• Please review our updated Terms and Rules here
  • From now on we will require that a prefix is set for any items in the sales area. We have created regions and locations for this. We also require that you select a delivery option before posting your listing. This will hopefully help us streamline the things that get listed for sales here and help local people better advertise their items, especially for local only sales. New sales rules are also coming, so stay tuned.
  • Exhibitor application for VCF West 2022 is now open! If you are interested in exhibiting, please fill out the form here.

want to see if these are worthe anything

ASM

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2012
Messages
54
Does this mean I can sell my mass of Compaq Portables for $5000 each?

I used to think vintage computers were worth a large amount of money when I first started browsing eBay, then I got 3 Compaq's for £60.
No offence, but I think I brought an identical whitebox PC at a local flea market for £15 (+ Model M keyboard, Score!)
 

barythrin

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2005
Messages
6,256
Location
Texas
i just found out this computer is a pentium 100

That's where the confusion is coming from. A pentium system is a plain jane computer from 1994 or so. Yes it would have the ability to run dos (x86 based code obviously) or an x86 ported version of unix or other app. I'm not sure what the TAMS thing is but I'm thinking it's an application rather than an operating system but I could be wrong. I guess the terminal connects via serial so it's sort of a BBS type of system. Your value is probably more in the terminal unless someone has some fond memory of working at NAPA Auto parts or unless TAMS can be more customized to do other stuff than it's current configuration.

It's an interesting system but yeah you'll get some snarky comments from the perceived price.
 

Chuck(G)

25k Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
39,125
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
Very much like POS (point of sale, not the other one!) systems of the time. Usually dumb terminals connected via serial to a server of some type. Since typical store operations are relatively low-traffic, a PC will do just fine. I even recall a few POS systems that used a Z80-based server.

Well, good luck with it.
 

MicrocomputerSolutions

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2012
Messages
563
Back in the early 1980s, the (59?) Heathkit/Zenith stores ran POS systems based on H/Z-89s (Z-80A) with 5MB or 10MB Corvus Hard Drive Subsystems, and MPM sold/integrated by Magnolia Microsystems. The Corvus Systems were horribly unreliable, and the software was a constantly crashing mess.
 

mc68010

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2012
Messages
140
Location
California
All those strange auto parts systems are basically worthless now. I have a couple of TRIAD ones. They all just ran some custom auto parts application that is not only completely useless now they often required a modem connection the manufacturer to access the database. Even if it had the database locally it would be WAY out of date and pointless. All that stuffs online now anyway. These were used in parts warehouses back before the internet. Much of my youth was spent at a parts counter waiting for some clueless guy at the terminal trying to figure out how to use the system.

The TAM labeled PC probably just needs to be recycled. The Dasher terminals are worth something if cleaned up though. I'd say under $200 if they were really nice though and you didn't mind shipping. I imagine the Dashers were originally used with something the TAM pc replaced. May even have been a TRIAD. Might be what the "T" in TAM stands for. They pretty much owned the autoparts market. This pc may have been a later model that replaced the earlier crazy custom Z80 things I have.
 
Last edited:

RickNel

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Messages
640
Location
Canberra, Australia
Agree - the only value here is the terminals, and we haven't heard that they even work. <$200 if they are in good shape, otherwise lucky to get >$100.

Rick
 

jared1977

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2012
Messages
43
yes all the terminals work except its set to color mode i beleive right now so the monochrome terminals say self test ok. I found out this is the unix opperating system on this computer.
 

Chuck(G)

25k Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
39,125
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
All those strange auto parts systems are basically worthless now. I have a couple of TRIAD ones. They all just ran some custom auto parts application that is not only completely useless now they often required a modem connection the manufacturer to access the database. Even if it had the database locally it would be WAY out of date and pointless. All that stuffs online now anyway. These were used in parts warehouses back before the internet. Much of my youth was spent at a parts counter waiting for some clueless guy at the terminal trying to figure out how to use the system.

