cctalk Digest, Vol 51, Issue 37

Scott Quinn compoobah at
Mon Nov 12 10:45:59 CST 2007

On Nov 11, 2007, at 11:21 PM, cctalk-request at wrote:

> What I meant to say is that the investor who get in turn the hobby 
> into a
> business. Get in buy low, trade items around between other investors to
> drive up the costs, sell out and find another pump and dump hobby. It 
> leaves
> people thinking their stuff is worth money when the people with the 
> money
> are long gone. Granted people will dig up those rarities and trade them
> around so they do not get trashed, so there is a plus side to it 
> (things get
> preserved).

There's another factor here - people like Will and Paul and Sellam 
(probably) don't cater to deep-pocket collectors as their primary 
customers. They cater to businesses who still use the machines in 
day-to-day operations and are happy to pay what's needed for a part so 
they can get it next-business-day. The other market is lawyers looking 
for prior art evidence. In both cases the bankroll is substantially 
bigger than almost any collector, so collectors get locked out through 
no nefarious intent of the dealers. Remember there's quite a lot of 
overhead in locating, buying, storing, organizing, and dealing that one 
part that one person will need every 5 years (or longer for the lawyers 
- maybe only once in 50 years, but they're willing to pay).
Off of this there is a certain amount of hype-induced market pumping 
(lookit how much that old thing sold for! I'm gonna dump my beanie 
babies and invest in cawm-pew-tuhs (yes, more sophisticated certainly, 
but it's a fun image), but that is vapor wealth because those people 
don't have the support to deal to businesses and probably have no 
interest in doing professional lawyer supply so the investment is 
probably as good as shares in "Gobi Rainforest Woods Limited"

> The only thing stopping me from fighting over the big boys for my
> collectables is that nothing I collect would interest the big deep 
> pocket
> collectors in the first place. Everything I like was made in the 
> thousands
> or millions, outbid me today and I just wait for the next one, or find 
> it at
> a garage sale for $1. I guess if I was older and used computers pre 
> 1980, I
> might want some of the rarer systems that command money, but they just 
> don't
> mean anything to me so I don't bother.

I certainly wouldn't mind trying out a HP2100 or 3000, or an IBM 
mini/mainframe, but definitely same boat here - wussy micros only 
(unless you count the TAAC board which might be a mini). I'm a bit 
gunshy too, after the trouble it took to outfit my $25 VAX 4200 I'm 
hesitant to get into something that I don't know especially if it's 

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