Sunday, October 11, 2015

Look What I Found!

For various reasons, I've been poking my nose into corners of my Commodore Lab that I would not normally poke into.  And the stuff I've been finding has been surprising and fun.

I wish I could say they bring back a wash of fond memories, but frankly I barely even remember where some of this stuff came from.  That's OK though, surprise is a delight all its own, and it's not like I don't remember anything at all.

For one thing, in the mid 2000s, I enjoyed going to the several Commodore Expos held around North America. The ECCC in Chicago, CommVex in Vegas, and (my fav) the LUCKI Expo in Louisville were yearly excursions for my carefree slightly-younger-self.  And I met some wonderful Commodore fans at those Expos, such as Jeri Ellsworth, Jens Schönfeld, Joe Torre, Robert Bernardo, Jim Brain, Eric Kudzin, Jim Butterfield, Larry Anderson, and numerous others.

L->R: Eric Kudzin, Me, unknown gentleman.
Photo Taken from Dick Estel's photo gallery

Apparently, it was to one of these events that I brought a Commodore 116 and VIC-20.  And to my present delight, I actually got them signed by some of their original developers.

The first one I ran across while investigating a shallow plastic crate on top of a stack of boxed computers.   It was signed by Robert Russell, a former Commodore engineer.  Mr. Russell took over the development of the VIC-20 project from Bob Yannes, and completed the computer design, added necessary ports, and adapted the KERNEL and BASIC roms,

Barely a week later, while investigating yet another strange plastic crate, I found two of my unboxed C-116s and my Commodore 232.  One of the Commodore 116s was *also* signed, this time by Dave Haynie and Bil Herd.  Although Mr. Haynie is known more for his work on the Amigas, both him and Bil Herd were engineers on the Commodore 264 series computers, which includes the 116.

L->R: Dave Haynie, Bil Herd, Robert Russell.
Photo Taken from Dick Estel's photo gallery

Although my mission in pulling them out was to either hook them up or box them, it seems I can do neither with what are obviously show-pieces.  I decided therefore to create a special shelf area exclusively for "Show Pieces" in my Commodore Lab, and put it right alongside the prototype CommodoreOne, Gold C-64, LCD Keyboard, and other wall-mounted show pieces.

It looks like this:

On the shelf, I added the Commodore thermostat, a C= Typewriter, Adding Machine, the two aforementioned computers, and some watches and camera.

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