About RavenWolf Retro Tech
There will one day be a witty, engaging, clever, funny and enjoyable page here telling my story. Just as soon as my Niece, the writer, finishes writing it from my notes! In the meantime you will have to make do with my poor effort!
My Goals with this Store
When I bought the Stone Collection I had no idea just how much wonderful, vintage stuff it included. I am not stuck being barely able to move in my shop and my wife's she shed is half full as well. I need some elbow room!
eBay was the first thought but I had some horrendous experiences there last time I sold something. On top of that I want this stuff in the hands of enthusiasts so I decided to create this store. My goal is to sell most things at as low a price as I can without it being a waste of time or just getting bought and relisted by eBayers.
Does anyone really care? Here are the notes I passed to my Niece.
In the Beginning
I saw my first computer in Jr High School at Highland Park Middle School in Beaverton Oregon. I saw a bunch of people standing around a table in the social studies room after school and decided to check it out. This was around 1976 when I was in 6th grade.
The computer was a SOL-20 running a game called Target (Targ to me at the time since that was the file name). I went in after school to play with it about once a week until we moved back to Corvallis where Highland View Middle School had no computers ☹ (Yes, I had to look up which Highland was in Beaverton and which was in Corvallis)
High School Computer Club
A couple years later I started high school (1979). The computer “Room” was a closet behind the auto shop classroom, and it contained 2 Apple IIs (with Monochrome monitors) and a TRS80, all using cassettes for storage. Later that year they got an Apple II Plus with some amazing features like a floppy disk that allowed for random file access, 16! Colors, and floating-point numbers. What an amazing thing!
The next year we moved into a real classroom with about a dozen Apple II plus’. This is the point that I knew that my life would always include computers. Throughout my high school years, I learned the Apple II and was the secretary of the computer club. I also met with a couple teachers and 3 other students after school for a few months (a couple days a week) where we all played a single game of Wizardry, Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord with each of us deciding what one character would do! It was a blast; Really!
After High School - Computer Withdrawals
After Graduating High school in the summer of 82, I lost access to computers so, when the Commodore 64 went on sale for $220 in June of 83, I convinced my Grandparents to cover the $100 I was short “For my education” (In reality I just needed a fix), All I really learned from that machine was programming assembly language, computer architecture and hardware. No education there, I sure got one over on them! Oh and I was making an RPG, with the graphics and map storage, mostly completed in assembly language.
US Army and the Amiga!
Army – Sept 1985 - June 1988. I started with a Commodore 128 – I was working on my game but had little time, then I changed to an Amiga 500. Ordered the Amiga 500 out of a magazine ad and waited about 2 months for it to make it to me in West Germany. Earlier, with the Commodore 128, I submitted a utility written in assembly to a magazine, I still have the rejection letter.
College and the Amiga Users Group
June 1988 – after my Army discharge I immediately found ESAUG (Eugene Springfield Amiga Users Group), met my best friends/extended family Tom and Shawn there. Became Treasurer of the group and, later, president. I really enjoyed supporting the community and was very proud of the group and the 32 page newsletter we put out.
I went to Lane Community College (LCC) taking Electrical Engineering because I did not want to turn my love of programming into work. I Finished the program then taught the 1st year night classes (Analog Electronics I-III, Digital Electronics I-III and Lab Practices). The hardest thing I ever did in my life was to teach a class of single moms and retraining loggers binary!
After College - Business Takes Over
I started a small home business called Digitronics sometime around 1989 (Short for Digital Electronics and unrelated to the East Coast company of the same name that I found out about sometime around 2015)
Initially Digitronics offered 8088 and 286 PC custom builds and did repairs for Commodore 64 and Amiga computers.
After college I got a job repairing copiers (1990) and expanded Digitronics’ services to include Laser Printers (The copier company did not touch them, but they are the same technology as a copier of the day)
The printer repairs really took off so in 1992 I went full time and took on another Tech as a business partner. In 1994 Digitronics merged with another company and incorporated under the name Office Imaging, Inc.
During that time business took so much of my time that I drifted away from the old 8 and 16 bit machines. Other than a couple Pinball restorations (Bally early 80s models) and the construction of a MAME machine I pretty much kept my nose to the grindstone for a couple decades….
And Now for Something Completely Different
We owned and operated Office Imaging until it was sold in January of 2020. This is when I had to decide what I was going to do until retirement. As I thought about it I realized I had left so many things that I loved behind for something that just kept me in a constant state of stress. I decided to go back to working on and with the computers that I loved so much in the past which are now considered “Retro”. Through YouTube, my blog, and this store, I can try to build some supplemental income without it costing the viewers and readers and that enables me to do the thing I love. The online store was not part of the plan but, with the Stone Collection, I needed a way to get these items into the hands of collectors and enthusiasts without all the scams and hassles of eBay.