I had a friend who worked at Triad back in the early 80s. I never asked about what hardware they used--any idea what's in those Triad boxes? "Vertical markets" were very big back then--some entrepreneur would craft a system especially for, say, shoe stores and make a small killing selling and installing it.
 

arrow_runner

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
528
Location
Cincinnati Ohio
Just put the thing on craiglist with 'Best offer'. You have ZERO% feedback on eBay, not because you haven't done anything in the past 12 months, but because you had one positive and one TERRIBLE sounding negative....
 

Stone

10k Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
12,814
Location
South Jersey, USA
...and get a spell checker and a grammar checker while you're at it. Nobody's gonna spend 15K for that from a guy who can't spell or compose rational sentences.
 

Ole Juul

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
3,982
Location
Coalmont, BC, Canada
i just found out this computer is a pentium 100

That puts it squarely at the bottom of the depreciation cycle and just about to come up in value after a while. Like what barythrin was talking about. At the moment, the values is about nothing, but it is sure to start going up, and is sure to be somewhat collectible in 5 or 10 years. I got a couple of these a little while back which were slated for the dump. I use them to run DOS, but old UNIX could be loaded as well. There are BTW, lots of variants of UNIX and it is extremely popular among computer nerds and server operators.

So, what you're selling is a terminal. Those are nice, but very few people are interested, or have much use for them. I've got one that I picked up for nothing a few years ago. To some people they're worth good money though, especially when clean and shown to be working. People often pay $50 - $100 dollars for those. Keep in mind that the shipping cost is going to be a bit steep for this as well, so the buyer will be considering that as well. Anyway, good luck!

PS: If you're interested in computers, this could actually be a great opportunity to learn about how to set up and use this kind of system. That way you'd really get your money's worth! :) :)
 

mc68010

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2012
Messages
140
Location
California
I had a friend who worked at Triad back in the early 80s. I never asked about what hardware they used--any idea what's in those Triad boxes? "Vertical markets" were very big back then--some entrepreneur would craft a system especially for, say, shoe stores and make a small killing selling and installing it.

It's all very custom inside I think. I've never seen anything like it. There is a large mainboard mounted vertically on one side of the case. It has ROMS and a Z80 so, I'm guessing it is the cpu card as well as the backplane. Then there are a bunch of big expansion cards that mount horizontally that slide into the cpu card. The connector is like two S100 edge card connections along one edge separated by a couple inches with small key edge bit. If anything I would describe these board as quad S100 boards. Twice as wide and twice as tall and havine two S100 connectors. They used a few Z80's inside too. Pretty much every board has one. Even what looks to be the ram card. I think there are 4-5 Z80 in this one small box. Small being relative. They are about 30" deep by 16" tall and wide.

Both had a Maxtor XT2190 in them (aka the RD54) and an older archive QIC drive. The same one they used in Sun 2 boxes.
They never booted but, it wouldn't matter. These had to phone home to even work. You had to rent the hardware and pay for a subscription. Not sure you could even buy them from some of the little I found online.
 

RickNel

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Messages
640
Location
Canberra, Australia
I found out this is the unix opperating system on this computer.

There is a TAMS (Test and Measurement Systems) still operating as a systems integrator in Colorado and since 1992. Seems to be a HP/Agilent shop supporting HP-UX and Linux. No mention of POS systems, so maybe TAMS provided the hardware and OS, and the retail system ran on top. So the software might be of passing interest to a *nix buff, but only if properly described. Jared needs to get somebody to identify it properly, we are playing blind man's buff here.

