A bit of History
|Ericsson Step/One (1983)|
I think it's safe to say that the whole thing is my fault. I never knew I had the soul of a collector until I came across an ad for an Ericsson step/one (the mono version) in 1992. It had previously belonged to a Finnish governmental agency and was for sale for a very "reasonable" price. To this day, I have no idea why I wanted the damn thing, but I did. And when I finally got it - then again, who else would have wanted it - I fell in love with it immediately. The "retro" feeling of a green display was unimaginable, and I even ended up using it as my "primary" computer for a few months while my PC was being repaired.
As the pattern goes, once you've brought the first piece of junk in it'll soon bring others along. A couple of months later, I bought an old C-64 from a friend to use as a games machine. Unfortunately, it broke down so I had to get some extra ones to use as spares, and before I knew it I was surrounded by PCBs. At some point I bought an A500 with my friends (to pave the way for a transition to an Amiga 1200 user later on), and then a Sharp MZ off another friend, and then...
There was a time when I seriously thought of quitting. I had about 30 different computers, no room left to store the machines and I thought I had most of the systems available (I was wrong). However, I soon moved to my own flat and suddenly discovered I could store more stuff. Moreover, my brother Ville had developed a growing fascination to the bits of silicon and we found ourselves looking for additions to our collection - instead of looking elsewhere. At this point we realised that this was incurable.
The hobby picked up pace in 1998, when we had some extra money thanks to us both being employed for the summer, and Ville made a trip to Scotland. At first he wasn't very keen on the idea of bringing back any computers, but "things developed" and he returned with gems like the SAM Coupé and Acorn Electron, previously unknown to us Finns. Thank heavens for EU and the loose customs policy.
|Acorn Electron (1983)|
Another major breakthrough was our acquaintance with a friendly video games salesperson who had some rare items in stock. He was interested in our collection and sold us some of the Sega items we have, the brand new Multi-Mega being the pick of the pack.
And, last but not least, we managed to awaken the retrogames enthusiast inside Manu. He already had some old machines to start with, but soon doubled his collection and wanted more. He was an experienced internet surfer as well, and quickly gathered information about machines previously unknown to us, and that "sort of" aroused our appetite. The future still looks bright, after Ville's trip to Japan, Manu's trip to USA ... and more to come.