Is it time for an International Vintage Computer Association? Was: Yo

From: William Donzelli <>
Date: Tue Jun 27 00:10:12 2000

> Sorry to hear one of the first deals went bad. Or was that comment a
> dig at someone we know? How have the other auctions been doing?

No one on this list, I think - I pointed the deal out because a -1
feedback is a black eye.

Anyway, some email problems killed communications for a few days after
the auction ended, so this jerk concluded that we killed the deal off and
put up more fibre. Six days is a very short time to jump to a conclusion,
but this guy did and gave us bad feedback.
We are doing well with the auctions - mostly non-vintage stuff like
ethernet things and fibre. We have a few cool things coming up soon, like
a Apples III and IIGS (Woz edition), a Commodore PET of some sort,
probably some old workstation stuff, maybe a few other bits a pieces. And
fibre...lots of fibre.

> Perhaps someone hired to perform this task would pay for their salary
> and more?
> Maybe someone hired on a commission basis?

If we had five figures of things to move, that would be an idea, but for
our volume it is not reasonable.
> we have much more in common with the antique radio collectors than with
> collectors of Beanie Babies. The point I am trying to make is that all
> we have to do is observe where the Antique Radio Collector field is
> today
> and how it got there. We are following the same path. We can take
> shortcuts
> and avoid pitfalls. Vintage computer collecting is not a fad, vintage
> computers
> are not Star Wars figures.

Even Star Wars figure and Beanie Baby collecting has gone thru the same
motions - it really is just a natural evolution.

> However, an IVCA, with elected officers, bylaws, dues, and
> non-profit
> status would be a great boost to this collecting field.

It is a great idea, but I think we do not have critical mass. We also
don't have someone that is willing to be the editor of a newsletter.
> However, I'm not aware of
> any
> _major_ Vintage Computer Newsletters (virtual or otherwise)

CHAC had a good one, but it seems that organization is in a holding pattern.

> goal, if I understand it correctly, is the preservation of our computer
> technology
> for posterity. If an organized association greatly furthers this cause
> than I
> believe we should be focusing in that direction. And I'm not limiting
> "we" to mean
> just those on this list, but also those on the many other
> vintage/classic hardware
> and software lists as well.

I am a proponent of the museum system (uhh...obviously, I guess), so I
tend to preach in that direction:

I think that the best way to grow the hobby into something serious is to
form regional organizations. RCS/RI is one of them - we grew out of a few
guys in Providence, RI, that were interested in older systems. We have
grown a little in number, but we have collected a whole big bunch of
machines, software, and documentation. Most of what we have was only
saved because we were able to pull together as a group, sharing expenses
to get or ship the equipment, and to pay for the rent for our space. The
machines are basically community owned, so if a member leaves for any
reason, the collection remains basically intact (there are a few machines
in the collection that are privately owned).

We have long term plans - things like newsletters, shows, a real
exhibition hall, etc.. I think we will actually hit some our goals as
well, as we do have a number of dedicated people.

I would urge just about everyone on this list to look into joining or
forming a group. The rewards are great. Rhode Island, that little state
tucked away on the East, has two groups, RCS/RI and RICM. The West Coast
has the Computer History Center (I bet they wouldn't mind a few
volunteers). I am quite suprised that the DC area is lacking any group, as
it seems to be a hotbed of vintage computing. The same strikes me about
the Midwest (Chicago) as well.

William Donzelli
Received on Tue Jun 27 2000 - 00:10:12 BST

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