PDA

View Full Version : WTF??? Vaxen prices on Ebay



shirkahn
May 9th, 2004, 10:09 PM
Did something happen to cause the price of used/abused Vaxen to suddenly skyrocket on Ebay? I remember a few months ago 3100/38 and 4000/60 Vaxstations were going for $5-10 now suddenly a 4K60 with no drives, a TK50 and an unknown amount of memory is going for over $50??!!!
Could it be that VaxGeeks may possibly be coming back into style?

-ShirKahn

Erik
May 10th, 2004, 05:32 AM
Another remote possibility is that the economy is improving and there is more money out there to spend.

Then again, the jump you describe could just be "in the noise" for items like that. One Vax-Geek saw something he really wanted for some reason and bid it up against another similar geek.

eBay is weird.

Erik

Unknown_K
May 12th, 2004, 01:43 PM
One or two auctions mean nothing. I have seen items talked about recently go up in value on ebay just to drop the month after (Central Point option board is one such item going for $200 one month and $30 the next)

Terry Yager
May 12th, 2004, 04:08 PM
Here's another eBay fluke. Someone has declared 486/50 laptops are suddenly "collectable" or something. Perfectly ordinary '486 50MHzs are now going from $50.00 - 100.00, while much newer, nicer laptops languish and die on the vine, without attracting so much as a $5.00 starting bid. Go figger...
At least 26 people have decided that they want to own this one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=177&item=3479314680&rd=1

Another one, an ATT Globalyst 130 (486/33) just sold a few minutes ago for $65.00, with 11 people bidding on it. Now, I've owned several of those model of computer, and trust me, there is nothing particularly remarkable about them. Just your plain vanilla 486 lap-warmer. Why are they so valuable now?

--T

Unknown_K
May 12th, 2004, 06:26 PM
Here's another eBay fluke. Someone has declared 486/50 laptops are suddenly "collectable" or something. Perfectly ordinary '486 50MHzs are now going from $50.00 - 100.00, while much newer, nicer laptops languish and die on the vine, without attracting so much as a $5.00 starting bid. Go figger...
At least 26 people have decided that they want to own this one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=177&item=3479314680&rd=1

Another one, an ATT Globalyst 130 (486/33) just sold a few minutes ago for $65.00, with 11 people bidding on it. Now, I've owned several of those model of computer, and trust me, there is nothing particularly remarkable about them. Just your plain vanilla 486 lap-warmer. Why are they so valuable now?

--T

Nicer laptops dont get bids because they usualy have a much higher reserve. I think the 486/50 and above laptops started having TFT screens standard instead of the crappy dual scap or mono earlier models. If you just need a machine to take notes or play some retro games a 486 class machine for $50 thats portable will do the job with windows 3.1 and ami pro. Also IE 5 works just fine on win3.1, along with IRC, and ICQ so you can get your email and instant messages.

I think you just found a niche where older machines have crappy screens and newer machines are just too costly (decent pentium laptops are $150-200 last I checked).

I wouldn't mide a good 486/100 laptop with 16mb of memory for a portable win3.1 machine if I could fine one for $50 with a decent battery.

Terry Yager
May 12th, 2004, 08:13 PM
A 100MHz '486 laptop with 16Mb is certainly worth $50.00, especially if it has a good battery. Unfortunately, you aren't going to find a computer of that vintage with a good battery, on eBay or anywhere else. If you're real lucky, they might include the old, dead (usually NiCad) battery pack, so that you can re-build it with cheap, easily obtainable cells. As for the ATT Globalyst in question, I remember that they had a particularly lousy screen, even for DSTN. They were somwhat dimmer than other DSTNs, and impossible to use in any but the dimmest ambient lighting situations. What I'm ranting about here, is that there are often other options available on eBay for a lot less money which are completely ignored. In the same time-frame cited above, f'rinstance, someone else offered two Digital HiNote Ultra CT475 (486/75MHz) computers for a starting bid of $15.00. That auction ended without a bid! I used to own one of those too, and it stands out as being on my all-time favorite computers list (a very short list indeed). Beautiful 600x800 TFT screen, good audio built-in (the Globalyst didn't even have audio) nice amount of memory, (8 on-board, upgradable) small size, thin, light weight, good battery life etc, etc, etc...
I give up trying to figger out eBay buyers, they're just too weird (even for me, the master of wierdness). Well, not really, I s'pose. Lately I have been trying to figger them out in the sense of "What can I sell them, and for how much?" So far, I haven't been hitting very many of my marks with stuff I'm selling, tho. I guess mebbe I'm just not very good at it. (Hmmmn, I wonder if there's any market for vintage TV repair books?)

