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View Full Version : Does anyone buy old XT Laser desktop PC's from the early 90's ?



tartop
September 22nd, 2016, 07:40 AM
Hello, I don't believe I have posted anything here before but I was wondering if people buy these older computers, or should I just junk it?
I bought it in the early 90's it has Laser SN: 0015932 on the back. I was cleaning out my attic and came across it and an IBM CRT monitor I used with it. I brought them downstairs and tried to plug the monitor into the PC but did not have the right adapter, so I just fired the PC up and it beeped as it used to, so I think it is still working. It did not have a hard drive in it when I bought it so I found someone back then who had a hard drive mounted on a card I plugged the card into the motherboard pci IDE slot? "don't remember what they are called anymore" and it worked, it is only a 20 MB l think but I was able to install windows 3.0 I was just using dos before that.

So anyhow now when I turn it on with the cover off I can feel the hard drive spinning up and the beep. I turned on the monitor and it still works just don't have the adapter to fit to plug into the PC.

Everything inside the PC looks fine like the motherboard cards etc. the one thing was the silver lips on the cover and base got rusted I'm sure they could be cleaned, but I am just too old to mess with it. So if you could give me your opinions about selling the PC and monitor or just scrap them I would appreciate your opinions...

Thank You...

-Hank

Todd82TA
September 22nd, 2016, 12:01 PM
Hello, I don't believe I have posted anything here before but I was wondering if people buy these older computers, or should I just junk it?
I bought it in the early 90's it has Laser SN: 0015932 on the back. I was cleaning out my attic and came across it and an IBM CRT monitor I used with it. I brought them downstairs and tried to plug the monitor into the PC but did not have the right adapter, so I just fired the PC up and it beeped as it used to, so I think it is still working. It did not have a hard drive in it when I bought it so I found someone back then who had a hard drive mounted on a card I plugged the card into the motherboard pci IDE slot? "don't remember what they are called anymore" and it worked, it is only a 20 MB l think but I was able to install windows 3.0 I was just using dos before that.

So anyhow now when I turn it on with the cover off I can feel the hard drive spinning up and the beep. I turned on the monitor and it still works just don't have the adapter to fit to plug into the PC.

Everything inside the PC looks fine like the motherboard cards etc. the one thing was the silver lips on the cover and base got rusted I'm sure they could be cleaned, but I am just too old to mess with it. So if you could give me your opinions about selling the PC and monitor or just scrap them I would appreciate your opinions...

Thank You...

-Hank


Hi Hank! It's definitely worth it to sell computers like that. There is a market for them. They are not making any new 8088s, and the market for them does seem to be pretty steady. Here's an example of one that seems to be in similar condition / situation to yours: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Laser-Technology-Turbo-XT-Computer-AS-IS-Does-Not-Display-Free-Shipping-/351848420904

The one thing people often consider is whether or not it's worth it to you (time / money) to go through the hassle of putting it up on eBay and then turning around and selling it, and ultimately shipping it. If you have the time, and it's not too much effort, then I say do it.

I would hope you don't junk it. But everyone understands it's just stuff...

SomeGuy
September 22nd, 2016, 12:19 PM
What model of IBM monitor is that? Some people really like the IBM branded stuff. You might consider selling the monitor separately.

The Laser XTs seemed like nice little XT clone systems. Did it have a keyboard? The presence of a working hard drive is always a plus.

tartop
September 23rd, 2016, 03:11 AM
Hi Hank! It's definitely worth it to sell computers like that. There is a market for them. They are not making any new 8088s, and the market for them does seem to be pretty steady. Here's an example of one that seems to be in similar condition / situation to yours: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Laser-Technology-Turbo-XT-Computer-AS-IS-Does-Not-Display-Free-Shipping-/351848420904

The one thing people often consider is whether or not it's worth it to you (time / money) to go through the hassle of putting it up on eBay and then turning around and selling it, and ultimately shipping it. If you have the time, and it's not too much effort, then I say do it.

I would hope you don't junk it. But everyone understands it's just stuff...


Thank you for your replies, I really hate to scrap it because I know there are people who like these old PC's, but my wife is getting on me to throw the old junk away, I try to explain it's not junk but she's not a computer person ;-) Don't get me wrong I kinda like them too, it's where I started learning about dos and windows and the knowledge I received on chat boards from way back then helps me understand using the modern operating systems today.

I do not have the original keyboard, never thought about that I guess the newer keyboards would not work?
I was thinking about the shipping if I did sell it, the desktop might not be too bad to ship but the monitor might be a problem, weight mostly.

