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Erik
March 20th, 2005, 11:29 AM
I just responded to a PM but thought a public discussion might be fun:

What is a "vintage" computer to you? Or, for that matter, anything vintage dealing with computers?

I've got my definition, but it's pretty vague. Before I spill mine, what's yours?

Erik

Terry Yager
March 20th, 2005, 02:07 PM
I'm sure I have my own definition, I'm just not real sure what it is. Some people go with the 10-year rule, but I think my idea of vintage is a little more complicated than an age-only rule. Another term worthy of discussion is "classic", which to me is similar to, but different from "vintage". I guess it's like the justice said about pornography -- I can't define it, but I know it when I see it.

--T

barryp
March 20th, 2005, 04:40 PM
What is a "vintage" computer to you? Or, for that matter, anything vintage dealing with computers?

My son considers anything from my generation to be old, one definition might be one generation removed from state-of-the-art. (Or two generations?)

BUT, some systems had only one generation... Bad idea.

joe sixpack
March 20th, 2005, 07:04 PM
hmm well it's not a hard and fast rule but i would say anything
pre-pentium.

Terry Yager
March 20th, 2005, 08:09 PM
I cancelled my subscription to The Computer Journal when they started printing articles about the IBM PC. It just didn't seem vintage enough anymore, even though the PC (5150) was over 10 years old at the time. I just liked it better when it was a straight CP/M publication. (Besides, there are dozens of places where you could read about PC hardware, etc).

--T

mbbrutman
March 21st, 2005, 06:55 PM
The definition keeps changing.

For me, something that has no hope of running modern software, even slowly, is a good candidate for being vintage.

Good candidates would be any 8 bitter, any 16 bitter, and any machine model that had a name, not a number or a generic series code. For instance, the PC, XT, AT, Mindset, Lisa, Fat Mac, etc. are all vintage machines. No Dell Dimension ever will be, no matter how old it gets.

EvanK
March 21st, 2005, 08:36 PM
>>>> For me, something that has no hope of running modern software, even slowly, is a good candidate for being vintage.

>>>> No Dell Dimension ever will be, no matter how old it gets.

I basically agree with both of your points. To me a two-part definition makes sense: "vintage" is anything old enough to be considered obsolete AND which was unique when new. So for example, no standard Dell will ever be vintage, but in 15 years from now perhaps the first Sony Vaio will be 'vintage' because it was very unique when new. The same goes for a copy of Windows 1.0; it's collectible because of its uniqueness when new (yes I know it was light years behind the Mac, but it was unique because PC owners could use it, which includes most people).

I think the 10-year-rule is just completely insufficient now: is Windows 95 vintage? LOL, that alone makes the point. The answer is "of course not" but what about some of the other software, like WAIS, Gopher, Veronica, Archie, etc.? Maybe not vintage but getting there in a hurry...

So it can be boiled down very simply: vintage is anything obsolete and unique.

Terry Yager
March 21st, 2005, 10:02 PM
Where would we be without google?

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2005-03,GGLD:en&q=define%3Avintage

One of the definitions describes a 25-year rule, while yet another places it at 100 years.

--T

Rolf
March 22nd, 2005, 02:29 AM
I checked your Americaspeak Dictionary. Websters.
It gives a beautifully simple definition:
Vintage "A period of origin or manufacture"
************************************
So my vote is for any product of the 80's.
I see it as the Decade that brought PC computing to the Masses!

Mad-Mike
March 22nd, 2005, 09:17 AM
I look at vintage from a monetary standpoint. One I see it in the savvy thrifts and on E-bay going for more than $10.00, then I consider it vintage, and when that happens, the item is usually 20 years old, so I use the "20 year old" rule.

I remember when an IBM XT could be had for a $5 bill at the local thrift complete with monitor and keyboard. Now these guys have gotten savvy, they get an XT in and put it next to a 486. The XT is $60.00 for the complete setup, the 486 s $15.00 for the complete setup. Once we reach the 201x part of the century, 486's and Pentiums will be come collectable.

