Every now and again, someone comes across one of my websites and contacts me to ask if I’m interested in some piece of vintage computer equipment. Most of these are either items I’m not interested in, or the correspondent wants more than I’m willing to pay, especially when transportation is factored in. Unfortunately, a variety of Internet forums and crazes have greatly inflated peoples’ idea of what most of this equipment is “worth” (though I do fully realize that “worth” is, ultimately, defined by “what can you get someone to pay for this?”).
However, once in a while a really interesting offer comes my way. In November 21st, I received an email from a lady who was clearing out her father’s house and garage in Inglis, about 140 miles north of my home. This gentleman was at one time some sort of mechanical engineer specializing in vibration and shock stress analysis for the US Navy, inter alia. He was also a radio ham and participant in various technical/homebrew communities and, as you would expect of someone with that background, he was well into the 8-bit computer scene in the 1980s. She sent me some very interesting pictures of stacked boxes and equipment (a Commodore 64C and a couple of breadbox C64s being clearly visible), and I arranged to take a day off work on 11/29, rent a U-Haul and drive up to take it all. In fact, that was the deal – I had to take everything; this was a clearance operation.
Counting rental and gasoline but ignoring the PTO day, this was roughly a $450 operation, but well worth it. Actually as I told her, I would have been happy to fly almost anywhere in CONUS and drive a truck back to get this haul 🙂 (If you’re reading this and need someone to clear out a garage full of stuff, no questions asked – as long as there’s some old computer equipment in it – sure, the offer extends to you also!).
Here’s the truck in its full state.
As I noted in an earlier blog post, I’ve been cleaning and cataloging the stuff out of my own garage, and I’m unpleasantly surprised by how much of it no longer works after just seven-ish years of Florida garage time. It’s going to be very interesting to see what does and does not work. In any case, I’ll be cleaning and archiving this new material the same way as my existing collection. Here’s what I noticed while loading and unloading:
- Four breadbox C64s, two in retail boxes
- One C64C, slightly unusual in that it has the brown keyboard from a breadbox C64. No real way of knowing if C= shipped it that way or if it’s a rework job. The serial number label is paper, which also seems unusual; C= used silver-colored plastic stickers in that era.
- One C128, pretty rough condition with several broken keys and significant dirt and yellowing. I gave this to a coworker.
- An IBM PC/XT model 5160 and 5153 color CGA monitor – the monitor is N/G per a note stuffed into the PC’s floppy drive.
- Two boxed C2N Datassettes with clearance price stickers of $1 and $5 on them.
- Epyx Fastload cart for C64/128.
- An IBM PS/2 with an external 5.25″ floppy drive.
- Two PC laptops of Windows 95 and Windows XP vintages.
- Several IBM Model M and Model F keyboards (yummy!).
- One 1571 and several 1541 floppy drives.
- Monitor stand A2M4021 from an Apple IIc monochrome monitor.
- Apple IIc power supply.
- Boxes and boxes and boxes of floppies and miscellaneous stuff including quite a bit of retail software for PC and C64/128.
Below is a set of random pics of a few items from the haul, and finally a picture of the empty truck just before I returned it that evening. It was a full twelve hour day of picking up the truck, driving, loading it, driving back, unloading it, and returning it!
More posts to come.