SomeGuy: I will check the model of the monitor.


If I take a picture of the end of the monitor cable and the back of the PC where it plugs into is there a possibility that someone would have the right adapter?
I will try to post some pictures today or over the weekend....

Thank You for your replies I do appreciate it....

-Hank






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KC9UDX
September 23rd, 2016, 04:49 AM
Anyone who wants it will have no trouble sourcing a proper keyboard.

These were well-built clones. As much as I despise the obnoxious V-Tech toys, they made decent computers.

glitch
September 23rd, 2016, 05:27 AM
There are many compatible keyboards -- I'd imagine most of us with old PCs have a universal AT/XT keyboard at this point. Plus I believe someone makes a converter to use "modern" PS/2 keyboards with XTs, so I wouldn't worry about the keyboard too much.

3pcedev
September 23rd, 2016, 03:24 PM
FYI Laser XT's use a AT compatible keyboard, not an XT one. No need for an XT class keyboard or any fancy converters to PS/2

Stone
September 23rd, 2016, 07:12 PM
I have this Laser keyboard if you want it:

https://img1.etsystatic.com/056/0/9252985/il_570xN.749579111_pv2l.jpg

SomeGuy
September 23rd, 2016, 07:39 PM
FYI Laser XT's use a AT compatible keyboard, not an XT one. No need for an XT class keyboard or any fancy converters to PS/2
This is good to know.

With most clones, having a matching keyboard is "nice" but not required if it will take a generic XT or AT keyboard. But there can be a lot of uncertainty as some very early clones (or non PCs) use hard-to-find proprietary keyboards and are virtually useless without.

tartop
September 25th, 2016, 11:17 AM
Sorry if there are too many or duplicate pictures never uploaded here before...

1st let me say THANK YOU to everyone for your replies and suggestions.

The model number of the monitor is 8503-001, as you can see from the pictures there's are some rust or crud on the edge of the case and cover, and the outside by the vents especially needs cleaning. Also putting the case back on is a struggle "i'm guessing due to the rust/crud on the edges" as you can see in the one pic. the right front of the case cover is raised not flush.

I'm hoping to be able to buy an adapter so I can turn it on and see what I have, if I remember I had windows 3 or 3.1 on the hard drive the last time I used it, and also I remember it used to have two 3 1/2 inch floppy drives in it and I bought a 5 1/4 inch drive and installed it in place of the second 3 1/2 inch drive. So any new opinions on what to do with it after seeing some photos would be appreciated...

Thanks
-Hank

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Stone
September 25th, 2016, 11:29 AM
I'm hoping to be able to buy an adapter so I can turn it on and see what I have,...
It looks like you have an EGA card and VGA monitor. I doubt you ever used that monitor with the computer. It's from another system.

tartop
September 25th, 2016, 11:43 AM
OK thank you, maybe not, it was with it in the attic with the PC so I thought it was the monitor I used. Do they make adapters to fit the end of the monitor plug so I can plug it in the PC? Or are you saying this monitor would not even work with this PC? Also I might be interested in buying the keyboard if I can get this or anothe monitor to work...

Thanks
-Hank

Stone
September 25th, 2016, 11:50 AM
If it actually is an EGA card it will not work with a VGA monitor.

SomeGuy
September 25th, 2016, 12:51 PM
Ug, there is an unfortunate amount of rust in that unit.

On the off chance that hard drive still works, it would be worth selling. But to test it, you would really need a monitor, keyboard, and possibly a boot/diag disk.

There are some PS/2 fans around here that would probably be interested in that IBM monitor.


OK thank you, maybe not, it was with it in the attic with the PC so I thought it was the monitor I used. Do they make adapters to fit the end of the monitor plug so I can plug it in the PC? Or are you saying this monitor would not even work with this PC? Also I might be interested in buying the keyboard if I can get this or anothe monitor to work...
No, there is no general adapter that lets you plug a VGA monitor into an EGA card. Normally, the way to handle that is to replace the EGA card with a VGA card.

KC9UDX
September 25th, 2016, 02:34 PM
Actually there are ways to plug EGA into VGA, but it's probably more cost effective to get a VGA card. Although, for a sale, EGA may be desirable to a collector, and an included adapter may be an attractive deal.

Here's one, but I have no experience with it to know if it works:
http://ebay.com/itm/F07961-CGA-EGA-RGB-To-VGA-GAME-Video-Converter-Board-Adapter-GBS8200-/252052285416?hash=item3aaf7ca7e8:g:BHsAAOxyyq5TPQg 6

lameboyadvance
September 25th, 2016, 04:03 PM
Those GBS8200 converters apparently don't do 'PC' EGA. I was looking at one for myself to test an EGA Amstrad I have here, but I was told that they only do 'arcade' EGA (slightly different frequency range, but enough to not make PCs work :/).

