A few months back I dug through what amounted to a truck-load of 1980’s computer junk I’d been saving for no apparent reason. It was a fun little trip down memory lane, and the kids got a kick out of seeing what the first PCs looked like. We even resurrected a system long enough for my son Doug to play a bit of Zork, an old text based adventure game.
But after a couple days, mostly what I had was an entire ping-pong table littered in useless equipment and 5 1/4″ floppies. What to do? I briefly entertained just dragging it all to the recycling center, but that seemed just wrong. These were my babies back in the day. I jumped onto eBay and evaluated the worth of the stuff, and some of the components were worth quite a bit. But this required stripping it all out, photographing and cataloging everything, and managing all the auctions. I clearly didn’t care that much.
So on a whim, I called a friend who worked at Strong National Museum of Play. He’d been talking about a vintage electronic gaming exhibit they’d been building, so I asked if the museum was interested in any of this vintage tech. He lit up like a kid on Christmas morning. This was a win all the way around. My babies would be donated to a museum. I rationally knew they’d probably trash most of it, but I could console myself that it was going to a good home.
Then a couple weeks ago, one of their guys emailed me asking about one of the games I’d sent. I replied with what I could remember, and he turned it into a blog piece for the museum, complete with a scan of one of my hand-scribbled notes pages. It’s kind of cool, at least to me.