This just makes me really SICK

From: ed sharpe <>
Date: Sun Jan 18 13:53:26 2004

one though that will keep the numbers of people collecting relatively low
is for the most part it helps to know how to work on them, and that is were
we are in the minority!

ed sharpe
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tom Ponsford" <>
To: <General Discussion :>; "On-Topic Posts Only" <>
Sent: Sunday, January 18, 2004 7:40 AM
Subject: Re: This just makes me really SICK

> I agree with Teoand the others on this thread. As someone who comes from a
> family that runs an antique business, mainly plate, glass, china
> it is somewhat easier to find out what an old piece of glass, china, or
> furniture is worth. Of course some people collect for sentimental reasons,
> to them the cost to purchase an item is not important to them as they are
> looking to resale soon, if ever.
> I am a computer collectible-hobbyist as I have a sentimental attachment to
> some computers I worked with 20-30 years ago when I was in college and
> on in various careers. To me the value of finding old hardware that I used
> actually work with outweighs the market value of these pieces. This is not
> say I won't profit from an excess piece when I do sale an item, but more
> oftern than not, I would rather trade or give away than sell.
> I am one of the fortunate one, as I do not have to rely on real
hapenstance to
> come across interesting old hardware items, either through dumpster
> the ebay auction or giveaways. Rather I attend a really good university
> auction every two weeks where pallets of items that contain old hardware
> routinely auctioned off for about $2.00
> Indeed, I sometimes pay $10-20 dollars for items or pallets of seemingly
> and useless 20 year old computer equipment, to keep it from going to the
> scrapper. As most of the bidders at these auctions are bidding for the
> (in their opinion) useful PC's , they usually do not bid for the older
> equipment. Instead I must bid against the scrappers and junkers. Sometimes
> pallets are indeed junk and the scrappers get their share, and sometimes
it is
> physically impossible for me to buy everything I see worth saving. So
> I concentrated my salvage efforts to those areas and computer lines that I
> have the most interest in. I always like to tell the story of the box of 6
> almost brand new Qbus scsi controllers I picked up for $2.00, as no one at
> auction new what they were. Or the Northstar Horizon I picked up for $25.
> sadly, the complete pdp-10 that went to the scapper because I missed the
> auction that day. There are a lot of items that I know nothing about, some
> save, some I don't. If it is really useless or no one wants it for the
> of shipping I can always toss it, but a lot of stuff is stored away.
> The point is that a lot old computer equipment is routinely scrapped for
> as the only salvage value a lot of computers had was in the gold they
> As the stock of old computers are depleted, their intrinsic value as a
> collectible increases, at first to us the computer hobbysist, then later
> the public as maybe a collectible. There have been several attempt to
> establish pricelines or priceguides for old equipment, but for one reason
> another thay never took off or reached wide acceptance. A day will come
> when collecting old computers will be an acceptable collectible item and
> and guide will be published. Unfortunatly when that day comes, the cost of
> acquiring an old pdp may be 10-20x more than what we pay now.
> Cheers
> Tom
> Teo Zenios wrote:
> > ----- 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
> >>apart.
> >>
> >>Is it also true that it is worth more everywhere before it is taken
> >>Or is it the case that someone will give more money to take it apart
> >>the gold, or whatever)?
> >>
> >>Does it matter if the machine is in working condition (so that a
> >>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
> >>Bear in mind it will cost the time and effort to find a collector that
> >>interested, etc.
> >>
> >> Vince
> >>
> >
> >
> > Very few people collect vintage computer equipment, there is no
> > and there is no way to contact collectors direct even if you thought it
> > collectable in the first place. If I find some old coins, guns, baseball
> > cards, stamps, Lionel trains, hummels, cars, gold, silver, records, all
> > have to do to sell them is to hit the local pawnshop, put an add in a
> > of auto traders, hit the coin/stamp/baseball shops, hummel shops, scarp
> > buyer, etc. There are dozens of pricequides for these items, and all
> > 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
> > obsolete equipment only worth its scarp value (steel, aluminum,copper,
> > gold). The easiest thing to do is have it hauled away for scrap after
> > rip out any major chips that look like they might have gold in them
> > mostly). I remember maybe 10 years ago somebody who built computers and
> > 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
> > he would salvage the keyboards and monitors and resell those while the
> > computer would be scrapped because the multiple cpu's had allot of gold
> > 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
> > had a decent amount of gold in them. I bet quite a few people figured
> > 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
> > somebody knew about the gold value (filled the basement of his shop
> >
> > If you want to let people know this stuff is worth more then scrap you
> > to make and publish a price guide showing common equipment at a few
> > 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
> > pictures so people know what the hell it looks like and put a few
> > prices for different "grades" of preservation (collectors love this)
> > include the little add-ons to the system and what they are worth. make
> > you list dozens of people in this book who are experts in appraising the
> > collectables (basically people here and what they collect plus their
> > numbers or email). After you put this together you print a few 100
> > 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
> > print by now), maybe send a few copies to web magazines like Toms
> > 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
> > (hell if there is a priceguide there must be a huge market of suckers
> > will buy it) they will end up digging around and finding system that
> > 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
> > greedy dealers) in the market.
> >
> > Before you laugh quite a few small hobbies have exploded after people
> > values out of nowhere and published price guides. The companies who made
> > priceguides for baseball cards and then after the explosion started
> > services probably make more cash then any dealer ever did. One guy did
> > for old metal lunchpales and started a decent following. If you looked
> > ebay lately you will notice quite a lot of mass produced 8/16 bit
> > selling way above any scrap value because a group of people started up
> > retro computing craze. All those who get in before the boom end up
> > cash at the very least and end up making sure those old machines don't
> > up getting scrapped (same for books and software which could fill a
> > 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...
> >
> > TZ
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
Received on Sun Jan 18 2004 - 13:53:26 GMT

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