Selling Calcomp 565 plotter
mcguire at neurotica.com
Wed Feb 10 00:36:01 CST 2010
On Feb 9, 2010, at 2:15 PM, Philipp Hachtmann wrote:
>> I have been looking for a 565, no joke, for fifteen years.
> Wow! I've never even seen a vintage computer before autumn of 2004
> when I bought my H316 out of the blue.
PDPs weren't so "vintage" when I got into them. I used a
PDP-11/23 at work to maintain wire lists in 1985-1987. I got my
first PDP-11 at home, an 11/34a, in (I think) 1986 when I was 17. I
got a PDP-8/e about two years before that, but it was nonfunctional
for a long time.
> Ok, perhaps somewhere in a museum but those dead boxes were boring
> to me.
> Since then I collect old computers. And collecting means
> collecting. Like you collect apples under a tree.
>> I had one on my very first PDP-8/e when I was about 15, I loved
>> the thing, then I stupidly sold it.
> But now you have some new ones?
Yes I do; I count myself as fortunate. I love my machines and I'm
very glad to have them.
I work at home, and one very large room in my house is my office.
An entire wall of my office, and most of another wall, is a row of
There's more behind where I was standing when I took the picture,
but you get the idea. And there's now a PDP-11/50 where the leftmost
RK07 is in that picture. When I get it a bit better organized I'll
take better pictures. I also have a large stash of other machines in
my garage...a great many Qbus PDP-11s, a PDP-10, a few Cray vector
>> I regretted it badly about a year later and have been looking for
>> one ever since.
> I once had a Tandy 200 computer. I still remember me throwing it
> away in the mid nineties. With original cover, documentation,
> everything. In pristine working condition. It was junk. Ok, it's no
> pdp8/something or other really cool minicomputer. But I still
> sometimes feel sad about that.
As well you should. ;) Why would anyone throw a perfectly
functional computer, any computer, in the trash? But I understand; I
made some bad decisions years ago also. I didn't think far enough
ahead. When I got into PDP hardware, there was no "classic computing
hobby"; they were machines I used (and liked!) at work and I managed
to get lucky and get one at home. Then another, then another...But I
never dreamed they'd be considered a "collection". I sold and gave
away many things that I later regretted.
Since then I've been very lucky to get most of those things back.
Thanks to some people on this list, I now have a GIGI (actually two!)
and a VAX-11/750, for example...two things I owned back before they
were antiques and stupidly sold, and missed ever since.
>> If they're so common over there, would you consider shipping me
>> one? (when I can afford it, which should be soon)
> Hm. Shipping will cost a fortune.
True. I'll pay it (when I'm able), though, to get a 565.
> I once shipped a Honeywell H316R (no other unit known to survive)
> from US. That cost me $$$ plus more $$$ and some $$$ more... The
> machine itself was bought for an epsilon. But in the end I've never
> paid more for a vintage computer than the 316R...!
> I currently have a 563 and three 565 plotters. I'd like to keep the
> 563 and two 565 units because they have different resolutions. And
> I have at least three computers fitted with interfaces to drive
> them. The third 565 ist just being swapped away as part of a bigger
> deal. Sorry. But I'll remember you when the next plotter drops in.
Please do! I appreciate it greatly.
> Oh, ball pens are no problem. I have those normal ball pen holders
> where you can put a normal ball pen in. Even in two distinct sizes.
> And I have a holder for fisher space pens. VERY much better. That's
> basically the same but has a different end piece and inlay. I have
> some spare inlays. But not the ends.
> And there was an INK pen assembly. I have most of the parts -
> multiple times. But I again miss the end piece. So I cannot use an
> ink pen. I know only one person having the complete ink stuff:
> You can see the end piece in the middle of the upper row in the
Wow, that's a nice set of pens! And what a beautiful wooden box
they're in! That reminds me very much of some of my antique Leeds &
Northrup instrument collection.
>>> BTW it's the same with Teletype ASR33 and 35. In fact it's not
>>> always easy to get rid of those if they're not in pristine
>> ...it took me nearly a decade to find one of those.
Yes, you read that right. Many people here think ASR33s are
everywhere, easy to find, and worth nothing. Well, maybe if you're
in Silicon Valley or Boston, but nowhere else. I've known several
people who have them, but nobody who has ever been willing to part
with one. I even had two deals lined up in which I was going to
drive to NJ and then to South Carolina to pick one up, but in both
cases, someone else offered more money (about $200 and $250) and they
were sold without my even being able to make a counter-offer.
It wasn't until just this past year when my old friend Andrew up
at M.I.T. gave me TWO ASR-33s, one working and one "almost" working.
I gave one to Sridhar, and the other one adorns my living room.
(right next to the Friden Flexowriter, wheee!)
>> I'm not particularly bad at finding stuff, but I live in a part of
>> the (my) country where there is NO classic hardware.
>> "Old computer" here means
>> "2GHz Pentium-4". Yes, sometimes I really want to move, and I
>> probably will, because this area doesn't support the lifestyle
>> that I want to live...which includes getting cool computer
>> hardware on a regular basis.
> Where do you live?
I live in southwest Florida, about 2/3 of the way down on the west
coast of the state, right near the Gulf of Mexico.
> I never understood why it is as difficult to get old hardware in
> US. Ok, in Germany they sometimes pay $$$ (better: €€€), too. Most
> of the stuff we're talking about has been manufactured in US. And
> was used far more widely there than anywhere else.
I've wondered that too.
> Perhaps there are different management approaches. Here "that once
> was very expensive" can be a reason to keep stuff for decades.
Here, when something is six months old, it's "garbage" and is sent
to a recycler. In other cases, often there are kickbacks involved;
recyclers bribe managers to decommission equipment very early in its
life cycle, which the recyclers then sell and make a lot of
money...some of which then comes back to the managers. It's disgusting.
> At least in universities and other more or less public institutions.
> Here it is sometimes difficult to save stuff from scrap. Just
> because of the physical volume. I'm currently literally drowning in
> DEC docs I saved from the dumpster in the last few days. Yes, cool
> to have them. But...Ohhh!
> And I don't know yet if the pdp10 software documentation will be
> endangered as well. Saving that would generate real problems at my
> side: currently counted 20 boxes. But be sure: I'll ensure that it
> won't get thrown away.
I'm glad to hear it!
>> I know YOU find a lot of this stuff...I assure you that's not the
>> norm. I sure wish it were!
> Ok, I probably have to admit that I've been quite (very?) lucky
> sometimes. But in general its still far easier to get the good
> stuff here in Germany. So move to Germany! We also have some
> mountains one can climb and some lakes :-)
I would love to! Perhaps someday I will!
Port Charlotte, FL
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