I receive around 100 emails per day, and in an effort to cut down the number of emails, I have created this F.A.Q. So, please read through this before emailing.
How do I contact you?
Assuming you’ve read through the FAQ, the best way to contact me is via direct email: email@example.com
I have a question about an order from your store.
In that case, I have a whole different FAQ, please read the Order FAQ.
Can I buy a spare part from you?
I really don’t have a stockpile of spare parts, like many people think. Most everything I have for sale is already on my website in the “items for sale” area.
Will you repair my computer, game console, or other electronics?
Short answer is NO. I get dozens of requests a day for this and there just isn’t enough time in the world, compounded by the fact I have no spare parts (see question above.)
But… I’ll PAY you to repair my equipment.
Yeah. Okay, so let me give you the long answer. So, I know it looks like I can do this stuff quickly because my restoration videos are only 20 minutes long. But the reality is, it usually takes a week or two for these projects. Granted, I could do it in half the time if I didn’t have to film it. But we’re still talking about 5 to 10 days of work. The only reason I’m able to do this and make a living off of it is because of YouTube and Patreon. A lot of people think a reasonable fee would be anywhere from $25 to $200 for such repairs. But the reality is, If I were to have you pay me to do such a restoration then I’d need an entire week’s worth of pay because it would probably take me a week to do it. Now, you might wonder why it would take so long. Well, for one I’m not a specialist. If you take your iPhone to an iPhone specialist, they work on the same devices day-in, day-out. They already know everything there is to know about troubleshooting one, plus they have every spare part and troubleshooting tool on hand for that repair. But if you took a Sega Dreamcast or a Commodore 64 to these people and asked them to fix it, they’d have no idea how to fix it. I have to spend time researching, finding service manuals, finding and ordering the equipment I need, reading internet forums, asking other experts for advice, etc. It is far more time consuming than you might think. So, if you are willing to pay possibly several thousand dollars for the repair or restoration, then sure, I’ll consider it. But I can’t spend a week on a job that makes me $50.
Can you sell or give me a computer?
No, I do not have any computers for sale or for free. While it is true that I used to run a computer business, I sold out of everything back around 2012, so it has been many years since I have had any computer inventory to sell. As for the computers I collect for my channel, I have so little space available now that I simply do not collect extras. If I do not have need of the computer, I will not bring it in in the first place.
Where can I get a good deal on buying a Commodore, Atari, Apple, etc…?
I get asked this a lot, and I really don’t know. Obviously you can look on ebay and craigslist. You can try going to local estate sales and flea-markets. Don’t expect to find what you’re looking for the first time. It could take months this route, but eventually you’ll find it for cheap. You could also ask on one of the various facebook groups or other web forums that cater to that product. People on those groups often have extra stuff for trade or for sale. Beyond that, I really have no idea.
Would you like to buy my computer?
If it is a modern computer or iPad, or whatever, then NO. if it is a vintage computer, possibly, but very unlikely. It doesn’t hurt to ask, though.
I need help repairing my vintage computer:
I can sometimes help, but most of the time I recommend trying one of these facebook groups for additional help. I’m just one person. These groups are filled with people who are eager to help you solve your problem.
Apple II questions – https://www.facebook.com/groups/5251478676
Apple Macintosh – https://www.facebook.com/groups/macenthusiasts/
Commodore 64/128 – https://www.facebook.com/groups/commodoresixtyfour/
Commodore VIC-20 – https://www.facebook.com/groups/commodoreVIC20/
Commodore 16 Plus/4 – https://www.facebook.com/groups/c16.plus4/
Atari 8-Bit Computers – https://www.facebook.com/groups/181644898539691/
Will you forward those unwanted donations to me?
Short answer is NO. I get requests almost daily asking something along the lines of accepting all donations and sending somebody the ones I don’t want. Or, perhaps just giving the address of said person and having the donations shipped straight there. You aren’t the first person to think of this. The reality is, however, people are paying shipping costs and giving up rare merchandise because they want to see their old equipment featured on my YouTube channel. Otherwise, they would just sell the stuff on ebay. So, no, I am not going to ask people to do this.
