What's the rarest or most unusual computer-related item do you own?

steven at malikoff.com steven at malikoff.com
Wed Jan 18 06:01:16 CST 2017

A few more things I have, that I just thought of.

A plastic brightness control knob from an IBM 5110 portable computer.
I removed this a few seconds before I was tasked to smash it and half a dozen others to bits.
First thing to be done was to 'de-louse' the CRTs by knocking the glass pip off the end with a screwdriver,
then check and remove any capacitors that might have contained PCB, to be placed in a tough
plastic bag for incineration. I don't recall if the 5110 had any caps like that, but other old equipment did.
This was back in 1982, I was doing work experience at IBM and we had to scrap a pile of (financially)
written-off gear prior to going to the scrap metal place. I also got a 3330(?) head. I have never gotten
over the 5110's to this day.

Bill Gates autograph. Bill was on a visit to Sydney back in the early 90s to spruik Microsoft's
involvement with IBM in working on OS/2. I happened to be sitting in the front row of the auditorium
and when he finished speaking, his 'minder' the CEO of Microsoft Australia immediately ushered him
to the doors.
I reached into my work bag and grabbed my well-worn copy of the Windows 3.1 Developers Guide,
a pen, and ran to the door. I shoved the book in his face and to the annoyance of the CEO he
graciously signed it 'Best Regards, Bill Gates'. :)

IBM 3420 tape drive.  I threw a low bid on this, expecting to be outbid. It was getting near the end of
the auction and I was having second thoughts about it, as it was two states away and I had found out
how much these things weigh. I was desperately hoping to be outbid but I ended up with it. The seller
wanted it 'outta here' between Xmas and New Year, so I then had to get it shipped interstate in that period,
and I was away from home to compound the situation. I managed to do get it done using a furniture
backloader, those guys almost did their backs in trying to unload it at my mother's place, in the summer
heat. She gave them a beer for their efforts.


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