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Thread: Frank Durda's Collection

  1. #1

    Default Frank Durda's Collection

    I'm posting this on behalf of Paul Schreiber. He hangs out on Facebook.
    ...............

    Just a 'heads up'.......

    Some of you may be familiar with former Tandy R&D engineer Frank Durda IV who recently passed away.
    Frank was a SW (and also a bit of HW) genius. Really. A more loyal Tandy employee/fanatic does not exist. And he kept EVERYTHING.
    Frank left, most importantly, a wife and 4month old daughter, a daughter he never saw, or got to hold, as he was hospitalized during her birth and died, without regaining consciousness, soon after.
    His wife Corrine now has the task to sort through Frank's "collection", which by my estimate, is over 300 file boxes of "stuff". The Tandy stuff appears to range from Model 2/3 up to the AST computers (4000SX). I even uncovered a box of VIS hand controllers [shudder].
    Frank and his team wrote the BIOS/drivers for probably 100 things, as well as TRS-DOS/LDOS/XENIX and so on.
    It's going to take MONTHS to get it all sorted (she lives about a 40min drive from me), today I just grabbed the first 12 boxes in the garage I could access (there was a 1964 Teletype machine in the way).
    WHat I plan to go is sort as follows:
    a) SW - floppies, SyQuest drives, 8mm tape. You name it, Frank has it.
    b) HW - board add-in boards and full computers. I counted about 12 Tandy computers. There may be 50 more, I don't know. There are 100s (yes 100s) of add-in boards.
    c) books/manuals - I spotted several HW Reference manuals, a FORTRAN binder, and a photocopied dBase III manual. About 70% are Tandy originals, 30% copies.
    What is the goal? The goal is 2-fold:
    1 - Preservation
    2 - raise funds for Frank's wife & baby daughter

    Now, as we all are aware, this stuff is HEAVY. I'm in Texas, and have Fed-Ex, UPS, and USPS options. In some cases, I will put individual items/small lots on eBay, but for the most part, this stuff will be sold by weight. Like $15/pound or some such. I some cases I will be specific, other cases might me a "treasure chest of Tandy Wonder".
    Now, I was 100% a HW designer at Tandy, but I have a few ex-R&D folks in my network I can see if they remember this stuff. If you are collecting 'rare' Tandy items, the 2nd box I looked in had 2 internal R&D use boards that were the audio and video portions of the Tandy Sensation! PC. Only 3 sets were made (2 for Tandy and 1 for MicroSoft) and Frank has a Tandy set (I even forgot I designed them!). These were used to write the drivers before the 'real hardware' was developed, and they were also used for the VIS development.
    I hope to have 'a new batch of stuff' every 2-3 weeks. Mainly, I want this stuff to find "good homes", not to be flipped. I want to be able to have a decent amount of $$$ for his family.
    Lastly: Frank ran a few ISPs as well. I'm not an 'IT Guy' by a LONG shot. But he has 10-20 Cisco doo-dads as well (1U rack routers, etc). I'll post a few photos for giggles, and next week hope to have the first batch for sale.

  2. #2

    Default

    This is good news.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Morisset, NSW Australia
    Posts
    248

    Default

    I'll ask here as I don't know Paul at all . . .

    pski - would it make sense to catalog an hold some(/most) of the stuff and live-auction it off at the Assembly? I know it's nearly 6 months away still, _and_ some distance from Texas, but from the perspective of "raising money for the family" it might make more in that environment.

    PJH

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Sioux Falls SD
    Posts
    245

    Default

    I don't know Paul, either, so I'll ask here:

    Frank's garage sale site is still up. Is Paul considering using that? I had checked it every couple of months before Frank passed, but it might be a alternative to ebay.

  5. #5

    Default

    I chatted with Paul a bit last night and facebook is definitely the best way to get in touch with him.

    He mentioned that this would be a long process and he'd eventually put up some things on his own website (www.synthtech.com).

  6. #6

    Default

    Well I'm not on facebook so that will be a problem for me. Pete, you know what I'm looking for. try to keep an eye out for me.

  7. #7

    Default

    Paul is working on a plan with the goals of both preservation and helping Frank's family. Items will become available in due course. Let's keep in mind he's volunteering to do this so its a good idea to be respectful of his time and effort. We don't want these historical artifacts going to a recycler or dumpster or to someone who has no idea of their significance.

  8. #8

    Default

    That is exactly why I'm following here. I've seen it happen to many times.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    641
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Just posted on Instagram: https://instagram.com/p/BjIPvf7ALMp/ "Ancient artifacts from Tandy audio development for the VIS and Sensation computers #trs80 #schreiber" (Synthesis Technology is Paul Schreiber - synthtech.com)

    Mike

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Fl
    Posts
    508

    Default

    This is the Fort Worth area correct I believe.

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