Much of the retrocomputing hobby today is about looking at old stuff and saying Wow, that stuff sure is old! Things sure were different back then! Well, screw that. For me, retrocomputing falls into two required categories: Learning and Doing. If your website or podcast just shows old things without either 1. Extensive history or 2. Drawing some conclusions about the item and/or relating it to something relevant, then you’re just wasting everyone’s time. ”Doing” feeds into “Learning”, because there’s an entire level of information hidden from you until you touch it. Don’t just look at the damn thing, make it do something!
There are generally two types of retrocomputing snobs: People who think that “computers were better back then” and just want to reminisce because today’s world is complicated, confusing, and scary, and people like me who think that there should be a point to the hobby. There are way too many of the former and not nearly enough of the latter.
On that note, this is probably a good time to announce that I’ll be working on an “oldskool PC” podcast late this summer. There are many podcasts dedicated to the C64, Apple II, Amiga, Atari, etc. machines but none* that cover the first decade of IBM PC and PC clone retrocomputing. That’ll be me.
Suggestions welcome, but I already have about 30 topics I plan on covering, like hooking an old PC up to the internet, archiving data off old machines and floppies, interesting programming quirks, music and sound, and of course games and gaming. Because I dislike long rambling podcasts I can’t consume in short bites, each episode will likely be under 15 minutes in length, and extremely dense. If you’re curious what I sound like, I recorded my very first podcast for Hacker Public Radio last year, which you are free to point and laugh at. (Unfortunately, I rambled a bit in that one, but hey, first podcast.)