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Inherited around 100 vintage computers - advice sought...

Herman Melville

New Member
Joined
May 18, 2021
Messages
1
Hi,


I have just inherited a lot of vintage computers from my father-in-law who was an avid collector for over 40 years.

All in all there are about 75 to 100 machines. They seem to come with various accessories and a lot of guide books incluing 3rd party written books. I would say there are arounf 500 accompanying books.

I was wondering where I start to process these and whoe might help me.

It may be that some of them have historical value, some may be worth money, or they may all be mass produced scrap from the 70s 80s and 90s. I have no idea.

I wonder if you guys might be able to comment?

The list includes, but is not limited to: (also there are sometimes several of each tye)

Amiga 600

Amstrad 835

Amstrad pcw9512

Apple II e

Apple III

Apple PC Clone

Mac Centra 610 at least 4

Atari XE

Atari 400

Atari 800

Atari 512

BBC B

BBC Torch

Commodore 16

Commodore 64

Decmate

DEC III

DEC Rainbow

EDIXY Sorcerer

Tatung Einstein

Memotech

O.P.D

Rank Xerox

Sinclair ZX80

Sinclair ZX81

Sinclair Spectrum

Sinclair Spectrum II

Sinclair Spectrum III

Sinclair QL

Sinclair Z88

Sinclair QL PC

IBM with 5.25 floppy Colur Monitor and printer

Acorn a3010

Commodore pet

IBM loads 10?

Commodore 386SX

Amstrad 1640

ZF spectrum +3 128k with fdd

Commodore plus 4 four of

Atari 520 ST

Apple quadra 610




Any expert advice from auction them to scrap them to give them to us woudl be most appreciated.




Thanks
 

bitfixer

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2011
Messages
666
Location
San Francisco, CA
Doubtful anyone here would advocate scrapping, pretty much everything on your list has significant value and you could fairly easily auction or otherwise sell any of these. Where are they located? People here may be interested in some depending on condition and location, I would definitely be interested in some of these depending on price and shipping.
if you could provide a few pictures that would probably help as well. Thanks.
 

whartung

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2020
Messages
585
There's certainly a market for each of those.

If you have no interest in them, then it becomes a question of how much time you want to put in to them in terms of getting rid of them.

You could "wholesale" price the entire kit and hope someone comes and picks it up. Depending on where you are, this may be very viable.

You could parcel each one out on eBay, there will be lots of comparable systems to contrast what you have with what's for sale, and what folks are selling (though not necessarily buying) them for. 75 systems means 75 eBay transactions, for good or ill. No doubt by the end you'll be an expert at it. But shipping can be expensive.

There's no real need to power them up or anything else. Some may work, some may not, some may flicker to life only to fade in a curl of smoke. If you don't know the provenance of these, I don't know if it's worth plugging them in to determine their status, even if you were qualified to judge even if they did power up. (We don't know your skill set or background.)

Most of those seem fairly common (can't speak to all of them), with their primary distinguishing aspects being their overall condition (which may be difficult for you to asses).

it really comes down to what you want from it, your background and what you may or may not know about the systems, and how much time you're willing to put in to it.

You're certainly not alone in having a large collection like this dumped in your lap.
 

kc8eyt

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
323
I'm guessing you're in the UK given the number of BBC computers listed? What an excellent collection of computers. Don't scrap anything. Auction them, give them away, create the UK equivalent of a 403(c) and start a museum! :)
 

eswan

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2015
Messages
182
Location
Kansas City area, US
Nothing really standout, like say an Altair or an IMSAI, but in general, cleaned up and shown working, I'd say $100-$300 apiece. Some, like the ZX81 aren't worth much. Best way to find out is to search ebay for completed sales. If you were to sell them as a single lot, you'd probably get quite a bit less, but it would be a lot less hassle.
 

g4ugm

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
2,746
Location
NorthWest England (East Pondia)
I also suspect given that list you are in the UK. If its some where with reasonable transport links, so not Cornwall or the north of Scotland I would be inclined to list them on E-bay or one of the UK Facebook "local pick up only". Shipping computers with manuals is likely to be expensive.

If you just want rid then consider the smaller museums.

https://www.nwcomputermuseum.org.uk/

https://retrocomputermuseum.co.uk/

https://www.themicromuseum.org/

oh and add at least a county to your profile..
 

daver2

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2012
Messages
7,783
Location
UK - Worcester
If you are in the UK, I would be interested in some of your equipment - but (obviously) not all of it.

I acquired some VAX equipment towards the end of last year from a site we own. It was all going to the scrappers if I couldn't use it! Rather than scrap it, it was offered free for collection to VCFED members (or rather for a donation to our company charity). All of the equipment found a home (some of it in my home).

The big question is 'do you want to part it out or just get rid of it as one job lot'?

Under no circumstances must they be scrapped! Unless you can't shift them and have no other option. Please give them away in preference to scrapping them. I gave some stuff to a school for them to 'play with' and see how disk drives etc. work. I wanted the space...

Putting stuff on e-bay means that you have to deal with shipping, ebay and all of that hassle. If you don't want the hassle - don't deal with ebay...

As someone has previously stated (I think) don't attempt to power any of the equipment up. You can damage it. If something is working, and you want to sell it, then it will command a higher price. If you power it up and 'let out the magic black smoke' then the equipment is now (essentially) scrap. Someone could have potentially got it into a working state more easily by following a few simple repair techniques.

The other option is to give some of it to the museums identified. However, they have more pressing issues at present... In addition, the more common equipment they will have plenty of - so may not want it anyhow.

As Dave has suggested, put your location into your profile (or post it here). You never know, you may be close to a VCFED member who may be willing to help out?

Also, be aware that the private messaging of the new forum is a but 'hit and miss' (mainly 'miss') at the moment. In addition, you will be moderated for a period of time.

Dave
 
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