Most reliable retro computer?

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seanmcmanus
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Post by seanmcmanus » Mon Sep 11, 2006 10:31 am

The Amstrad CPC tape machines are very reliable. The disc machines aren't though - the disc drive belt needs replacing, which is a sod of a job to do.

The Spectrum is pretty unreliable - the keyboard membranes seem to go much more than on other machines.

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deano7649
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Post by deano7649 » Mon Sep 11, 2006 10:48 am

The Atari 800XL, built like a tank and I still have one which I got for xmas back in the 80's and it's worked spot on since.

I haven't had too many problems with Spectrum's either, I've found the later Amstrad models to be more reliable than earlier models.

I usually find C64's to be ok although the power supply normally gives up first !

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MattC
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Post by MattC » Mon Sep 11, 2006 10:49 am

Yep, the CPCs were amazingly reliable for a company otherwise renowned for churning out cheap plastic rubbish. The belt drives do need changing periodically on the disc drive machines but to be fair this isn't a difficult job and once done the computer should work fine for at least another 4 or 5 years. I've never encountered an original CPC which didn't work. Seriously!

On the other hand I've bought several Spectrums and C64s before. Many of the 'breadbin' style C64s refused to produce any kind of display reverting instead to a black screen and most of the Speccys had keyboard problems. The only Amstrad I've encountered which didn't work was a 464 Plus machine.

BBCs are also hard wearing - they had to be to survive the hostile school environment - and my 1986 era Mac Plus still manfully plods on.

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Sureshot
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Re:

Post by Sureshot » Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:20 am

woody.cool wrote:Also you can put the BBC Micro & the Acorn Archemiedes under most reliable - I still have a few of them.
I suppose it depends what you do with them. On my Micro the Return key broke and the Lithium battery ran out, but yes I'd agree that they are generally a lot more reliable than some other platforms.

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DonkeySpank
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Post by DonkeySpank » Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:32 am

atari 2600 - one of the oldest machines and still going strong, these things hardly ever break, they're built like the proverbial brick sh*thouse, and the carts could be used to construct a bomb-proof bunker. You can practically guarantee that on the fateful day when someone eventually exhumes all those E.T. carts from the Nevada desert that about 90% of them will still work! Aaaahh Atari... I love you! :wink: :lol:

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paranoid marvin
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Re:

Post by paranoid marvin » Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:36 am

DonkeySpank wrote:atari 2600 - one of the oldest machines and still going strong, these things hardly ever break, they're built like the proverbial brick sh*thouse, and the carts could be used to construct a bomb-proof bunker. You can practically guarantee that on the fateful day when someone eventually exhumes all those E.T. carts from the Nevada desert that about 90% of them will still work! Aaaahh Atari... I love you! :wink: :lol:
I concur,especially with the newer style
The silver stick buttons on the older machine had a tendency to break though
Mr Flibble says...
"Game over , boys!"

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DonkeySpank
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Post by DonkeySpank » Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:45 am

Don't tempt fate!! So far my "silver sticks" are still in one piece! :lol: :wink:

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necronom
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Re:

Post by necronom » Mon Sep 11, 2006 3:13 pm

roberthazelby wrote: I've found bog-standard Amigas (ie. unexpanded) to be reliable, but as soon as you add a hard drive you experience the 'joys' of invalidated drives, and if you add to much hardware inside a normal Amiga 1200 it'll overheat and reset every so often.

Unexpanded Amiga = reliable
Expanded Amiga = random factor, weave your spell!
My Amiga 1200 with an internal '040 expansion and HD doesn't do that, and I used to use it every day for hours and hours at a time.

I've never had any of my computers break (2600, Vic 20, C64, Amiga 500, Amiga 1200, PS1, PS2, or PCs), apart from my A500 throwing a wobbly once and needing a new chip. This had the side effect of requiring my to put tinfoil on the bottom of the shelf my TV was on, to shield the Amiga, otherwise games wouldn't load very well :?

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MattC
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Re:

Post by MattC » Mon Sep 11, 2006 3:32 pm

necronom wrote: My Amiga 1200 with an internal '040 expansion and HD doesn't do that, and I used to use it every day for hours and hours at a time.

