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How do you store and display your collection - show & tell

nullvalue

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2019
Messages
590
Location
Indiana
Well Cincinnati Milacon call the "George" computer "The Manageable Minicomputer" in their marketing material, so I guess we can call it that. :) Though mine has a very industrial look, so I'm guessing they didn't sell well as business machines and got repurposed into industrial controllers, as that's what seems to be more in line with their main business.
 

seaken

Experienced Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2016
Messages
283
Location
Shokan, New York
Ok, I guess we can call it a mini if they do. Not that it matters much. I've always thought of minis as smaller than a main frame computer but bigger than a micro that fits on a desk. But I really have no clear idea of what makes something a "mini" computer anyway.

I once had an S-100 based computer in a NorthStar Horizon with a Televideo terminal. I'm sorry to say I sold it and kept the Advantage. I didn't understand the S-100 computer setup as much as I did the Advantage or the IBM PC. I wasn't a vintage collector back then. Now I wish I still had it.

Seaken
 

creepingnet

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Joined
Feb 25, 2005
Messages
1,062
Location
Sparks, NV
Right now, as I live in an Apartment and have a "LAB'....

desk.jpg is my desk, I rotate out both desktops periodically. Right now the iMac and Tandy 1000A are setup as I'm recording #SepTandy videos for YouTube, and the iMac needed some love since it spent a lot of time just hanging out earlier when I had THREE PC's setup on the desk last year (and in another location. Next will probably be the GEM 286 and a Windows 10 machine.

The Laptop rack is a Amazon.com shelf that I use to store my laptops on. Eventually I may wire for power. On top is my DFI MediaBook DX2, next down is the FMA3500C BSi, then the NEC VErsa 40EC with Marble PVC graphics, the NEC Versa V/50, then the P/75 on the bottom. The Versa M/75 is the one behind the guitar on the TV stand.

Storage is my closet with a big wire shelf. On top is the broken Versadock (needs PSU and possibly other repairs, I may scrap it, it's pretty shot), then next to that is the Compaq Deskpro 386s/20, on the next shelf down are my keyboards and the GEM 286. 17" Dell CRT and 14" Micron SVGA CRT on the middle, and on the bottom is my main 486 DX4-100 system with the generic monitor on it, a 486 tower, my LInux Dell T5400 system, and a guitar body on top. I just swap things out. The box on top of the versa dock is where mouse and game controllers are. It's a lot more organized than it looks as I can find anything I need to swap a vintage system out on the desk in a moment's notice. Usually takes me 15 min max to setup and I'm off and running.
 

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Venger

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2022
Messages
92
Location
Silver Spring, Maryland
This is a personal challenge more me for sure. They had been expanding in my living room, but it looked pretty messy and I told my wife I would improve it. I've got a corner that has a Altair 8800C I built using one of Mike's fine kits and also a PS/2 I've been working on lately. I've got a DEC vt420 for 8800C, but not wanting to put the monitor up on that aluminum top I set to finding some sort of shelf that would look nice. There are a lot of monitor shelves out there, but it turns out finding one with large enough dimensions was not so easy. I ended up ordering a thing called a Sanus accurate furniture audio stand like this:


Which I am going to turn into three independent monitor shelves. It hasn't arrived yet, but hopefully the idea will work and improve things by allowing me to stack the monitor up on top instead of beside. I've also got some other desks around my office and garage for holding old systems, but many of them are not ideal as older systems really need to large desk surface especially if you want the keyboard out in front of it. I put up a wood shelf with some nice strong L brackets under bolted into the wall studs. This was heavy duty enough to put a Compaq Deskpro/M with CRT and also another system.

Always looking for good ideas on how to store and use them!

Thanks for the link. I found similar options using tempered glass that will work better for me.
 

Mr.Amiga500

Experienced Member
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
443
Location
Canada
Is that a Compaq Portable III? I had one that went missing when I moved. I also lost an Apple II Plus. (damn those movers)
 

Caluser2000

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Joined
Jan 3, 2010
Messages
4,718
Location
New Zealand
Never understood the whole "Lab" thing. Most of the time it seems to be just an area of old shit with blinkin lights and , oh of course a NAS. I'm like WTF?>
 

Timo W.

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2014
Messages
1,617
Location
Germany
I hate to tell you this but some of the plastics will still yellow even when covered.
Very true. Sun light is not needed. Had a perfectly light-grey PowerMac 7500 which I stored in a box in a dark room for about 2 years. When I moved and wanted to set it up, I was shocked about how it yellowed. It is now one of the most badly yellowed systems in my collection.

