From: David V. Corbin <>
Date: Sat Oct 2 15:21:21 2004

The following exchange has just taken place regarding the PDP-8 items just
listed on e-bay. Though some people here might be interested..
----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, October 02, 2004 8:30 AM
Subject: Question for item #5128002772 - DEC PDP-8 COMPUTER CHASSIS/RACK
It appears that you are "parting out" some model of CNC machine (possibly a
punch). I am really questioning why the computer (PDP-8) was not listed as a
single item (which typically can be placed back into operation). When the
items are split like this it often indicates that there was something
seriously worng with the unit as a whole, this MAY indicate that many of the
partes themselves are damaged. Any information or history gladly


From: Bill []
Sent: Saturday, October 02, 2004 10:15 AM
Subject: Re: Question for item #5128002772 - DEC PDP-8 COMPUTER CHASSIS/RACK

Yes, this particular PDP-8 was removed from a CNC machine tool. A K&T
horizontal machining center to be exact. It had been purchased by my
customer, a machine shop, from one of his customers, a large company that
was downsizing. Some where in the transition from one to the other I am
told, part of the system software and most of the documentation was lost.
After some period of frustration at not being able to use the machine they
contacted us to quote on retrofiting it with a conventional CNC control. We
removed the PDP-8 and replaced it with a Fagor model 8050M and set the old
computer on a shelf in our warehouse where it sat for about 10 years until I
closed the business and must now dispose of many items that I didn't have
the heart to throw away. I decided to sell it in three separate groups of
parts after observing the selling activity of other DEC items on ebay.
Without a front panel my feeling is that it's attraction as a complete
computer would be limited. As to someone putting it back in service after
all these years, why would anyone want to do that?
Hope I answered your concerns,
Thanks for the response. Believe it or not, there are a significant number
of people dedicated to the restoration (and operation) of the older
computers, not just DEC/PDP stuff, but old IBM, Honeywell, Hewlett Packard,
and all of the rest. There are also a number of musuems that are dedicated
to this (their budgets are very limited, but many donations are tax
I am award that many CNC machines did not have the front panel (although a
number that used PDP-8/M's DID!). While the individual parts are usefully as
spares and replacements, too many of them end up being turned into "ART" and
destroyed from a restoration point of view. Also many of the machines (not
so much the PDP-8) required various tweaks to the boards to get them to play
together or work in a specific backplane. This is why a complete (or near
complete system is much more desirable).
I see that you are closing your shop, but I hope you will pass this
information on to ANYONE who may have access to old computer and electronic
equipment. Feel free to use me as a point of contact, or I can provide the
names of collectors pretty much anywhere in the world [including one in
Earier this year I was at a convention [Vintage Computer Festival] where one
of the original developer of the original developers of the Univac was
giving a presentation [he is over 80]. It turns out that hist wife and he
were selling their house, and it looked like all of his notebooks, and other
documentation from the 1950's thru the 1970's was going to be "dumpstered".
Fortunately arrangements were made with a computer musuem in California [the
conference was in Boston!] to archive all of this ir-replacable stuff.
>From a sellers point of view, there is limited cash value. As I indicated
earlier most of the interested parties are either individuals or musuems
running on very tight budgets. I do find it intersting that most people
understand the collecting and restoration of items such as old cars, but are
very suprised to find that there are people interested in vintage computers.
Good luck in your sale, I hope this message will provide some valuable
information, and you can help prevent other classic hardware [and even more
DOCUMENTATION and SOFTWARE] from going to the scrappers, or straight to the
David V. Corbin
Sayville, NY

   <BLOCKED::> Question about your


Dear techseller41,

Please respond to the question on eBay by clicking the button below. You'll
have the option to display your response directly on the listing.

8002772&qid=253245692&SSPageName=PageRespondToQuestion_Email> Respond Now


Item # Item Title Listing end date

5128002772 DEC

Thank you,
Need help calculating shipping cost? Use the
ator> Calculator.

  <BLOCKED::> Is this
message an offer to buy your item directly through email without bidding on
and winning the item on eBay? These "off eBay" transactions violate eBay
policy and may be unsafe. You can click here to report it. Learn
<BLOCKED::> more about safe trading.



eBay treats your personal information with the utmost care, and our Privacy
Policy is designed to protect you and your information. eBay will never ask
their users for personal information, such as bank account numbers, credit
card numbers, pin numbers, passwords, or Social Security numbers in an
email. For more information on how to protect your eBay password and your
account, please visit User
<BLOCKED::> Account
This eBay notice was sent to
<> based on your eBay account
preferences and in accordance with our Privacy
<BLOCKED::> Policy. To
change your notification preferences, click
<BLOCKED::> here. If
you would like to receive this email in text format, click
<BLOCKED::> here.

Copyright C 2004 eBay Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective
eBay and the eBay logo are trademarks of eBay Inc.
Received on Sat Oct 02 2004 - 15:21:21 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:37:20 BST