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Author Topic: Commodore ignored  (Read 7214 times)
RobertB
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« on: March 02, 2011, 12:21:59 AM »

     The local ABC news affiliate visited our middle school yesterday.  They came to report on the iPads being used by the sixth graders.  Just in case they came into my classroom, I shined up the Commodore PET 4032. so that there could be a comparison between technology of today and technology of 1980.  Unfortunately, they went to other classes and just videotaped the iPads in use.  Darn!  I could have made a good case for Commodore.  Smiley

          As reported on the 6 o'clock news at
          http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=news/education&id=7977103
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://videocam.net.au/fcug
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Paul
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2011, 02:59:47 AM »

It's been my experience that retro and vintage computers are only appreciated by a select few people of good taste.  I've come to conclude that Commodore has lost its relevance in the public consciousness, having become little more than a footnote in the development of our modern culture.  Even a modern release of an original Commodore 64, or a modern Linux or Windows based counterpart, would be little more than a novelty. 
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"Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken. Take heed, do not squander your life." - Dogen Zenji
RobertB
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2011, 07:29:51 AM »

It's been my experience that retro and vintage computers are only appreciated by a select few people of good taste.
     Which reminds me to call or e-mail the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.  Ever since the original Vintage Computer Festival went a.w.o.l., there has been nothing coming out of CHS in terms of a retro/vintage computer show.

          FCUG celebrating 30 years,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://videocam.net.au/fcug
          The Other Group of Amigoids
          http://www.calweb.com/~rabel1/
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network
          http://www.sccaners.org
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Paul
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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2011, 02:24:38 AM »

An excellent idea, Robert.  That reminds me, I'll need to look into starting up a similar sort of festival this summer north of the border, or at least start poking around and see if I can stir up any interest.
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"Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken. Take heed, do not squander your life." - Dogen Zenji
RobertB
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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2011, 06:10:39 AM »

...I'll need to look into starting up a similar sort of festival this summer north of the border...
     North of your border?  Wouldn't that place it in the frozen floes of the Arctic Ocean?  Wink

          FCUG celebrating 30 years,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://videocam.net.au/fcug
          The Other Group of Amigoids
          http://www.calweb.com/~rabel1/
          Southern California Commodore & Amiga Network
          http://www.sccaners.org
         
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Paul
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2011, 06:43:25 PM »

...I'll need to look into starting up a similar sort of festival this summer north of the border...
     North of your border?  Wouldn't that place it in the frozen floes of the Arctic Ocean?  Wink


Global warming has changed things lately...Smiley
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"Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken. Take heed, do not squander your life." - Dogen Zenji
Rorshach
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2011, 08:25:31 PM »

Unfortunately retro computing is ignored by just about everybody these days. I don't like it either but its hard to change peoples conceptions. Recently a radio station I listen to CHBM in toronto did make mention of a new commodore look a like reported on the web but treated it as a bad joke and quickly made a laughing stock of it. Unprofessional to say the least but people don't know better.

Truth is companies like commodore and their ilk did most of the innovating in the early micro years, far more than the current crop of manufacturers dominating the industry.  Without companies like Commodore, Atari and a number of others the idea that computers should be affordable for everyone would be an unknown concept but instead would simply be an overpriced commodity.

I do support the idea of some kind of event though but it will be a hard sell, most of the retro events I've seen in past few years are attended by the same people who are already in the hobby. We should try to come up with something that would be noticable to a wider audience. I often run into people who once owned and used commmodore, atari or other computers now considered retro so there are a scant few around. Something visible to the public and showing that we retro computer users are not lunatics would be a very good idea.
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Paul
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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2011, 03:20:07 PM »

I think part of the reason why retro computing events are largely ignored is because those who tend to organize and attend such events get so hung up on the details, they miss the bigger picture.  For example, when the Commodore 64 came out, it impressed those of us who learned on a PET and owned a Vic 20, and soon after the PET was considered a boat anchor, and the Vic 20's only redeeming quality was that its keyboard could be used in a Commodore 64.  The 64 gained a lot of momentum, found its ways into a lot of homes, and became a pop culture icon.  Notice that today it's the beige rounded C64 that gets the attention and not the sleeker white wedge-shaped version.  People don't care that other machines were technically superior; all they remember was playing Summer Games and Jumpman with their friends, and that the Commodore 64 was the cool computer that all the cool kids had.

A modern retro computing event seems to want to cover all the computers, so it becomes more of a retro computer museum event.  To most people, that's like lining up all of the popular MP3 players over the past 10 years at one event, when all they really care to see is the iPod.  It's true, the wider audience is really that shallow.  It's why the Atari Flashback 2 did so well.  They want to see the icons of the era, and the TRS-80 Model 100 that showed the orders at the McDonald's they worked at as a kid isn't that icon.