Are you aware of the Sous-vide cooker?
Yes, yes.. very aware. In fact, I already own one of these contraptions and have already shown it in a video before.
Are you aware of TheC64 mini computer?
Yes, yes.. very aware. I already produced a video review of the product.
Will you ever do a video on computer XYZ?
I have plans and partially scripted episodes for nearly every computer from 1977 to 1992, including TRS-80, Tandy 1000, Atari 8-bits, Apple 8-Bits, Amiga, Atari ST, early Macs, and many others. So yes.. they are coming. In fact, you can see a list here of planned and completed computer documentaries.
Can I come by and visit?
Sure, just check with me first and schedule a time. I’m located in the Dallas/Ft.Worth metroplex, specifically the city of Kennedale. If you like to exercise, I go out for a walk every evening for 30-60 minutes and sometimes people walk with me and chat. Check out this page for more detail: Visiting the 8-Bit Guy Studio
Will you contribute a video clip for my YouTube channel?
Maybe. it depends. I am happy to do clips for people that are serious about their channel and put effort into their videos. Generally if you have 10,000 or more subscribers, I will likely do it. But I decide on a case-by-case basis.
Will you give a shout-out to my YouTube channel?
Short answer: NO. I get asked this 10 times per day. if I did it for everyone that asked, my videos would become nothing but shout-outs and people would stop watching my show. Not only that, but the truth is 90% of the people that ask me this tend to have a channel that is crap and so it wouldn’t really matter if I gave a shout-out because nobody would subscribe anyway and then they’d just be mad at me for recommending they check out the channel.
Will you ever do a crossover episode with TechMoan, LGR, or somebody.
It’s surprising how often I get asked this, even though I have done several crossovers with LGR, Techmoan, Mondern Vintage Gamer, The Obsolete Geek, RetroGameCouch, and many others.
Will you check out this YouTube video?
Probably not. I get sent 10 to 15 videos per day that people want me to watch. I do not have time to watch them all, so I usually watch one or two. You can send it, but no guarantee I’ll watch it.
I sent you an email 2 hours ago, why haven’t you answered?
As much as it surprises some people, I actually have a life outside of responding to email. If you contact me, I may respond in a matter of minutes, hours, and sometimes even days. However, if your email doesn’t really ask a specific question, is nonsensical, or is just wanting me to watch a youtube video or something, I may not answer at all.
Can I call you on the phone or skype with you?
Generally, the answer is no. My phone number is posted online in various places, but I do not answer unsolicited calls. In fact, unrecognized numbers are immediately added to my block list, and calls with no caller-ID are immediately blocked by request to my telecom provider. Also, some of the numbers posted around online are out-of-date and you’re probably pestering some other person who was unlucky enough to get that phone number. So, please don’t bother trying to call me out of the blue. However, I respond to the vast majority of emails within an hour or two, so there is no good reason to call me in the first place. Email me first, if there is a reason we need to talk on the phone, then I will call you.
Tell me about your color blindness.
I am able to see all primary colors. However, I have a deficiency in my red receptors. So when I see colors that contain red, such as purple, pink, violet, yellow, and brown, my eyes will get confused and often gravitate towards one color or the other. For example, I can see certain shades of purple when the color is highly saturated. But, most of the time I will wind up seeing blue instead. Brown is another color I struggle with. Yes, I can see it if it is highly saturated, but most of the time I will see green instead.
Have you heard about the special sunglasses that “cure” colorblindness.
Yes, I have heard. I suspect they are a scam. There is nowhere you can actually try these on for yourself. You are required to order a $300 pair of these things and hope they work. I’ve read the science behind how they work, and I find myself being highly skeptical. I would try a pair if I didn’t have to buy them first.
Why does it always sound like you have a cold?
