SoftHut Redux

Party like it's 1985. Again.

Still alive.

I realize it’s been awhile since the last post, but I’m still here. The inventory work hasn’t progressed since last month due to ‘real life’ matters. But people are starting to send emails, PMs, and the like, so it seems I need to get back in gear and get this prep work done at long last. So far I’ve got 800 items inventoried, and just need to finish the massive stack of CD-ROMs. Don’t worry — this stuff will eventually get listed, I promise.

Got Memory?

Apologies for the wobbly camera and poor lighting. This morning I finished the ‘big’ boxes of stuff and am now moving on to the bit I was dreading: cataloging the hundreds of ICs, SIMMs, processors, ROMs, and other components spread across untold small boxes and drawers.

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And, yes, in case you were wondering, there are some GVP SIMMs in all of that mess. The worst part is that the SIMMs (and DIMMs) in that collection were completely unsorted, with no labeling whatsoever. I suspect it’s going to take me a while to figure out capacity, DRAM latency, and all the rest. Really not looking forward to this. I’d already chucked around ten of these guys into the Hardware Box of No Return before I took the above photo since I saw scratched contacts or rework. Not gonna sell stuff like that even if everyone knows things are untested. If I wouldn’t be happy with it, I’m not gonna sell it.

As for general status I have now cataloged some 767 items into inventory, including hardware and software. I’m enjoying using Final Data for this purpose, by the way. There are hundreds of CD-ROMs not cataloged yet as well as the hundreds of spare parts like the SIMMs above. The vast majority of the CDs I’ve found, though, aren’t really worth selling; they’re collections of PD software, BBS software collections, textures, sound libraries, and the like. So I’ll probably chuck in a free CD for every $20 spent on an order, assuming the customer wants one. Sound reasonable?

Another Mystery. Well, five of them, actually.

OK. Since folks were able to identify the RF modulators last time, let’s see if you can help me take five small, unidentified components from the Hardware Box of No Return into actual inventory. None of them have any useful markings, apart from item “C,” which appears to be some sort of 10-pin to coax converter board. It says NT 1-0. Yeah, didn’t help me, either. And item “B” is marked with “SCSI Adapter” underneath one of the caps.

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As before if you can identify the part — and actually want it — I’ll chuck it in for free with your next order. And as always your help is greatly appreciated. Let’s see who is this week’s Amiga Hardware Master!

edit: That was fast! OK. Item A has been identified as “The Real HD-Fix” from Thomas Hirsch. It’s brand-new, by the way. Still looking for help on the rest.

What on Earth?

Does anyone have any idea what these things are? Found them last night going through spare components (MOS chips, Agnus PALs, a Fat Gary or two), but I have no idea what these things are. They appear to be some sort of input switch, with two four pin connectors on the bottom, a plastic switch and RCA-style output on the front and have the product number 251917-02:

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They appear to be new, still in the wrapping from Commodore. They were manufactured in Taiwan and some have stickers saying either ’6525′ or ’6521′ on the side. Does anyone have a clue what they are, or should I chuck all five of them into the Hardware Box of No Return?

edit: a huge thanks to reader “freaktmp” who responded in the comments below. Turns out these are Commodore 128 RF Modulators for NTSC displays. And thanks to everyone who looked. I had never seen these things before. :-)

A little something for Matt…

Thought I’d spend a little time this morning going through a few boxes I haven’t opened yet, and look what I found:

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Matt, if this is what you were looking for, let me know, and I’ll set it aside for you for when I open officially. And for everyone else I found a few hardware gems, like two brand-new Video Toaster cards, an Elbox Zorro IV, brand-new E-Matrix 1230-50 accelerators from the 2010 run, and more. Oh, and a huge box of unsorted SIMMs, some new, some used. Still got plenty of work left, but it’s awesome to see all of this kit up close and personal.

Getting closer…

… with still a few more boxes to organize at this point, but things are coming along nicely. I think I should probably clarify at this point how this is all going to work, since I’ve received a few emails from people who somehow found this on Google already — although we’re not public yet.

This is not a business. I know that sounds strange, but hear me out. I’m doing this because Joe had a pile of great Amiga kit leftover from his Software Hut days and I figured it made more sense to try and get this stuff out to Amigans who would be interested rather than everything ending up in the skip, which is where things were headed. Pricing will be based on ‘going rates,’ at least as I can guess from places like AmiBay. Joe gets the bulk of the funds, although a few dollars do come my way to reimburse me for driving down, picking the stuff up, paying for boxes to ship things in, and so forth.