Bottom line: you can not stop yellowing. Period.
 

creepingnet

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2005
Messages
1,062
Location
Sparks, NV
Never understood the whole "Lab" thing. Most of the time it seems to be just an area of old shit with blinkin lights and , oh of course a NAS. I'm like WTF?>
I just call mine "whatever it is" IRL, but the wife is the one who came up with the "Lab" idea, after calling it a "man cave" for about 9-10 years. Although for me it means "cluttered room full of old shit and guitars".

Very true. Sun light is not needed. Had a perfectly light-grey PowerMac 7500 which I stored in a box in a dark room for about 2 years. When I moved and wanted to set it up, I was shocked about how it yellowed. It is now one of the most badly yellowed systems in my collection.

Bottom line: you can not stop yellowing. Period.

That's why I never retrobrited anything after planning to for up to 2020, I started noticing people were seeing the yellow come back and I was thinking "okay, I'm not going to irritate my wife by spending an entire day with a bin outside full of water and hydrogen peroxide on our patio while I'm taking apart every single vintage PC I have that needs it only to have to do it again in 5-10 years - no thanks".

When I take a step back I realize it actually has an upside in that these old PC's kind of tell a story with what they look like after years of wear: fire survivor, reliable office workhorse, teacher to a newbie, hardcore RPG player, LAN party relic, server closet queen, rode a 747 to Canada and Back - 15 times - with test equipment.....it's sort of like having an old Olympic White Fender guitar that spent many years being played by various musicians in cigarette smoke filled bars, and now you're writing your own story by removing the smell of old Marlboros and Budweiser spills with a more relaxed life of Febreeze, HEPA filters, and Guitar Honey fretboard oil. It's still pee yellow, the knobs and pickup covers are as yellow as a Mac that sat in a Window for 30 years. What's funny is guitarists do the opposite, but no way in hell am I throwing my Tandy 1000A top cover in a vata full of coffee to turn it the color of Level 0 of the Backrooms.
 

Mr.Amiga500

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May 27, 2008
Messages
443
Location
Canada
Forget "retrobright" - just put your yellowed computers in the sun and they'll whiten. After a few years, they'll eventually re-yellow, just like with "retrobrighting", but you don't have the hassle of disassembling and soaking in peroxide.

I whitened some computers a few years ago this way and they're just getting a bit yellow now. When they're too yellow, I'll take them out on the deck in the sun for a few hours and fix it.
 
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Venger

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2022
Messages
92
Location
Silver Spring, Maryland
I hate to tell you this but some of the plastics will still yellow even when covered.

Yeah, I hadnt done any research on this. True.

Forget "retrobright" - just put your yellowed computers in the sun and they'll whiten. After a few years, they'll eventually re-yellow, just like with "retrobrighting", but you don't have the hassle of disassembling and soaking in peroxide.

I whitened some computers a few years ago this way and they're just getting a bit yellow now. When they're too yellow, I'll take them out on the deck in the sun for a few hours and fix it.

This. I was looking into retrobrighting but wasn't excited about taking everything apart. It went from disassembling everything and submerging in relatively expensive peroxide, to just using LED strips in a foiled over Tupperware to just leaving them outside in the sun (on days that aren't incredibly hot).
 

Mr.Amiga500

Experienced Member
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
443
Location
Canada
This. I was looking into retrobrighting but wasn't excited about taking everything apart. It went from disassembling everything and submerging in relatively expensive peroxide, to just using LED strips in a foiled over Tupperware to just leaving them outside in the sun (on days that aren't incredibly hot).
This is how I de-yellowed my computers/keyboards. A seagull even came down to check it out. I think he approved.

Seagull checking out keyboard.JPG

Post sun:

Apple IIc 2.jpg

The computers/keyboards are still not as yellow as they used to be - after 3 years. I think it's re-yellowing at the same rate as the "retrobright" method.
 

seaken

Experienced Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2016
Messages
283
Location
Shokan, New York
I prefer the "used" look and don't retrobrite anything. I usually just clean the case with a spong and softscrub and water and maybe a Mr. Clean magic eraser. But I do have a few systems that are still of the "natural grime" look with smudges and finger prints. I think one must have been in an auto repair garage. It's pretty grimey. I won't leave it that way but I just haven't got to cleaning it up yet.

Seaken
 
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