--T

Terry Yager
May 13th, 2004, 02:26 PM
Yet another example of a nice $100.00 deal on eBay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=177&item=3480821688&rd=1

With deals like that available, why would anyone fight off 29 other people for the chance to spend $76.00 on a '486/50? They must be collectors, looking for pristine examples of '486 laptops, rather than someone looking for a good, cheap, usable laptop.

--T

CP/M User
May 13th, 2004, 03:31 PM
"Terry Yager" wrote:

> With deals like that available, why would anyone fight
> off 29 other people for the chance to spend $76.00 on
> a '486/50? They must be collectors, looking for pristine
> examples of '486 laptops, rather than someone looking
> for a good, cheap, usable laptop.

That sounds a little too cheap if you're looking for a 486
laptop, okay it was a year or two since I've seen them
go for $400 or so. Oh no, I guess that's about right, if you
take into the consideration the difference of cross rates
Aussie to the American Buck! ;-)

Cheers,
CP/M User.

Terry Yager
May 13th, 2004, 08:48 PM
The eBay price range for '486 laptops seems to be anywhere from $5.00 - 100.00. Don't ask me why, I just don't know. Mebbe it has something to do with the great number of people who were first introduced to computing in the early '90s. They are probably beginning to collect the machines they coveted at the time, but couldn't afford. Or mebbe they are waxing nostalgic for certain machines they once owned. (I know I sure miss my ol' TI TravelMate 2000. I wish I'd never sold that one).

--T

Unknown_K
May 13th, 2004, 09:55 PM
The eBay price range for '486 laptops seems to be anywhere from $5.00 - 100.00. Don't ask me why, I just don't know. Mebbe it has something to do with the great number of people who were first introduced to computing in the early '90s. They are probably beginning to collect the machines they coveted at the time, but couldn't afford. Or mebbe they are waxing nostalgic for certain machines they once owned. (I know I sure miss my ol' TI TravelMate 2000. I wish I'd never sold that one).

--T

Probably, my collection of 68k Macs and Amiga equipment is probably because I lusted after them when they cost $10K new. My C64 is because the memories I had with the one I purchased in the 80's, and the C128 because I never had one.

I have 2 machines with win 3.1 on them, one loaded with exotic equipment that I didnt have when I used windows 3.1. Some stuff is just to try out things (hardware and software) I missed in the field (such as OS/2, Desqview/X, A/UX, and Amiga OS to name a few).

The thing is most of the items individualy are cheap these days, but add up to quite a bit when you amass a collection (and each machine needs it own upgrades, software, manuals, etc)

The 486 laptops are old enough so they are cheap and you dont have to worry about them getting stolen, but new enough to get some work done.

CP/M User
May 13th, 2004, 10:56 PM
"Terry Yager" wrote:

> (I know I sure miss my ol' TI TravelMate 2000. I wish
> I'd never sold that one).

But then it's better not to get rid of anything with Vintage
significance! :-)

Cheers,
CP/M User.

shirkahn
May 24th, 2004, 06:00 PM
Ok-

I think I may have found the answer to my own question.

Checkout: http://h18002.www1.hp.com/alphaserver/vax/

In a nutshell- they have doubled the trade-in value of old Vaxen- in some cases as much as 4X the old tradein value.

I guess HP really want's these machines off the market.

-Chris

carlsson
May 24th, 2004, 10:56 PM
Excuse me, but I thought the Alpha also was retired in favor for Itanium class systems? Maybe it's asking too much of the customer to move from VAX to Itanium in one step.

It's quite funny how digital became part of Compaq became part of HP and now they sit there supporting a former competitor. HP should though have credit for keeping and maintaining support information, which not so many other companies do, purchased or not.

ravuya
July 14th, 2004, 12:34 PM
I would imagine most of the VAXen getting bought are either madcap hobbyists like us, or people who are forced to maintain VAX crap for companies or home networks and who need spare parts.

CBM-Nic
November 5th, 2004, 09:33 AM
Here in Holland it's just teh same , som crappy Rainbow untested was going for 350 euro's :S Only the extremely dusty cabinet noting with it , no manuals , cables or anything. Brought mine 2 yeasr ago for $ 65 :P With manuals and disks.

CP/M User
April 22nd, 2005, 01:44 PM
"CBM-Nic" wrote:

> Here in Holland it's just teh same , som crappy Rainbow untested
> was going for 350 euro's :S Only the extremely dusty cabinet
> noting with it , no manuals , cables or anything. Brought mine 2
> yeasr ago for $ 65 :P With manuals and disks.

