In my last blog post, I brought up the subject about how there are currently no projects, within the Commodore computing community, regarding a “rebuild” of the C128; similar to the projects like, the C64 Reloaded or the Ultimate64. For those of us who still use our C128, rather than rely on emulation, we have limited options available to us when breakdowns occur. We can either cannibalize working replacement components, from other C128s, to repair what has failed, or we can replace the entire system with one still in working order. There, currently, is no other hardware options available to us, like there are for the C64.
I can fully understand that there isn't as many C128 users out there, in the retro community, as there are for other systems. So, the number of people that have the skills to undertake such a project is just as limited; And those that do have the skills are focused on what interests them. But, that still doesn't take away from the sad feeling I get to watch such a robust and capable system, like the C128, slowly fade away into history, one PC at a time.
I've been using my C128 ever since it was given to me by my parents, back in 1987 (apart from a couple of years in the early 2000s). So, for me, the “retro computing scene” never really started (or would that be ended?) as it was always a part of my life. But, if I knew then what I know now about how today's nostalgia is driving prices up and availability down of Commodore related hardware, I would have hoarded as many C64 and C128 components as I could; Not for resale purposes, but for potential replacement parts for my systems and peripherals.
I do recognize that there are a small portion of users out there, like me, who never stopped using their 8-bit machines and continue to do so because they just prefer it. But, I have a feeling that most people are doing so simply for the nostalgia/novelty of the experience. For a brief moment, they wish to recapture some of the enjoyment they had as a youngster playing the old games they remember. Or, they are curious about what gaming was like during the 8-bit era.
It's great that these people are discovering how much fun computing used to be, back in the day, but it is certainly taking its toll on those of us who are in it for “the long haul”. Prices of our old machines are continuing to rise and, unfortunately, are winding up in collections of people who may not have the same ideas in regards to preservation of the technology. And I'm concerned that the hardware being bought up by the “here today gone tomorrow” enthusiast will not survive to make it to either the next generation or back into the hands of the old-timers, like me, who could actually use and preserve them.
I suppose it all boils down to the fact that all I can do is just enjoy using my Commodore computer for as long as I can and not worry too much about how much longer I can keep it running. And, if/when I ever come across a working or non-working C128s (or C64s) in my travels that I can afford, then I'll be sure to snatch them up and add them to my parts supply.
Composed with Archetype on my C128