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Web Video / The 8-Bit Guy

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"Hello, and welcome to the 8-Bit Guy!"

David Murray is The 8-Bit Guy (formerly The iBook Guy), a YouTube personality who focuses on retro computers and other forms of technology coming from the seventies onward (he first focused on classic Apple products before broadening his focus).

His videos show repairs, restorations, and demonstrations of well-known vintage computers such as the Apple ][, the Commodore VIC-20, the Commodore 64, the Tandy Color Computer, and the ZX Spectrum, as well as more obscure vintage computers. David himself has also made homebrew games and software for those systems, notably Planet X2 for the C64 and Planet X3 for MS-DOS compatibles, with the latter funded on Kickstarter.note 


A related channel is 8-Bit Keys, which demonstrates vintage musical keyboards and other classic sound production equipment. This page will show tropes from both channels.

The official website can be found here, and the Patreon account can be found here.

The 8-Bit Guy contains examples of:

  • April Fools' Day: In an episode where he unboxes donations given to him by viewers, he receives a box that supposedly contains the realistic wax bust of a programmer. Since the upload date of the video is April 1, that box is an April Fool's prank — the "bust" is just a real living head on a box, with conspicuous camera angles to hide the prank.
  • Christmas Episode: One episode focuses on the Commodore Christmas Demo, which was first released in 1982 for the C64. The demo is one of the forerunners of the Demoscene.
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  • Determinator: In an 8-Bit Keys episode where David reviews the Fisher Price "I Can Play" keyboard, he was determined to get inside the keyboard to see its logic board. Since he wasn't interested in saving the keyboard, he took a Dremel to the case after struggling to find hidden screws.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Besides his early videos that focus on Apple products, a few of his other early videos are unrelated to technology, like this video on how to conceal a handgun, this video where he builds a wooden tower for his pet cats, and a few videos that focus on eco-friendly cars.
  • Everything Is Big in Texas: David lives in Kennedale, Texas, which is within the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
  • Fun T-Shirt: David often wears t-shirts highlighting his favorite TV shows, films, and games. Sometimes, he'll wear t-shirts of his own design.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!:
    • He never swears due to the educational focus of his videos. In the video where he repairs the Casio CT-380, his reaction to the battery corrosion that has gotten so bad that it seeped through the keyboard's metal under-plate?
      The 8-Bit Guy: Holy cow to the third power!
    • However, it is subverted in an video where he shows how to rebuild a laptop battery pack; while David doesn't actually swear, he has a "bullshit" graphic over an eBay listing for cheap Chinese rechargeable Li-ion batteries advertised as being rated for 6,000 milliamp-hours and explains that their real world capacity is a fraction of that.
  • Once per Episode:
    • If the video involves restoring a dirty old computer or keyboard, expect him to break out the garden hose and use it for washing its case pieces. If that computer or keyboard has yellowed-out plastic parts, expect him to use the "retrobrite" technique that involves hydrogen peroxide and heat.
    • In 8-Bit Keys episodes where the keyboard he's reviewing lacks an integrated line output jack, expect him to add one in; even if the keyboard in question has a line out, David will open the keyboard anyway to see the logic board, especially if the keyboard needs to be repaired. David records a multi-track song on the keyboard, hence the reason why he adds a line output.
  • Special Guest:
    • Anders Enger Jensen, a Norwegian musician who has contributed much of the music in David's videos, guest stars in some episodes of 8-Bit Keys. David even challenged Anders to compose music using the featured keyboard.
    • In the "History of Commodore" mini-series, former Commodore engineer Bil Herd guest stars in the episodes covering the "TED series" (the Plus 4 and C16) as well as the C128, providing background on the development of said machines.
    • David's older brother Mike Murray, who runs his own YouTube channel The Geek Pub, guest hosts for a July 2018 episode, demonstrating how to install a Raspberry Pi into the shell of a C64.
    • Other retro tech YouTubers such as The Obsolete Geek (who also lives nearby), Lazy Game Reviews, and Techmoan will occasionally appear and offer their insights or assistance. Both LGR and Techmoan did voiceover work for the teaser for Planet X3.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
    • In a video where he reviews a retro-equse cassette/MP3 boombox, David finds that the quality of the cassette to MP3 conversion was so terrible, he had a friend of his destroy the boombox with a steamroller.
    • In a video where he reviews the Nyko Worm Cam, a Game Boy Camera knockoff designed for the Game Boy Advance, David finds the camera is poor quality (and suspects his unit may have been defective), and he smashes it with a sledgehammer at the end.
  • Trekkie: David is a fan of the Star Trek franchise, and has made several references to the series when showing off retro computers in popular culture, such as Captain Kirk owning a Commodore PET as an antique in The Wrath of Khan and Scotty interacting with a Apple Macintosh in The Voyage Home.

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