My last purchase on eBay
It was since a long, long time that I didn’t join in the eBay virtual marketplace, and though I don’t frankly know how during the end-of-year holidays I’ve felt a vague desire to return back and make some purchases. Such desire has coupled with the evocation of memories on one of the first PCs I’ve ever seen in action in my life, maybe not the first and surely not the first I’ve got, nevertheless the Olivetti Prodest PC1 has been the system that transferred me this strange disease that makes you love machines made of metal and bits that is personal computing.
More that a year has passed since the last time I took part to an auction, but it seems that my “bidding” skills continue to be up-to-date: a single bid a few seconds from the deadline has been enough to acquire the object number 260338073021, that is the above said PC1. The machine is in a good-looking state and the seller have guaranteed that, despite its 20 years-old age, it started on the first try after its recovery. Unfortunately I don’t think there is the original box but the remaining stuff (manuals and system floppy disks included) shouldn’t be missing.
For those who didn’t known here we are talking about an IBM XT clone released at the end of the Eighties and manufactured by an all-Italian company, an historic long-gone brand that then seemed to be capable of competing with the giants of computing at home and abroad. Among the main features of PC1 it’s worth citing the NEC V40 CPU (with “turbo” or not :-p), a 512 Kbytes base RAM, a 4-color CGA graphics and one or two low density floppy disk drives (720 Kbytes).
Delaying the detailed description of hardware and software equipment until a coming retro-review, what I’d like to say here is that with the practically accidental purchase of this PC1 (that I still have to receive, indeed) finally time has come for me to start a project I’ve got stuck in my mind for a long time, a personal museum of old home consoles and obsolete PCs which could give shape and concreteness to an obsession that is starting to stay too tight within the ordinary software emulation…