A Videogame and Computer Collector's Problems with Moving - Lessons Learned and Photos

Bill Loguidice's picture

Well, as many of you know, several of us here at Armchair Arcade have been in the process of moving or have recently moved. I'm finally in the "recently moved" category after being in the former for a little over a month. As many of you also know, I'm very much into collecting computer and videogame-related stuff, hardware, software, books, accessories, collectibles, etc. Pretty much anything and everything relevant. Unfortunately, the bigger the collection, the harder the move.

I've obviously been collecting since my childhood in the early 1980's even before I knew of such a thing or such a thing became fashionable; I'm 33 now going on 34 next month, so you know that's a very long time. When I first moved out of my parents' house at 23 (prior to that I lived four years at college, but that's not permanent, then it took a few years to find a decent job, etc.), I moved into an apartment, which really couldn't accomodate my collection. I kept the more relevant stuff (newer) at the time only, like the Genesis/Sega CD, PS1, Saturn, PC, etc., while the rest stayed in storage in my parents' basement and garage (yikes!) in boxes, with the hope that someday I would "rescue" my stuff. Even after meeting my eventual wife and moving to a condo we bought together, I was in pretty much the same situation, until about four years back when we bought a fairly big house with extra bedrooms. The fourth bedroom then became my "collection room", or as I called it, my "Workshop", one of two deals I made with my wife (the other being a hi-def big screen TV) prior to moving.

In those roughly four years, we've since had our first daughter, Amelie, now 21 months old, and we're expecting her sister, Olivia, in early October. Also in that time, I was constantly adding to my collection through the magic of eBay and various videogame and computer shows. Also, also in that time, I landed a book deal with O'Reilly Media and No Starch, necessitating my collection growing even more. Eventually my "Workshop" morphed into a storage room, no longer allowing me to easily pull things down and work on a table in there. Long story just a bit shorter, expansion plans for that house fell through, we were getting frustrating with doing repairs (it was from the early 60's) and it's layout was just not conducive to our growing needs, storage room/workshop or no. Fate played its hand again and we realized something that we simply didn't think was possible, that we could actually afford a bigger, possibly even much bigger, newer house, if we were a bit creative with how we went about doing it. To cut that part of the story short, we ended up getting more house than we ever dreamed possible and got the true dream house, the "forever house", as we like to call it. The prior house was thought to be the "forever house", simply because we thought we'd be stuck there with house prices the way they are these days, particularly in New Jersey. In any case, we made our move just in time to the true "forever house", no compromises.

In any case, the reason why I relate that last paragraph is to kind of give an idea of the amount of stuff I accumulated over time, in addition to all the other usual stuff not related to videogames and computers. The more stuff you have, the more challenges you have when moving and eventually organizing. Simple enough. Not thinking I'd ever be able to move out of that house, I bought and bought and bought (keep in mind, I spend my "fun money" mostly on that stuff, so that's how I'm able to do it). I even got a MAME arcade machine that I have to review in my book and for AA still. So challenges, challenges, challenges, when moving.

I'll now tell the rest of the tale in pictures (the "before" photos if you will):

Photo 01 - The Basement DenPhoto 01 - The Basement Den
As you can see in Photo 01 - The Basement Den, that's the MAME arcade machine I was telling you about. I was able to remove the control panel to mitigate some of the width of the unit and was able to move it with my father and father-in-law in a moving truck, but we were only able to get it into the garage of this house. I had to have the real movers come and get it down here, after which I re-attached the control panel. This thing is heavy and awkward, weighing in at all of 400+ pounds. The machine is staying there forever, just like me in this house. Amazingly, it survived the move without a scratch or damage. For those who want one of these things, keep in mind that someday you may have to move them. If I had known I was moving, I would have obviously waited.

By the way, those nifty red stools are from Target, where I got a great deal on them. Also, note the arcade marquees on the floor. I'll be putting those all around the room, mostly on the beam you see there. The whole den area will have an arcade theme. It will also stay mostly open to accomodate videogame-related cardio, which brings us to the room right next to it...

