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Thread: Most Collectible Microcomputers of All Time

  1. #21
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    "Rare" doesn't mean collectable. There were lots of companies that were nearly stillborn in the late 70s and early 80s that had very limited production.

    "Collectable" today seems to mean anything that has an association with Steve Jobs or his ghost.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixter View Post
    Nice? How much?
    I paid a bit more than I should have.. about $350 for just the base unit by itself. It was one of vintagecomputermuseum's rare pure auctions. I've been hampered until just recently by non-working snipe software so I've been setting my max bid and of course I always get the guy who thinks their $10 bid increment will put them in the lead, then realizes it doesn't and keeps trying til they hit my max. But I've seen the base units go for not much less than $300, sometimes more so I don't feel too bad. Wish I had a keyboard and disk drive though.

  3. #23
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    Ok what I will do is edit the list on the first post to add in your entries. Feel free to 'correct' the placement of items on the list.. #1 is most desirable and on down.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowen View Post
    PDP-11/03
    PDP-11/23
    PDP-11/24
    DEC Professional 325 and 350
    PDP-11/53
    PDP-11/73
    DEC Professional 380
    PDP-11/83
    PDP-11/84
    PDP-11/93
    PDP-11/94

    (All microprocessor-based; the LSI-11, F-11, and J-11 are, after all multichip microprocessors). If it really must be single-chip to be a 'microprocessor' then any of the various systems built around the T-11 (single-chip) would qualify. The T-11 was the Arduino of its day, and used for many of the same embedded purposes. The DEC Professional units were marketed as actual microcomputers, although being based on either F-11 or J-11, depending upon the particular model.

    While we're there, you would want to include several VAXstation units (especially the 4000 series) that use one of the microprocessor versions of VAX. Especially the lowest-end version, the VS4000VLC (got one of those, along with a couple of VS4000/90's).

    And of course the Intersil 6100-based VT78 and DECMate line. (Intersil 6100 being a microprocessor PDP-.

    As to the System/360, there would of course be the XT/370, the AT/370, the P/390E (as used in IBM's Integrated Server/390 product; got one of those here), and a few others. Those are neat microprocessor-based micromainframes; the XT/370 especially, with a couple of custom-microcoded 68000s plus a custom-coded 8087 running the S/370 ISA. These are quite collectible.

    So what is a microcomputer? I know what a 'minicomputer' is; the PDP-8, a 'minimal computer' (abbreviated 'mini-computer'). Mini isn't about size, it's about functionality relative to a mainframe (with all the fault tolerance that is the defining characteristic of a real mainframe). But is a microcomputer any computer built using a microprocessor? (That was somewhat the original usage).

    But is 'collectible' equivalent to 'rare' and/or 'expensive?'

    If you are interested in collecting the representative specimens from the heyday of the 'microcomputer' revolution, you really need three machines: a TRS-80 (Model I), a Commodore PET, and an Apple ][. If you want to go back to just prior to the commoditization of the microcomputer in 1977, get any early S-100 system or any of the 6800 or 6502 systems from just before the PET and Apple ][.

    It just depends on what you mean by 'collectible.'

    I prefer to collect semi-rare but not necessarily expensive specimens that I would still enjoy actually using; with one exception. I have a rather interesting 8085-based controller board made by Compumotor in the 80's that is collectible in the sense of actual art. Compumotor commissioned Aurius to do the component-side artwork. At one point in time, Aurius had a website with the information on this board, along with a good photo, but it doesn't seem to be online any more. Image attached......
    Attachment 39719
    I think what I was looking for was collectible in the sense that people go after them aggressively. That doesn't necessarily mean the price corresponds, though it often does.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    "
    "Collectable" today seems to mean anything that has an association with Steve Jobs or his ghost.
    So going with that rule 90% of the list that is being assembled in this thread isn't collectible. Lots of stuff never had any Steve near it...

    I guess I'll throw my Altair and Sol 20 in the trash.... No one wants to collect those....

    Cheers,
    Corey

  6. #26

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    The fact that Jobs is deified and no one knows who Tramiel was is evidence of how unjust society is.

    No one did more to make computers something that just anyone could and would own than Tramiel. What Jobs did was capitalize on Woz's novelty (not to make light of Wozniak's talent, but his machine was a hobbyist machine, not the business and everyday home use machine it was sold as.). Prior to Commodore, computers were only for computer people.
    Be polite and I may let you live.

  7. #27
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    If anyone failed to tumble to it, my comment about Jobs and collecting was meant to be sarcastic. I couldn't locate an emoji for "sarcasm", or I would have used it.

    Let's face it--the Apple Mac idea is due more to Jef Raskin than to Steve Jobs. But Raskin died before Jobs, so Jobs gets the credit.

    And, everyone knows that Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone.

    History is mostly a pack of lies concocted by the winners. In that sense, I agree with Henry Ford.
    Last edited by Chuck(G); July 14th, 2017 at 04:22 PM.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UDX View Post
    ..., not the business and everyday home use machine it was sold as.). Prior to Commodore, computers were only for computer people.
    Let's not forget Steven W Leininger and Don French. See http://history-computer.com/ModernCo...al/TRS-80.html and http://www.trs-80.com/wordpress/inte...n-w-leininger/
    --
    Bughlt: Sckmud
    Shut her down Scotty, she's sucking mud again!

  9. #29
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    I think the only reason anyone remembers Steve Jobs is his second act at Apple. Had Tramiel invented the 'cPod' (and had a bit friendlier persona), things might have been different. And my bet is, in 30 years no average person will remember or care about either.

  10. #30
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    Newer ones
    - Atari ST series (from 260ST to Falcon, inclusive STacy and ST-Book)
    - Olivetti ETV series
    - Commodore Amiga series
    Older ones
    - Olivetti Programma 101
    - Olivetti P203
    - Olivetti TCV
    - (and others of the early 1970's era)

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