Author: shalroth (cpc10-seac22-2-0-cust612.7-2.cable.virginm.net)
Date: 04-27-2014 05:10
Buy a 520STFM on eBay and use the keyboard from that. Harvest the floppy drive and power supply while you're at it, and maybe save the upper case plastics if they're clean.
I know I'm going to enrage some people here, but there's not much you can do with a 520ST. All the decent productivity software needs 1MB or more. By the time you've loaded GDOS and the program you've got space for half a page. You can forget using hard drives because there's almost no room for the driver and caches; There's no standard audio out, so if you want to record you've got to build a special cable or record from the line out of your monitor... The memory is very hard to upgrade without a degree in electronic engineering (I've done one, it was a nightmare)
I'll admit, there were a lot of nice and fun games that could run in 512K, some of my favourites in fact. So here's my argument: the main reason for wanting to buy 520STFM is for nostalgia, to play games from your youth. Nothing wrong with that - except if you spend a little more on a 1040 or an STe you've opened up more possibilities. The difference in price is negligible, so there's no reason to choose a 520STFM over a more capable machine.
And in any case, if all you're wanting to do is play your favourite games again, and you're not serious about the platform, just go and download an emulator.
Buy a 520STFM if:
O It comes with an amazing bundle of games and/or accessories
O You know what you're doing and need a basic machine, such as for a Trip-A-Tron node or MIDImaze death match
O You have another machine suffering geriatric failure and need a donor Keyboard, Power Supply, Floppy Drive, Case plastics
I would think that sacrificing a 520STFM to keep a 4160ST working for a bit longer is a very worthy and totally acceptable thing to do. I got a very nice 520STFM in great condition with a huge bundle given to me recently - with a faulty floppy drive, so it's going to be a spare PSU, spare top case, spare keyboard and motherboard for sale on eBay.