Is this Rainbow supposed to be a poor machine, or was it just in poor condition?

350 euro's sounds like a very "dream on" price, particularly for these other non-euro countries which seem to double it's value to the dollar!

Cheers,
CP/M User.

Chris2005
April 25th, 2005, 02:55 PM
The DEC - Digital Equipment Corporation - Rainbow 100 is an early IBM "compatible", really only file compatible, meaning it could read and write the IBM format. Don't mean to insult your intelligene in the event this isn't an answer to your question, just thought maybe they didn't make it over to Oz. Don't know. They're moderately collectible, I've seen one with docs and software go for about $200 - and that was 1 to 2 years ago. Ridiculous if you ask me.
There's not alot to it at the moment, but I started a yahoo group devoted to "semi-compatibles" - machines that came out after the PC, which improved upon the original in many ways, mainly in the video characteristics, but were made incompatible by the improvement. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Tandy2000/
There were dozens of these. It's what I have chosen to concentrate on in my collecting - but I cheat too now and again ;).

machine
May 16th, 2005, 09:41 PM
I worked for a company selling DEC Rainbows. They were DOS compatible but not IBM compatible. Businesses bought them. They got discarded only a few years later when "IBM compatible" became the new way.

There's not a lot of them around in Australia anymore. You'd be lucky to find one.

DEC stopped selling them after only 2 years (in Australia).

CP/M User
May 17th, 2005, 03:29 AM
"machine" wrote:

> I worked for a company selling DEC Rainbows. They were DOS
> compatible but not IBM compatible. Businesses bought them. They got
> discarded only a few years later when "IBM compatible" became the
> new way.

> There's not a lot of them around in Australia anymore. You'd be lucky to
> find one.

> DEC stopped selling them after only 2 years (in Australia).

You'd think that with the 8bit battles going on at that time, you'd think someone would have a brillant idea to get the 16bitters going in the same direction. Perhaps the only real contenders in the early 80s when it came to 16bit computing would have been the TI 99/4A based machines, the IBM PC-Jnr & Sanyo also had an 8086 based home computer too. Perhaps others did as well, but what happened to them is anyone's guess.

There were lots of Non-IBM based 8086s, some were home computers & of course the more office machines. Guess it must of been hard to be some software company doing business with 8bitters & 16bitters at the time, though having odd-bod machines could of been interesting if software companies came about & decided poke into these machines abilities.

Instead a lot of them made it to the scrap heap - just goes to show how the industry thinks about utilizing something.

CP/M User.

Terry Yager
May 17th, 2005, 06:48 AM
You'd think that with the 8bit battles going on at that time, you'd think someone would have a brillant idea to get the 16bitters going in the same direction. Perhaps the only real contenders in the early 80s when it came to 16bit computing would have been the TI 99/4A based machines, the IBM PC-Jnr & Sanyo also had an 8086 based home computer too. Perhaps others did as well, but what happened to them is anyone's guess.

There were lots of Non-IBM based 8086s, some were home computers & of course the more office machines. Guess it must of been hard to be some software company doing business with 8bitters & 16bitters at the time, though having odd-bod machines could of been interesting if software companies came about & decided poke into these machines abilities.

Instead a lot of them made it to the scrap heap - just goes to show how the industry thinks about utilizing something.

CP/M User.

Actually, the Rainbow 100 is a dual-processor machine, with an 8-bit Z80, and a 16-bit 8088. It was one of those machines that tried to be the best of both worlds, CP/M & DOS, but failed to be either. The biggest problem I ever had with them is that they used thier own proprietary disk format (RX-50?), instead of IBM format, then, to make matters worse, didn't include a disk formatting program with the machine. DEC expected it's customers to buy pre-formatted disks from them, at an enormously inflated price, compared to everyone else's disks. No wonder it suffered an early demise.

--T

CP/M User
May 17th, 2005, 02:56 PM
"Terry Yager" wrote:

> Actually, the Rainbow 100 is a dual-processor machine, with an 8-bit
> Z80, and a 16-bit 8088. It was one of those machines that tried to be
> the best of both worlds, CP/M & DOS, but failed to be either. The
> biggest problem I ever had with them is that they used thier own
> proprietary disk format (RX-50?), instead of IBM format, then, to make
> matters worse, didn't include a disk formatting program with the
> machine. DEC expected it's customers to buy pre-formatted disks from
> them, at an enormously inflated price, compared to everyone else's
> disks. No wonder it suffered an early demise.