As far as reasonable hopes of running modern software or becoming up to date, that counts out mostly anything AT. It's kind of like collecting guitars. I remember a time when the old Kramer guitars the 80's hairbands played could be bought for $150 in a pawn shop, now they are starting to rise in price again due to age. Everything comes back around eventually, even computers.

Terry Yager
March 22nd, 2005, 10:11 AM
Speaking of guitars, I remember a few years ago I picked up a gituar at The Sally for $20.00. Turned out to be a 1950 Supro. I just bought it because I thought it kinda unique. I had never seen an electric 12-string before. Later on, I took it to a local guitar shop and sold it for $850.00. Ya gotta love them thrift stores.

--T

billdeg
March 22nd, 2005, 01:15 PM
I have here a copy of Family Computing from March 1987. An excellent issue that really illustrates the times. The article space makes relatively equal room for everything (Atari, Apple, Commodore, Tandy, IBM, and TI).

This issue even compares word processors in different hardware formats. Ominously however the cover story is "A Guide to IBM Compatibles"

One year later and you find quite a different set of articles in the magazines. Also note the advertisements...Commodore and Tandy are pushing PC clones, Much less information about the CoCo III, etc.

I think 1986 is the last year of vintage computing. I can accept 1987-1993 as the interegnum between vintage and modern (Internet) era.

I worked at IBM in 1987, By then the PS/2 was out, and I will never consider this line a real vintage computer.

I put Amigas in the "interegnum" period with early MACs and PS/2's.

What is the last best vintage computer? I say the Apple II GS 1986.

-Bill

Terry Yager
March 22nd, 2005, 02:26 PM
What is the last best vintage computer? I say the Apple II GS 1986.

-Bill

I'm tempted to say the Kaypro 10 (1983), but my new favorite is the Epson PX-8 (1984). Second place goes to every other computer running CP/M.

--T

Mad-Mike
March 22nd, 2005, 05:06 PM
Speaking of guitars, I remember a few years ago I picked up a gituar at The Sally for $20.00. Turned out to be a 1950 Supro. I just bought it because I thought it kinda unique. I had never seen an electric 12-string before. Later on, I took it to a local guitar shop and sold it for $850.00. Ya gotta love them thrift stores.

--T

I've had some good finds in pawn shops oddly enough. I bought a home-made Stratocaster copy for $40 once. The total in hardware alone would have been about $800.00 (Floyd Rose original Tremelo, Warmoth Chunky Van-Halen style neck, Dimarzio "Swimming Pool Route" Alder Strat body, EMG single coil pickups, Fender Custom Shop single coil pickups, Chandler Pickguard, Swtichcraft switches and pots). Beauty in parts.

I think the best find I ever saw was an almost completeley immaculate and original IBM PC XT 5160 in mint condition with a Hercules graphics card, the IBM genuine article 720K Floppy Drive, 360K full height floppy, 20 MB Seagate half height hard drive, IBM 5151 Monitor with glare filter, and the original IBM 83 key keyboard complete in box with warranty tags, packing material, and even the drives on the unit itself had the original packing cards in the drives. An old friend walked away with that for $15.00 even! On E-bay that computer could have gotten quite a bit of money. That computer even had the original IBM XT software installed on it (PC DOS 3.1? and some IBM made text based GUI). The only sign of use was some ribbon cable running out the back of the case through one of the card slots.

As for the ultimate vintage PC, for me it would probably be the Commodore 64, just about everybody I've known in the last few years had owned one or used one at some point, and I have yet to hear a bad review.

ahm
March 24th, 2005, 08:07 AM
I think the whole issue about what's "vintage" revolves around the fact that we're constantly having to deal with people who aren't in the hobby. How do we explain, in a succinct and perhaps even a catchy way, what it is that we're looking for? For example, how would you explain it to your mom, in a few sentences? (No fair if, unlike mine, she's technical in any way). How do you explain it to the lady down at the thrift shop? (Quickly now! Her eyes are starting to glaze over). And how do you explain it, using a short tagline, to the increasing number of people who arrive here thinking we're yet another site supporting multi-gigahertz CPUs and w1nd0ze "ecks pee"?