I've never had any of my computers break (2600, Vic 20, C64, Amiga 500, Amiga 1200, PS1, PS2, or PCs), apart from my A500 throwing a wobbly once and needing a new chip. This had the side effect of requiring my to put tinfoil on the bottom of the shelf my TV was on, to shield the Amiga, otherwise games wouldn't load very well :?
Did you, by any chance, have a mysterious piece of Amiga shaped sheet metal left over after the chip replacement?

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necronom
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Post by necronom » Mon Sep 11, 2006 3:46 pm

No, the metal shielding was still there. It's very strange, but it must have been getting in (the RF interference) through a gap or the holes punched in it. The annoying thing was that when I got it back from the repair shop and found I couldn't load Super Hang-On, I took it back and showed them it not working. Except it did work (the TV was further away in the shop)! The guy suggested the tinfoil method, and it worked :)

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MattC
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Post by MattC » Mon Sep 11, 2006 8:08 pm

That is strange. Maybe the new chip was more sensitive to EM radiation than the old one. I know I had my TV (later monitor) propped up on the back of the computer and had no problems! :D

I liked the Amiga 1200, it was a great machine which was a definite improvement it's (still good) predecessor, the Amiga 500+. The only problem with mine was an oddly deficient sound chip. Three channels worked properly but the fourth would only reliably play sounds with a strong transient leading edge (like snares). Instruments like piano and bass and looped samples would often just vanish altogether making working in OctaMED an exercise in frustration and rendering some game soundtracks very odd sounding indeed.

I got used to it after a while but I still don't know why I didn't send it back for a replacement... :?

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Shin_Gouki
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Re:

Post by Shin_Gouki » Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:32 pm

roberthazelby wrote:
StarEye wrote:Is there even a question? Amiga of course.
Whilst I'm a big Amiga fan I have to disagree with this.

I've found bog-standard Amigas (ie. unexpanded) to be reliable, but as soon as you add a hard drive you experience the 'joys' of invalidated drives, and if you add to much hardware inside a normal Amiga 1200 it'll overheat and reset every so often.

Unexpanded Amiga = reliable
Expanded Amiga = random factor, weave your spell!
I stand by my previous comments that Amigas don't like me, even though I treat them like royalty. I've lost 3 in the past 10 years and it's just p*ssing me off now. :evil:
真・豪鬼

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StarEye
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Re:

Post by StarEye » Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:57 am

roberthazelby wrote:
StarEye wrote:Is there even a question? Amiga of course.
Whilst I'm a big Amiga fan I have to disagree with this.

I've found bog-standard Amigas (ie. unexpanded) to be reliable, but as soon as you add a hard drive you experience the 'joys' of invalidated drives, and if you add to much hardware inside a normal Amiga 1200 it'll overheat and reset every so often.

Unexpanded Amiga = reliable
Expanded Amiga = random factor, weave your spell!
My amiga is as stable as a small mountain. But of course, the tabletop amiga case was never meant to be seriously upgraded. All extras needs extra power. Put it in a tower, man. That's what an expanded amiga is.

The invalidation of harddrives was because of the Fast FileSystem. Use SFS instead (Smart FileSystem) and it'll never invalidate just because you reset your amiga while writing to the harddrive.

Also, if you used apollo cards, you only have yourself to blame. They're notorious for being the most instable crap ever produced, I can't believe they actually passed quality insurance. Get a blizzard card, you'll have the stability back.

I have the same Amiga 1200 for the last 14 years, only juiced up to the max, put in a tower, a blizzard 1260-50 with 32mb fastram, 16gb hd, Mediator PCI with Voodoo 3 3000 and a network card for internet sharing with the PC. I have never had an amiga with faulty original hardware, but I've had a couple of horribly unstable Apollo cards. Now, I stay away from that crap. My miggy boots faster than my mid-range PC, can stay on forever without rebooting and without losing any kind of performance.

In short, I can't relate to your problem at all.

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woody.cool
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Post by woody.cool » Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:06 am

I suppose I should mention another superbly reliable retro machine:

The Commodore C16

Mine is still working perfectly + it's in mint condition!

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khisanth
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Post by khisanth » Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:36 am

The main thing to go on my machines is the video, but the machine still works.

the only machines I own that have died was a Macintosh classic which had the PSU go bang and a spectrum 48K which died for no real reason.

my oldest is an Apple II europlus and it boots fine, but i cant tune the damn thing into a tv so cant see anything!
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