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This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

This forum has been around in this format for over 15 years. These rules and guidelines help us maintain a healthy and active community, and we moderate the forum to keep things on track. Please familiarize yourself with these rules and guidelines.


Rule 1: Remain civil and respectful

There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

This should be obvious but, just in case: profanity, threats, slurs against any group (sexual, racial, gender, etc.) will not be tolerated.


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To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
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This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

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Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Rule 5: Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.


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New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

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Details and pictures please on The Black Hole vintage computer store

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    #16
    Originally posted by Unknown_K View Post

    And you tell them to piss off like most shops would (ever seen pawn stars where they talk people down quite a bit or show them the door?).
    That's what a good shop would do. But then that's the reason I think it's more a fantasy than an actual reality, moreso due to COVID-19.

    For starters, you have the problem of idiots. Some guy walks in with a 12 year old Core 2 Duo and is upset you won't give him $900 for it because in his eyes it's "vintage" because it won't run Windows 11. Then you have the guy with his generic 486 AT Clone who thinks it's worth $25K because HE has never seen one before. Then there's the guy that tries to sue you six months later because he finds out he could have made $2500 on his IBM PC 5150 on E-bay.

    Some other thoughts this raises....and this might be a mouthful.....

    I know we consider this niche but it really is not so much anymore, and has not been since maybe, 2010 or so. If you think about it, we have a nice lot of heavy-hitter vintage PC YouTube Channels (8-bit guy, Adrian's Digital Basement, LGR, PhilsComputerLab, RetroSpector.....just to name a few), places like RE-PC are starting to offer parts for these older systems in their stores again, I bought 2 motherboards in Tukwila before I moved. The owner of Computer Reset hits his deathbed and now there's a Facebook group busting at the seams with people wanting to get inside and buy up all the old PC stuff there, probably more than any other genre mentioned. Heck, I go to work now and I end up meeting other people into this now, instead of being the "Weird guy with the old PC's that are dwarfed by the power of my smartphone!" like it was when I was doing this in the 2000s. It's almost darn near mainstream now. My last 3 weeks of work I've been talking DOS games, x86 PC's Pre-Pentium 4, and so on with no less than 4 different people I work with, and got a SS7 and 486 from one of them. Even this thread itself is proof of that, someone wants to see pictures of a massive warehouse full of old computer stuff.

    As such, I think the problem we have is determining the true, actual, market value of this stuff to keep people in-line with the prices yet keep people from getting ripped off. I get that a lot of us started doing this because it was cheap, but those days are gone now save for the rare case here or there. It is somewhat in the mainstream consciousness. I think some people are in denial of this because it upsets them. There was a time when this stuff was worth nothing and you could back your truck up and buy out all the gear and have endless amounts of fun with it, but those days are long since over and will never come back.

    Now, there is a light in the dark of pricing. Eventually, older platforms will come down and level out as their respective nostalgic patrons start to get old and pass away. It's already happening with the Atari 2600 and some of the older consoles from that generation back because the young kids, the only thing they care about is the Nintendo. I can also see it staging with XT's and AT's as most of the younger folks into this, like one of my co-workers, tend to want something 80486 at the oldest. As folks my age get older, prices of that stuff will go down, and you no longer will be looking at $300 copies of The Secret of Monkey Island.

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      #17
      When Computer Reset was opened for liquidation, the volunteers (or some fan, but I think it was a volunteer) said that the flood of items into public hands would literally change the economics of the hobby, going so far as saying that it would singlehandedly bring eBay prices down because of increased supply.

      As for this being mainstream, I'm rather at odds about that. Is it really worth not being pushed into your locker in exchange for not feeling like you're doing something special anymore?

      "'I was a nerd and social outcast because of this stuff before it was cool!' he raged."
      Then again, just because someone buys a 286 on eBay doesn't mean they know how to find and replace blown capacitors to make it work. Or program a game. Or use the Debug command to directly read and write to the memory. So just keep pushing/holding the geek line, and you'll know that you're still the genuine article, and not an imitator.
      Sattinger's Law: “It works better if you plug it in.” Corollary: “It works even better if you plug it in correctly.”
      "The simplest solution is the most likely solution." --My paraphrase of Occam's Razor
      "You can get [a computer] like yours at a garage sale for, like, fifteen dollars," --Strong Sad, sbemail #33

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        #18
        I think one of the reasons those massive lots don't bring down prices is because their condition sucks. Most of what was seen at Computer reset looked broken, missing parts, and had not been turned on in 20+ years so lots of work was needed. Items get ebay prices because they are sold as used (but working condition).

        The days of people looking at you funny for wanting their old computer junk do seem gone, now they look at you funny thinking you are ripping them off with lowball offers.
        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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          #19
          Originally posted by Bill-kun View Post
          When Computer Reset was opened for liquidation, the volunteers (or some fan, but I think it was a volunteer) said that the flood of items into public hands would literally change the economics of the hobby, going so far as saying that it would singlehandedly bring eBay prices down because of increased supply.

          As for this being mainstream, I'm rather at odds about that. Is it really worth not being pushed into your locker in exchange for not feeling like you're doing something special anymore?



          Then again, just because someone buys a 286 on eBay doesn't mean they know how to find and replace blown capacitors to make it work. Or program a game. Or use the Debug command to directly read and write to the memory. So just keep pushing/holding the geek line, and you'll know that you're still the genuine article, and not an imitator.
          It seems to me that CR had little impact on prices, that said, they seem to ebb and flow a bit with popularity of a particular item. For example, and I'm blaming myself here, before I started really digging into the 1st gen NEC Versa laptops, they were still pretty cheap. You could buy a used 40EC in tested, working condition for around $35. Now since I started blabbering my mouth about them online, the same 40EC in untested as/is for parts condition has an asking price of $75.00+ in most cases.

          I think in CRs case, it would be at best, regional, because CR is not selling their stock online, they don't have a website to sell from anymore as a legitimate business, you instead have to travel to Dallas from wherever you are at with some means of transport or a lot of money for shipping to get the stuff to your home. It's a bit more unique than the general blah blah posted a bunch about this item now we'll charge double what we were before...or more.

          On the mainstream side....your quote pretty much said in fewer words than I could. I think a big problem, myself included, is that we were into this before it was cool or popular. We endured the decades of being looked at funny for being into old computers when people were bugging us to buy a Pentium 4 with XP and use DOSbox. In a way, us "ents" of this whole thing are basically the gateway to the geek hipsters that run around now.

          And just like the 286, just because someone buys a 1976 Ford Bronco does not mean they know how to change the fluids or spark plugs, replace a clutch, or rewire a dashboard cluster....thats how "Barnfinds" happen, lol. Just because someone buys a 1962 Fender Jaguar does not mean they know how to replace switches, restring it so the strings don't skip around the bridge when played hard, tweak the vibrato for more range, or know what all those switches and knobs do. That rule applies to pretty much anything that is a specialty like this is. But the Bronco is now mainstream enough now we have a limited qty speciality builder called Icon making new "old" Ford Broncos, and everyone has been copying the Fender Jaguar for the last decade, when before you had 2 choices, buy a vintage one, or special order a brand new one from Japan.

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