I have chronic allergies. My nasal cavities are swollen up most of the time, making it difficult to breath through my nose. This can affect the way I sound. The condition varies a bit from day to day. So, one day I might be fine and the next I am not. I have tried a variety of treatments for this and none have worked. Afrin will work temporarily, but repeated use causes me to have heart arrhythmia so I rarely use it.
When are you coming to my city?
I do go to conventions throughout the year. Usually you can find me at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo, as well as the Long Island Retro Gaming Expo. I do have a list here that you can check that shows where I will be this year.
Can I send you a donation?
Yes, but visit my page on donating first! Click here!
I want to get into retro-computing. Which computer do you recommend?
Typically I recommend the Commodore 64 because there is a large library of software, large user base to ask questions from, and the machines are still easy to find and relatively inexpensive. However, I also recommend the Apple II series, Atari 400/800 line of computers, and old MS-DOS machines such as the Tandy 1000 and others.
I want to learn to play piano. Which retro keyboard do you recommend?
I don’t recommend you learn on a retro keyboard. If money is a concern, just spend between $50 and $100 on any Casio or Yamaha made after 1992 and you’ll probably have a decent enough learning keyboard. Playing tunes on the older 80s keyboards is actually MORE challenging, not less.
I emailed you and you were rude to me! Are you just a jerk?
Keep in mind that I receive a hundred emails per day, sometimes more. I just delete some (see question below why I may not answer) but I try to answer most of them. I can’t devote a whole lot of time to answering an individual email, otherwise I would literally spend my whole day answering emails and then I’d never get any videos made. I also answer emails throughout the day. I may answer your email on my iPhone while waiting in line at the grocery store. Again, not conducive to lengthy responses. Sometimes people assume these short, to-the-point responses are me being a jerk. The reality is quite the opposite. I struggle to answer everyone’s emails and yet I feel it is something I should try to do. It’s easy for people to make assumptions about another person’s motives when they have never been in their shoes. I work 10 to 12 hours per day trying to keep up with merchandise orders, emails, appearances at gaming conventions, writing code, doing interviews, showing guests around my home, keeping up with taxes and all of the other paperwork involved in being self-employed, and of course trying to produce videos which is the main source of my income. I generally do not take breaks for holidays or weekends. So, before you think I’m just a rude jerk, try putting yourself in my shoes. And this goes the same for most any other celebrity. So, if you email somebody else, also consider the same.
How can I support your channel?
The easiest way is to donate $1 per month on Patreon (or more if you desire). If you do not like Patreon, you can also send direct paypal donations to my email address firstname.lastname@example.org as well as shipping any hardware donations I might be in need of.
Beware of some things that make it less likely for me to reply to your email:
- Message too short – If the message is just 2 or 3 words, like “Hey, What’s up?” I’m not likely to reply to that.
- Message too long – If the message is 20 paragraphs long telling me the long story of how you became interested in computers, I probably will skim through most of it looking for an actual question. It’s not because I’m rude, but I receive hundreds of emails per day and just can’t spend the time to read all of these.
- YouTube Videos – I get sent 20 or 30 links every day asking me to watch a video that somebody else found interesting. Again, I simply don’t have time to watch all of these. So, there’s only a 10% chance I’ll actually watch it if you wrote something that catches my eye. Again, not to be rude, but I can’t devote my entire day to watching YouTube videos.
- Ebay Links – I receive dozens of messages every day from people wanting to show me some thing they found on ebay. If it is something I badly need, then believe me, I’m already aware of it, since I usually check ebay every day for things I am really in need of.
- Asking things answered in this FAQ– If I reply to your email with a link back to this FAQ, that means you asked me something that is already answered here, and it saves me the time of having to answer these questions again and again.
- Writing to me in gibberish – I understand some people have English as a second or third language. But, sometimes I receive long emails that contain absolutely no punctuation, sometimes written in all caps, with long run-on sentences with tons of incorrect spelling and grammar, and stuff like “R U GONNA GO 2 APL STR 2 GET NEW MAC” Well, sorry, I don’t reply to these. Google doesn’t have a translate option for the language of “IDIOT.”