Photo 02 - The Basement GymPhoto 02 - The Basement Gym
I bring this room up for a reason, which I'll explain after a quick overview. As you can see here in Photo 02 - The Basement Gym, it is in fact my basement gym. With the baby and a second one on the way, it was getting harder and harder to go regularly to the gym, having to drive there, find parking, get access to equipment, etc. The solution in this new house was putting in a proper gym, that met all of my requirements from 15+ years of working out. It's obviously geared towards heavy free weight work. So what about cardio besides the heavy bag in the right of the photo? Well, it's hard to see, but in the far left of the photo behind the power rack is a 20" Sony TV on a wooden stand, surround by a PlayStation 1 with DDR and dance mats, XaviX XaviXPort with Jackie Chan boxing gloves and software, and Jackie Chan J-Mat and software. Instead of a treadmill or something that requires too much maintenance for my tastes, I'm taking the cardio/speed work virtual. It should be a lot of fun and I will cover it eventually at Armchair Arcade. It ties in to the basement den area next to it because all that wonderful free space between the coffee table and the 32" TV makes an ideal space for these virtual workouts/challenges. And yeah, it keeps things fun. The only thing really left to set up in the gym area are two more mirrors (you can't see the mirror on the wall on the left), set up the reference materials that the green and white mirror boxes are covering, put up a cork board and white board, and build a calf board. Not too bad, especially relative to the rest of the house. Moving right along...

Photo 03 - The Basement OfficePhoto 03 - The Basement Office
Photo 03 - The Basement Office; Since we're doing this in reverse, from the bottom of the house to the top, we're now just down the hall at the basement office. I only peeked the camera in here, as there's not much to see, but essentially this houses the working modern desktop computer on a large angled desk, some bookcases and a craft table for my wife, Christina. So yeah, lot's of office crap to unpack and computer area to set up. This is also where the cable/i-phone modem resides and feeds the rest of the house, both wired and wirelessly with a G router. So, let's move out of this room and the room across the way, the unfinished part of the basement and the first glimpse of the meat of my collection (both of these rooms are at the bottom of the stairs, just to give an idea of location)...

Photo 04 - The Basement Collection Storage - aPhoto 04 - The Basement Collection Storage - a
Photo 05 - The Basement Collection Storage - bPhoto 05 - The Basement Collection Storage - b
Photo 06 - The Basement Collection Storage - cPhoto 06 - The Basement Collection Storage - c
Ah, "The Basement Collection Storage" photos. This is just some quick snaps, not even encompassing the whole area, of the mess of stuff that needs to be organized, the majority of which is here and the garage, which will be the next set of photos. Unseen to the right are other storage areas/rooms, but right now it's blocked with three rows deep and several times that high of mostly plastic crates filled with our regular book collection, holiday stuff, etc., for dispersement to other parts of the house and attics. My basic plan is to put all the systems out on the racks, and leave the software, boxed or not, accessories and other various doo-dads more or less organized within boxes. It will just be easier to deal with everything and everything, if I do it correctly, will be as accessible and organized as ever. After all, I want a working collection that I can use any time with relative ease, not a collection that only a storage room can appreciate...

Photo 07 - The GaragePhoto 07 - The Garage
Yep, Photo 07 - The Garage, is just another camera pop-in, this time showing off the majority of the rest of my collection. I have the loose stuff on a plastic tarp and the rest as you can see in boxes. Those black metal racks will make their way down to the basement to the unfinished room you saw in the prior photos. I have to get this stuff out of here as soon as possible obviously (yes, I want to actually park cars in here), but I need to set up that basement area first. The stuff to the right is garage crap from the other house and unseen is the rest of the garage and workshop area. I have to save my pennies for a shed...

Photo 08 - The Family Room - aPhoto 08 - The Family Room - a
This is where the modern systems go, like the Xbox 360, PS2 and Gamecube (not the antenna on top, which gives the 360 and PS2 wireless Internet access, and eventually the PS3 and Wii). That's also a 51" hi-def widescreen TV, though a bit older now. I recently upgraded to a Sony Dreamsystem home theater with wireless rear speakers that receive their signals via infrared, so it's equivalent to having them wired. This is a tremendous surround sound system. You can see the rear speakers in the next photo.
Photo 09 - The Family Room - bPhoto 09 - The Family Room - b
Yep, not too exciting, just the rear of the same room with the wireless rear speakers. They really do work the best of any system I've ever had. If anything, the bass is too intense. Let's finish up by going upstairs...

Photo 10 -  A Quick DetourPhoto 10 - A Quick Detour
Quick detour, but this box in the dining room has stuff that's supposed to go in the master bedroom...
Photo 11 - The Master BedroomPhoto 11 - The Master Bedroom
Finally, we end at the master bedroom. It's a hi-def LCD TV and will eventually have the old surround sound unit from the other house, sans the rear speakers. This will have the Xbox on it until the 360 has 100% backwards compatibility (yeah right), and it gives me a modern alternative if the main TV is occupied and I'm in the mood to play a console game. Note the Armchair Arcade yellow messenger bag, which holds all my modern handheld consoles, which I play regularly given my schedule.

