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View Full Version : Priceless computers and an interesting man.



Conmega
September 3rd, 2013, 02:33 PM
Well today at my college I talked to a man who's lab had and still has the first 30 IBM personal computers made. That's not even the best part, this man has been working for Microsoft since the 70s and has been running a computer business since 1987. He helped write some of the early software for windows and apples back in the day. He has a warehouse full over well over 3500 computers dating back to the 60s. He claims to have an Osborne 1 owned by Osborne himself he has already taken the first IBM personal computer produced from the college (as they see it as junk). In his lab he has cabinets and cabinets and cabinets full of old full height HDs and FDs and floppy disks (8, 5 1/4, 3 1/2 in). He has original sealed in the box dos OS diskettes he has original in the box IBM PC motherboards. You can see where I'm going... He has a TON of old machines and a bunch that are practically priceless. He says he has a few Apple Lisas a few of the old Altair 8800s. This man claims to have just about everything... He said he has to get me over to his warehouse one day since I have such an interest in the machines. I am SUPER excited (obviously). I am still lightheaded and dizzy from talking to him for an hour trying to process all this... I just can't wait to see his collection... He says he throws out probably like 30 machines a day mostly newer ones some Pentiums probably the oldest he throws out... This is because he just doesn't have anymore space! Hes offered to let me use some of the old IBM PCs in the lab and everything! I am going to now pay attention to the class I am in... If I don't pass out first...

barythrin
September 3rd, 2013, 03:25 PM
Very cool. Where's he located? We can all guess which person we think he is ;-) (I have 2 folks in mind) Has he considered signing up here and chatting?

Conmega
September 3rd, 2013, 03:33 PM
I told him about the forms he seemed like he never heard of it before... I will be taking one of his classes tomorrow so I will talk to him if not a bit later tomorrow... Hmm well I will not release his name because I respect others privacy and I don't think releasing his location would be best either but I will say the college is in Maryland... where I live :p

If you want to guess you may PM me if you'd like I guess :rolleyes:

But yea I will try and get him here on the forums... Also when I visit I will take as many pictures as I can... And play with some machines... I offered to help him with anything anytime... He has original software still in the box and he said if I ever want to borrow anything to copy I can so if there is not already on the web software I'm sure I can get it out there...

dorkbert
September 3rd, 2013, 03:40 PM
pics, or it didn't happen :D

Conmega
September 3rd, 2013, 03:50 PM
I actually took pictures of the IBM PC's on my cell phone but its one of those cheap indestructible phones so I may not be-able to get them off... I will try after I am done this quiz :p

barythrin
September 3rd, 2013, 04:02 PM
Very cool then. Hope he joins :-) Fun place to chat and he can hook up with a few other folks with 4 digit collections. He's probably not paying attention but I thought Bill D taught computer history something in that general area but I think he's in PA not MD anymore.

On any level though they're fun as hell to talk to (early folks.. especially if they have an interest in the hobby still/collecting). Lots of great stories and experience watching what lots of us wish we all were around to see while the revolution and inventors actually invented.

Last edit I promise ;-) let him know we're all interested if he has a website of his collection or anything. He must be a member of M.A.R.C.H though :-) if not he'll probably fit in quite well there.

Conmega
September 3rd, 2013, 04:38 PM
I don't think his collection is posted about anywhere or that he is in any groups for vintage computing... He has just collected them all over the years... Also no his name is not Bill D... Anyway here are some crap quality images from my phone of the IBM PCs and PC XTs in the lab.
1504015041150421504315044

Conmega
September 3rd, 2013, 04:38 PM
Here's two more...
1504515046

Conmega
September 3rd, 2013, 07:20 PM
I now realize after a bit of looking up that those aren't actually the IBM serial numbers... Or at-least I don't think... Oh well I think I'll get more photos of them tomorrow...

barythrin
September 4th, 2013, 08:51 AM
Yeah, wasn't gonna be rude but I think that second one is just the SN of the hard drive in the 5170 :-) What's he teach?

