Forum Rules and Etiquette

Our mission ...

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.

Rule 2: Stay close to the original topic being discussed
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Rule 3: Contribute something meaningful

To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
  • This is not a chat room. If you are taking less than 30 seconds to make a post then you are probably doing something wrong. A post should be on topic, clear, and contribute something meaningful to the discussion. If people read your posts and feel that their time as been wasted, they will stop reading your posts. Worse yet, they will stop visiting and we'll lose their experience and contributions.
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Rule 4: "PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

In short, if you are going to reply to a thread and that reply is targeted to a specific individual and not of interest to anybody else (either now or in the future) then send a private message instead.

Here are some obvious examples of when you should not reply to a thread and use the PM system instead:
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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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If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.

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.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.

Other suggestions
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Inherited around 100 vintage computers - advice sought...

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    Inherited around 100 vintage computers - advice sought...


    I have just inherited a lot of vintage computers from my father-in-law who was an avid collector for over 40 years.

    All in all there are about 75 to 100 machines. They seem to come with various accessories and a lot of guide books incluing 3rd party written books. I would say there are arounf 500 accompanying books.

    I was wondering where I start to process these and whoe might help me.

    It may be that some of them have historical value, some may be worth money, or they may all be mass produced scrap from the 70s 80s and 90s. I have no idea.

    I wonder if you guys might be able to comment?

    The list includes, but is not limited to: (also there are sometimes several of each tye)

    Amiga 600

    Amstrad 835

    Amstrad pcw9512

    Apple II e

    Apple III

    Apple PC Clone

    Mac Centra 610 at least 4

    Atari XE

    Atari 400

    Atari 800

    Atari 512

    BBC B

    BBC Torch

    Commodore 16

    Commodore 64



    DEC Rainbow

    EDIXY Sorcerer

    Tatung Einstein



    Rank Xerox

    Sinclair ZX80

    Sinclair ZX81

    Sinclair Spectrum

    Sinclair Spectrum II

    Sinclair Spectrum III

    Sinclair QL

    Sinclair Z88

    Sinclair QL PC

    IBM with 5.25 floppy Colur Monitor and printer

    Acorn a3010

    Commodore pet

    IBM loads 10?

    Commodore 386SX

    Amstrad 1640

    ZF spectrum +3 128k with fdd

    Commodore plus 4 four of

    Atari 520 ST

    Apple quadra 610

    Any expert advice from auction them to scrap them to give them to us woudl be most appreciated.


    Doubtful anyone here would advocate scrapping, pretty much everything on your list has significant value and you could fairly easily auction or otherwise sell any of these. Where are they located? People here may be interested in some depending on condition and location, I would definitely be interested in some of these depending on price and shipping.
    if you could provide a few pictures that would probably help as well. Thanks.


      There's certainly a market for each of those.

      If you have no interest in them, then it becomes a question of how much time you want to put in to them in terms of getting rid of them.

      You could "wholesale" price the entire kit and hope someone comes and picks it up. Depending on where you are, this may be very viable.

      You could parcel each one out on eBay, there will be lots of comparable systems to contrast what you have with what's for sale, and what folks are selling (though not necessarily buying) them for. 75 systems means 75 eBay transactions, for good or ill. No doubt by the end you'll be an expert at it. But shipping can be expensive.

      There's no real need to power them up or anything else. Some may work, some may not, some may flicker to life only to fade in a curl of smoke. If you don't know the provenance of these, I don't know if it's worth plugging them in to determine their status, even if you were qualified to judge even if they did power up. (We don't know your skill set or background.)

      Most of those seem fairly common (can't speak to all of them), with their primary distinguishing aspects being their overall condition (which may be difficult for you to asses).

      it really comes down to what you want from it, your background and what you may or may not know about the systems, and how much time you're willing to put in to it.

      You're certainly not alone in having a large collection like this dumped in your lap.


        I'm guessing you're in the UK given the number of BBC computers listed? What an excellent collection of computers. Don't scrap anything. Auction them, give them away, create the UK equivalent of a 403(c) and start a museum!


          Nothing really standout, like say an Altair or an IMSAI, but in general, cleaned up and shown working, I'd say $100-$300 apiece. Some, like the ZX81 aren't worth much. Best way to find out is to search ebay for completed sales. If you were to sell them as a single lot, you'd probably get quite a bit less, but it would be a lot less hassle.


            I also suspect given that list you are in the UK. If its some where with reasonable transport links, so not Cornwall or the north of Scotland I would be inclined to list them on E-bay or one of the UK Facebook "local pick up only". Shipping computers with manuals is likely to be expensive.

            If you just want rid then consider the smaller museums.




            oh and add at least a county to your profile..

            Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals.


              If you are in the UK, I would be interested in some of your equipment - but (obviously) not all of it.

              I acquired some VAX equipment towards the end of last year from a site we own. It was all going to the scrappers if I couldn't use it! Rather than scrap it, it was offered free for collection to VCFED members (or rather for a donation to our company charity). All of the equipment found a home (some of it in my home).

              The big question is 'do you want to part it out or just get rid of it as one job lot'?

              Under no circumstances must they be scrapped! Unless you can't shift them and have no other option. Please give them away in preference to scrapping them. I gave some stuff to a school for them to 'play with' and see how disk drives etc. work. I wanted the space...

              Putting stuff on e-bay means that you have to deal with shipping, ebay and all of that hassle. If you don't want the hassle - don't deal with ebay...

              As someone has previously stated (I think) don't attempt to power any of the equipment up. You can damage it. If something is working, and you want to sell it, then it will command a higher price. If you power it up and 'let out the magic black smoke' then the equipment is now (essentially) scrap. Someone could have potentially got it into a working state more easily by following a few simple repair techniques.

              The other option is to give some of it to the museums identified. However, they have more pressing issues at present... In addition, the more common equipment they will have plenty of - so may not want it anyhow.

              As Dave has suggested, put your location into your profile (or post it here). You never know, you may be close to a VCFED member who may be willing to help out?

              Also, be aware that the private messaging of the new forum is a but 'hit and miss' (mainly 'miss') at the moment. In addition, you will be moderated for a period of time.