Honestly, I think a retro computing event is too much of one thing to hold the attention of the wider audience for very long.  Imagine if there were a retro photography event.  Yes, Retro photography is real, and there are quite a few people that are into it, but the events tend to involve only those that are already into retro photography.  To the wider audience accustomed to cheap, sharp digital, it's a lot of musty old equipment that isn't going to be worth the trouble.

If we really want the broader appeal; say, to grow the value of our classics over time, we need to be more receptive of modern technology wrapped in a retro shell.  Consider the Fuji Finepix X100:

A very retro-looking shell, which functions a lot like the retro camera it emulates, but inside it's a thoroughly modern digital camera with no place for film.  A number of big camera manufacturers are bringing high quality retro reproductions with a modern twist to market, and both retro photography enthusiasts and modern photographers alike are buying these cameras.  I'd love for Pentax to catch on and release a full sensor digital that accurately reproduces the simplicity of the K1000, but I digress.

Recently, a company brought to market a modern PC running Linux wrapped in a Commodore 64-like shell.  This is what I would consider the retro computing equivalent of a "High quality reproduction with a modern twist."  Unfortunately, this has been meet with heavy criticism from those who are already into the retro computing scene, due to the fact that it's not really a Commodore 64.  I think we should be more receptive of this type of thing if we want the interest of the wider audience; just as someone who buys a Fuji Finepix X100 may be more inclined to become interested in retro photography after buying the Finepix just for its style, so might someone who bought one of those modern C64's may wish to get into retro computing.
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"Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken. Take heed, do not squander your life." - Dogen Zenji
RobertB
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2011, 06:45:02 PM »

If we really want the broader appeal; say, to grow the value of our classics over time, we need to be more receptive of modern technology wrapped in a retro shell.  Consider the Fuji Finepix X100...
     It seems like a fine camera.  However, since I am predominantly into film, I look into upgrading.  For example, I want more lenses for my Bronica GS-1 or even replacing my Nikon N80 body with that of a Nikon F5.

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://videocam.net.au/fcug
          July 23-24 Commodore Vegas Expo v7 - http://www.portcommodore.com/commvex
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Paul
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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2011, 08:37:06 PM »

I'm more of a Pentax fan myself; I still have the K-1000 and 28mm lens I started out with in the early 80's, along with the F1.7 50mm, all manner of filters, close-ups, and attachments; P3n body, 35-70mm and 70-200mm zoom lenses I bought later to supplement it.  Often I feel like I should shoot more film; I've built up my Pentax collection to include the MX body (another Pentax cult classic), as well as a more modern MZ-6 body which came with a brilliant 28-90mm kit lens.  I also acquired a 17mm fisheye which is absolutely stunning.  The problem is, these lenses fit and work fine on my modern digital Pentax K-x (which came with its own versatile 18-55mm kit lens), and my K-x can go into full manual mode complete with TTL metering (I configured the "Green" button for DOF preview, which engages the meter).  The only drawback is the fact that the sensor size isn't a full 35mm frame, which means I'm not utilizing the entire lens right to the edge.  I still get the vintage feel of turning the aperture and focus rings and even gray-carding my light readings, and I can shoot hundreds or even thousands of shots without investing in the expense of having the pictures developed.  With the "Digital Darkroom," I get more control over the end result than I ever could with film.

This one was shot this weekend with the old 200mm zoom lens:


Here's one taken with the old fisheye:


Thanks to digital processing, I was able to turn what would have been mediocre shots into something a little more stunning.

Do you have an on-line gallery, Robert?
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"Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken. Take heed, do not squander your life." - Dogen Zenji
RobertB
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2011, 12:55:19 AM »

I'm more of a Pentax fan myself; I still have the K-1000 and 28mm lens I started out with in the early 80's...
     I was tempted to get a Pentax long ago, but I tended more toward the Olympus OM-1 (though I never got one).
Quote
Thanks to digital processing, I was able to turn what would have been mediocre shots into something a little more stunning.
     Heh, I nearly always get a CD of photos along with my film processing.  Then I can load that CD into the Powerbook or iMac and enhance them.
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Do you have an on-line gallery, Robert?
     No, I don't.  Do you have a recommendation for a good one?

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://videocam.net.au/fcug
          July 23-24 Commodore Vegas Expo v7 - http://www.portcommodore.com/commvex
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Paul
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2011, 03:25:39 AM »

     I was tempted to get a Pentax long ago, but I tended more toward the Olympus OM-1 (though I never got one).

