​Superannuate

The box had seen better days but it was still an exciting find for the collector. A spring clean of seldom used storage areas at her son’s school had uncovered it. The edges of the cardboard box were in tatters, with some childish scribblings in faded colour pencils digging into the material.

Unlike other collectors, she did not care for the condition of the box. It was what was inside that mattered to her more than the total package. She feared the destructive forces of young children; so many other finds had been ruined by such circumstances. Yet, when she opened up the packaging and withdrew it, she was pleasantly surprised. The casing was yellowed with age, but there was no sign of damage from sticky hands, liquid or other dangers the school could throw at it.

With practiced skill she looked over it, peering into the cracks and crevices before breathing a sigh of relief. Testing it was easy enough, she had all her equipment to hand. Cables were connected and the monitor was powered on. With a slight nervous twitch to her finger, she switched the power on.

COMMODORE BASIC V7.0 122365 BYTES FREE

(C)1985 COMMODORE ELECTRONICS, LTD.

(C)1977 MICROSOFT CORP .

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

READY .

Breathing a sigh of relief, she shut the system back down again. Another for her collection of the superannuated. BBC Micros, Acorn Archimedes, Spectrums, Amstrads, Amigas and more resided in her workshop where the obsolete computers she collected were housed. Not just whole systems, but older components too. Looking over her desk where her monitors and TVs rested were a collection of processors. Intel 486s, Motorola 68000s, ARM2s, Cyrix designs, AMD K1s, even some PowerPC designs.

She found something in these old machines that she just couldn’t find in today’s ultra-sleek powerhouse units. There was a simple charm to them, and impressive engineering in some cases. The sound of a MOS SID 6581 still put a shiver down her spine, and the sqwark of data being streamed from cassette to a unit still held wonder for her, and fond memories of her childhood. There was even a sentimentality and compassion there for these things.

The C128 she found had spent years neglected in a place where it had once held children’s attention, rapt at the wonders of the computer age. And this weekend, when the cleaning was done and the lunch made, she was going to take it for a spin to let it know someone still loved it.

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