In any case, there you have it. I always complain about my schedule, with I believe legitimate reasons (too many ambitions), but add to that the above, which in fact impacts a lot of that very stuff on my schedule, and it's just best to close my eyes and press forward. At the very least, since I'm not going to be moving ever again, I can at least take comfort that if I get it right and organized this time, I won't have to ever go through the extreme torture that was moving all of this, the majority by hand. And yes, I CRINGE at the idea of what might have gotten broken or crushed! Eventually it will all get done, though, and I'll be a better person for it... ;-)

After I'm organized properly (how long?), I'll re-post the "After" photos... (and yes, I'll be moving all of these photos off the AA servers, once I get a chance to copy this over to my personal Website)

[By the way, you can see prior photos of my collection, more or less, here]

NEC Turbo Duo: Photo - Bill LoguidiceNEC Turbo Duo: Photo - Bill Loguidice

Comments

Matt Barton
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Wow, that's fantastic

Good Grief. I didn't realize what pathetic squalor I live in until checking out those photos! That place must be a mansion. ;-) Unfortunately, I guess I'm damned to cramped apartments for the next decade at least. Can you give us some pics from outside?

I'm also curious what degree of access the little ones have to all this equipment. Do you plan to keep the basement locked up? I can't tell you how many irreplaceable collectibles and equipment my three little brothers managed to destroy (and VCRs? Forget it. The ol' peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the tape slot did it everytime). ;-)

I hope that once you get set up and everything, the path will be open again for some more Armchair Arcade videos. It'd be great to break out more of this collection and show it in operation.

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Bill Loguidice
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Fantastic is relative, sure...

Access... Well, the basement door is always closed, and I can close off the area where the majority of my collection will reside, as well as the room my office is in. The "open" areas in the basement after you go down the stairs are the gym and the den. We'll just have to be careful, but they shouldn't be down there without supervision anyway. As for the family room, yeah, the TV screen gets touched a lot and my Xbox 360 gets turned on and off a lot, sometime even when it's being used. That's life and will get 2X more challenging with number 2 on the way.

As for the video stuff, I do have big plans for that. At the same time though, I have big plans for a lot of things. I have to be careful to keep my ambitions under control though and not overwhelm myself into inactivity, if that makes sense. There are so many things that I want to do that excite me, that I just don't have time to address them all. I need to stay focused in the short-term on the book, where I hope I don't lose my contract, and Armchair Arcade. Once the former lets up, I'll be free to go into those other areas.

As for the cheeky mansion comment... Well, to my wife and me, it is a "mansion", but to someone else with real money, it's "eh". We did get lucky though, as it's a 10 year old house that has the multi-room finished basement with that partially unfinished part in its own room, dining room, living room, family room, big kitchen with an island and eat-in area for a large table, 4 bedrooms, laundry room, 2.5 baths, including our master bathroom with jacuzzi tub and separate shower and twin sinks, two car garage with attic and high ceilings and a separate workshop area, as well as a big above ground pool (unopened as of yet) and almost half an acre of property. For my ambitions, this is our dream house. Christina feels the same way. Like I said, we lucked into it, particularly since we're in New Jersey, where house prices are ridiculous and variable based on area. For each of our moves we've had to go further and further south, until at our present point, sort of south-west New Jersey. It will not be easy and will most certainly be an extreme financial struggle, but I'm of the belief that you don't necessarily buy the house you can easily afford now, you buy one you think you'll be able to easily afford within a few years of hard work.

So yeah, I'm very excited about it, but also quite scared in many ways too. It's a lot to handle, Christina is going on maternity leave in a matter of weeks, and I already have no free time. I believe I'll get through it though, and that's half the battle...

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[ My collection ]
[ http://www.MythCore.com ]

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Matt Barton
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Joys of Owning a Home

Well, I think you're definitely on the right track. I can't imagine what it'd be like knowing that you have such a great home to return to (and always thinking about further potential there). Plus, it's no doubt that having all that space will be great for your kids! I grew up in I guess a medium-sized house, and I've never felt quite right in an apartment. There's definitely something to be said for the old phrase, "A man's home is his castle." ;-)

If it's not too personal, I am curious how large you plan to expand the Loguidice clan! It ought to be quite interesting growing up in a home filled with such awesome gaming equipment. I bet you'll be doing lots of family gaming when they're old enough.

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Bill Loguidice
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Girls - Is Two Enough? and Castles

Christina and I both always wanted three, even before meeting each other. God willing and everything goes well with Olivia's birth, that will put us at two, including Amelie. Olivia was a "suprise". We wanted our children close together, but not THAT close together (it will be just under two years apart). Maybe in about 4 or 5 years when we "forget", we'll go for our third and likely final, but even stopping at two would be OK. Both Christina and I grew up with one other sibling (her sister is about 4 or 5 years younger, while mine is 10 years younger) and we always thought it would be nice to have a third. In this day and age though with both parents having to work (in most cases), the idea of having three kids is a bit daunting, now that we're actually living the married with kids thing. It will be so wonderful though teaching my girls about all of the classic technology and to hopefully instill in them an appreciation for both new and old.

