Vintage Catalogue

On a recent episode of Mac Power Users Stephen Hackett and David Sparks took a deep dive on the topic of collecting vintage equipment. Stephen had been inspired to conduct a full inventory of his impressive Apple collection and make it public via a Google Sheet.

And it got me thinking…

I have my own collection of vintage tech and retro games. I’ve made some meagre attempts to write about some of the items in my blog. Years ago, I even held a retro gaming party for some friends here in Montreal where everyone could try out items in my collection, as well as bring their own items along. It was a lot of fun and I should probably do it again at some point.

So I found myself inspired to make an inventory of my own collection. And here’s the surprising thing: My collection isn’t as small as I’d thought. I had no trouble populating well over 100 spreadsheet rows, and it makes me realise that showing constraint in expanding the collection over recent years was probably a good idea!

You can view my own inventory here.

2008 MacBook with 2010 iPod Touch

I chose two criteria for what should appear on the spreadsheet:

  • Devices which are no longer officially supported by the manufacturer, or are now considered deprecated or vintage. E.g. the Nintendo Wii U would be valid, but the Nintendo Switch wouldn’t.
  • Modern devices aiming to recreate a vintage experience. For example, the SNES Mini.

Some of the details may need a little tweaking, and a small number of the items listed are still back in London having not yet made it over to Montreal.

I’m glad I went through this exercise. I don’t have the space to have everything on display, but it’s given me inspiration to have a small area to put a few items on show.

These two bad boys continue in active service to this day, albeit with some interesting modifications in the case of the Commodore 64

A few observations of note as I put this together:

  • The oldest device I own seems to be the original Atari 2600. It’s a testimony to its simple design that it continues to work perfectly to this day.
  • When I was last in London I found all the boxes for my Nintendo DS and 3DS games. In order to help clear things out, I removed the covers from the boxes and put the boxes themselves in recycling. I’m hoping against hope that next time I return those covers are still there as I can bring them back to Canada and I’m sure I can find replacement boxes over here.
  • The Apple Airport Extreme is still in active service in my home. Whilst it’s not the primary router, having its Wifi switched off, it is serving network Time Machine backups more reliably than anything else could. Case in point, it flawlessly restored two Macs last week.
  • I often use my working iPod Touch 4G as a distraction-free device. It still functions with iMessage and has a good collection of deprecated games on it. I know it’s probably not a good idea from a security perspective though.

Mainly, it’s motivating me to start drafting more about the devices I own as each of them has a fascinating story, even those which on first glance would appear to be mundane. If I’m honest, I could turn this whole blog over to writing about these items and it would probably keep me going for years.

I’m also open to review requests, so if there’s something specific in the collection you’d like to see me write about, let me know on the socials.

If you want to read more, here are some resources:

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