Great weekend for old computers!

From: Sam Ismail <>
Date: Mon Jun 2 20:49:35 1997

On Mon, 2 Jun 1997, Roger Merchberger wrote:

> You people make me sick! Mr. I got 42 classic systems from one guy this,
> and Ms. I saw 18 fully loaded computers at the thrift shop that!!! I've had
> it up to here (imagine a hand held up above the head) with you weasels! Do
> any of you send your good fortune / good luck my way? NooOOooOOooOOoo! All
> I've seen the last three weekends of garage saleing is this:
> A non-functional Atari 5200 game system and 5 games for $5 USD. System
> worked but neither controller did... until a quick visit with Intern
> Victorinox to clean the connections... A follow-up visit with Dr. Dremel is
> in the works, but I've not had time.
> Altho, the system did come with the trackball controller, and as the SN# of
> the controller is 000786, I'm wondering if this item is relatively rare...
> Back to my rant, I finally got up the nerve/time to go visit the Salvation
> Army Thrift store on my lunch hour (the only T.S. in my town, AFAIK) and
> guess what the sum total of computer-stuffs I saw there: an HP (I think...
> no markings) LaserJet drum/toner cartridge. With no price, so they prolly
> wanted $8million 'cause they didn't know what it was. And I'm sure it
> wouldn't fit in my HPLJ5L (which BTW I paid full price for 'cause it was
> the first non-business-owned 5L in town).
> So, for all you "I get 77 like-new classic systems for a penny every
> weekend" I have but one thing to say:

Merch, I feel your pain. I too went through these same dilemmas.
Fortunately my dry spell got rained upon and I am swimming in stuff, but
that's besides the point. I guess my point is, move to a big city.
That's right. Just pack all your belongings and move to a city with lots
of thrift stores and swap meets and flea markets. Then you'll be
guaranteed stuff almost every weekend.

Do you live in a small town? Where's the next closest big city to you?
Here's some suggestions: put an ad out in the local paper: "Wanted: your
old useless computers. Will pay $$$" but of course only offer them
$5-$10. Go to your local schools and ask them if they have any old junk
useless computers they don't want. Contact local businesses and ask if
they have any old computers they can't use anymore and offer them a few
bucks. Get the word out among friends, associates and colleagues that
you collect old computers. You may get some leads that way.

Look at it this way, I was reading an old Creative Computing issue today,
and it covered all the current systems of the time. It said there were
about 3 million TI/99-4a's produced each year that it was in production.
There were probably an equal number of VIC-20s, Atari x00's, etc. There
were considerable amounts of other systems as well. Millions of Apples
of all types, TRS-80s, you name it. These computers are tucked away in
the basements, closets and attics of America. The trick is to come up
with clever ways to search them out. By advertising or by word of mouth,
you're sure to get at least a trickle of people who are willing to free
up some space and make a 5 or 10 in the process.

The reason we spoiled people get so much is because we live in hi-tech
areas. Shit, I'm 40 minutes away from the silicon valley. There's
probably a billion old computers tucked away in little nooks and cranny's
all over this area. I just gotta find them. Usually when I end up going
to someone's place to pick one system up, there's usually a few or 5 or
10 more that he was about to throw out anyway, and they end up becoming mine.
One day, I kid you not, between a guy who gave me a bunch of stuff and a
thrift store raid, I came home with about 630 pounds of computers.
That's right, I weighed it all just to comprehend the magnitude of the
feat I had accomplished of getting all that stuff home in one load.
Anyway, I don't know how this is supposed to make you feel any better but
I think the moral of the story is: PERSIST! Your mother lode will come.

Computer Historian, Programmer, Musician, Philosopher, Athlete, Writer, Jackass
Received on Mon Jun 02 1997 - 20:49:35 BST

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