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Thread: 1000 Superbrain - saddening!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Burnley, UK
    Posts
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    Default 1000 Superbrain - saddening!

    An early, non QD Superbrain on eBay for 1000

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/202756096792

    This is the message I sent:

    'Hello - I have an interest and knowledge of these Superbrains, I've owned one for the last 12 years and had 5 when i was a teen. By all means try and get 1000 for it. Someone on vcfed.org may be interested for example but the only folk likely to pay that price are the likes of film production companies who would use it a s a prop.
    I have seen many superbrains come and go on eBay over the years. The very few working ones I've seen may scrape past the 200 mark. A vcfed member i know bought one with a burned out power supply plus numerous other issues he fixed for 180 - because it had a hard disk which are like hens teeth in Superbrains.
    Yours is an early model - not a QD with the larger capacity drives which were 1980 onwards. The lit up drive light is a good sign - it is waiting for a boot floppy. Also may indicate the boot EPROM is still intact - the ROM code tends to fade over the years with these machines. There should be an 'Insert Floppy Disk' message on the screen. The white block cursor indicates it isn't bank switching that part of the boot ROM code into its upper memory, or the Video Display Attributes Controller IC is faulty - all quite fixable by a person with some knowledge and patience. Also - if you are running the machine with the disk drive doors closed and no floppy disk inserted, you will damage the read/write heads. Leave the drive doors open and only close them, with a floppy inserted. For transportation, insert an old floppy in both drives and close the doors. There are a few enthusiasts who would give eye teeth for this particular machine - but few of us have 1000 to throw at one. If you don't sell it or get anywhere near what you are asking, please don't bin this machine. Its a piece of computing history that should be owned by someone who can use, care for and preserve it. Thanks

    - bit wordy I know, not enough paragraphs or tabs either.

  2. #2

    Default

    Hi Alan

    I wrote a very similar mail to another eBay seller who wanted a grand for a broken Superbrain (this one was a QD and in stunning cosmetic condition). He ignored me! Ha.

    Alas, no one will buy it for a grand as you rightly point out. And the hard drive you allude to is in fact dead (at the time I didn't know it had a hard disk and I took a big chance on the machine). I've tried to get it going with the ACT interface on the SB and separately with an MFM emulator device loaned to me by a friend. Neither attempts were successful. There may be data on it, but I cannot read it.

    However... you probably know that I succeeded in getting my uIDE device working on my Superbrain. I had to reverse engineer the hidden, undocumented parts of the BIOS to do this, and write a new boot ROM. But, by jove, it was proper fun!

    So HDD + Superbrain might not be as rare as you think!

    Also, I've just completed development of a universal RTC that connects to the Z80 bus used by uIDE. It is working on the Superbrain. See here http://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/nc100-nc...697/#msg176697

    Cheers
    JonB

  3. #3

    Default

    Someone *might* but it for 1000. Someone might buy it for 5000. If not, the seller might get the picture.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Burnley, UK
    Posts
    282

    Default

    This is what I got back from the seller:

    Thanks for you interest in the Superbrain and all the information. I personally remember the Superbrain well, as it's the first CP/M machine I used and have a high degree of nostalgia for it. We've started selling a lot of old computer equipment we have from when we had a computer business in the 80's and 90's and we seem to have been undershooting on the price with items going in 5 - 10 minutes, which indicated we're a bit low on pricing. We'll see how we go on price but I accept it's at the top end!

    We've also found an early Sig/Net CP/M machine we had which we will list but haven't found the keyboard yet, would that be of interest to you?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    UK, South East
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    Default

    I'll happily sell him all three of my SB's for 1000 - he MIGHT make a tidy profit.

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