As for the "castle" part, I have to agree there. I'm more a homebody than anything else. People can have their trips and travel and what-not, but I'm content enjoying being at home with all my stuff. Of course, my wife doesn't necessarily agree with that, so I will be traveling in the future... ;-)

=================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[ My collection ]
[ http://www.MythCore.com ]

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Matt Barton
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Sibling Dynamics

Yes, I often wished that my parents had stopped with two (or at most three) rather than plodding forth with FIVE. After the third one, it was obvious that everyone had more or less lost interest, and, in my opinion, the last two siblings really got screwed (not nearly enough attention). In a family of 5, I'm the oldest, and have a younger sister who's about a year and half younger. Then there's a gap of about six years, another brother, another year, a brother, and then about three more years before another one. I don't want to speak ill of my parents, but this seems like poor planning to me. Really, if they'd stopped with the third, we'd have all been better off in terms of both attention and money.

It's really a testament to my own sheer stubborness that I was able to get through college. I had zero financial support from home.

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Mark Vergeer
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hmmm no photo's showing up on my end...

Opera, MSIE, Mozilla don't show the photo's, just the blue titles.
Cheers, Mark

-= Mark Vergeer - Armchair Arcade editor =-

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Bill Loguidice
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It must have glitched. I

It must have glitched. I think I recovered it. For some reason IMG ASSIST wasn't working right, but I went to edit another post with working images and that seems to have reset everything.

=================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[ My collection ]
[ http://www.MythCore.com ]

n/a
Mark Vergeer
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that is one serious house dude.....

Wow, that is one serious house dude! From the glimpses I caught this definitely is 'the definite home'. Good luck with unpacking and the rest of the move/decorating.
Better be have stuff ready when Olivia takes her first breath of fresh air ;)
It's good to grow up with at least another sibling. I grew up with my brother Frank (2 years younger) and my sister Silvia (7 years younger). It's good to be able to share so much personal history with sibs. Especially during this stuff with my dad that we're going through right now.
I am dying for more pictures of your home, the exterior the works....
:)

Hey, some analogy with Matt's college experience....
My parents aren’t the most effluent people in the world, my mom worked financial wonders so we all could get by on my dad’s paycheck very comfortably. But they couldn’t afford to have 3 children going to college so all my siblings got these student loans and for the rest we worked our way through college.
My brother Frank turned out to be a great lawyer. My sister Silvia finished art-school and she’s owning her own business together with another young designer - check out http://www.studiobeige.nl
I got myself through medical school, worked my ass off most of the time, barely being home working gruesome shifts required for medical school and at the same time having all these other jobs at night or on odd hours. Being surrounded by people who had their parents paying for everything – people who thought it was weird that I didn’t go on all those ski-ing vacations with them etc – sure made me appreciate the things that I did have even more.

-= Mark Vergeer - Armchair Arcade editor =-

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Bill Loguidice
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It's great to hear all these

It's great to hear all these family stories. I guess there are so many variables to family dynamics and family sizes. Like I said, I may want to stop at two, but things can change quickly...

After you get married, Mark, do you and your future wife plan on having kids?

As for more photos, I wasn't planning on putting more up, but I can definitely do a few more since there's some interest. Why not?

=================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[ My collection ]
[ http://www.MythCore.com ]

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Dr. Evil

Being surrounded by people who had their parents paying for everything – people who thought it was weird that I didn’t go on all those ski-ing vacations with them etc – sure made me appreciate the things that I did have even more.

Geez, I had the opposite reaction. I hated those punks! I'll never forget a Christmas where I was so destitute that I had to accept a job picking up garbage at a college apartment complex (where sons and daughters of wealthy parents lived). I was there on Christmas morning, and the whole place was deserted. In fact, the only evidence there were people there at all was all the empty liquor bottles and party trash they had tossed all over their complex--that I had to pick up. Imagine my resentment. There I was, a student earning a 4.0 GPA reduced to picking up the trash of punks whose only serious occupation in life was to party and get laid. Beasts, really. About the only times I'd see them was when they went "spinning out" in their big trucks and fancy cars their parents had bought them. They'd usually honk or hoot something unintelligible, like wild monkeys in a jungle.

Yes, I know that "life's not fair" and so on, but I'll never accept the current system of privilege and advantages that just go with being born into a wealthy family. I don't think it's healthy for either the rich kids (who end up in a truly sad state of mental development) or poor kids (who grow up resenting and despising their "betters"). What's needed is something at least approximating a meritocracy. It's pretty obvious why folks like me tend to enjoy watching Star Trek so much! :-)

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