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Thread: The sad case of Computer Reset

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    New Hampshire
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    178

    Default The sad case of Computer Reset

    The more I follow the story at Computer Reset, the more I'm convinced that things there aren't what they seem. The admins run the facebook page like a bunch of control freaks ... How dare you ask when the next event will be or express your desires for vintage computers you're seeking, lest you're prepared to have your head ripped off.

    At first, the excuse for no public events was the weather was too hot. Many months later, hot weather is long gone but still no events. Now the latest excuse is that it is too disorganized inside. They are having groups of volunteers "organizing" the place, but appears to be controlled by locals only. They have refused volunteer help from outside of their little group. If you aren't in the club, you aren't getting in. Of course, these "volunteers" have only served themselves as I'm sure they've all had plenty of stuff to pick over as payment for "volunteering".

    Lets not forget, this fiasco was set in motion with the notion that the warehouse was soon to be bulldozed and we had to save all these computers. Well, it hasn't been bulldozed, and doesn't appear to be in any danger of being bulldozed any time soon. Yet, still no events.

    Unfortunately for the family with the passing of the father, the daughter probably does not know what to do with it and it is doubtful that she knows the real value of the vintage parts inside. It is unfortunate that these "volunteers" and control freaks have taken advantage of the family's situation. The family would have been better served if they hadn't let these people take over for self enrichment, but rather, had set in motion a proper liquidation strategy that ultimately would have resulted in much more $$ for them.

    It appears that the group in Dallas has removed a significant amount of value from the warehouse, while rubbing it in the faces of everyone else, which is unfortunate.

    There is obviously a world-wide interest in the items in that warehouse, and had it been handled differently, a few people could have gone to work cleaning, testing, curating, marketing, selling and shipping the items world-wide, achieving better value for the items and likely could have remained in business for some time yet based on the amount of inventory. Secondary revenue generators would be possible via content creation, etc. It appears there was a much bigger opportunity which was squandered by a selfish few.

    I am however hopeful that perhaps it could still be possible for a better liquidator to step in. Someone with some funding would need to step up to the family with a better proposal than what the current group of "volunteers" are doing.

    It is also remarkably sad that the GoFundMe for the family has only achieved $8200 of a $25,000 goal. I donated, did you? If you haven't donated to the family yet, I encourage you to do so. https://www.gofundme.com/f/7uagmw-el...n-need-of-help

    I'm sure I've now ruffled some feathers in Dallas, and you deserve it.

  2. #2

    Default

    To anybody thinking of replying to this thread ... please do, but keep it civil.

    And there is always time to click on the GoFundMe link for the family. If you have discovered the PCjr, the IBM Convertible, or any other of the wonderful machines that Richard Byron supported and have benefited from the flood of parts that came from him please consider showing your appreciations.

    Lastly, if you have a weird PCjr item let me know. I know a bit about them. ;-0 (http://www.brutman.com/PCjr/ is nearly 20 years old now.)

  3. #3

    Default

    I'm way too far away to care about potentially getting in there myself, so honestly even if the "volunteers" are selling the stuff on the side or whatever it still serves the community by getting the stuff on the market

    Now if they are sending it to the scrap yard or gold extractors I'd see a reason to get upset but otherwise, whatever

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Ohio/USA
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    Default

    Most of the valuable stuff was snagged when they started letting people in the door and a few times after when new layers were dug out. I am sure what is left isn't that valuable.

    Somebody might want the building as is and who knows if there is a will or not so it will take time to sort that out anyway.

    The original owner was never going to sell any of it, so any money the next of kin get is gravy plus less to pay for waste disposal down the road.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

  5. #5

    Default

    I'd rather have the warehouse sale conducted by legitimate members of the vintage computer community, even if they are "control freaks". Otherwise the place would've been scavenged by eBay flippers and keyboard poachers. And the local volunteers may have gotten the cream of the crop, but as LGR's video shows, they did have to climb over mountains of clutter and withstand some extremely hot, dusty, musty conditions to get to it, so I think they were entitled to some reward for their effort, compared to the people who just sit at home and complain about it from 1000 miles away.

  6. #6

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by vwestlife View Post
    I'd rather have the warehouse sale conducted by legitimate members of the vintage computer community, even if they are "control freaks". Otherwise the place would've been scavenged by eBay flippers and keyboard poachers. And the local volunteers may have gotten the cream of the crop, but as LGR's video shows, they did have to climb over mountains of clutter and withstand some extremely hot, dusty, musty conditions to get to it, so I think they were entitled to some reward for their effort, compared to the people who just sit at home and complain about it from 1000 miles away.
    Right on!!!
    bravo-2.gif
    Never Bin or sell your old computer's you will regret it!!
    Vic 20 x3,C64 x2,128D,C128 flat deck,A1000 x2,A500 x3,A2000,A600,A1200,Apple ][e,2x Apple][ GS rom 01,03,Apple ][c x4 with only 1 PSU,2x Laser 128EX EX2,Atari 600XL,2x 800XL,130XE w/320 mod With a MyIDE plus,Atari 1040stf w/2.5meg..

