rare systems

Tony Duell ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Tue Mar 9 13:32:30 CST 2010

> Guys, don't confuse "rare" with "more historic".  "Rare" just means 
> "fewer".  If the people at Tandy produced a limited-edition TRS-80, and 
> the only difference was it had a yellow polka-dot case design, and only 
> 100 were ever made, does that mean it's more "rare" than a Straight-8?  
> Technically, yes!  Does that make it more historic?  It's too dumb a 
> question to even ask.

Oh, I agree with you totally. But I interpretted the original message as 
saying that a straight-8 should seel for more than an Apple 1 becuase 
it's rarer. I am simply arguing that rarity is not the major factor in 
determining price (and nor, IMHO should it be).

One thing that certainly doesn't correlate with price is quality (either 
design quality of build quality). This is obvious from the fact that a 
Sinclair ZX80 will sell for a lot more than a contemporary HP machine...

> (I'm not putting down the PERQ systems, etc.; those are certainly 
> historic in their own regard.)

Actually, nrither of those PERQs is particulalry historic. Th PERQ 2T4 is 
the last of the classic PERQs, and the only one with a 24 bit (rather 
than 20 bit) processor. The AGW3300 is an ICL-designed 68020 unix box, 
albeit one with a curious graphics procesosr (a pair of 29116s, one to 
calculate adresses, the other to update the bitmap data). I would claim 
the really historic PERQ is the original PERQ 1 (with a 4K WCS CPU), 
since that was the _first_. Mine is upstairs... It's not a particularly 
rare machine

> And yes, DEC isn't as popular as Apple; there won't be millions of DEC 
> fanboys and stuff ......
> But it's hard to argue that the Straight-8 isn't one of the most * 
> historic * systems ever made, re: historic = grand context and 
> importance to the history of the computer industry.  Rarity is a big 
> factor too, but the '8 has it all.  Historic, rare, desirable.

I won't argue about the 'historic' or 'rare', but is it particularly 
desirable (for reasons other than being historic and rare)? I would have 
thought a later PDP8 machine, such ad a PDP8/e was more desirable 
technically (it can take more memory, it uses more common logic levels, 
there are more peripherals for it (and they're easier to find), it uses 
TTL logic levels (so it's easier to make your own interfaces, and so on).


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