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What are the top 10 rarest vintage computer bits you own?

The123king

New Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2015
Messages
5
Location
South Coast UK
As someone in my late 20's i'm a youngster, but i've kept my eye out for gems...

1. Rack hear panels from a PDP-15
2. Some random blinkenlight panel from a so far unknown Intel system from 1973
3. PDP-8 flip chips (wooo...)
4. PDP11/05 core memory plane
5. Early UNIBUS PDP-11 bootstrap card
5. RL02 Drive, and a couple disk packs
6. A pair of 3rd party BA11 boxes, one with a FALCON (T-11) PDP-11 system installed.
7. A pair of MicroPDP-11/23's, one rackmount, one pedestal, with complete plastic case.
8. One pedestal MicroPDP-11/53, boards shot, waiting conversion to PDP-11/73
9. BBC Micro Issue 3, in dire need of restoration
10. A Dragon 32, just because i've run out of interesting things to put on a list.
 

michaelsw

Experienced Member
Joined
May 5, 2012
Messages
55
Location
Hong Kong
I still have below..

1. Apple II rev 0
2. Mac IIFX with Microexplorer LISP card
3. Olivetti Programma 101
4. HP 2116B
5. PC's limited Turbo PC
6. Nextcube turbo dimension
7. Altair 8800
8. IMSAI 8080
9. Apple IIc preproduction
10. Early Apple IIGS developer unit with Turbo-28 ROM
 

creepingnet

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2005
Messages
1,057
Location
Sparks, NV
Currently....nothing super rare but this is my collection in order of rarity.....be ready for LOTS of NEC......

1.) Creeping Net 486 - only one like it out there, closest match is DaveJustDave's on Youtube, we have the same case and are both 486s
2.) GEM Computer Products 286 - GEM Computer Products stuff is hard to get since most of it went to US Military installations
3.) NEC Versa M/75 w/ Touch Screen - a convertible tablet/Laptop combo from 1994 with bare finger touch AND Pen support (restoring that screen currently)
4.) NEC Versa P/75 - The last version of the PC-4xx Versa which had a Pentium 75 and SoundBlaster sound, and a WORKING Battery
5.) NEC Ultralite Versa - it's in pieces, has the original "Brick" power adapter, I'm restoring it, these early ones are less common than the above
6.) NES Versa 40EC - Seems the E-series was the most popular of the Versa laptops early on, Caterpillar, Ford, and Microsoft had them for deployment
7.) NEC Ready 9522 - I still see a few on e-bay every year, mine's a Pentium 100 model, the P/75 eats it for lunch though so I use the P/75 more
8.) NEC Versa V/50 - I just got this, I know one other YouTuber with one, Beige-O-Vision, his is a rarer DTSN model, mine's Active Matrix, seen 4 on the bay
9.) Tandy 1000A - despite the high prices everyone has one of these and they're all over E-bay, Clint from LGR, 8-bit Guy, Me, not sure why they're $100+
10.) Apple Macintosh SE FDHD - Commoon, I see these all over E-bay, model M5011, that's why it's #10, more common than the Tandy

But the rarest item I own is actually a piece of medical technology known as a Words+ System 2000 Commpac - it's an AAC (Augmentative Adaptive Communications) device from the company that started with an Auburn University Professor who also worked with Stephen Hawking to develop his speech synthesizer (for all I know Hawking used this actual model in the 90's). It connects to the serial and parallel ports of a computer and uses various pieces of software such as "Talking Screen" or "EZ Keys" to commuincate (which I have them backed up off the M/75's original hard drive and now have them on a newer 80GB drive). This thing looks like it was a prototype - the casing is epoxied together out of black haircell ABS plastic, parts of it look like a custom-mod job to velcro it to the NEC Versa M/75 it was attached to, it had a modified Socket I/O Serial card on it (which I removed and now it uses the Versa Dock directly, and far more reliably I might add). All I have is the unit though, I took out the rotted battery, wired it up for a 9V AC adaptor, no switches, no IR proximity/movement sensors, just straight up keyboard input for now. It's actually come in handy as a musician to record computer voices with Auto Tune and it sounds really cool or really funny depending on what the musical scenario calls for.
 
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Culbrelai

Experienced Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2017
Messages
65
Location
SE Michigan, USA
Not too rare but I’ve got

A Gravis ultrasound max 2.1
A NEC CDR-80 with it’s matching 8 bit ISA card
A Nakamichi MJ 4.8s? Cd changer. 4 disc version seems significantly more rare than 5 disc.
And my baby, an IBM PS/2 Model 95/A
 

RadRacer203

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2016
Messages
1,464
Location
Burlington VT
Currently my rarest pieces are:
Zaisan ES3 computer
IBM 5161 expansion unit
Worm drive in my PS/2 model 60
Macintosh Portable pre-production demo unit
Apple Lisa 2/10
GE Fanuc Workmaster 1
ALR 6x6/Unisys Aquanta HS/6
IBM Eduquest Forty
Mint boxed revision A IBM 5150 with everything
NOS Microsoft Softcard
 

tipc

Banned
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Messages
2,760
Location
Principality of Xeon W-2140B the Great State of Ce
Northstar Dimension
Canon AS-100 color
Canon AS-100 mono
IBM PGC card and inoperative 5175 monitor
Vermont Microsystems PGC clone, 80188 based
Ampro LittleBoard/PC, V40 based
AMT AMTjr/ATjr, Sony V20 (clone) based
Intel 300/? Multibus chassis, no cards
Number9 Revolution video card, kind of a dog
Tandy 3000HD, come on you know they're uncommon
NEC APC III, most of the available add-ons
Texas Instruments Portable Professional, color

That's 12. I think that comprises most of what would likely considered rare. I also have a Lisa. And a Canon VP-3000. That's 14.
 

jafir

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
1,012
Location
Arkansas
I don’t think I’ve got anything that’s super rare. And I’m not really sure I want anything that so rare I’d be upset if it broke and I couldn’t get parts for it.

