoolyard, cassettes with the latest cracked games were eagerly exchanged. And in the afternoons I met up with friends from the neighborhood to play games: Summer Games, Winter Games, Testdrive I and II, Paperboy, The Bards Tale, PacMan, One-on-One Basketball and many other games found their way into my collection.
Later, when the prices finally dropped, I could even afford my own 1541-II floppy. And at the latest from then on there were no limits for illegal game sharing! If the parents would have known that 😉
But much more than games I was always interested in serious applications for the computer. For my younger sister, for example, I wrote a vocabulary learning program for the C64 that saved the vocabulary you entered on floppy disk and then randomly retrieved it. It was interesting that I based the menu navigation on that of german BTX (Bildschirmtext)… State of the Art of the 80s! The idea came to me when I heard about the BTX hack of the Chaos Computer Club on TV. The world of hackers fascinated and inspired of course a boy of my age very much.
For the successor of the C64, the Amiga 500, the money was again not enough and with the advent of the first PCs, so early/mid 90s, the enthusiasm for my C64 anyway strongly decreased. At that time I was doing my apprenticeship as an office clerk at a NIXDORF dealer and had access to the first PCs (XT/AT). Because I needed space for it, my C64 was mothballed well packed in the attic and forgotten with the time.
It was thirty years later that he saw the light of day again … And what can I say? It still ran fine! Even the floppy disks were still readable after such a long time, which really surprised me! It was really exciting to hold the old floppy disks in my hand again after such a long time and to load them: LOAD ”$”,8 and LOAD ”*”,8,1 … the rattling of the floppy drive, the clacking of the keyboard – it brought back memories and it made me curious again about the computers from my youth. Many memories came up and suddenly I remembered many other computers of that time, which I always would have liked to try out….. There were the Schneider CPC models, the different generations of Sinclair ZX and of course the Apple II or IIc, which fascinated me just as much. In the course of time, several other exciting devices were added. So I am also fascinated by the first portable devices. Especially exciting is the EPSON HX-20 as the first real laptop and its successor the PX-8, a mobile computer with CP/M operating system, which have become very rare today. This is how my little passion for collecting was born, which finally led me to create this website.
My research on the Internet about home computers has shown me that even today there are many friends out there worldwide who are just as enthusiastic about keeping the devices alive. And that’s exactly what I want to do! My computers shall not gather dust on the shelf, but each of them shall tell its own little story here.
I would be very happy if you are captivated again while reading my articles, if you are old enough and experienced the 80s as I did. But even if you’re younger, I’m happy if my website can offer you a few insights into that time.
Have fun all of you reading and discovering.