The final 'Garage' sale...

From: TeoZ <>
Date: Wed May 28 13:24:00 2003

Well having a hobby that outgrows your ability to support it kills any fun
you have doing it. You have to eat first, collect later.

----- Original Message -----
From: "James Willing" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2003 2:07 PM
Subject: The final 'Garage' sale...

> 28 May, 2003
> ...and then one day you wake up, and things are just not the same
> anymore...
> And so it is with the 'Computer Garage'...
> As of today, I am with great regret announcing the dissolution of the
> major part of the Computer Garage collection of classic computers and
> related materials.
> First; I will detail the method in which this will be done, and then I
> will detail the reasons and events that have lead up to this decision.
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The dissollution and redistribution:
> With the exception of between six and ten units that have particular
> 'history' with me, all items in the collection will be disbursed. These
> items will be specified shortly.
> Beginning in a few days, and proceeding over the next few months as needed
> a 'catalog' page will be created on the 'Computer Garage' site. For each
> item there will be a description, a thumbnail picture when practical, an
> estimated shipping weight, and a date.
> From the date shown, offers will be taken on the item for seven days. At
> the end of that time, the highest offer of reasonable value will be
> the item. If no offers are received on an item, or the offers are
> insufficient, a new date may be established. If an offer is received
> that is considered to be unlikely to be matched/exceeded, an item may be
> awarded prior to the end of the seven day period.
> Since the intent is not to start 'eBay' like bidding wars, the quantity of
> or amounts of offers received will not be disclosed either on the page or
> through direct communication.
> Once an item has been awarded, payment for the item and shipping must be
> received within seven days or the item will be offered to the next closest
> offer.
> Optionally, COD shipment can be requested on a Money Order/Certified Funds
> basis, but any COD items will be shipped via 2-3 day method with the
> accompaning increase in shipping/handling rate.
> There will be one exception in the method of awarding of items with regard
> to determination of 'winning' offer. A year or so back, Sellam
spearheaded a
> fund raising drive when a major part of the collection was in imminent
> threat of being lost to a storage auction.
> Were it within my pervue at the present time to allow it, I would offer
> any of the people who donated funds at the time free choice of some number
> items that they wished in return for their past support. However, since
> current situation does not allow this I offer the following: Any person
> who had donated funds toward the collection's past storage fees who makes
> an offer on any item or items will be awarded the item if their offer is
> within 25% of the highest offer received for that item during the
> offering period.
> Hardware and peripheral items will be listed first. Over the next few
> weeks/months printed materials will be getting scanned for archiving and
> then added to the offering. Many of the printed items had not been
> listed on the 'Garage' site so there may be some interesting appearances.
> For any given item, if it remains unclaimed for an extended period it will
> become subject to disposal by whatever means necessary.
> Unpleasant on many levels, but this is what has become necessary.
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> What has lead to this action:
> The collection as it currenty exists is the end result of nearly thirty
> years of working in the computer industry and represents both machines
> that I had personally worked with or had a significant interest in, and
> machines that I was merely trying to save from the scrap heap.
> The sad part about history is that while important, it also tends to be
> large and fairly heavy. This is true regardless of if you are speaking
> books, media, or hardware. And while books and media can be preserved in
> more 'compact' forms, this is not true for the hardware of which I have a
> amount.
> As one accumulates more, unless they are particularly fortunate or adept
> at things financial, they also accumulate ever increasing costs for the
> continuing storage and preservation of the materials. After a while,
these costs can
> become overwhelming.
> At one point, I was paying over $400.00 a month in storage fees for the
> parts of the collection that did not actually reside in the Garage (when
> located in Oregon). And while I have been able to significantly reduce
> the storage fees since the move to Kansas, they are still nearly $100.00
> a month.
> While this may seem a somewhat minimal (if not insignificant to some)
> amount to deal with, it is actually a larger percentage of my monthly
> income with the career change that accompanied the move. So in fact, the
> burden has actually increased.
> To put this in perspective, when still in Oregon I had personal debts
> (mortgage, recurring storage charges, and such things) of over $200,000
> which I just never seemed to gain any ground on.
> Since the move, I have been able to reduce the remaining debts to right
> around $40,000, but have again found myself in the position of just not
> being able to gain any ground on them, and more disturbingly as things
> slow in the summer season I find myself actually losing ground.
> This adversely impacts both the business and family, as we have twice had
> to move when unable to keep up with little things like rent, utilities,
> etc...
> And I've had it with schlepping boxes! And I want to oversee the
> redistribution of the items in the collection before I lose control of it.
> Establishing and building up the new business/career has taken more time,
> investment, and effort than originally expected. And while in general
> terms we are not as far off 'plan' as it could have been considering the
> current state of the local and national economy, I just can not continue
> to ask my family to make additional sacrifices in order to continue to
> maintain the collection and then have to struggle by week by week. Were
> it just me, it might not be an issue but that is not the situation.
> I have maintained the collection as well as financed (when needed) new
> acqusitions almost completely out-of-pocket over the years, and long ago
> stopped trying to figure how much had been spent in the efforts. It was
> just getting too depressing... Even when something is given/donated it
> still comes with an attached cost: transport, shipping, storage,
> repairs/restoration, etc... There is still 'no free lunch'...
> So... barring the arrival of some unforeseen benefactor or a sudden
> 'lucky streak' in PowerBall, (of course, hard to win when you can't
> really afford to play, eh) the sad reality is that it is time to let it
> go...
> Some may ask, 'if things are that dire, why not a major eBay effort?'
> Well; two reasons. I suppose the 'self-serving' one first - I would
> prefer that the items went to someone who has some true appreciation for
> them rather than just someone who has some money to drop and a big
> 'bidding jones' on at the moment.
> And then, the 'real world' reason - I can't. In part because I owe eBay
> money from past auctions and in part because of complaints filed due to
> excessive delays in getting items shipped. (Truth sucks some days, eh?)
> To get back to some level of 'stability', I need to raise just shy of
> $10,000 by mid-August at the latest. Should that effort fail, well...
> Unpleasentness at the very least... And to salvage the latest house deal
> I need to come up with $2500 in the next couple of weeks.
> Life just keeps getting better, eh? (major ironic flag here)
> Over the past few months, I've already sacrificed some (non-computer
> related) items that had more meaning to me than a large part of the items
> remaining in the collection. What an unpleasent realization THAT was one
> recent morning...
> It just has to stop one way or the other...
> All items that have been offered recently will continue to be shipped as
> quickly as time and finances permit. Much of the time it is a matter of
> getting payments in fast enough to stay ahead of the bills so the bank
> does not take the money before I can get to it...
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> My warmest regards and thanks to all who have supported my efforts over
> the years. My primary regret is that I did not have the skills necessary
> accomplish the greater goals.
> Further announcements to follow...
> -jim
> ---
> The Computer Garage -
Received on Wed May 28 2003 - 13:24:00 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:36:16 BST