I’ve got a couple of IBM 5161, but no cables or extender cards, just the receivers.
I’ve also got the lid for a Compaq Deskpro 386, but it’s not the correct computer underneath :)
 

falter

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
5,743
Location
Vancouver, BC
How could I forget. I have 2 Mindsets, one beaten to snot. Neither work lol.

I also have a Tecmar 5161 clone, in horrible shape. Jafir reminded me.

Do they power up to a black or solid colour screen? That's what both of mine do.
 

lysinger

Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2014
Messages
17
Location
Atlanta
My rarest items:
Heathkit EC-1
IBM 3270 AT
IBM 5150 REVA with Version 2 bios
IBM 5150 REVA with Version 1 bios
Jacquard Loom punch cards
 

wperko

Experienced Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2007
Messages
97
Hi, I have original 1975 Altair 8800 kit documentation including build manual, operations manual, original parts lists, original cassettes for 4K and 8K BASIC as well as StarTrek and a lot of other stuff from when I built my Altair 8800 kit.


Find pictures on my website;
http://www.brainless.org/MultiMedia/Documents/Computer/DocumentBin/

I also have an original 1975 Motorola MEK6800D1 Kit I built and only ever tested one time back in 1975; https://www.brainless.org/4Sale/MEK6800D1/

Now I'd like to trade some of this for a good working original 1975 Altair 8800 computer ...
 

telemonster

Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Messages
18
Location
Northern Virginia
Hmmm

Cray J932SE Supercomputer
Sun Voyager (I need the carrying bag!)
Seattle Computer Products 8086 S100 boards (2 of the 3 or 4 needed)
Gravis Ultrasound 1.0 / Sound Blaster 1.0
Yamaha C1 laptop that works
Atari TT030
Amiga 4000T
BeBox 66mhz incomplete
IMSAI 8080
Atari STacy
 

carlos12

Experienced Member
Joined
May 10, 2020
Messages
138
I place here my rarest items, in no particular order. Sorry if some of them are not that rare.

1. IBM PS/2 Model 30 8086, bought in original state.

Well, sure it's not that rare but I'm feel quite lucky I found, not too far from my home, a mint condition one, perfectly working, at a not-that-crazy-price. I also feel that the 8086 model is more difficult to find than the 286 one, not sure this is right.

2. Premium PC II.

This is a Turbo XT clone with a Siemens 8088 dual speed inside (4.77-10 mhz) and a dual graphic card (Herc + CGA? The computer came with an MDA type monitor, so now it works on Herc mode). It has a Zeta Ltd. BIOS from 1989 (first time I heard of) which looks to be 100% compatible with the IBM BIOS, as it ran every program I tried. I wasn't able to find any information of this system on the web so while the configuration is quite common and standard, with almost the same specifications as DTK Turbo XT and other clones, this concrete model and mark I think is quite rare.

3. Octek-Oak VGA OTI 037c from 1989.

Well, the OTI 037c is quite common, in fact I had a 1990 one bought in 1991, and it is not too difficult to find one on the web. But this is a quite early model, built by Octek.

4. Programmer's guide to PC & PS/2 Video Systems, by Richard Wilton.

This time, a book. The 1987 edition. It still can be found on Ebay and others but there aren't that many physical copies available... I think this is considered as the "bible" of 1980's IBM and compatibles video systems. Very revealing and useful. While Abrash's books are more detailed regarding VGA, this book is the one for treating earlier video cards.

5. Programmation des cartes graphiques CGA, EGA, VGA, François Gervais.

This book has being with me more than 30 years. I think it's quite rare, not many copies were produced at the time, and there are not many available on the web. It's not bad but it's quite simple comparing it with the superbly detailed and useful Wilton's one. I'd wish I had Wilton's book instead of this at that time...
 

ChickenMan

Experienced Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2011
Messages
58
Location
Victoria, Australia
Recovering from Christmas lunch,

1. Dick Smith System 80
2. Dick Smith Super 80
3. Applied Technology Microbee Kit 32k
4. Microbee 128k Overdrive
5. Microbee Premium+
6. Microbee 256TC
7. Applix 1616
8. Excalibur 64
9. Amust Executive 128
10. Portapak
 

Michele31415

New Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2022
Messages
7
Location
New York
My two most rare machines would be my Xerox Alto and Xerox 1100 (aka Dolphin, aka D0). The Alto is widelyconsidered to be the first personalcomputer with bitmapped display and mouse. Only about 2000 were ever made. Probably fewer than a dozen still exist and probably fewer than that still work.

The D0 is even more rare. It was designed as a transition machine from the Alto to the Dandelion that ran Xerox's Star office system. Maybe a few hundred were made and I only know of one other one still working.

clipboard.jpg
 

Primo007

Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2022
Messages
17
Location
Portland OR
Probably the rarest computer I own is a Canon navigator HD40, it has a phone, printer, fax, touchscreen, ibm pc compatible, all built in to the same chassis, in1990! I got it with all of the goodies, keyboard, mouse, weird plastic cable management cover (that bit of plastic is probably the single rarest thing in my collection, I haven't seen them anywhere else) only thing that's missing would be the external printer, though there's still the internal thermal printer.

Probably number 2 would be my media vision thunder and lightning, which came with its box and software, albeit petty tattered. It's a combination sound and video card with the media vision thunder sound chip and a cirrus logic video chip (I forget which specific one).

I also found an old official corel ventura 5 release candidate 6 cd, with the little beta tester letter.
 
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