From: Sam Ismail <dastar_at_crl.com>
Date: Wed Jun 11 02:00:28 1997

I want your old microcomputers from the 70s and 80s. I do NOT want any
common PC clone. I am looking mainly for stuff that doesn't exist in
any way shape or form today. I am looking for rarer models, as I already
own most of the more common micros of the early micro-revolution.
Please e-mail me at dastar_at_crl.com with what you got and we can work out
a deal. Thanks.


So this guy, Gary, responds and tells me he has an IMSAI 8080 and a Victor
9000 he wouldn't mind getting rid of. SCORE! So anyway, he used to be an
attendee of the Homebrew Computer Club, which if you don't know was a
bunch of hackers and geeks (including of course Jobs and Wozniak) who got
together every week or month in (I believe) either Mountain View or
Sunnyvale, to show off the computers they were building. Read Steven
Levy's _Hackers_ for the complete (and very entertaining) story. He was
telling me all these cool stories. One was about how a Lawrence Livermore
National Lab employee made a bunch of paper-tape copies of Gates' BASIC
when it first came out and brought them to a meeting of the HCC, claiming
that on his way over, a box of stuff dropped from a bus, and when he went
to go check it out he found all these weird paper tapes in it (40 or so)
and that everyone was welcome to have them, whereby he began tossing them
out into the audience. Gary of course got one of them, and invited me to
look at and touch it under the condition that I didn't drool on it and
muss it up. It was in perfect condition! The neatest thing about it is
that it had "Z80 BASIC COPYRIGHT MICROSOFT" punched into it (that isn't
the actual message, I've forgotten what it said already). He said the
week after, Bill himself showed up and whined to the crowd, asking "How
am I supposed to make any money off this if you guys are pirating my
stuff?" I'm sure, in hindsight, Bill certainly doesn't mind the fact
that the Microsoft BASIC standard created by the piracy of his original
BASIC has made him a $32 billion man today.

He went on to tell me the stories about how he built his IMSAI and applied
fixes and patches for flaws in the design, and showed me the schematics
and took me through some of the documentation. He's a really neat guy.
We're going to be staying in touch. He's moving soon and he says when he
cleans his garage out and figures what else he has he will probably let me
have some of it, including his full run of Byte magazine starting from
issue 4. He also has a CompuPro 8/16 that he wanted to hang onto, as well
as a Heathkit H19 terminal that he built from the kit, but he says he
might not want to take them with him.

So anyway, that's what a day of tooling around the bay area got me. I also
met Paul Coad at a parking lot sale and we ran into Doug Coward (you may
have checked out his Web museum page, I forget the URL).

It was a good day.

Computer Historian, Programmer, Musician, Philosopher, Athlete, Writer, Jackass

Computer Historian, Programmer, Musician, Philosopher, Athlete, Writer, Jackass
Received on Wed Jun 11 1997 - 02:00:28 BST

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