Maintaining pinball machines carries it’s own flavor of geekdom

By Greg Turnquist

Greg L. Turnquist worked on the Spring team for over thirteen years and is a senior staff technical content engineer at Cockroach Labs. He was the lead for Spring Data JPA and Spring Web Services. He wrote Packt's best-selling title, Learning Spring Boot 2.0 2nd Edition, and its 3rd Edition follow-up along many others.

July 24, 2011

My favorite hobby that always catches the attention of visitors is my collection of pinball machines. I went to a friend’s pinball party years ago and got to play on ten different machines. I was hooked!

We just celebrated my daughter’s second birthday yesterday, and I had all the machines powered on. Of course, you know what happens when you have all the machines on and ready for guests. One of them was too flakey to play a single game and the other kept resetting. Time for maintenance!

There are a list of possible things that cause this to happen, and I have to work to track down the exact cause so I can repair it. But I love doing it! It’s a nice alternative to hacking that still carries an air of geekdom. It’s kind of like being a detective and tracking down where the bug is and then fixing it. Once done, more playing!

Do I want more? Always! The trick is finding spare change as well as spare room. The bonus room is packed, but I keep telling myself there would surely be room to squeeze in a cocktail Ms. Pacman for the Mrs. I was never really interested in collecting video games until my wife one day announced her interest in the ole Ms. Pacman/Galaga. In these days, not only can you find something like that for much cheaper than a pinball machine, but many come with LOTS of classic video games. Who am I to not see to the needs of my wife?

After that, I think it would be great to get a Funhouse. If only I could get around to fixing up Stargate and selling it, it would be much more likely I could fund it. I just need to figure out where to put a fourth pinball machine.


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