Vintage computers aren't your typical collector's item, but some of the earliest PCs from the 1970s and 80s are already starting to command big bucks in working condition. This is particularly true of models that preceded the volume production IBM PCs and Apple Macintoshes, such as MITs Altair 8800 (1975) and 680 (1976) kit computers, Apple IIs with low serial numbers (1977), early Commodore 64’s (1982) and Apple Lisas (1983).

Aside from the above, there are plenty of vintage computer names to collect, including Compaq, Kaypro, Amiga, Sinclair, Franklin, Xerox, Digital Equipment, Atari, Heathkit, Texas Instruments, and Silicon Graphics. With vintage computers, displayability is key, so make sure you get all the accessories, software, manuals and power cords you'll need to run your vintage machine.

Also, keep your eye out for vintage computer-related paper items and ephemera. Some early magazines, like the famous January 1975 Popular Electronics issue featuring the Altair 8800, can fetch over $100.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Chips Etc.

Chips Etc.

Computers are upgraded more frequently than fashion, which means there’s a lot of obsolete hardware out there for… [read review or visit site]

Computer History Museum

Computer History Museum

Collect computers? This California-based museum's website has several excellent online exhibits, including an exten… [read review or visit site]

Old-Computers.com

Old-Computers.com

This gallery of over 900 vintage computers is notable for its comprehensiveness. Each model includes a text descrip… [read review or visit site]

Classic Computer Magazine Archive

Classic Computer Magazine Archive

If you collect early computers, you'll enjoy this site. Assembled by Kevin Savetz and a group of volunteers, with p… [read review or visit site]

IBM Archives

IBM Archives

An extensive collection of computer-related artifacts and reference information, plus a detailed history of IBM. St… [read review or visit site]

Oldcomputers.net

Oldcomputers.net

Steven Stengel's showcase of old computers from the 1970's and 80's. Also includes a reference section on old compu… [read review or visit site]

Classic-Computers.org.nz

Classic-Computers.org.nz

Terry Stewart's deep dive on vintage computers features an exhaustive tribute to the Dick Smith System 80, a TRS-80… [read review or visit site]

Early Office Museum

Early Office Museum

This site showcases pre-1920 office antiques, including paperweights, writing ink, paper fasteners, seal pressers, … [read review or visit site]

The Vintage Knob

The Vintage Knob

The Vintage Knob is an extensive resource on all types of audio electronics organized by manufacturer, from Aiwa to… [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

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Recent News: Computers

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If we really want to win the Eurovision, we'll send Marty to sing his heart out
Herald, May 22nd

What vintage computer generates these lyrics? Perhaps if the country's brains trust consults our former Eurovision chef d'equipe Julian Vignoles, who, drawing on years of Irish disappointment, has published a scholarly treatise on the contentious...Read more

Video game chats, books, film bring historian victories
St. Cloud Times, May 17th

The video game industry reels in billions of dollars per year. A leading chronicler of it lives in St. Cloud. Read more: Live chat with video game historian. He's written books on the subject, hosts regular online video conversations with developers...Read more

Vintage Computers At Maker Faire
Hackaday, May 17th

The vintage-computer booth also had a few interesting retrocomputers including a Commodore 128D, the Apple made, Bell & Howell branded Apple II, and an Amiga 2000. Right next door was the Computer History Museum, who brought a very kid-friendly ...Read more

Vintage Computer Festival Europa 16.0: The Hackaday Report
Hackaday, May 2nd

The theme for this year's festival is “The East is Red Colorful” and that means vintage computers from the other side of the Iron Curtain. