Thursday, February 11, 2010

VIC-20 Blues

Here's an embarrassing story. One day I got the bright idea to put my VIC-20 on my lap and then I put my nearly new black and white television on a milk crate on the floor in front of me. I sat on a chair in front of it and wrote code. This would have been awkward I suppose if not for the fact that the VIC-20 had only 23 rows of 22 characters. The letters on the screen were huge, so the screen could be rather far away and I was comfortable.

Alas, I put my foot on the corner of the milk crate. At some point I shifted my weight to get comfortable and unwittingly kicked the television over backwards. It fell only about a foot to the floor. The back of the plastic case was so close to the back of the cathode ray tube that the case only needed to deform slightly to press against the tube. The back of the tube snapped off and it was ruined. The phosphor on the front of the screen was removed by the action of the gasses rushing in and you could see inside. What a disappointment, but it was a good lesson for me.

I never found an opportunity to replace the TV, and I never used my VIC-20 again and all these years later I don't remember what happened to it.

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