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Thread: Large PC collections?

  1. #1
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    Default Large PC collections?

    I'm curious to hear more about large PC collections and what might be the sizes of large collections in existence? Anyone with 10 or more PCs? 20 or more? How about large collections of original IBMs? IF somebody wanted to have the largest PC collection on earth, how many working systems would it take?

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    The size of a collection isn't particularly relevant imho. Besides in over 15 years of accumulating I've seen many collections, including my own, paired down significantly, if not entirely. I think I still have over 20 computers in various states of disarray. That's a conservative estimate. I remember counting over 70 at one point. With hordes that large, unless you're a total psycho, some items will be degraded due to carelessness, improper storage, etc.

    If by pc you mean an IBM or near compatible, I may be the wrong person to ask because whatever emphasis I put on intel based units, it wasn't on account of theiir compatibility LOL to say the least. And it certainly wasn't IBM specific. There are certain IBM or hardware machines I personally find interesting though.

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    Interesting. Tell me more about your opinion of why the size of a collection is not particularly relevant?

    In my humble opinion, PCs and particularly IBM PCs are extremely relevant in the the history of the technology revolution. If a collection were to contain preserved working examples of every IBM PC model/submodel/revision for the sake of posterity and historical reference, it might be a rather large collection and would be extremely relevant and could perhaps be useful for future generations to study our technological achievements.

    Are you saying then that PCs are not worth collecting or perhaps that you just don't view your own collection as meaningful?

    This raises an interesting point that besides a collection based in personal gratification, how meaningful could such a collection be? I'd say that such a collection could be extremely meaningful and valuable to people in the future, given the right circumstances.

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    Largest PC collection would be at any major recycler.

    I have a pretty massive PC collection but I have some uncommon areas I collect. You can fill up a house just on IBM Thinkpads or the various PS/2 machines. Quantity is not quality.

    I collect VLB, ISA, MCA, EISA cards so I tend to have quite a few machines with those cards stuffed into them plus excess cards.
    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

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    OK ... but lets forget low quality collections, hoards or piles at recycling centers. For the sake of the discussion, lets assume a high quality collection of good quality, working specimens of relevance to computer history. For example, I want to know what the largest IBM PC collection on earth is. Can anyone cite examples of known large collections? Thanks.

  6. #6

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    Heres what I had:
    It's probably about double that now.

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    Significant whether historically or technologically is a pretty subjective determination. A 5150 is hardly a technological marvel. It's main selling point was that it was sold by a big mainframe company. Specifically a division of a big computer company. I remember an older man from JPL who had accompanied the equipment we were testing. We got to talking and he told me he bought his first computer, a Victor 9000. He saw that as a wise purchase as Victor was a well known calculator maker. Uh, in the final analysis so what? Another guy, can't even remembernwho, bought an AT & T 6300, because "who knew more about computers then a telephone company?". Iow lots and lots and lots of switching going on. But their PC was made by an Italian company lol, famous for what I don't know offhand.

    IBM was a household word (or acronym) going way back. If they had made the pc out of snails cleverly wired together it would have sold. As for as technology, I'd have to say there wasn't too much about the pc that rocked anyone's world. In fact to a lot of people in the industrybback then it was something of a let down. There exists many instances of computers that attempted to do it better then IBM, and most of them did just that. Whether that makes those machines significant or not is irrelevantnto me personally. I like the oddball. The underdog. The fugazzi if you will LOL LOL LOL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_nh View Post
    I'm curious to hear more about large PC collections and what might be the sizes of large collections in existence? Anyone with 10 or more PCs? 20 or more? How about large collections of original IBMs? IF somebody wanted to have the largest PC collection on earth, how many working systems would it take?
    Mine was over 150 PCs (includes about 30 laptops) (Z80 to Pentium 3). I recently sold and gave away large parts of it now, so probably half that.

    Actual IBM's: 5150 Model A, 5150 Model B + 5161 expansion unit, 5160 256K, 5160 640KB x 2, 5170, 5155 portable, PS/2 Model 30 286 x 2, PS/2 Model 50Z, 56SX and a 76 (I think?) with SCSI, IBM JX with 5.25" floppy expansion.

    I also have about 30 60L containers of software, parts, books, and sealed disks and a full set of dresser draws filled with ISA cards for repairs, and 3 bookshelves of boxed software which helps decorate the house.
    Spare motherboards from 8088 to Pentium 3, boxes and boxes of MFM and IDE hard drives etc etc

    Only thing I'm short of is CRT's, and that was on purpose as they're difficult to store.

    Most fun thing for me is having visitors browse and hear them say "do any of them still work?" and then they jump when I pull the power switch. It really amazes some people.
    Also fun to have collectors over and let them rummage for anything interesting they need.

  9. #9
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    I've met a guy with near 500 IBM computers here in Spain. I'll ask him if i can post his fotos.

  10. #10
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    Interesting stuff everyone, thanks for sharing your perspectives.

    Caleb, that's a cool picture!

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