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.
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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.

Reporting problematic posts

If you see spam, a wildly off-topic post, or something abusive or illegal please report the thread by clicking on the "Report Post" icon. (It looks like an exclamation point in a triangle and it is available under every post.) This send a notification to all of the moderators, so somebody will see it and deal with it.

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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eBay: Original Unassembled Altair 8800 Computer Kit

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    eBay: Original Unassembled Altair 8800 Computer Kit

    This is something that might actually count as rare. It appears to be a complete original and unassembled Altair 8800 kit in as shipped from factory condition. Wonder how high this one will go:

    Not mine, wish it was. This would pay some bills...

    Of what use or value is an unassembled computer? Guess we'll find out...

    If this flies, then one can offer a few trees, some sand, iron ore and bauxite as the next stage up the line of disassembly. It should fetch an even higher price being less-assembled.
    Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


      Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
      Of what use or value is an unassembled computer? Guess we'll find out...
      You know that is a silly question. Value != Use. What practical use does an Altair or IMSAI have in fully functional condition? The collector value is the question here for this item, not its usage value.

      Currently bid up to $1,825.00, reserve not yet met.


        Well, I know of a fellow who's still using an IMSAI 8080 to run his vacuum-molding (commercial) setup. So its value is pretty much established for him. But what a box of parts is worth, I dunno.
        Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.


          Unbuilt in original box is worth a fortune. I'd bet it goes over 5 grand.


            I love how assembling the system LOWERS the value.
            I bet you that if someone openly did that the old farts would start uttering death threats.
            [Need something to waste time on? Click here to visit my YouTube channel CelGenStudios]
            [No time for videos? Click here to visit my Twitter feed @CelGenStudios]

            = Excellent space heater


              It's just like old postage stamps. Once a stamp is put on an envelope and punched, the value may change dramaticly.
              Current systems owned by me:
              Vintage:IBM PC/XT submodel 087 ( 1983 ), [Kon]tiki-100 rev. C (1983), Compaq Portable I ( 1984 ), IBM PC/XT submodel 078 ( 1985 ), IBM PC/XT286 ( ~1986 ), 3x Nintendo Entertainement Systems ( 1987 ).
              Obsolete:Commodore A500 ( ~1990 ), IBM PS/2 model 70/386 type 8570-161 ( 1991 ), Atari Lynx II ( ~1992 ), Generic Intel 486SX PC ( ~1993 ), AT/T Globalyst Pentium w/FDIV bug MB ( 1994 ), Compaq 486DX4 laptop ( ~1995 ).


                Whilst I do not believe that old computers have any lasting monetary value, it is certainly the case that an unassembled kit is possibly unique and therefore worth more than the assembled computers of which there are many more.


                  Originally posted by VintageComputerman View Post
                  Unbuilt in original box is worth a fortune. I'd bet it goes over 5 grand.
                  oh I can believe it. Sadly, for the same amount of money you probably could re-create everything from scratch yourself. That said, if I was rich, I'd have no problem paying easily twice as much for an un-assembled 8080 rather than one already built.
                  It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.


                    For someone back then to buy an Altair and not even take it out of the box, they must of either stolen it out of the post office or they had a hell of a lot of cash to throw around.
                    [Need something to waste time on? Click here to visit my YouTube channel CelGenStudios]
                    [No time for videos? Click here to visit my Twitter feed @CelGenStudios]

                    = Excellent space heater


                      The $3000 reserve has been hit now with 6 days still left to go.

                      Meanwhile the PDP 8/e he is also selling is only at $1000 currently.


                        Holy cow. This is one amazing and truly rare (maybe the only one of its kind) auction. I bet this goes for over $10K.
                        "Deep down I'm pretty superficial." - Ava Gardner

                        My Computer Museum Website:

                        My YouTube Channel:


                          Who wants to take a bet that the buyer will assemble it?

                          To me, it's worth 10x the cost of an equivalent condition assembled system (factory or kit!), if I had the kind of cash to throw around that this system will end up going for, I'd buy it, keep it in a secondary box to keep the original box mint, and hold onto it for another few decades.

                          To those who were questioning the value of an old unassembled kit, you've obviously never collected Heathkit... complete, boxed, unassembled heathkits from the 70's or older go for BANK.
                          WTB: Modems! PM me if you have a modem of interest, particularly interested in Acoustics, early externals, and internals for Apple II's (no interest in PC or Mac internals)
                          Top of the want list: any pre-sportster/pre-courier US Robotics
                          I pay fair prices.
                          Also looking for Racal-Vadic documentation!


                            Actually, there is quite a bit of historical significance in being able to see an unassembled unit and exactly how this was packed.

                            I'd put this in a museum so you could show it to kids, point to it and say "back then when you bough a computer, there was SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED!"

                            Perhaps someone could use this as a future reference to manufacturer new kits, so more people could have the exact same experience. (If such details aren't already well known) Just a thought.

                            There are many different kinds of collectors, with many different perspectives. Some like to test things out and experience them, some like the feel of living in a store with new unopened items, some put things in to actual use because they have legacy needs. At least we probably aren't dealing with someone who wants to melt it down for scrap!


                              All I can say is wow. I really hope a museum gets this. I can only imagine how nice this looks in person.