LET'S RESOLVE THIS ISSUE was (Re: Made a deal to get a Vax 6000,2 Fujitsu Supercomputers and TOPS10???)

From: John B <dylanb_at_sympatico.ca>
Date: Wed Nov 24 23:01:58 1999

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard W. Schauer <rws_at_enteract.com>
To: Discussion re-collecting of classic computers
Date: Thursday, November 25, 1999 12:13 AM
Subject: Re: Made a deal to get a Vax 6000,2 Fujitsu Supercomputers and

> was:
>On Wed, 24 Nov 1999, Dave McGuire wrote:
>> On Wed, 24 Nov 1999, John B wrote:
>> >As for the systems, I will probably scrap the Vax6000 (for EBay
>> >
>> >I saw one of the Fujitsu boards last year.... nice... most of the chips
>> >heat sinks on them (ram board).. and they were huge.. Again too new and
>> >big to deal with.. I'll get what gold I can out of it.
>> Grrrrrr.
>I agree with you, Dave- it seems that recently there's been a surge of
>"this or that computer is junk, it's only worth scrap for metals content.
>I'll enjoy scrapping this one" As I recall, indiscriminate bashing of any
>particular computer is prohibited by this list's FAQ and Rules (and I'd
>definitely say that calling a whole class of machines junk would be
>When some of us go hunting in Dumpsters and scrapyards for measly old
>micros, while working minis are being gleefully hauled to the shredder for
>gold content, it kind of makes you wonder if it's all worth it.

First, I have never brought any kind of mini/micro to a gold reclaimer... If
I get a system I really don't want I either take the boards out and have the
rest crushed or ask one of my scrapper friends to cut it up. "I'll get what
gold I can out of it"... is an expression meaning I will try and get as many
Ebay dollars out of the boards as I can to offset the purchase and shipping
of the lot.

We should resolve this issue... What is a collectable computer?? I think
there are enough COCO-2s in collections to cover all of Toronto... should I
still hoard and buy every unit I see? I realize this is a touchy issue so I
will try to explain where I am coming from and I would appreciate opinions.

I have taken a leave of absence for 1 year to restore and cycle through as
many minis as I can for private collectors (kind of an *early retirement* if
I get the right ones). I have quite a "wish list" and a "want list".. On
average I usually have access to at least 40-50 minis/year. I usually send
40+ to the chopper. I can't possibly store so many units (especially when
most collectors don't want them). I expect a few hundred over the next year
from auctions, scrappers, factories, and trade-ins.... I have gotten
together with quite a few scrappers (through the ones I know) and other
contacts to dig out as many possible sites that would have the kind of minis
I am looking for. For the most part I will get stuck dealing with a lot of
VAX 11/78Xs, IBMs, some Supercomputers (like the Fujitsu) and a lot of
PDP-11s. None of these computers are rare in any way and are quite abundant
among collectors. They are heavy, difficult to deal with and not profitable.
The documentation and software are everywhere for these computers and *more*
weight I have to deal with.

I can't possibly keep every Vax, Fujitsu, IBM, PDP and most people in this
group cannot deal with such large systems...

So what do I do????

One idea is to pull the boards out and hope to dump them on EBay... [I am
paying for this equipment]. That would help people fix their own minis if
they needed the boards...

There will be systems *worth* restoring (that's why I am doing this), IE:
alot of PDPs 8s, transistor PDPs, and maybe some 18 bits,, I expect an IBM
360 along with at least one 1401... and a lot of spares , docs, and

The fujitsu is *HUGE*... I doubt anyone here would want to even try and run
it. Its worth more in parts than whole. It's not old (6 maybe 7 years).. so
what does one do?? The boards are nice, they look great.. Collectors are
looking for this kind of stuff to hang on their walls... can't possibly run

and the Vax 6000. The last one didn't even fetch $300 on EBay. There are
thousands of Vaxes and I am sure millions of RA81/90s (whatever) out there.
No one wants the stuff [well, maybe the boards]

I agree with you on one thing.. I will refrain from calling certain
minis/micros *junk*.. but put yourself in my shoes.. If you had cabinets of
minis/mainframes coming in every month and *very* limited time/space what
would you do with them ? ... [and of course consider the fact that you
*paid* for them].

I will at least mention them here for parts before I have them shredded.
Basically, any mini I get that does not *like* paper tape will probably get
chopped up for parts.

P.S. I asked about 2 months ago if anyone wanted a free RH11 boards. I got
no responses - none. What should I do with them? Upset my wife more by
keeping them or toss them in the dump?


Received on Wed Nov 24 1999 - 23:01:58 GMT

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