Reasons to Own an
Orphaned Computer or Game System

by Adam Trionfo

(January 1997)

This article was written for an issue of OC&GS, but it was never published.

With technology moving along at this pace, it seems impossible to keep up with the newest and greatest. A computer that is purchased at the local electronics store is usually off the shelf and replaced with a new model within mere months. And who pays for the depreciation of these computers? We do.

It doesn't have to be this way. The role of computers has not changed much in twenty years. We still use them for the same reasons: word processing, spreadsheets, databases. What has changed? The way the companies do business. In order to continue to make profits, they must make their customers believe that last year's project is barley capable of running any new applications. And anything older than that model is a lost cause. This is not true. That's why there is Orphaned Computers & Game Systems.

There are two main reasons to use an orphaned computer:

  1. Cost: Now, don't get me wrong; there are many legitimate reasons to purchase a new computer every few years. But most of these reasons need not apply to the home user. There is no reason to shell out money for hardware when it isn't needed. Why not use that money to purchase more software instead? Or better yet, take advantage of depreciation: Buy computer hardware used. Not only can used equipment be found in the paper, but there are computer stores that sell it at significant discounts.

  2. Hobby Platform: Many people might be surprised to find that IBM PCs and Macs are not the only computer platforms. These people overlook the other orphaned, yet very usable, platforms. These would include, but would not be limited to, the Commodore Amiga and 64, the Atari ST and 8-bits, and the CP/M computers. All of these left behind a legacy of software that is still very useful and/or entertaining, and people are willing to practically give some of it away.

So come and join us in the pages of OC&GS, and see just what using and playing with an orphaned computer or game system is all about.