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Thread: PDP8e to keep or to sell. Wishing to get some thoughts and comments please.

  1. #1
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    Question PDP8e to keep or to sell. Wishing to get some thoughts and comments please.

    Well, as many of you will know very recently while visiting an old friend for a week, I made a decision to further downsize my somewhat vast collection, of all items that I cannot manually lift by myself.

    I said to myself since I just turned 67 on 14th June 2018, I feel within the next 12 to 24 months we will move house, as the current home on 0.6 of an acre, while in a lovely country setting, is just on too steep a block of land to be easy to walk around, as my age creeps up.

    So when it comes to that inevitable move & since I don't know where I/We will go, I was thinking now of making that move easy by getting "rid of" all heavy gear, like all the 8e systems and the HD from the 8i in the 3 by 19" racks at one end of room, and most likely most of the 186/286 type machines, and all my Apple and Amiga machines, plus all but 1 of the Tektronix 7000 scopes.

    However, today I went down to my bungalow/computer room/workshop and looked around.

    Instantly it hit me, DAMN

    my EAI TR-20 Analog Computer is more than a 1 man lift and I am NOT getting rid of it anytime soon. Add to that are the 2 heavy vintage Valve Tektronix Oscilloscopes that are the Displays for the TR-20, so they stay. These are sitting on two floor mounted castered DEC machines (1 non running) that I have written about here, so for now they stay at least as rolling benches to support the TR-20 and the Tek scopes.

    Its been quite a few years since I put power to most of my DEC machines, so again do I really have the time and the memory to get them running

    So hense my question to you...

    a. Should I keep one complete 8e system ? if so what reasons would you present me?

    b. Or should I sell it now or in what time frame to still get a reasonable dollar, before the number of people that would want it and use it gets to zero.

  2. #2

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    OK, so when you downsize your property, you will most likely have more time for the important thinks, like the good old irons > so keep.
    It's also good for your mental condition, to remeber and work on the old systems.
    So put an sticker on each system with a date where you would like to start working on them. Like Mo-Fr from 07:00 to 10:00
    If you doesn't find the time you can still sell them. Systems are rare and you will never have a problem to sell them. It's more a problem to find the right one.

    Many Greetings and a good time
    Ulrich

  3. #3

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    Keeping a pdp-8 would be my choice, but that's only because of my interest in DEC itself and not so much computing in general. It's a very subjective choice.

    As for selling. Right now I don't think there will be a point where interest goes to zero. Interest is very much there, but price is everything. PDP-8s on eBay will only sell for a decent amount as long as they're not utter junk or priced outrageously. Right now there's a rusted out hulk of a PDP-8 that is going for $9,999 and a PDP-8/s (supposedly serial number 0) going for $26,500 with a damaged front panel. Unlike this one which started at 1 cent and ended up being sold for $5k, but was restored, tested, and with a decent number of cards. Point is, the right price and condition is everything, as with anything.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by User78 View Post
    OK, so when you downsize your property, you will most likely have more time for the important thinks, like the good old irons > so keep.
    It's also good for your mental condition, to remeber and work on the old systems.
    So put an sticker on each system with a date where you would like to start working on them. Like Mo-Fr from 07:00 to 10:00
    If you doesn't find the time you can still sell them. Systems are rare and you will never have a problem to sell them. It's more a problem to find the right one.

    Many Greetings and a good time
    Ulrich
    Thank you Ulrick for your response.

    you do make great points, especially the ones on maintaining ones Mental health by continuing to work on the old systems.

    In my case even if I sold all my DEC systems, especially the PDP8's, then I still have all my very early Motorola 8 bit evaluation systems for my mind to work on.

    And then I also have my Analog computer from 1964 that will still take my time and need my mind to be active, in keeping it going.

    Your idea of the sticker has good merrit. I will give it a try, and post some feedback in coming months

    thanks again for your response

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DECtechGuy View Post
    Keeping a pdp-8 would be my choice, but that's only because of my interest in DEC itself and not so much computing in general. It's a very subjective choice.

    As for selling. Right now I don't think there will be a point where interest goes to zero. Interest is very much there, but price is everything. PDP-8s on eBay will only sell for a decent amount as long as they're not utter junk or priced outrageously. Right now there's a rusted out hulk of a PDP-8 that is going for $9,999 and a PDP-8/s (supposedly serial number 0) going for $26,500 with a damaged front panel. Unlike this one which started at 1 cent and ended up being sold for $5k, but was restored, tested, and with a decent number of cards. Point is, the right price and condition is everything, as with anything.
    Thanks for the helpful reply. You are so correct in quality is certainly more important than just rarity, and the selling price should reflect that, else the item does not sell.

    I clicked on the link you put as "unlike this one", unfortunatly eBay says listing no longer available to view.

  6. #6

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    Perhaps this link will work. https://www.ebay.com/itm/-/163084053...2047675.l10137

    Seller even had made a playlist showing him testing it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGys...liLHiLzUdVuU7h

    With eBay, my best advice would be to look at sold listings in advanced search. Based on that, I can say PDP-8 may go for 1k to 5k depending on condition and included cards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DECtechGuy View Post
    Perhaps this link will work. https://www.ebay.com/itm/-/163084053...2047675.l10137

    Seller even had made a playlist showing him testing it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGys...liLHiLzUdVuU7h

    With eBay, my best advice would be to look at sold listings in advanced search. Based on that, I can say PDP-8 may go for 1k to 5k depending on condition and included cards.
    Link works thank you,

    Looking at the visible bid history I noted there were 7 serious bidders that placed multiple bids. Also as it got up to $3000 in low increments it then took a single bid big leap to $5000

  8. #8

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    Peripherals for the PDP-8 are more difficult to maintain than the processor. If the PDP-8 had two serial ports, you could use one with the serialdisk emulation of up to four RK05 disks. A PC is used for the serialdisk server, and the RK05 disk images are from SIMH. This setup would let you run OS/8 on the PDP-8 without worrying about keeping an RK05 disk drive working.
    Member of the Rhode Island Computer Museum
    http://www.ricomputermuseum.org

  9. #9

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    If I was to get rid of all but say 10 computer systems, I'd keep my PDP 8/e among them. But, I'd make a point to fire all these at least every 6 months for a few hours each. Otherwise, I'd sell or donate something like a PDP 8e system to someone who lives nearby with the provision that I can visit it any time....
    @ BillDeg:
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by billdeg View Post
    If I was to get rid of all but say 10 computer systems, I'd keep my PDP 8/e among them. But, I'd make a point to fire all these at least every 6 months for a few hours each. Otherwise, I'd sell or donate something like a PDP 8e system to someone who lives nearby with the provision that I can visit it any time....
    So can I visit the pdp-8e system
    I sold you many years ago? I had to ask this. Ha Ha Ha. Too bad I don't still live anywhere close.

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