Monday, October 03, 2005

Devia's eBay Ramblings - A True Success

So a couple of weeks ago I decided to finally cough up the needed currency for acquiring a much wanted gem for my Commodore hardware collection. The somewhat rare and in it's time quite expensive Commodore SX-64 Executive Computer. For those unfamiliar with this truly wondrous marvel of design and technology, it's a portable Commodore 64 with integrated 5" color monitor and 1541 floppy drive.

While living in Denmark I'm forced to do my C= shopping at eBay in Germany, since there's no real market for it in Denmark. This of course adding substantially to the shipping costs I have been blessed with a colleague living in Germany but working in Denmark who actually is willing to let me buy stuff of eBay and have it shipped to him... Great guy!! ;-)

Searching thru eBay's Classical Computers section I found an SX with a pretty poor description and some standard photo i.e. not of the actual item. This type of eBay ad usually doesn't get as much attention as the ones with great pictures and thorough descriptions and thus the price usually stays within what I consider reasonable. I took my chances and bet on the beast... and won... yeah! After three weeks of waiting for the bank transfer to clear, waiting for the guy to ship the item and for my colleague to return from Venezuela and bring me my long awaited acquisition it was a great surprise to find an SX-64 in almost perfect condition! It only has very minor scratches which after all are to be expected of a computer from 1984 ;-)

The keyboard looks very nice with only a very slight discoloration on the space key. The blue caps on the big handle are both intact and the keyboard cable is intact. These two things are very often missing or broken.

I quickly hooked it up to check out its functional status and to my relief it seemed to work perfectly! Only thing I have found "wrong" with it is its inability to play Rob Hubbard's Lightforce flawlessly... but then again I only have a single SID that can master that task ;-) ...the filter however sounds way better than that of any other SID I have in my collection. Since I haven't yet opened it up to see what lurks inside I don't know exactly which SID is in there, but since the machine is an '84 model I suspect a 6581R2.

It is truly a pleasure to get this kind of positive surprises from the rather anonymous and sometimes slightly suspect eBay dealings.

..oh and the three weeks of waiting DID get the better of me, so I ended up buying two more SX-64 of unknown quality/functionality... but I got 'em real cheap! :-P


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