LET'S RESOLVE THIS ISSUE was (Re: Made a deal to get a Vax6000,2 Fujitsu Supercomputers and TOPS10???)

From: John B <dylanb_at_sympatico.ca>
Date: Thu Nov 25 07:33:18 1999

-----Original Message-----
From: Rodrigo Ventura <yoda_at_isr.ist.utl.pt>
To: Discussion re-collecting of classic computers
Date: Thursday, November 25, 1999 5:32 AM
Subject: Re: LET'S RESOLVE THIS ISSUE was (Re: Made a deal to get a
Vax6000,2 Fujitsu Supercomputers and TOPS10???)

>>>>>> "Richard" == Richard Erlacher <edick_at_idcomm.com> writes:
> Richard> This is starting to resemble an argument for putting
> Richard> things on eBay before scrapping them. If they're
> Richard> priceless, then someone will at least attempt to buy them
> Richard> for somewhat less than that implies.
> The "priceless" stuff was an illustrating metaphor. I didn't
>say minis are priceless. Usually the "price" of a good is determined
>by the demand/offer situation of the market. Minis are cheap because
>the demand is so low: isolated collectors, when they have space to
>store it. These collective market is so dispersed that does not affect
>the market prices.

Ya right, I look a leave of absence so I can go out and buy minis for 2
cents a pound and resell them for 5 cents a pound???

Quite a few more people want minis than you think, at least the older ones
('60s) that they first touched... and it is not uncommon to get $20,000 or
more for such a unit (depending of course on the number of them left).

The collective market greatly influences the prices of such minis... and
bidding usually occurs.

Yes, a Vax 11/780 will get you a scrap metal price... an IBM1401
(unrestored) will fetch an easy $20,000 (a lot more if you put the word
out). I restore them and ship them running with software and docs, the value
goes up a lot more than that.

> But smart scrappers can be smart enought to bargain higher
>prices, when they are certain they are facing collectors. Take for
>instance antiques: they are expensive just because of the high demand,
>it's fashionable to have antiques. And who knows, sometime in the
>future, a VAX board becomes an expensive antique... In fact, some
>computing stuff is almost "priceless", for instance, ENIAC
>boards. Would you scrap an originl ENIAC the way you scrap Fujitsu
>minis? No you would not, unless you were brainless... Any computer as

You can't compare Fujitsu to ENIAC.. The Fujitsu is *not* an original...
There are probably at least 10,000 of those *originals*.

>old as the ENIAC is a priceless asset to any museum! Right?

Right, and those are the kinds of systems I am aiming for (well, I won't get
an ENIAC.. but UNIVACs can still be found).

> Richard> If nobody wants 'em badly enough to pay the packing,
> Richard> shipping, and associated costs, plus the scrap value
> Richard> then, since it's too late to leave 'em inthe scrapyard,
> Richard> they need to be disposed of in some way, don't they?
> Yes indeed. It's not trivial to ship huge minis across the
>world. That's one reason why these mailing lists exist: e.g. to
>announce the availability of certain stuff in certain areas. I'd love
>to have a PDP or a VAX, but I know that's virtually impossible unless
>they appear in Lisbon/portugal area...
> Cheers,
>*** Rodrigo Martins de Matos Ventura <yoda_at_isr.ist.utl.pt>
>*** Web page: http://www.isr.ist.utl.pt/~yoda
>*** Teaching Assistant and MSc Student at ISR:
>*** Instituto de Sistemas e Robotica, Polo de Lisboa
>*** Instituto Superior Tecnico, Lisboa, PORTUGAL
>*** PGP fingerprint = 0119 AD13 9EEE 264A 3F10 31D3 89B3 C6C4 60C6 4585
Received on Thu Nov 25 1999 - 07:33:18 GMT

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