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Thread: What was your biggest surprise opening up a vintage find for the first time?

  1. #1

    Default What was your biggest surprise opening up a vintage find for the first time?

    I've seen lots of dirt, dust bunnies, goop and corrosion, but critters just creep me out! I finally opened up a couple of Osborne barn finds (literally) from a year ago, and each one made me jump for a different reason.

    Casadores?
    IMG_1937.JPG
    The first had this double decker cluster of mud dauber nests in it. Expected these were last season's nests, but wasn't taking any chances. After setting up for a quick exit from my upstairs workroom that would trap anything living inside behind me, I broke them and thankfully they were empty. Whew! I must commend the daubers on a nice strategic ingress/egress placement behind the case fan. Turned into a LOT of dirt to clean though.


    The second had a silver dollar sized spider attached to the inside cover as I lifted it off. Jeeeez, I hate spiders!! Turned out to be one of 8-10 similar sized empty spider husks lurking all over the place from an old nest inside the case (yes, spiders molt their exoskeletons in order to grow). Honestly, I think that was creepier than finding actual spiders. After changing my shorts, I stripped my workroom to the nubs just to make sure I wasn't going to unexpectedly run into new (larger) guests in the future. So far, so good. This one creeped me out so badly I forgot to take pictures!

    Both of these happened within hours of each other. After cleaning out the spider husks into a ziploc bag using a pair of *long* nose pliers, I put my workroom back together, had a Crown & Coke and left the Osbornes for another day.


    What was your best adventure?
    “The Bex religious impulse does have its collective side. As in, collect everything and hold on to it whether you remember where it came from or not.”
    —Alberto Fossa, Privateer 2

  2. #2
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    I bought an elderly Avid Apple II collectors entire collection. Tons and tons of computers, parts, disks, boxes, so much. And it was all covered in tons of dust and mouse droppings so it was tough to tell what was in there when I was getting it. When I got home i discovered a complete in package first run copy Of Ultima from 1981, and a complete boxed copy of Ultima III with all feelies. The profits of both of those paid for the whole haul many times over.

    As far as vermin, tons of floppy drives that were rodent nests. Im not squemish so I keep, clean, and repair hardware in any state. BUT I WONT TOUGH ANYTHING ROACH INFESTED!!!!

  3. #3
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    When I took apart my low serial Osborne 1 and discovered that it had a pre-production motherboard in it. I pulled it out and noticed it didn't look like the standard Osborne board. I emailed Lee Felsenstein and he said it was a revision of the prototype board.. a large empty space beside the RAM was where the prototype linear power aupply would have been before it was changed.

  4. #4

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    A Heath kit EC-1 analog computer with several of the banana jacked having single wasp larva in them was the most biological surprise I got.
    Another thing was, I got a cheaper Apple IIe from ebay. I'm not a real Apple person but I wanted to experiment with the SwiftBoard made by Information Appliance. This was an early device made by Jef Raskin ( of Macintosh fame ). I had the firmware and wanted to make an operating one ( which I've done ). I got the Apple IIe cheap because one of the keys on the keyboard was broken ( I've since learned that they used several different brands of keyboards ).
    The surprise was the extra board I found in the machine. It was a QuikLoader made by SCRG. It will boot not only DOS but a lot of programs can be boot almost instantly. I'm surprised it wasn't more common than is was. Anyway, I could sell the board for several time the cost of the computer I bought.
    Dwight

  5. #5
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    I bought a rather dirty Apple //c on eBay and discovered that it had a rare Z-Ram Ultra 3 upgrade installed inside:

    http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...le-IIc-on-eBay

  6. #6

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    Haven't had many big surprises so far. The only one I can think of right now was a PowerMac 7500/100 for 20 bucks, which instead of a 100 MHz PowerPC 601 came with a G3 @ 220 MHz CPU card.

  7. #7
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    I had purchased a large lot of early PC random used 5.25" floppy disks from eBay - this detail was not visible in the listing photos. When I got it, and started to go through the disks, I discovered that a bunch of the floppy disk sleeves were dark blue with shiny darker blue logos - the same "V" logo as seen on my avatar. This bunch of disks were, in fact, re-formatted, relabeled VisiCorp Visi On program disks.

    No way to tell exactly what had been on each originally. I can only hope these had not been something not already archived. I think there were enough floppies, it may have been from several sets. Well, it certainly illustrated what people thought of Visi On.
    Visi On Reformatted.jpg

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    I didnt know your avatar was for Visicorp? Why the affinity for them?

  9. #9
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    The logo was specifically used for the Visi On product. The first "GUI" environment for the IBM PC. It is an uncommon, and unsung software product, that in some ways may have inspired Windows.

    Quote Originally Posted by VERAULT View Post
    As far as vermin, tons of floppy drives that were rodent nests. Im not squemish so I keep, clean, and repair hardware in any state. BUT I WONT TOUGH ANYTHING ROACH INFESTED!!!!
    I once had to clean out a laptop (not vintage at the time) where one of the components was partially held in place by a plastic sheet with adhesive on one side. When I opened it up, the part that was not in contact with the component had small dead roaches stuck to it. Ick. Some people just don't take care of their stuff.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
    The logo was specifically used for the Visi On product. The first "GUI" environment for the IBM PC. It is an uncommon, and unsung software product, that in some ways may have inspired Windows.


    I once had to clean out a laptop (not vintage at the time) where one of the components was partially held in place by a plastic sheet with adhesive on one side. When I opened it up, the part that was not in contact with the component had small dead roaches stuck to it. Ick. Some people just don't take care of their stuff.
    When i was a warranty service tech bout 20 years ago i had to work in a particularly ghetto part of the city i grew up in. In broad daylight this place has roaches crawling over every surface. I wondered why these people didnt buy cleaning supplies or a vacuum cleaner rather than a computer. When i was done i drove home very quickly took off most of my clothes in the yard and ran into s scalding hot shower. Pretty sure i bleached the clothes... I cant tolerate filth with my OCD.. And that level of vermin and the complacency they had to it still haunts me.

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