Hardware Hobbyists vs. Emulator Jockeys (was: Re: UNIX V7)

Michael Kerpan mjkerpan at kerpan.com
Mon Jun 15 18:04:43 CDT 2009

Frankly I don't get what this whole fuss is about from either side of
the argument. On the one hand, yes, classic hardware is finite and the
more people who want it, the higher prices get. But that's the same
for ANY vintage item. From baseball cards to Corvettes to classic
computers, scaricty is the main driver of pricing for anything that
can be collected. But there's also another advantage to people being
into classic hardware: greater interest creates more preservation.
Unlike, say baseball cards or classic cars, the perceived value of
older computers is quite low, except among the dedicated enthusiast
community. By expanding the number of people interested in old
hardware, the number of old computers picked from the curb at trash
day or successfully sold at a yard sale goes up. While this obviously
does little to save mainframes and minis, whose owners are usually
large corportae and educational institutions that, by and large, have
been moving to a common policy where selling hardware for scrap if
possible and destroying it before disposal if not are preferable to
giving stuff away or even SELLING it to hobbyists, increased interest
and awareness in classic hardware can, and probably does, save classic
8 and 16-bit micros from the scrappers all the time.

Part two of my rant, about why emulation is also good will have to
wait as my shift is over and I need to get home :)


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