Computer Pricing

From: Sam Ismail <>
Date: Fri Sep 19 17:45:05 1997

On Fri, 19 Sep 1997, Marvin wrote:

> I am starting to find the pricing for *some* of the older computers far more
> than I had imagined. My suspicions are that the value of the older
> computers is starting to rise as more and more people starting (finally!)
> thinking about the history of these things. For instance, I had no idea the

That's why I stick to local swap meets and such. I can still find
bargains there, and I'm not competing against collectors from all over
the country (and the world in some cases).

> Sol would go for the price it did although it seemed very complete. The Old
> Computer Auction Web had some pricing that I thought high, but I am seeing
> the same type of thing in other places. I still get given quite a bit of
> stuff, but it is declining as I see more and more people looking at the 386
> as old :).

What irks me slightly about the Old Computer Auction Web is their slogan
"Setting values for antique computers". They are trying to put
themselves in a very lofty position with this slogan. Trying to set the
value of ANY collectable is impossible since there are shortages of one
thing vs. surpluses of another in different parts of the country or the
world. Like, I can go pick up an Apple //e any weekend for $5-$10,
whereas someone in Iowa or South Carolina (no offense meant, just trying
to pick some states where one wouldn't readily be able to find an Apple
//e, I have no clue if these states are appropriate or not) or Europe
cannot readily find a //e. Conversely, someone in the UK can easily find
a Sinclair Spectrum or someone in France can find an Oric without too
much trouble while it would be next to impossible to find one in the states.

> One thing that does deserve some special consideration is the documentation
> and advertising literature of the 70's and 80's. The other night, I got
> what appears to be the first Radio Shack advertising brochure for the
> TRS-80. THIS is the type of thing that is being thrown away without any
> thought and we need to build some awareness that this stuff is equally a
> part of history. I have talked to a number of people who told me they
> cleaned out their files and got rid of this stuff <sigh>.

I agree completely. Nobody readily throws out a computer (well, at least
some people...I was just talking to a guy who trashed his IMSAI 8080 last
year) but manuals and brochures don't even get a first thought. These
are the things which, in my opinion, hold the greater value, both
monetarily and historically. The brochures and manuals tell a far greater
tale than the computers themselves.

Sam Alternate e-mail:
Computer Historian, Programmer, Musician, Philosopher, Athlete, Writer, Jackass

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Received on Fri Sep 19 1997 - 17:45:05 BST

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