View Full Version : When to leave a vintage computer be as is!

June 13th, 2010, 08:22 AM
Recently I bought a IBM PS/2 Model 30 8088 Computer.

It's in fabulous shape, with very little cosmestic damage, ak scratches, rub marks etc.

The computer has 3 empty slots, perhaps I can put in a 8 Bit Sound Blaster, 8 Bit Nic Card
and memory card.

Unfortunetly, in order to add cards to this thing, I have to break plastic tabs on the back
hiding the metal brackets.

If these things snapped out and snapped back in, no problem, but to have to physically
break them off, I decided that would "imo" damage the vintage of this computer and
I decided to leave it as is. These things were left alone for 20+ years, I would be
an idiot to crack them now, especially considering this computer is in such fabulous

The Intel Above Board didn't need outside access so that card was able to go in
and the computer was un damaged.

How do others feel about this and similar situations?

Tiberian Fiend
June 13th, 2010, 09:53 AM
If you bought the computer for posterity, I'd say leave it alone. If you bought it to play with and it's the only computer of that vintage you own, break away. But I doubt it'd hurt the value either way.

June 13th, 2010, 11:42 AM
I would not worry too much about it. The people who would pay obsene amounts of money for a mint machine pretty much want it unused in the original box with all packing materials. If you did have a mint boxed unused system then I would not touch it, get another used one to play with. IBM PS/2 Model 30's are not uncommon, so enjoy it and pop out those panels.

June 13th, 2010, 01:14 PM
I would only consider breaking the tabs if the cards were genuine IBM-manufactured options for that machine, otherwise I would not mess with them. It's true that it would not affect the machine's dollar value to someone else, but the fact that you are asking the question means that it's important to you.

June 13th, 2010, 02:27 PM
Just use it however you want. A Model 30 is never going to be worth enough to justify obsessing over little details like that.

June 13th, 2010, 02:33 PM
Yes, I tend to agree with unknown_k and to some extent paul. Don't break them off unless you have to BUT it's a minor thing, and a buyer who would worry about that, would also want a machine in perfect condition with everything else that went with it.


June 14th, 2010, 01:31 PM
That's a tough one. I really hate modding vintage equipment but it's my own guilt factor. I think it's a good suggestion if that's truly a mint system then I would get another to mod if it's in the budget. I suppose if it'd not at least you're using the system so just do a nice job vs sloppy hack and it will probably please you for what you need.

June 14th, 2010, 02:23 PM
It's possible to remove the entire rear plastic bezel...just look around carefully and you'll see how it comes off. This way you get full access to the expansion slots without breaking the plastic bits.

In other situations/in general though, you've gotta look at it from one of two perspectives.

1) I am an enthusiast who wants to tinker with the machine - use it, do stuff with it.

2) I am a collector who wants to maintain the authenticity and originality of the unit.

If you want it to sit on the shelf looking pretty...don't mess with it. If you want to tinker with it, tinker with it!

Either approach is perfectly respectable of course. You do not, however, go to a museum and see the curator playing with the museum pieces...

June 14th, 2010, 09:28 PM
Practically speaking, except maybe for the all-in-one Model 25, ISA PS/2s aren't ever going to be worth all that much, anyway. It's mostly the towers and the high-end MCA desktops which get the collector interest.

Maybe if you had all the original documentation and software, and especially the original box and packaging, then maybe preserving a Model 30 in pristine original condition would be worth it, but otherwise, use it and enjoy it as you see fit -- just don't abuse it, because things like replacement PS/2 floppy drives and power supplies are getting scarce these days.

June 15th, 2010, 12:15 AM
There is a big difference in popping out cover plates that a normal user would do, and other mods that ruin the case (holes for lights and switches etc). On my Model 30- 286 I popped a cover plate off to get a network card in. While I don't have the documentation, I do have the original box (purchased from computerland) along with the optional IBM external 5.25" floppy drive.

While I agree ISA PS/2 systems are not collectable now, if most are recycled because people are going after the towers or high end desktops then the ISA ones might be worth something to people who want complete collections. Wasn't one of the hardest cards to get to complete baseball card year sets the old unmarked checklist cards that nobody cared about and marked up as they collected cards?

I don't bother collecting on speculation, but I do try to preseve the stuf I get in the condition I get it (outside of stripping and cleaning).