True, it was dual processor machine. Mostly for the CP/M software support. Unfortunately CP/M was on the serious side of things & while custom programs were made for various machines, games were usually on the universal side of things. Some machines like the Amstrads PCWs had some commercial games written for it though.

Yeah, DEC would have been better off providing a formating program for their disks. Perhaps because it used such an unusual fomat, making a program to do this would be awkward.

CP/M User.

Terry Yager
May 17th, 2005, 03:36 PM
Fortunately, some generous programmers eventually came thru, and created PublicDomain RX-50 formatting programs, so Rainbow owners weren't completely at the mercy of DEC anymore.

--T

CP/M User
May 18th, 2005, 01:23 AM
"Terry Yager" wrote:

> Fortunately, some generous programmers eventually came thru, and
> created PublicDomain RX-50 formatting programs, so Rainbow owners
> weren't completely at the mercy of DEC anymore.

That must of been one hell of a job done to write a program which formats those disks, must of had some inside information about the format & some idea on how Disks are structured. Pity the machine has taken a significant slide in owners, cause it would be an interesting machine to exploit into it's other capabilities.
But there's also the case that any machine could be lifted through technological enhancements & it could indeed be possible for any machine to rise from the dead. Unfortunately, many people gave up for an IBM at one point or another & support for this machine is by far too high - though that don't mean it's great.

CP/M User.

Chris2005
May 19th, 2005, 07:52 AM
Just a note about the semi-compatibles in general. Most of them had all the workings of an IBM pc on the mobo, but being that they saw the early success of the pc, tried to improve on it, mainly in the area of graphics. The Tandy 2000 could display 8 of 16 colors at 640 x 400. The best IBM could offer up to that point was 640 x 200 mono, or 320 x 200 @ 4 colors. There were aftermarket cards, but they came slowly at first. Now being that to arrive at these greater res's/color depths, different graphic chipsets had to be utilized, the NEC pd7665 being one alternative. That's where they became incompatible. If a program attempted to write directly to the hardware, instead of being "well behaved" and use standard API's available through DOS or BIOS function calls *slow*, it wouldn't run on these machines. Some had cards that allowed, to whatever degree, them to run IBM software, like the NEC APC III...me gots one :), known as the SLE board (Software Library Expander).
The Rainbow had wacked out video, 800 x 200 or something crazy. Someone is sending me one...supposedly...eventually.
Another freaky dual processor machine is the Xerox 8/16. I'm getting one of them too :). There was also the Epson QX-10/16. Almost had one of those, but I let it slip :(. The Zenith 100/120's also had a z-80 in tandem w/the 8088. There were others.
I was working on an intro to assembly language until my laptop blew up. I'll post in in http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Tandy2000 when it's finished.

Terry Yager
May 19th, 2005, 08:45 AM
Chris,

If you need any software or docs for the Xerox 16/8 lemme know. I've got some available. The software is on 8" disks, probably double-sided, but I haven't really checked.

--T

CP/M User
May 20th, 2005, 01:01 AM
"Chris2005" wrote:

> Just a note about the semi-compatibles in general. Most of them had all
> the workings of an IBM pc on the mobo, but being that they saw the
> early success of the pc, tried to improve on it, mainly in the area of
> graphics.

Well Yes & No. Yes, they could handle the same command line stuff, which was MS-DOS or CP/M-86, but some of these machines needed custom versions of CP/M-86 to run, don't know about MS-DOS though - I dare say some of those machines did. It may be the same processor as what the IBM PC used & some of the simple IBM stuff would work, but when you started to push into the machines capabilities, that's when the programs changed.

It's like looking at a Z80 & which machines used them. The Spectrum & Amstrads used this for example, but are much different machines. Forget about the BASIC (because it's different) & look at the assembly (minus all the built-in machine features), it should be natural that any program which doesn't look into machine specifics should work on both machines. But that doesn't mean their semi-compatable.

CP/M is another example on my Amstrad, it can run other programs written for other 8-bit Z80 computers, CP/M can go one step further from what I've mentioned above & provide some routines which work on all simular systems (which make it so popular), though it's interesting to point out that CP/M itself is made on a special disc for my machine & can poke into it's capabilities. There are also the disk types & formats which seperate them from my system.

An 8088 based system has that simular advantage, though like the Z80s things change with Disks, Memory, Formats, Hardware.

CP/M User.

Creideiki
October 6th, 2009, 11:31 AM
Many apologies for resurrecting a very dead thread, but I too have noticed the exorbitant growth of the prices of some retro hardware.

