mainframes and other stuff

Lyle Bickley lbickley at
Fri Nov 21 13:10:31 CST 2014

On Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:00:44 -0600
"Electronics Plus" <sales at> wrote:

> The scrappers don't care what model it is, or how many boards, or if
> it has a tape drive. It weighs xxx pounds, and is thus worth xxx $$
> to them. So, yes, you could conceivably pick up a $2000 gizmo for
> $200.
> I am collecting a list of the brands and models, but so far, very few
> pics have been sent my way.  Even something from an ad on the
> internet is fine.  The scrappers are very visual, and a dark brown
> cabinet will yield lots of results.  Lots of switches and lights is
> cool, but they don't turn them on (I don't think u want them to), and
> the $8 sorters barely speak English, and don't know what anything
> is.  The more visual we can be, the better our chances.


Not all scrappers and brokers are insensitive to the preservation
of vintage gear.

For instance, I've spent a lot of time over the years with the
management and employees of Weirdstuff Warehouse (WS) here in Silicon
Valley helping them see the value in preserving vintage gear.

As a result, they have donated SMS cards and paper to the 1401 Team
at the Computer History Museum. They have also donated microfiche and
other artifacts to the CHM's collection.

In addition, they almost always call me whenever they find vintage gear.
I check it out and post what they find to the Bay Area Classic Computer
List (because local pickup is VERY desirable). Sometimes, I post same to
this list.

But unfortunately folks on this list often make below scrap offers -
and in several cases someone has told WS they will buy an item and then
balk at having to pay for shipping and handling (which has discouraged
WS from wanting to ship anything).

As to the employees at WS, when they see me coming, they will say
"Lyle, you've got to look at xxx" - and then take me to some item they
feel I'd be interested in.

I've also taught everyone there NOT to power up anything vintage with
out checking with me if it's wise to do so.

They are all willing to do this because they value vintage gear and
want to see it preserved when possible.

Of course, they have to make money. I want them to remain in business
and be successful. We collectors must always take that into
consideration. Scrappers and brokers have to make money or else they
will go away. If we as collectors want them to work with us, we have
to make it worth their while and be rational financially for them to
continue to work with us.

Bickley Consulting West Inc.

"Black holes are where God is dividing by zero"

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