Since this is being done for Amigans who still use their classics, I really hope to prevent the items from somehow being bought and later ending up on eBay at higher prices. I don’t know how we’ll do this, but we’ll probably limit the number of things people can buy; for example, we’ll limit customers to one Amiga 4000 motherboard, but other things that make sense for people to buy multiply, that will be fine. This stuff is meant for people who use Amigas for fun, not people who sell Amiga equipment for profit.

courtesy of http://amiga.resource.cx

The other little wrinkle is… I have no way of testing any of the hardware or verifying the diskettes included with the commercial software packages still work. I’m exclusively using next-generation Amiga kit at this point, and don’t have test equipment; so everything will be untested for the most part. That said, if you get something and it doesn’t work, just send it back and get the purchase price refunded. The only thing you’d be out is shipping costs. Of course if there are folks in Connecticut who could help out with testing on a volunteer basis, I’d love to hear from you! There are piles (literally) of spare components like 68000 processors that are untested.

Basically this is going to be an electronic swap meet. What I have from Joe I’ll list. Folks can then buy, with the proceeds going back to Joe. If it doesn’t work, we can replace it or refund your money. I’m doing this effectively as a volunteer, and not to make any money. And we really should thank Joe for making this available for folks. I mean, where else can you get replacement Paula chips, a new A4000D bezel, and a copy of VistaPro? It’s awesome we have this stuff, and I hope to make the inventory available to you guys real soon. Thanks for everyone’s patience so far. I hope you’ll find it was worth it.

Is this thing on?!

Yeah, I know, we’ve sort of disappeared into the ether the past couple of months, but we’ve been hugely distracted by ‘real life’ and haven’t yet had any solid time to complete inventory accounting of all the kit. The good news is that is over — for the time being — so we can finally get down to work. The current estimate is to have price lists up by the end of November. Apologies for the wait.

Wow. Just, wow.

So I finally was able to get down to Exton to see Joe and take a look at what remained of the Software Hut’s inventory. Um… rather a lot more than I had originally thought. Joe, his son, and his parents were incredibly kind and helped in packing and moving the stock to my wife’s Honda Odyssey minivan. Which looked like this after removing a few items from the back this morning:

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There are tons of great Amiga kit still waiting for me to crawl through and catalog. Packaged software like SAS/C, Wordperfect, PhotonPaint, fxScan, everything cloanto ever made, you name it. There are also CPU accelerators, bridge boards, GVP SIMMs, video converters, bus boards, even a few A4000 motherboards. And parts — do we have parts? Kickstart ROMs, Agnus, Paula, Denise, they’re all here. As are DRAM chips. And 68040 CPUs. And A520s. And…. well, you get the idea.

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There are also software compilation CDs, spare power supplies and housing components, and even collectibles from the Amiga Technologies and Amiga, Inc. days. We’re talking t-shirts, people. All in all a great haul of classic Amiga swag. It’s going to take me a rather long time to catalog and photograph, but I’ll try and get some price lists posted as soon as I can. A huge thanks to Joe and his lovely family for helping to preserve these items for normal Amiga users! Softhut FTW!

Slight delays

Of course this being something to do with the Amiga in modern times, we’ve had slight delays in our schedule — but for good reasons. Joe’s team has done well this weekend in tennis, so he’s not available for a bit and I have a product launch coming up (*cough*) that requires my attention the next few days. We’ll know more next weekend.

In the meantime check out tonight’s Ashachat on IRC with guest Trevor Dickinson of A-EON Technology. More details available on AWN.

It’s a go!

Just got got off the phone with Joe and it looks like I’ll be driving down next Tuesday, July 23rd, to pick up the inventory. Pricing guidelines will, of course, be up to Joe, but as soon as I get back to Waterbury, it will be lots of camera-time and cataloging work. Lists of what is available will be up as soon as I can get it done.

Some of the boards, though, apparently haven’t been tested in years, so depending on the numbers involved, I may need to wait until I can get in touch with an Amiga hardware expert to help test or sell those items as-is. But the good news is that such decisions are now issues of detail.

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A big thanks to Joe, Trish, and all who made Software Hut a great dealer! Here’s hoping we can get this kit out to real Amiga users soon!