Xerox Alto on ebay (not mine!)

Tony Duell ard at
Mon Oct 18 15:08:59 CDT 2010

> Teo Zenios wrote:
> > If it was up to some people on this list nothing x86 would live to see a 
> > museum because they are unworthy. You don't need military vandalism to 
> > accomplish what a recycler can easily do.
> Not just people, but I think that's a trap that museums can easily fall into, 
> too - that what is or was commonplace can be seen as mundane and boring and 
> yes, "not worthy". Museums can't afford to collect everything, and so it's 
> those things which fall by the wayside, and there's a danger of there being a 
> real gap 20 or 30 years down the line.

When I started collecting old computers (they weren't 'classic' then) 
back in 1986, I did so becuase after rescuing a minicomputer from being 
scrapped, I realised that while museums were preserving the truely rare 
machines, there were a lot of once-common machines that museums were not 
interested in, and unless somebody did something then 20 years of 
computer histroy was going to vanish. 

So I did something.
> I'm glad that I've bumped into a few people that collect the sort of dot 
> matrix printers common in the 80s, for instance. I don't think many people 
> find them interesting, but I'm glad that there are people hoarding them, 
> because otherwise they might be a very rare sight indeed in a few decades' time.

AS I've mentioned before, I am a hardware person, and while (of course) I 
find computers intersting, I can also find their peripherals as 
interesting. I mentioned a couple of weeks back that I'd just got an 
Olivetti sparkjet printer running again. Of course I don't intend to use 
it seriously a a printer. But it's an interesting idea (even if the print 
quality is only just about legible :-)), and IMHO such a machine should 
be preserved.

> (I remember about 5 years ago trying to amass a collection of 486 PCs for a 
> project. It was a bit of an eye-opener, and I gave up after a few months - it 
> was just too difficult. They were long-gone to the crusher from offices, and 
> individuals hadn't retained them as they had other systems because they had no 
> nostalgia or "coolness factor")

I have ot admit that _I_ am not interested in PC clones, but that 
certainly doesn't mean that nobody should be, or that they don't need ot 
be preserved. They are certainly an important part of the history of 


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