CoCo3's & Legitimacy of the Ten Year Rule.

From: Charles P. Hobbs <>
Date: Wed Jan 27 01:06:08 1999

On Wed, 27 Jan 1999, Bill Yakowenko wrote:

> On Sun, 24 Jan 1999, Roger Merchberger <> wrote:
> ] Erm, sorry... I (and I think most others would agree with me here) don't
> ] believe that would work correctly, either. My beloved CoCo3 is more than
> ] easily considered a classic here, as they *started* production in 1986 (and
> ] mine was the first one in over a 50 mile radius of my area), but they were
> ] still in production at least into 1990, and I know they were still in-stock
> ] items in Radio Shacks & RSCC's in 1990, maybe 1991.
> I'm sorry to say this, being a bit of a CoCo nut myself, but if they
> peaked within the past ten years, they are not yet classic. Of course,
> they are right on the edge here, so you'd get no flames from me for
> posting about them. I mean, they couldn't have peaked in popularity
> after they were no longer being sold, right? So that puts them at
> eight or nine years; almost ripe. But again, slightly off-topic !=
> on-topic.
> I'm guessing there will be a bell curve of opinion for any machine.
> Maybe I'm in one of the tails. Does everybody else think that this
> should be an "everything but this-year's x86" list?

No, but I'd certainly put all of the old 8-bitters in the "classic"
category, even if many of them were used less than 10-years ago. Also
newer stuff that's really no longer with us for all intents and purposes,
such as the Amiga and Atari ST. Sure, some people still use them, but most
users wouldn't consider them a mainstream choice anymore.

> I just had a little revelation. To me, classic means something more
> than being old. And being terribly common, like being in every house,
> negates that. When I think of classic computers, I think of machines
> that had some personality, like a unique creation from an old sci-fi
> movie. Electronic brains. Blinky lights. Arcane OS's. High voltage.
> Made you feel like a mad scientist just to be able to dork around with
> one.
> CoCo's, as much as I like them, can't be that. Those and Atari's and
> Commie's and, yes, even Apple-2's are just too darn ordinary to be
> classic in that way. PDP's are classic because nobody (well, almost
> nobody) has them at home.

I disagree. Most users, if they even knew a PDP from a VAX, never directly
interacted with these machines. At least at my university computing
center, these machines were kept in air-conditioned rooms, attended to by
staff--mere users never touched them. The only interaction was with a
terminal, running some operating system (UNIX or VMS or whatever)

We mere users *never* got to screw around with these machines the same way
we'd hack the hell out of an Apple II or Commodore 64.

That's not to say that people shouldn't enjoy collecting PDP's and
VAXen--many do. Are they "classic"? I'd say PDP's and at least earlier
VAXen are. On-topic for this list? Since direct hobby use of these
machines is *rare*, sure, why not?
Received on Wed Jan 27 1999 - 01:06:08 GMT

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