...Is there a possibility that EGA card can be switched to do CGA? (this Amstrad has dip switches to let you set the [onboard] video to CGA) Those converters supposedly do CGA fine.

tartop
September 26th, 2016, 03:02 AM
Ug,
On the off chance that hard drive still works, it would be worth selling.

It did spin up when I turned it on and could feel it running but like you said without having a monitor and keyboard to tell for sure I won't be able to tell for sure.
Don't really want to put any money into it "Have too many newer towers sitting here now" "Junk my wife says" so maybe I'll just sell on ebay for parts as is not working. The monitor I may try to sell I have to think about it. It does turn on and there is like snow or something that comes up so I'm pretty sure it works. I'm getting too old to mess with this stuff unfortunately.

I love computers but am starting to forget everything I learned. I tried to pass on what I learned when my Sons were younger and my Grandsons but none of them seemed to be interested, oh well just so I can keep up with the newer technology for myself and family, and friends as long as I can everyone always brings their computers to me to fix. I always worked on towers "The last tower I made from scratch was mine about 8 years ago still works with windows 7 in it". I just in the past year started tearing laptops apart to replace motherboards CPU's fans etc. didn't really want to, it's hard with all those little screws "eyes are getting worse" and remembering how to reassemble it "have to use YouTube a lot to help".

Anyhow thank you ALL so much for your help and suggestions brought back a lot of memories using the old stuff which I learned on, I love working on computers ;-)

-Hank

KC9UDX
September 26th, 2016, 04:38 AM
If you leave it on, you may hear a memory test, followed by a floppy drive seek test, a single beep, and some hard drive activity. That would be good enough for me to say the computer minus the video card is tested and working.

Most eBay buyers would appreciate that, I suspect. Details are always better than just "untested."

tartop
September 27th, 2016, 02:53 AM
I did pug it in turned it on it did beep once and I felt the hard drive running I did not look at the front to see if the floppy lights came on during start up, I will check that today...
Thank you....
-Hank

tartop
September 28th, 2016, 06:08 AM
I did pug it in turned it on it did beep once and I felt the hard drive running I did not look at the front to see if the floppy lights came on during start up, I will check that today...
Thank you....
-Hank

OK I plugged it in again turned it on it beeped once the 3 1/2 floppy light and the 5 1/4 light blinked the hard drive was spinning but the 5 1/4 light stayed on, it was blinking a little "like a hard drive light does when it's booting up" but there is no disk in the drive "do not have them anymore". I heard a high pitch noise so I took the cover back off and unplugged the power to the 5 1/4 drive noise stopped so I'm guessing the 5 1/4 drive does not work, but I can hear the hard drive spinning.

Another thing if I turn the power off and back on there is no beep, it's just running. If I unplug it for awhile and plug it back in and turn it on it beeps lights flash and it sounds like it's running. I really don't want to junk it, so I guess I might list it on ebay for parts and see if someone wants it, "Since I already took pictures" there has to be some parts in it someone can use. maybe someone can tear it apart and clean all the rust/crud off it. I would attempt to tear it apart and try to clean it myself if I were a little younger but am about to go have surgery on my neck & back in a few weeks, have about 4 herniated/ruptured discs pinching on my nerves.
At 66 it's not something I'm looking forward to :(:(

I don't think I will sell the monitor, I have no idea how I would pack that good enough so it does not get broken during shipping.

I have shipped glass items on ebay but too many times they end up getting broken during shipping "most times due to my poor packing I guess" I have been a member of ebay for 20+ years since 1996, way back when you could send Pierre Omidyar an email and he would actually answer it. Back then it was called AuctionWeb I believe. There was no fancy graphics back then just text, and if you wanted to add a picture you had to use ftp.

Thanks for all your help, if I sell it I will come back and let you know....

-Hank

Stone
September 28th, 2016, 07:11 AM
I don't think I will sell the monitor, I have no idea how I would pack that good enough so it does not get broken during shipping.Take it to FedEx and let them pack/ship it. I've shipped a dozen multisyncs and other monitors that way all without incident. They'll charge ~ $20.00 for packing it but it's well worth it.

tartop
September 29th, 2016, 03:06 AM
Take it to FedEx and let them pack/ship it. I've shipped a dozen multisyncs and other monitors that way all without incident. They'll charge ~ $20.00 for packing it but it's well worth it.

