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URS_Retro
Wisconsin
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Posted Fri Jun 10, 2022 12:17 pm

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.

Tim

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Zippy Zapp
CA, USA

Posted Fri Jun 10, 2022 4:15 pm

Hey cool story. Welcome to the forums.

And don't worry you arent alone as most of us have sold off many things years ago that we regret. Myself, I was even dumber. Since I sometimes didn't need the money I would give entire collections away to friends and relatives. My original A500 collection and quite a few hundred disks, with Supra HD, RAM, and all sorts of expansions went to a friends son. Same with my maxed out A1200.

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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
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Posted Sat Jun 11, 2022 12:43 pm

Welcome!

Thanks so much for taking the time to sign up and tell your story.

You told me the other day you might be in the market for a Mega65, which I totally understand. I wanted to be sure you were aware of the Ultimate64, which is an FPGA C64 motherboard replacement. The compatibility and breadth of features is staggering.

But it is SO much more than that.

You can use HDMI-out, for modern monitors. It has all of the original ports, but you can also slap a USB stick in the back of it and load gigabytes worth of d64s, d71s, d81s, CRTs, prgs - you name it! And using a D81 file on a "C64" is super sweet as there are quite a few of those images floating around (which the mega also uses).

The only downsides with the Ultimate is 1) they can sell out fast, 2) require some additional parts (case, keyboard and keyboard brackets). And, these past two years the chip shortage hasn't been kind to projects like these.

I put my Ultimate64 in a plexilaser clear case, so we can nerd out on its visuals, too (I had to beg for them to ship to the USA, which they ultimately did).

Anyway, I know you're totally content with the pi but wasn't sure if you'd seen or heard about the U64 project, which has been sidelined for a while until recently.

And, for what it's worth, I would never consider beer + brats bland! One of the finest delicacies Wisconsin has to offer! :)

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URS_Retro
Wisconsin
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Posted Mon Jun 13, 2022 5:50 am

Yeah, I almost got on the pre-order list last Thursday for the Mega 65, but held back on clicking the confirmation.

I've been very content doing the emulation thing with the PIs. I did pick up THEC64 maxi last Christmas and it is still sitting in the box tucked away. Will likely do the same if they ever make the 500 into a maxi version, just to have it.

My goal for the next few years it to go back and play to completion many of the games I owned but never really spent much time playing as a kid, games like Monkey Island, various Ultima games, and a many more.

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A1-X1000
Toronto, Canada
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Posted Wed Aug 17, 2022 1:50 am

welcome aboard Tim :commodore: :boing: I'm positive most of us here can relate to your early years story for sure and man I felt your pain about selling ALL your Amiga stuff..ouch :x I couldn't bear to sell my original C64 and Amiga 1000 even though I sure could have used the money back then and sooo grateful I still have them with me today <3 ....I'm a real hardware nut but appreciate that emulation is amazing for those that don't have the space or means to own the hardware





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