New member from England

Introduce yourself. Tell people why you are interested in vintage computers and what (if anything) you've got.

New member from England

Postby sidney on Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:42 am

Hello everyone, I'm Sidney and I'm from England, I have been attracted to your forums through a combination of a) Terry's fantastic Youtube videos and b) the fact that this is a very interesting forum that I wanted to be part of for sometime. My earliest experiences of computing are from when my parents bought me a Sinclair ZX Spectrum for my birthday in 1986 and I never looked back! I have been hooked ever since adding many many computers and games consoles to my collection over the years, I have recently bought a Commodore 16 and it was Terry's video about it that convinced me to add it to my collection. I am also keen to learn about systems that were either less well known in the UK or that were simply never released here at all like the Dick Smith system (which my Australian sister in law assures me was great when her family had one in the 80's!) So here I am and I'm looking forward to contributing to this great site.
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Re: New member from England

Postby kevman3d on Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:53 pm

or that were simply never released here at all like the Dick Smith system

If you mean the System 80, I believe that it was released in the UK as the Video Genie.
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Re: New member from England

Postby tezza on Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:25 pm

Hello Sidney and welcome to the forums. Thanks for those kind words.

Yes, the Dick Smith System 80 was sold in the UK as the Video Genie, mostly by Lowe Electronics. It had much less visibility there though. I think what helped it in NZ was Dick Smth''s enthusiastic marketing. Also we didn't have a Clive Sinclair :)

Speaking of UK machines, one I'm keen to add to my collection at some stage is the Amstrad CPC 464. Do you have one of those? Any experience with it?
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Re: New member from England

Postby sidney on Tue May 19, 2015 3:51 am

Thanks for the info guys-I have heard of the Video Genie! I know it was one of the many micro's that popped up in the early 80's that chanced it's arm against Spectrum and C64 dominance and ultimately lost- alongside many others!! Thanks also for the warm welcome Tezza, as I said I have found your video's fantastically informative and are among my favourites on the web.

Personally I don't own the Amstrad CPC but I have had plenty of experience of playing/using it, I remember a friend of mine had it bought for him as a gift to his family from his grandparents it was the CPC 464 cassette based model. I remember my old pal battering me at Matchday (old Football/Soccer game by Ocean software) but he did insist on me using cursor keys and at that point I had little experience of video games! What put me off the CPC range was the fact that you had to buy the machine and monitor collectively. That added around £150 to your purchase (a vast sum in the mid 80's) so you were looking at £299 for the colour set up and £199 for the green screen version. Amstrad's idea was to give the user everything they needed out of the box but in reality what Amstrad considered an advantage pushed the machine out of the reach of many. Thus the Spectrum and C64 that allowed usage of the family portable became the 8bit's of choice in the UK with the CPC coming in a distant third.

All of which was rather sad because the machine was more than capable, Chase HQ looked and played superbly on the machine and Matchday 2 (A big favourite) was arguably better than on other formats too. Sadly in the UK the CPC was seen as a hodgepodge of the C64 and Spectrum in the eyes of many- without the best bits of either or indeed the software support. Tape loading was also a touch slower than other comparable systems. The colour palette was definitely better than any other 8 bit system though. Nowadays history shows that it was a decent machine worthy of investigation and I would take the plunge myself but for the omnipresent question of that confounded monitor! Though I believe there is some kind of plug in RGB device that enables the use of any TV.

For me the Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128k+2 was my first experience of computing in my own home, ironically this model was heavily based on the CPC range design wise as Amstrad had bought out Sinclair in the early part of 1986 and the +2 was Amstrad's first version of the Spectrum, I had mine as a birthday gift from my parents in late 1986 and it served me well. Ironically when it passed to the great computer museum in the sky my parents bought me another for my birthday 2 years ago- a perfect circle was formed! This year I managed to cobble my original +2 with a spare/repair model to make a working model- so it lives on and I now have two +2's not to mention a 48k+ model made by Sinclair in 1984. Later on I had a C64 as a gift and thus began another computing obsession which shows no sign of ceasing!
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