The Old Timey Computer Show 1st Anniversary


This is a collation of tweets posted on May 18, 2020 on @TheOpponent. They are recreated here, with edits for clarity and continuity, for archival purposes.

Today, May 18, is the 1 years anniversary of the Old Timey Computer Show! The 24/7 stream of VHS tapes of computer and video game shows, documentaries, and other ephemera.

One year ago, @chuboh proposed a channel that played "old timey British computer shows" all day, and I decided making one would be a fun side project. Today, over 3,100 followers watch (or just listen in the background) to computer and video game tapes and films around the clock.

Chart of Twitch viewership analytics from May 18, 2019 - May 18, 2020.

The ability to enjoy OTCS any way you like, even just in the background, is a top priority. Before any video is added, I review it and ensure the audio is acceptable. Every audio track undergoes compression, boosting, and manual leveling as necessary to a maximum of -6dB. From day 1, the Old Timey Computer Show has been a one-man operation. I am supervising it, buying hardware, gathering material, encoding it for streaming, and keeping it running as long as possible. More material is still being added—find sources here.

The upward trend in average viewership starting on February 11, in the chart above is thanks to @forgottenvcr, whose eclectic 80s-90s VHS mixtapes draw an audience that has a large overlap with that of OTCS. He raids after his shows on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday nights. For those curious, OTCS is powered by Atomic Pi, an x86-based single-board computer. Its Intel Atom x5-Z8350 can not only run the Linux build of OBS, but it can also stream at 480p consistently. The reviews are right in that getting it going is a hassle, but it's enough for OTCS. The biggest draw of OTCS, from my perspective, is seeing random viewers from around the world come in and reminisce about their personal histories with computers. Just seeing footage of retro computers inspires people from every background on Earth to exchange their stories.

I would like to thank everyone who watched, commented, suggested content, alerted me whenever something went wrong with the stream, spread the word, or just came in one time and thought it was a neat idea. I do it to help others (re)discover their computing history, together. Finally, I must recommend following @chuboh, who gave the inspiration, name, and framework for the Old Timey Computer Show in May 2019 and streams a variety of little-known computer games on various 8- and 16-bit home computers:

And @forgottenvcr, one of the biggest advocates of the Old Timey Computer Show. A VHS historian and mixtape artist whose compilations bring every aspect of VHS culture (mostly ninjas) together on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday nights at 9:30 PM ET.

I also gave the channel a new logo, from episode 5 of Bits and Bytes, which happened to be airing on OTCS as I wrote this thread.