There are lots of ways to pass the time right now. You could read more books. Watch more TV. Take longer family walks after dinner. Or—or—you could build paper models of the computers you grew up with so your kids can see (and appreciate, dammit!) how far technology has come and how lucky they are, what with their Chromebooks and their iPads and their Nintendo Switches.
Graphic designer Rocky Bergen is dedicated to helping us bring our favourite classic computers and game systems (somewhat) to life with this collection of free, downloadable papercraft models that includes the Commodore 64, the Apple II, the Nintendo GameCube, the Atari 520ST and more.
He even offers a variety of screen views for many of the models so you can personalise them based on your own fond memories of using them (the Oregon Trail option for the Apple II is really the only way to go, though). Even the stories he tells about each model are endearing. Here’s what he has to say about creating the Amiga 500 model:
A couple of years ago, I bought an Amiga and that awkward A-520 Video Connector. I spent the better part of a week trying to get an image to show up on my TV. A few weeks later, I ordered a pizza and when the pizza guy poked his head in my apartment he said, “Sweet Amiga! You need a monitor and some games for free?” Of course, I said yes. Problem is, I have never had any success getting the Amiga to do anything.
Now, I have a Raspberry Pi that emulates the best parts of the Amiga experience and it took minutes to setup. I think I spend so much time making these patterns to atone for all this blasphemy.
Simply download, print, cut, fold and glue your model together; in a comment on one of the posts, Bergen says he favours this 80 lb. white paper to create his models. The end results make for good home office decor.
While you’re at it, get the kids involved in your project and turn your nostalgia trip into a family vacation into the past—why not tell them all about dial-up internet, and then treat them to a recording of that unmistakable sound from your childhood.