My K-1000 was a gift from my father.  He bought it gently used; he needed the 50mm lens, and the purchase came with the 28mm and 50mm; he later gave me the 50mm when he moved to an autofocus 50mm lens.  It was worth it, because it's the all metal K-1000.  I made sure to photograph my first born son with that exact camera and lens, so you could say I've become very biased towards Pentax.

     Heh, I nearly always get a CD of photos along with my film processing.  Then I can load that CD into the Powerbook or iMac and enhance them.

I did that a few times when my SLR's were still film-only.  DSLR's have come down so much recently, why not cut out the middleman?

Quote
Do you have an on-line gallery, Robert?
     No, I don't.  Do you have a recommendation for a good one?

I usually put my stuff on Facebook or on my own web host, but a lot of photographers seem to really like Flickr.  I have a little-used account there that I'll probably start using a bit more.  I also suggest photo.net for getting a critique of your pictures, and I've always liked dpreview.com's forums and reviews if you ever think of switching to digital.  You really should think about it, Robert.  Switching to a digital DSLR body, that is.  It's quite liberating; especially if you're into experimental photography like I am.  Consider this image of a dandelion, shot with a 28mm lens switched end-for-end with an adapter:



It took a dozen shots just to get it right, then further processing in the "Digital Darkroom" to take it that one step further.  The whole process, from initial photograph to finished product, took less than an hour.  With film, assuming I'd attempt such a wild project, would have taken at least an entire roll of film (remember, no checking to see how the last image turned out), and the time and expense of processing and burning a CD full of bad dandelion shots. 
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"Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken. Take heed, do not squander your life." - Dogen Zenji
RobertB
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2011, 04:06:24 AM »

DSLR's have come down so much recently...
    Not for the ones I am interested in -- the full frame Nikon D3x or Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III.  With prices that high, it pays to stick with 120mm film which has more resolution (or even 4 x 5 film which has even more).
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...why not cut out the middleman?
    I'll do that when I get a film scanner later this year.
Quote
I usually put my stuff on Facebook or on my own web host, but a lot of photographers seem to really like Flickr.
    What is the maximum size of a photo that can be placed on Flickr?  (Isn't it a small size?)
Quote
It's quite liberating; especially if you're into experimental photography like I am.
    No, I'm not into experimental photography.
     As for beautiful cameras, here is the Voigtlander Bessa III, retro simple yet modern, using the stunning resolution of 120mm film.


          Now that would be a sweet camera to own,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://videocam.net.au/fcug
          July 23-24 Commodore Vegas Expo 2011 - http://www.portcommodore.com/commvex
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Paul
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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2011, 12:37:50 AM »

    Not for the ones I am interested in -- the full frame Nikon D3x or Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III.  With prices that high, it pays to stick with 120mm film which has more resolution (or even 4 x 5 film which has even more).

Ah.  You mentioned earlier that you were thinking about getting the Nikon D5, which is a 35mm.

    I'll do that when I get a film scanner later this year.

You must have more free time than I do.

    What is the maximum size of a photo that can be placed on Flickr?  (Isn't it a small size?)

Apparently, no: http://www.flickr.com/help/photos/

    No, I'm not into experimental photography.
     As for beautiful cameras, here is the Voigtlander Bessa III, retro simple yet modern, using the stunning resolution of 120mm film.

It certainly is very retro, Robert! I wonder if we'll ever see a camera like that with digital guts.

As for resolution, I've noticed that the current APS-C sensors at around 12 megapixel already surpass larger 35mm film once you get to ISO 400 and beyond (the faster 35mm film is noticeably more "Grainy").  I wonder at what point a sensor like the Kodak KAF-39000 surpasses the medium format film it's designed to emulate?

One of the things I've become accustomed to with digital is the fast turn-around time: I can take a shot, and within minutes, have a print (like a Polaroid) or, for stuff I want to throw up on the web, it also happens within minutes with zero expense.  Also no need to wait until the roll is finished if I only took one shot.

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"Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken. Take heed, do not squander your life." - Dogen Zenji
RobertB
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« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2011, 09:19:31 AM »

You mentioned earlier that you were thinking about getting the Nikon D5, which is a 35mm.
     I mentioned the Nikon F5 body.  The top-line Nikon and Canon digital cameras would fit my needs, but they are way out of my price range.
Quote
I wonder at what point a sensor like the Kodak KAF-39000 surpasses the medium format film it's designed to emulate?
     Hasselblad uses 50-megapixel (on the low side for medium format) and 60-megapixel sensors on their cameras.

          Truly,
          Robert Bernardo
          Fresno Commodore User Group
          http://videocam.net.au/fcug
          July 23-24 Commodore Vegas Expo 2011 - http://www.portcommodore.com/commvex
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