This just makes me really SICK

From: Teo Zenios <>
Date: Sat Jan 17 17:10:20 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: "vrs" <>
To: "General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts"
Sent: Saturday, January 17, 2004 4:51 PM
Subject: Re: This just makes me really SICK

> >
> >
> > Not to mention the ebay id of "gold snipper"
> >
> > And the fine print says "pulled from a retired HP 2117F
> >
> > Don't these people know it's worth more together??? *sigh*
> I was just wondering...I know it is worth more to *us* before it is taken
> apart.
> Is it also true that it is worth more everywhere before it is taken apart?
> Or is it the case that someone will give more money to take it apart (for
> the gold, or whatever)?
> Does it matter if the machine is in working condition (so that a collector
> would pay top dollar), or if it is a dusty-rusty (perhaps already with
> pieces missing)?
> If so, does this indicate we are too cheap to save some of these machines?
> Bear in mind it will cost the time and effort to find a collector that is
> interested, etc.
> Vince

Very few people collect vintage computer equipment, there is no priceguide,
and there is no way to contact collectors direct even if you thought it was
collectable in the first place. If I find some old coins, guns, baseball
cards, stamps, Lionel trains, hummels, cars, gold, silver, records, all I
have to do to sell them is to hit the local pawnshop, put an add in a number
of auto traders, hit the coin/stamp/baseball shops, hummel shops, scarp
buyer, etc. There are dozens of pricequides for these items, and all except
cars can be easily stored in your house taking up little space.

To a non collector an old mini or mainframe is nothing but a large piece of
obsolete equipment only worth its scarp value (steel, aluminum,copper, and
gold). The easiest thing to do is have it hauled away for scrap after you
rip out any major chips that look like they might have gold in them (cpu's
mostly). I remember maybe 10 years ago somebody who built computers and had
a photo shop (weird combination?) purchased a minicomputer the size of a
sideways refrigerator along with a few dozen diskless terminals that made up
the LAN. I asked him what he was going to do with all that stuff and he said
he would salvage the keyboards and monitors and resell those while the main
computer would be scrapped because the multiple cpu's had allot of gold in
them. I remember he said he got the whole lan for just a few dollars at
auction and that few people knew that the processors inside the huge machine
had a decent amount of gold in them. I bet quite a few people figured out
the gold aspect especially since gold prices were high at that time (has
gone up quite a bit last year or so also). So you had a machine nobody
wanted (he was the only guy who put in a bid) and was only purchased because
somebody knew about the gold value (filled the basement of his shop too).

If you want to let people know this stuff is worth more then scrap you have
to make and publish a price guide showing common equipment at a few times
scrap value and machines that are rare at many multiples of their scrap
value (pull a number out of your ass basically). You have to include some
pictures so people know what the hell it looks like and put a few different
prices for different "grades" of preservation (collectors love this) also
include the little add-ons to the system and what they are worth. make sure
you list dozens of people in this book who are experts in appraising the
collectables (basically people here and what they collect plus their phone
numbers or email). After you put this together you print a few 100 copies
and send them to the local papers computer columnists and they will write an
article about it in the paper ( I am sure they are running out of crap to
print by now), maybe send a few copies to web magazines like Toms Hardware,
Anandtech, etc and they will put something up also, and lastly send a few to
the wall street journal. Once people think there is a market for this stuff
(hell if there is a priceguide there must be a huge market of suckers who
will buy it) they will end up digging around and finding system that they
will then end up wanting appraised by YOU (you will end up selling a few
catalogs in the process also). The only downside is that machines people
would normally pay you to take them away will now have to be purchased
(cause its worth money), that and you will find more collectors (more like
greedy dealers) in the market.

Before you laugh quite a few small hobbies have exploded after people pulled
values out of nowhere and published price guides. The companies who made
priceguides for baseball cards and then after the explosion started grading
services probably make more cash then any dealer ever did. One guy did this
for old metal lunchpales and started a decent following. If you looked on
ebay lately you will notice quite a lot of mass produced 8/16 bit computers
selling way above any scrap value because a group of people started up the
retro computing craze. All those who get in before the boom end up making
cash at the very least and end up making sure those old machines don't end
up getting scrapped (same for books and software which could fill a catalog
in itself). Besides more people that get turned on to the hobby the more
people that can help you out with problems or pay for your knowledge.

Just an idea...

Received on Sat Jan 17 2004 - 17:10:20 GMT

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