I'm buying a MicroVAX 3100 M40 with 16MB of RAM, two SCSI disks, a TK50 and a SCSI CD-ROM for a grand total of >$500.00 USD. (Which is painful for me... because I'm a Canadian.)

Several years ago (as I was getting into the retro scene and I despised VAXen as being too "new" - how foolish of me) I saw a similarly spec'd system for... $100.00 CDN. Right now... I'm kicking myself for not buying one sooner.

Unknown_K
October 6th, 2009, 12:41 PM
Talk about an old thread, funny how I wanted an old 486 laptop with working battery back then for under $50 and this year I have over a dozen P1/486 systems with working batteries on some.

I kick myself for not snagging more Amiga equipment back in 2001 when people were dumping it cheap. Same with XT era PCs.

carlsson
October 6th, 2009, 02:41 PM
We used to have some VAXen at the computer club: namely one VAXserver 3500, two VAXserver 4000 and a whole slew of VAXstation 3100/m76 which almost nobody bothered to learn how to use. When we cleared out surplus stuff around year 2002, I think most of the VAX stuff ended at a dump.

I tried to run NetBSD on some VAXstations (never bothered to even look at VMS) but it never caught on to me. A few months ago a local friend of mine wanted to dump two of his MicroVAX/VAXstations but not even today I find any particular desire for those. However if it is true what you say about they have risen in value, perhaps my other friend who rescued those VAXen from the dump should try to resell them. International shipping from Sweden however is a killer, no matter how cheap the computers themselves are.

Lorne
October 6th, 2009, 03:23 PM
I'm buying a MicroVAX 3100 M40 with 16MB of RAM, two SCSI disks, a TK50 and a SCSI CD-ROM for a grand total of >$500.00 USD. (Which is painful for me... because I'm a Canadian.)

Several years ago (as I was getting into the retro scene and I despised VAXen as being too "new" - how foolish of me) I saw a similarly spec'd system for... $100.00 CDN. Right now... I'm kicking myself for not buying one sooner.

Painful for you?
Now, hang on a minute here.
11 years ago $ 1 USD was costing you $ 1.50 CAD.
Today $ 1 USD < $ 1.06 CAD.
And you're complaining now?
Typical Canuck - want to have your cake, and eat it too !
(I know because I'm a canadian american)

Buy the thing now with your CAD $ and wait for the USD to go back up - you'll be way ahead (if the market for them holds).

Creideiki
October 6th, 2009, 05:05 PM
Painful for you?
Now, hang on a minute here.
11 years ago $ 1 USD was costing you $ 1.50 CAD.
Today $ 1 USD < $ 1.06 CAD.
And you're complaining now?
Typical Canuck - want to have your cake, and eat it too !
(I know because I'm a canadian american)

Buy the thing now with your CAD $ and wait for the USD to go back up - you'll be way ahead (if the market for them holds).


Yes, painful for me... as I'm an undergrad student at UWaterloo... a very poor (now) undergrad student at UWaterloo. So it is kind of painful trying to scrounge up enough money to pay for the damn VAX (at least it works as it was refurbed - so no "surprises" - also that's why it costs so damn much, it's refurbed). Also $500.00 USD is $530.00 CDN now, whereas at the exchange rate 11 years ago it would still have been $150.00 CDN... which according to the expensive undergrad courses I'm taking is less then 530.

Any way it doesn't matter, the thing is expensive any which way you put it. (But I do get free OVMS media, an AUI-->10BASE-T ether MAU, and a 25-pin serial to 9-pin serial converter thrown in with it... yay?)


I had a raft of some old 386, 486 and P1 stuff though I donated them all to a local charity that gives old computers to the poor so they can have access to the "information superhighway" or some such. All I know is that all the machines have found good homes. (I got the machines free and I gave them away free... all very zen.)

pontus
October 6th, 2009, 11:57 PM
We used to have some VAXen at the computer club: namely one VAXserver 3500, two VAXserver 4000 and a whole slew of VAXstation 3100/m76 which almost nobody bothered to learn how to use. When we cleared out surplus stuff around year 2002, I think most of the VAX stuff ended at a dump.

I tried to run NetBSD on some VAXstations (never bothered to even look at VMS) but it never caught on to me. A few months ago a local friend of mine wanted to dump two of his MicroVAX/VAXstations but not even today I find any particular desire for those. However if it is true what you say about they have risen in value, perhaps my other friend who rescued those VAXen from the dump should try to resell them. International shipping from Sweden however is a killer, no matter how cheap the computers themselves are.


If your friend grows tired of his new found VAXen, I will allways have room for more :D