Rick
 

jared1977

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2012
Messages
43
Tams really stands for Total automotive management systems not test and measure system. That's why i say this is unique software. And you can run it in Tams or you can run it in Dos. This system was used only by napa auto parts. From the years 1984-1997 They still make tam's but the company switched over to new computer systems that run on windows in 1997. This computer also has 16,000 kb of ram.
 

jared1977

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2012
Messages
43
That puts it squarely at the bottom of the depreciation cycle and just about to come up in value after a while. Like what barythrin was talking about. At the moment, the values is about nothing, but it is sure to start going up, and is sure to be somewhat collectible in 5 or 10 years. I got a couple of these a little while back which were slated for the dump. I use them to run DOS, but old UNIX could be loaded as well. There are BTW, lots of variants of UNIX and it is extremely popular among computer nerds and server operators.

So, what you're selling is a terminal. Those are nice, but very few people are interested, or have much use for them. I've got one that I picked up for nothing a few years ago. To some people they're worth good money though, especially when clean and shown to be working. People often pay $50 - $100 dollars for those. Keep in mind that the shipping cost is going to be a bit steep for this as well, so the buyer will be considering that as well. Anyway, good luck!

PS: If you're interested in computers, this could actually be a great opportunity to learn about how to set up and use this kind of system. That way you'd really get your money's worth! :) :)

I wanted to let you all know I allready know how to run everything on this computer system. I have used it for over 15 years when i was younger. I thought you would all read the pictures on the ebay auction.
 

mc68010

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2012
Messages
140
Location
California
There is a TAMS (Test and Measurement Systems) still operating as a systems integrator in Colorado and since 1992. Seems to be a HP/Agilent shop supporting HP-UX and Linux. No mention of POS systems, so maybe TAMS provided the hardware and OS, and the retail system ran on top. So the software might be of passing interest to a *nix buff, but only if properly described. Jared needs to get somebody to identify it properly, we are playing blind man's buff here.

Rick

That sounds far too far to the technical side of computing to have had anything to do with the auto parts deal. Who knows where they started though. Maybe they moved on. The auto part industry has just exited the computing stone age. They still lag far behind even today. You will never meet such a bunch of Luddites in any other field. They don't actually resist change they fight it. There are still guys in grease covered warehouses full of parts paying fees to run those Z80 boxes and serial terminals. The system they are running will never be upgraded until they actually die. Many of these ex-auto part boxes only got sold because the owner died or the business went under. Probably because they refused to change and the chain stores destroyed them with their almost windows 95 quality search tool.
 
Last edited:

Ole Juul

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
3,982
Location
Coalmont, BC, Canada
Tams really stands for Total automotive management systems not test and measure system. That's why i say this is unique software. And you can run it in Tams or you can run it in Dos. This system was used only by napa auto parts. From the years 1984-1997 They still make tam's but the company switched over to new computer systems that run on windows in 1997. This computer also has 16,000 kb of ram.

Thanks Jared, that's really good information. It's the kind of thing that we are interested in here because it is hard to find.

jared1977 said:
I wanted to let you all know I allready know how to run everything on this computer system. I have used it for over 15 years when i was younger. I thought you would all read the pictures on the ebay auction.

That sounds like great experience. :) I saw the pictures on the eBay auction, but not being very knowledgeable about these, I couldn't figure out the really interesting points. I'd really like to know what version of UNIX was running on this machine.
 

jared1977

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2012
Messages
43
Now i got a problem, I couldn't figure out how to power the sytem down the normal way so i was unplugging the cord. Well any way i believe it has a common error on the system now and it won't boot to the normal sales screen. I think this is caused from shutting down wrong. It says for critical errors it will do a red flash and its not doing that. the only people who know how to fix a common error are with napa and they probably would not help since this is a outdated computer. Problem was fixed by just hitting some random buttons.
 
Last edited:

Ole Juul

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
3,982
Location
Coalmont, BC, Canada
Assuming the system is BSD 4.1 I can guess at commands - although I've only run newer versions.

To check and repair the file system (probably) type:
Code:
fsck
To shut down (probably) type:
Code:
shutdown -h now
To log into the root account (probably) type "su" and enter the root password.
 
Top