Been lurking here off and on for a while, figured I should make an account and become official.
I was not much of a gamer or computer kid until 1985 when I went to a cousin's house and he showed me his C64 and a few games he had. I fondly recall Bruce Lee, Impossible Mission, Mail Order Monsters, and Beach Head 2, to name a few.
A few weeks after that encounter I went to a friend's house - his family had a C64 too, and a game called The Bard's Tale (bootlegged copy). It was then, after playing The Bard's Tale trying to explore Skara Brae with level 1 characters and not knowing any spell codes or where to get characters advanced, that I got hooked big time. And from that point I also became a bigger fantasy fan and an avid reader.
I had to have a C64 of my own!
That's when the plotting began. I was 13 and I had to convince my parents that the family needed to ditch the TRS-80 II that I never even looked at, for a Commodore 64. Of course it was for school work... right? HAH!
Well, it was Christmas 1986 when it happened. Brand new C128, 1571, monitor, and printer. I didn't know a thing about the C128 and was worried that the games I had learned to love playing might not work! But then my neighbor friend who introduced me to The Bard's Tale, and was also a tech wizard, told me that the C128 could also be used as a C64. And the rest is history. I became a Commodore geek.
A few friends and I formed a group called "Upstairs Room Software". We all had our bedrooms on the second floor and we all had our Commodore computers in our bedrooms. We of course collected games, had copy parties, did a little cracking for our own amusement, so on and so forth.
It was around 1988 I started working part time for an uncle. Darn near every cent I earned went towards buying many of the actual store bought versions of the games that me and my friends had already copied. I began to collect game boxes and would pour over the game box art in my room all the time.
I was Christmas 1989 that I sold off the C128 and bought an Amiga 500 with external drive, the extra 512 slow ram, and another meg for the side expansion. While I had sold off the C128 with any bootlegged software, I kept all of the games I had purchased with hard earned cash. A year later bought a used breadbin but I hardly ever touched it, instead focused on the Amiga.
98% of everything I did was gaming, pure and simple. And with the Amiga I kept on buying games and collecting the boxes.
Things slowed a little on the gaming side when I got my license in 1991 and discovered the wonderful mystery of girls... (they are still a mystery and don't know what the hell I am doing half the time... married, 4 step daughters, six step granddaughters, one step grandson... if you are doing the math in your head, I am 48 and my wife has a few years on me).
The story has a very tragic midpoint... in 1995 I sold all my Commodore hardware AND software to buy a PC so I could play Star Wars Dark Forces. All gone... all of it. ouch... it hurts thinking about it.
Yep, every single time I think back to that moment when the Commodore kit left my house I can feel a swift kick in the stones. Big time. jeez.. it still hurts bad... yet at the time I thought nothing of it. DUMB DUMB DUMB...it hurts!
I started getting into Commodore emulation in 2000 or 2001 when I wanted to find a way to go back and play Death Lord, one of the games I had on my C128/64.
Today I am still running emulation and have no authentic hardware. Most of my Commodore retro time is done using a Raspberry Pi 400 running AmiKit and occasionally FS-UAE for the Amiga side of things... I actually feel fairly satisfied firing up the Pi 400 with Amikit booting straight in for the modern retro Amiga feel. I also use C64 Forever for the 64 and 128 emulation.
A few years ago I tried to start a YouTube channel and website around "Upstairs Room Software" and did some long-play videos of games I loved as a kid, but sadly I just never had time to produce the videos and keep at it. The channel is still there, but I have not added to it on a while, and probably will not anytime soon. Between my day job, family, side hustle running an online coffee drop shipping business (folklore-coffee.com), and occasional retro gaming, I just don't have time to manage a YT channel... and on top of that my personality is not on par for drawing in viewers... I'm bland.
That's me in a nutshell. Avid outdoorsman, family dude, history nut, and retro gamer.