joe sixpack
March 24th, 2005, 07:33 PM
I think the whole issue about what's "vintage" revolves around the fact that we're constantly having to deal with people who aren't in the hobby. How do we explain, in a succinct and perhaps even a catchy way, what it is that we're looking for? For example, how would you explain it to your mom, in a few sentences? (No fair if, unlike mine, she's technical in any way). How do you explain it to the lady down at the thrift shop? (Quickly now! Her eyes are starting to glaze over). And how do you explain it, using a short tagline, to the increasing number of people who arrive here thinking we're yet another site supporting multi-gigahertz CPUs and w1nd0ze "ecks pee"?

simple i use the word "old" or "old looking" if i have to explain the general
look a lot of times i tell them it will look like a computer on it's side "desktop" over "tower"
most people know this much. other clues is to ask them how
heavy it is or it wont have a "cd drive" most people know what a cdrom is.
Ask them if it has windows if it does you know it's too new but of course
this only applies to x86 a few others anyway.

of course you might have to add some more. But most people can tell
you if it's old. Also you could always ask the name or model number most
computer have it right in the front.

Im most intrested in ibm compat with a few exceptions, :lol: on the other hand
i dont often see any other wise anyway.

mryon
March 25th, 2005, 07:47 AM
I wouldn't call it a universal dfn.
but for me "vintage" is "old" and doesn't run DOS or Windows.

sure, there are the odd DOS computers that I'd collect but I
have to look at those on a case by case basis ;)

Mad-Mike
March 25th, 2005, 11:17 AM
I look at IBM Compatables as being more like collecting cars. IBM has had X86 based machines on the market for 24.25 years now based of the one they made in 81 in a more or less different degree. The IBM PC 5150 is more akin to a Ford Model T, while an HP/Compaq Presario runnning Windows X-Pee is more like a Honda Civic. You don't see too many 81' IBM's running around in use anymore outside museums, people's computer collections, and vintage computer shows. You see those Presarios running 95-XP just about everywhere, with teenagers usually pimping out the old ones with blinking lights and various overclocking enhancements (eg. PC Ricers and Tuners), while the other half buy the new ones, use them a few years, and junk them or give them to the kids to "pimp-out".

The essensce of collecting IBM's being akin to old cars goes by that old saying "they just don't make them like they used to". In the early IBM days, nothing was standardized, then the Xt came along, everybody copied it, soon we had clones out the wazoo, but even the clones white-box and non all had their own interesting characteristics that made them what they were. I kind of feel like a car collector looking at a current lineup when I see today's pc's, nobody is willing to put something extra into their computers to make them stand out. You know a Compaq Deskpro 386 when you see it in a stack of other computers, but looking at a stack of modern machines, and only the industry insider can teel the difference. Heck, you could even tell the hard disk by what big black rectangle was in front!

joe sixpack
March 25th, 2005, 02:30 PM
I look at IBM Compatables as being more like collecting cars. IBM has had X86 based machines on the market for 24.25 years now based of the one they made in 81 in a more or less different degree. The IBM PC 5150 is more akin to a Ford Model T, while an HP/Compaq Presario runnning Windows X-Pee is more like a Honda Civic. You don't see too many 81' IBM's running around in use anymore outside museums, people's computer collections, and vintage computer shows. You see those Presarios running 95-XP just about everywhere, with teenagers usually pimping out the old ones with blinking lights and various overclocking enhancements (eg. PC Ricers and Tuners), while the other half buy the new ones, use them a few years, and junk them or give them to the kids to "pimp-out".

The essensce of collecting IBM's being akin to old cars goes by that old saying "they just don't make them like they used to". In the early IBM days, nothing was standardized, then the Xt came along, everybody copied it, soon we had clones out the wazoo, but even the clones white-box and non all had their own interesting characteristics that made them what they were. I kind of feel like a car collector looking at a current lineup when I see today's pc's, nobody is willing to put something extra into their computers to make them stand out. You know a Compaq Deskpro 386 when you see it in a stack of other computers, but looking at a stack of modern machines, and only the industry insider can teel the difference. Heck, you could even tell the hard disk by what big black rectangle was in front!

