Xerox Alto on ebay (not mine!)

Tony Duell ard at
Fri Oct 15 15:02:00 CDT 2010

> Teo Zenios wrote:
> > There are many old machines that are worth preserving but are better off 
> > in a museum then in somebody's cluttered basement left to rot. 
> There are cases where that's true - but I know how museums can't possibly 

I feel even more strongly about this, having dealt with some particularly 
clueless people at musuems and related organisations [1]. To the extent 
that no part of my collection is ever going near a museum.

[1] My 'favourite' story is the chap from the British Library who didn't 
realise that thermal printouts fade quite quickly, and thus any such 
printouts of historical significance need to be photocopied or scanned 

My experience suggests that few museums would dismantle a rare machine to 
produce documetnation and then fix it, whereas quite a few enthusiasts 
would. Giving a very rarew machine to such an enthusiast is more likely 
to produce inforamtion of benefit to the rest of the classic computing 
community than would be produced if it was given to a museum.

> (I often think that the downside of ebay is that an item goes to the person 
> with the deepest pockets, and they're not necessarily the best person to treat 
> an item nicely)

Particularly as hackers (in the origianl sense) are not often well-paid, 
if they can find a job at all.


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