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Default

    At the end of the day I hope if anything comes out of this its that a lot of this stuff will be put back into circulation in one form or another. Sure we all have envy for not being apart of it but its not close by for the majority of us. And the vultures and vermin will always come out upon bad scenarios; especially when death is involved. I have seen that more times than I am comfortable with. Human nature and all.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Atlanta, GA, USA
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    Default

    The last liquidation of the Tandy Radio Shack HQ was handled by a generic estate sale company, hired by the banks, which had zero experience in technical auctions. They went through the place filling banker's boxes with anything that would fit in a banker's box, wrote a sequential lot number on the side, took a simple photo, and noted a primitive description like "tape decks and stuff". There were hundreds of lots with a 2 week preview. All were live bid auctions that started and ended in a 2-3 hour window. News of the TRS auction spread quickly. The vintage community here poured over the photos ID'ing lots of potentially rare finds buried in the boxes. The auction made a killing. For example, many model 100s sold for more than $200 while better conditioned $100 buy-now eBay listings idled the same night. Pretty crazy. The local-only pick-up days were a disorganized crap-show with lost and broken items. Despite all the problems, I ultimately drove 30 hours one-stop, spent $2K in cash, and both I, the asset-owning banks, and the consignment auctioneers all were happy. A warehouse sized hoard would not have phased any similar company located in DFW and would have been completed and cleared in less than a month. A CRW auction would have been an even bigger crap-show. But more revenue would have been raised. Just my $.02. This option is still possible for the balance of items left in the warehouse.

    I'm happy the CRW gems were preserved over the last 30+ years. Ultimately 99% will end up in collectors hands and appreciated for lifetimes. We can all agree this is an infinitely better outcome than those items sitting under a one roof-hoard for the next untold number decades.

    I wish more money would have made it to the original owners. I know local volunteers did have first pick at most things. But believe it or not, the large majority of those items went into personal collections and were not resold. I can't fault that. A minority percentage did land on eBay and there is more to come. And a significant amount of those have sold or will sell for orders of magnitude more money than the family collected. Unfortunate. There is also tragedy in what didn't land on eBay. I would have bought all the TwinAx terminals at CRW, however none of them had keyboards. I searched for 2 hours for matching ones before giving up. Later I found at least 4 correct keyboards on eBay from DFW sellers. Hmmm.. Sadly all those terminals will eventually hit the land-fill instead of being saved. That is what saddens me the most.

    Someone had to step up and deal with the situation at hand. It could have been handled 100 different ways and they would all be torn apart by critics later. I didn't see a lot of volunteers flying down from New Hampshire every weekend to help out either.

    Earlier in the year I had a small window of opportunity to go to CRW with a larger group. I ultimately bought some PCjr stuff, a couple old CompuAdd beige box PCs, and lots of documentation and software (of which there were mountains of duplicates). I ultimately donated a four figure purchase amount - way more than what I reasonably thought it was worth - to hopefully help ease this transition for the family. All of it stayed in my personal collection - which has an escrow plan for when I croak!

    My view of DJ and the handling of CRW became a lot less critical after visiting. Not because I was able to buy anything there. But because of the appreciation of the extraordinary amount time spent by an army of volunteers to barely make a dent in the place. It truly is an overwhelming job - and apparently a thankless one.

    Thanks DJ and CRW team!
    "Good engineers keep thick authoritative books on their shelf. Not for their own reference, but to throw at people who ask stupid questions; hoping a small fragment of knowledge will osmotically transfer with each cranial impact." - Me

  9. #9

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    Alan,

    Well stated.


    Mike

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    178

    Default

    I would like to point out that folks have been trying to volunteer from all over the country and have been turned down by the group because they aren't local to Dallas. I had attempted a few months ago to organize a group trip from the northeast and was ready to go with a few interested folks, so it certainly isn't that I'm "just sitting at home and complain about it from 1000 miles away."

    I agree that an appropriate liquidator would be someone from the vintage computer community who understands this stuff. I wish that somebody would be willing to set up and ship items to people who aren't in Dallas, but who want to support the efforts there. This would make it more accessible and would generate more $$ for the family. It is unfortunate that the current paradigm doesn't allow this, and seems locked up for locals only... which is further bolstered by the notion that an event announcement will only happen moments before opening, thus ensuring nobody distant can realistically attend.

    I appreciate your comments everyone, even if we don't completely agree. I think the group in Dallas could improve communications a bit, and if somebody starts shipping from there, I'll gladly open my wallet.
    Last edited by chris_nh; December 12th, 2019 at 12:47 PM.

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