Estimated Price Of A "Classic" PDP-8?

From: Vintage Computer Festival <>
Date: Mon Jan 26 00:01:09 2004

On Sun, 25 Jan 2004, Doc Shipley wrote:

> Not necessarily true. I got T-boned in an intersection, totalling my
> car, a few years ago, and the only thing the other driver's insurance
> didn't fight over was the value of the laptop that got hurled off the
> back seat. Not only was the thing (a Sharp 8700) not documented, but I
> had built it from 2 dead units and I think I had $250 or so invested in
> it. I told the adjuster what it was worth based on the cost to replace
> it, and that I couldn't find the receipts (true) and they accepted my
> appraisal without argument.

It's not a good comparison, because in this case a laptop is a known
commodity with a pretty fixed value, and that value can be understood in
the very least by an insurance adjuster who probably uses one. When my
house got broken in to, I claimed the replacement value of my 1998 Compaq
Presario 200Mhz laptop with no battery based on what a typical laptop of
today would cost and the insurance didn't bat an eye.

A PDP-8 is a historical item, and assigning a value is a wholly different
thing. It can't be valued like a laptop because compared to modern
hardware it has depreciated to the point of being worth whatever scrap
value it contains. If it is to be valued as a historic item, then first
you must prove that it is indeed historic and therefore has an equivalent
monetary value. Then you'd have to come up with a value based on hard
(or at least very convincing) figures from previous sales.

This will be a challenge but not impossible. There are enough indicators
to be able to value this at some level that the insurance company will
definitely want to wrangle over it (and they will, based on what I think a
PDP-8 is worth).

Sellam Ismail                                        Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger      
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Received on Mon Jan 26 2004 - 00:01:09 GMT

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