SomeGuy
September 4th, 2013, 08:56 AM
Might want to buy or borrow a better camera. I would be worth it. Also, if those are really some of the first built, some folks here might like to see what the insides of the machines are like for comparison - if, of course, they would let you do that sometime.

vwestlife
September 4th, 2013, 09:20 AM
Well today at my college I talked to a man who's lab had and still has the first 30 IBM personal computers made. That's not even the best part, this man has been working for Microsoft since the 70s and has been running a computer business since 1987. He helped write some of the early software for windows and apples back in the day. He has a warehouse full over well over 3500 computers dating back to the 60s. He claims to have an Osborne 1 owned by Osborne himself he has already taken the first IBM personal computer produced from the college (as they see it as junk). In his lab he has cabinets and cabinets and cabinets full of old full height HDs and FDs and floppy disks (8, 5 1/4, 3 1/2 in). He has original sealed in the box dos OS diskettes he has original in the box IBM PC motherboards. You can see where I'm going... He has a TON of old machines and a bunch that are practically priceless. He says he has a few Apple Lisas a few of the old Altair 8800s. This man claims to have just about everything... He said he has to get me over to his warehouse one day since I have such an interest in the machines. I am SUPER excited (obviously). I am still lightheaded and dizzy from talking to him for an hour trying to process all this... I just can't wait to see his collection... He says he throws out probably like 30 machines a day mostly newer ones some Pentiums probably the oldest he throws out... This is because he just doesn't have anymore space! Hes offered to let me use some of the old IBM PCs in the lab and everything! I am going to now pay attention to the class I am in... If I don't pass out first...

My first impression is that he sounds like a man who likes to exaggerate a bit. I'm sure he's a nice guy with a lot of good stuff in his collection, but it may not all be as rare or special as he claims.

NathanAllan
September 4th, 2013, 10:17 AM
He might be for real; there is a guy here in my town that teaches some computer topic and he has a collection that hardly anybody knows about, and also hasn't heard of the forums here. The person I know is very... unique and so far hasn't let me see his collection, which I gather is pretty large. Same story, been working in the industry since the 70's and hasn't thrown anything away, as they are all part of some project. I can totally identify.

Conmega
September 4th, 2013, 11:16 AM
He teaches some classes in the computer science field... He has even taught my grandfather so yea hes been teaching a while... The class I am going to take is computer forensics, because well who doesn't want to know how to retrieve lost data and or snoop around other peoples stuff :rolleyes:
And for all the non believers I am still just as confused and amazed myself... He is going to let me see his collection one day so don't worry...
Also the camera I will take is a camera that we bought awhile back for around 300 dollars and takes 4288 x 3216 pictures so Is that enough or should I borrow a better one (which I can do my uncle has a better one, in-fact I probably will just borrow it don't see why I can't). Also one rare thing he claims to have is a very early Compaq laptop with a bag with initials sew in to it owned by one of the people who helped develop it... I'm sorry I can't remember the name exactly but yea... I remember him talking about how to show how good it was a guy went around to a bunch of places and while it was running he would slide it off the podium and pick it back up still running... He apparently did that in like 50+ cities with the same laptop and it still kept going... So yea... I actually do have a photo of him from 1977 its archived on a site and it talks about the building he worked in back then... So yea... Interesting stuff...

k2x4b524[
September 4th, 2013, 06:47 PM
"I'd love to get my hands on those ample nacelles" as it were, i saw some nice looking ATs and some PCs/XTs. What would be the odds of them actually spinning up the hard drives if they have been sitting as long as i think they have been?

Conmega
September 4th, 2013, 07:25 PM
He said he would let me spin one up sometime... There's actually only one IBM PC out of the first 30 still there... He took the others out... The rest are IBM PC XTs. And if any part in that computer is bad he has cabinet after cabinet of parts for these things... IN THE CLASS ROOM... He opened one of those cabinets and all I saw was like 50 5 1/4 half height drives... Its insane... But yea... I could only dream of owning one of those original first 30 IBM PCs but it sounds like I will be-able to use it! Possibly next week! I will get its serial number then.

Unknown_K
September 4th, 2013, 07:36 PM
It doesn't pay to show of the more valuable stuff (or super large collections). How do you know one of those students isn't a crackhead looking to take all that stuff and recycle it for gold.

Conmega
September 5th, 2013, 09:57 AM
Well I for one am not a crackhead and if I was I don't know how I would be spending hundreds of dollars on ebay buying old computers and having money left over for crack... But anyway... He doesn't just say to everyone 'hey if you want to visit you can'. I started talking to him about the old computers in the classroom I noticed and talked to him for over an hour about how interested I am in old computers and he then told me about his collection and said he would have to show me some time. Also the college is a pretty nice place anyway one of the only bad things to happen there was a few handbags stolen once and that was all caught on cameras hidden throughout campus... So yea... I'm pretty sure I'm really only one of a few people who know about his collection anyway...