Thank you Stone for the info. Is the $20.00 just for packing or does that include shipping also?

Thanks
-Hank

KC9UDX
September 29th, 2016, 03:20 AM
I've never been to a FedEx (Kinko's?) store. Are they the same as UPS Store? As in, not actually affiliated with FedEx, and independently owned and operated? If so, service will be as spotty as UPS Store.

I've had things packed by UPS Store get demolished. Partly just because it was shipped UPS, partly because of poor packaging, and partly, I assume, because something packed by UPS Store scores more points for the parcel smashers.

Stone
September 29th, 2016, 03:33 AM
Thank you Stone for the info. Is the $20.00 just for packing or does that include shipping also?

Thanks
-HankHehehehe, $20.00 won't ship a ~ 40 pound multisync across the street! :-)

tartop
September 30th, 2016, 02:41 AM
Hehehehe, $20.00 won't ship a ~ 40 pound multisync across the street! :-)

Yea I didn't think so. "old age I guess" I guess I would have to take it in and have them weigh it and see how much shipping to the furthest place would be and go from there. Or I guess if I just weigh it here and add the $20.00 packing fee I should be covered for shipping charge, but you and I both know everyone wants stuff shipped for free on ebay....

Stone
September 30th, 2016, 03:34 AM
If you want a ballpark... $35 - $55 for shipping plus the $20 for packing.

Casey
September 30th, 2016, 10:26 AM
I've never been to a FedEx (Kinko's?) store. Are they the same as UPS Store? As in, not actually affiliated with FedEx, and independently owned and operated? If so, service will be as spotty as UPS Store.

I've had things packed by UPS Store get demolished. Partly just because it was shipped UPS, partly because of poor packaging, and partly, I assume, because something packed by UPS Store scores more points for the parcel smashers.

I've sent out two EGA monitors without harm, after they were packed by the local UPS branch. On the other hand, this store offered an explicit "we pack computer monitors" service. Can't say how widespread that service is. IIRC the packing ran about $25 per monitor, not counting the actual carton & materials. It was about $70 each total, going from (approximately) Hamilton Ohio to WV. Thats including extra insurance.

The downside is that they only insure the package for $100, which is why I upped that amount.

Casey
September 30th, 2016, 10:30 AM
Sounds about right; see my previous comment.

tartop, I would find out the size of the box you're shipping in, and go to fedex & ups online, punch in the dimensions of the box and estimated weight, your zip code, and some zip codes both from nearby & far away. You might want to call a local store, as UPS has crazy high prices online. The local FedEx quotes are much cheaper, at least around here.

tartop
October 1st, 2016, 06:22 AM
OK thank you all for your suggestions looks like I may just keep the monitor since I can't say for sure it works. It does power on an light up but I don't have a way to plug it into a PC to see if it actually works, so I doubt if anyone will pay much for it knowing that. I could just have local pickup only I suppose, or I could try Craigslist and do a local pickup. I've never used Craigslist and have heard some bad stories about it, in either case ebay or Craigslist I would have to meet them somewhere public to sell, and of course I would have to exercise my 2nd amendment rights ;)

I think I might just tear the LASER XT apart and sell the parts. I have looked at some parts sold on ebay for these older PC's and they look like they sell pretty good, of course I would have to sell them as not working with the explanation what the PC did before I tore it apart, and the parts would be easier & cheaper to ship separately. I doubt if anyone would want the case in the condition it is in, an who knows maybe once I gut it I may even try to clean it up myself after I heal a bit from surgery. "Have to have something light to do while I'm healing or I'll go crazy" ;)

Again thank you ALL for your Help/Suggestions...

-Hank

KC9UDX
October 1st, 2016, 07:50 AM
I've never had anything bad come from Craigslist, yet.

Either everyone else has though, or everyone's just paranoid. Everyone I've had a Craigslist transaction with in the past two years has acted as if I were a serial killer.

I have had some bad experiences from not using Craigslist, lately. Such as the drunk that showed up to test drive my car during a large family get-together I was hosting.

Stone
October 1st, 2016, 08:37 AM
I could just have local pickup only I suppose, or I could try Craigslist and do a local pickup. I've never used Craigslist and have heard some bad stories about it, in either case ebay or Craigslist I would have to meet them somewhere public to sell,...You can always try Close5, Letgo, and OfferUp.