Well Put!

They do try to stand out but for all the wrong reasons now days it's how
can we make this a inch smaller and how can we had 2 inchs of curvey plastic
that makes it look modern or futuristic but serves no point but take up space.

Im all for "pimping-out" (as you put it) theres nothing wrong with that.
But let me try and do it my self, I hate flashy box's that come that way.

I think the reason why the spend more on the outside is because as you
said they are all the same on the inside, I try to tell people they're all the same.
Dell don't make shit!. Last time i was inside one it was a damn foxconn case
Same goes for everyone else.

The hardware is so cheap now days that to the only way they can make
there product stand out is on the outside because it cost way to much to
design your own stuff. If they did they would not be able to keep up with
the prices everyone else is putting out there.

Every once in a while someone ask's me to built them a system but i do it
less and less because unless they want a gamming rig i can't build a cheaper
system then dell or what ever even if i charge nothing for doing the work
and using "oem" ("white-box") parts. There is some problems with the way things are however.
see my posting on "eviroment friendly computers" in rants.

dreuby
March 29th, 2005, 09:36 AM
Depends if you're a buyer or a seller. :D

If you're buying:
"How much d'you want for that old machine in the corner?"

If you're selling:
"This vintage hardware is much sought after by collectors."

joe sixpack
March 30th, 2005, 05:00 AM
Depends if you're a buyer or a seller. :D

If you're buying:
"How much d'you want for that old machine in the corner?"

If you're selling:
"This vintage hardware is much sought after by collectors."

LOL true that! :lol:

Computer Collector
April 2nd, 2005, 07:17 PM
If it takes disks that are 5-1/4" ot 8", its vintage, in my opinion
(excluding PCs that had them in the 90s)
:wink:

Apple2Guy
April 5th, 2005, 03:33 AM
For Me a Vintage Computer is any computer Made in or before the 1980's.
A classic computer is a vintage computer that is special in some way like a C64 or Apple ][.

Kaptain Skitzo
April 20th, 2005, 04:31 PM
I prefer to think of "Vintage" as "out-dated"...usefull in it's time, but no longer viable for current applications(but still usable for what it CAN do).
I still have, and use, my old Commodores, Amigas, and even some Winblows 98/ME machines. The 98 machine is rather iffy...it won't run a lot of current software(in fact, most of the newer stuff will crash it fairly easily)...the thing that makes it still useful to me, is that it came with Lotus Word Pro, which I have done all of my recent writings on....but won't work on XP(which is what my newest machine is running). It also runs a lot of games that won't work on ME or XP, for various reasons.

Personally, I wish the Amiga had dominated the market....the OS was tight, and very difficult to crash, plus it could do things then(with a lot less hardware) than even some of the newest machines.

Of course....uncle Bill was a cut-throat SOB........

Sinisterdragon
April 20th, 2005, 05:43 PM
For me the "vintage" question is rather easy to solve for computers. If at some stage someone would have "given away" that old piece of junk (or thrown it out), then its vintage.

patscc
April 20th, 2005, 07:46 PM
To me, Vintage implies the market has given up on it.
I like Sinisterdragon's 'given away' definition.
I like Kaptain Skitzo's 'out-dated'
I like ahm's existential search.

Face it, we appreciate junk. We see entertainment in it. We discover that, for certain taks, it's quicker to to on an old clunker. Or more fun. Ever boot up a Osborne, vs. a PC ?
Some old games are pretty cool.

To me, Vintage implies all that. It also imples something that's been around for a while, but someone, somewhere, has hung on to it, god knows why.
Like the Mattel Aquarius.
How many were made, around 8000 or so ?
Look what they're selling for.
Look at the people that hung onto them, look at the people that are buying them. There's just that magic "something" about them.
Or, not.

There's also just a gut feeling. I picked a HP 15C out of the trash, just becuse there was something about it.
Of course, I've also picked 72-pin EDO out of the the trash, so I guess that doesn't mean much.

I collect a lot of stuff because I remeber reading about about it as a kid, could never afford it. Now, I can get it. Finally, I might actually be able not finish Ultima II on the machines it was designed for.
Or see just what was so cool about the Sinclair Z81, almost in my price range as a kid.

