Can AI Help Revive an Old Computer?

Watch this DIYer use ChatGPT to try to help her repair a non-working Commodore 64.

Spencer Chin, Senior Editor

April 24, 2024

AI joins forces with computer DIYer.
Computer DIYer Eleonora Sakaya used ChatGPT to prompt her through an attempt to repair a non-functional Commodore 64 computer. Sakaya's Digital Attic channel on YouTube

DIYers have been repairing and restoring old computers for years, relying on their own knowledge and perhaps advice from others. But what happens when someone decides that an AI program can possibly help repair a computer?

In this YouTube video on the channel Sakaya’s Digital Attic, host Eleonora Sakaya uses the popular ChatGPT AI tool to guide her through restoring a Commodore 64 computer.  Sakaya uses the phone version of ChatGPT, asking questions, getting answers, and then asking more questions. Being an accomplished DIYer, Sakaya has a good knowledge of potential technical issues and their solutions, so in this case, ChatGPT helped affirm her instincts and steer her toward solutions.

After Sakaya asked more specific questions, ChatGPT suggested she desolder two RAMs with bad traces. After carefully desoldering the bad memory parts and their sockets, Sakaya reinserted the sockets and then was advised to check their continuity. Sakaya noticed some disconnected pins for two other parts, and ChatGPT suggested those pins be resoldered before rechecking for continuity. Subsequently, ChatGPT suggested she check all the solder joints before attempting to repower the computer.

You can view the video here to see if AI helped her resurrect the malfunctioning computer.

Related:Handy-Dandy Adjustable DIY Power Supply

About the Author(s)

Spencer Chin

Senior Editor, Design News

Spencer Chin is a Senior Editor for Design News, covering the electronics beat, which includes semiconductors, components, power, embedded systems, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, and other related subjects. He is always open to ideas for coverage. Spencer has spent many years covering electronics for brands including Electronic Products, Electronic Buyers News, EE Times, Power Electronics, and electronics360. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him at @spencerchin.

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