Stone
October 1st, 2016, 08:38 AM
Everyone I've had a Craigslist transaction with in the past two years has acted as if I were a serial killer.Why am I not the least bit surprised! :-)

DDS
October 1st, 2016, 08:54 AM
I've never been to a FedEx (Kinko's?) store. Are they the same as UPS Store? As in, not actually affiliated with FedEx, and independently owned and operated? If so, service will be as spotty as UPS Store.

I've had things packed by UPS Store get demolished. Partly just because it was shipped UPS, partly because of poor packaging, and partly, I assume, because something packed by UPS Store scores more points for the parcel smashers.

FedEx bought Kinko's then later renamed it FedEx Office.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2008-06-09/fedex-ditches-kinkosbusinessweek-business-news-stock-market-and-financial-advice

I, too, have had unsuccessful dealings with UPS: ie United Parcel Smashers. In my experience the only way to get them to pay an insurance claim for something damaged/destroyed while in their posession is to produce a receipt that proves that they packed it. Otherwise, they'll use the "improperly packed" dodge and you'll get nothing.

DDS
October 1st, 2016, 09:01 AM
I've never had anything bad come from Craigslist, yet.

Either everyone else has though, or everyone's just paranoid. Everyone I've had a Craigslist transaction with in the past two years has acted as if I were a serial killer.

I have had some bad experiences from not using Craigslist, lately. Such as the drunk that showed up to test drive my car during a large family get-together I was hosting.

As for using Craigslist, check these out. :-0

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article71526772.html

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/pinecrest/article39468162.html

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck.......

KC9UDX
October 1st, 2016, 09:27 AM
Why am I not the least bit surprised! :-)

I used to work with a guy who collected Ed Gien and Jeffrey Dahmer memorabilia. He would hang out by where Dahmer lived (after Dahmer got caught) and take pictures.

Stone
October 1st, 2016, 09:57 AM
I used to work with a guy who collected Ed Gien and Jeffrey Dahmer memorabilia. He would hang out by where Dahmer lived (after Dahmer got caught) and take pictures.You mean Ed Gein?

335473354833549


And Jeffrey...

335433354433545

I manage a website for a Psycho Killers maniac!

http://psychokillersusa.com/

So I've got copies of all the comics. :-)

Stone
October 1st, 2016, 10:09 AM
As for using Craigslist, check these out. :-0

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article71526772.html

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/pinecrest/article39468162.html

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck.......FWIW, I've been selling hundreds upon hundreds of dollars worth (per transaction) of pre 1965 silver coins to people I've contected via those online garage sales I've mentioned above (http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?54148-Does-anyone-buy-old-XT-Laser-desktop-PC-s-from-the-early-90-s&p=429915#post429915) without any problem. We've been meeting in the CVS parking lot.

tartop
October 2nd, 2016, 08:14 AM
You can always try Close5, Letgo, and OfferUp.

Wow, thanks for that info, I guess I am way behind the times I never even heard of these places, I have bookmarked all 3. I have been looking for something besides Craigslist to sell ALL my sports cards at once. I used to have 2 small sports card shops in the 80's and we all know what happened with sports cards right?

I have 10's of thousands of sports cards that my wife has been begging me for years to get rid of, "take up too much room". I tried selling on ebay but there are just too many and no one wants to pay much anymore "and I don't blame them" but it's really not worth it to sell one here or there or even lots, it's not worth all the time to pack and ship plus with ebay/paypal fees you barely break even, and there are SO many people selling sports cards on ebay now that you are lucky if anyone even sees your listing, unless you have something really good. I think the last card I sold on ebay was a signed Muhammad Ali Card....

tartop
October 2nd, 2016, 08:18 AM
As for using Craigslist, check these out. :-0

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article71526772.html

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/pinecrest/article39468162.html

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck.......


That sounds like a great idea to meet at a police station to make a sale I'll have to check with my local police station and see if they do it and if not suggest that they do....

Stone
October 2nd, 2016, 09:05 AM
Wow, thanks for that info, I guess I am way behind the times I never even heard of these places, I have bookmarked all 3. I have been looking for something besides Craigslist to sell ALL my sports cards at once. I used to have 2 small sports card shops in the 80's and we all know what happened with sports cards right?....Only catch is you can't post or respond to these places from a computer (except for OfferUp but you still need the mobile APP to create an account). The only access is from a cell phone APP. I didn't have a cell phone so I went and got a great 7" tablet and now I'm really glad I did. In fact I was so glad I have gotten two smart phones since. :-)


That sounds like a great idea to meet at a police station to make a sale I'll have to check with my local police station and see if they do it and if not suggest that they do....There's no way they can say no. It's a public building -- and you pay for it and them. :-)