After a while, you discover the 'freaks', like the Tandy 600, the Amstrad CPC640, stuff like that. And you just gotta get one. I remember the first time I bought a "Trash-80"
I bought it because I read, a long time ago, how the FCC hated it. Never forgot it, finally got one.

There's also this whole discovery of stuff that was out, and outdated, even before what you consider cool was even dreamed of.

Never figured out how to explain it to my wife,either.

Ahm, I couldn't figure out how to explain it to any one technical, period. I've gotten some interesting 'junk' from technical people. Just because you're tecnical, doesn't mean you do vintage. I got a NeXT cube from a 'technical' person, once, that needed something with more 'oomph'

You just gotta sit in front of a cube for a while, and try to grok it. Okay, I know the 'grok' is lame, but at least it's better then 'lol', and let's see if ... catches on to grok.

patscc

vic user
April 21st, 2005, 01:38 AM
I collect a lot of stuff because I remeber reading about about it as a kid, could never afford it. Now, I can get it.

i know how you feel!

chris

Terry Yager
April 21st, 2005, 07:31 AM
You just gotta sit in front of a cube for a while, and try to grok it. Okay, I know the 'grok' is lame, but at least it's better then 'lol', and let's see if ... catches on to grok.

I grok that!

--T

mryon
April 21st, 2005, 07:50 AM
hey patscc,

you still want that 15c? ;)

A purely personal dfn of vintage, anything older than the first computer I ever bought (a commodre Vic-20).

-mikol

Micom 2000
April 22nd, 2005, 07:25 PM
Who says "Grok" is lame. With the multitude of "kewl" expressions coming
out everendingly as each new generation attempts to put it's language
mark on history it has a continuing relevency that will undoubtably be
rediscovered by new generations who will also claim it as their own. The vapidity of most current language, whether it is the ,"Yo", "Ho" of ghetto culture or current Xeni bywords of the modern sophisticate have so little depth.

I am no fan of Heinlein's politics, but he did manage to capture some time-less insights into culture. Grok has meaning just as "om" does.
"Amen" will likely be around longer, but with no less relevency.

alltare
April 22nd, 2005, 08:27 PM
I'm mainly interested in very early S-100 computers (IMSAI, Altair, etc). If someone offers to sell/give me "an old computer", my first question is "Does it have a lot of blinky lights and switches?". If the answer is yes, I get real interested.

alltare

CP/M User
April 23rd, 2005, 02:17 AM
"Erik" wrote:

> I just responded to a PM but thought a public discussion might be fun:

> What is a "vintage" computer to you? Or, for that matter, anything
> vintage dealing with computers?

> I've got my definition, but it's pretty vague. Before I spill mine, what's
> yours?

It's a case-by-case thing. You'll need to find out from everyone here what's worth collecting & what isn't! ;-)

Computers more or less are throw aways, some point or another people may of have a machine then thrown it away, making it rarer. Today we're discoverning that people want to go back & have a machine that they literally threw away, so it's no suprise they came back to have another go getting one. If you have an unique kind of machine, it's even better! ;-)

What does it have to do with Vintage I have no idea, becuase it's broken into numerous catagories such as a vintage of a wine, to the style of a certain period of anything produced, to something old-fashioned from a past period. So what's exactly current? GUIs, IBMs, Apple's, CDs, DVDs, Digital Camera's, Mice, LCD Monitors/CRT Monitors, keyboard.

GUIs have been going for a long time, but that doesn't mean their old-fashion, either have IBMs, Apple's, CD-ROMs have been going for a decade or so & DVDs are a new addition out to replace them. Digital Camera's are also been going as long as CD-ROMs, Mice have been going for a long time, LCD Monitors are new, CRTs are old & so are keyboards.
But because this stuff has been going for a long time, this current stuff isn't vintage because it's still in use - something old fashioned is something no being used commercially, what these things are I wouldn't have a clue, cause there's always some smuck out there who's found a use for something! ;-)

Cheers,
CP/M User.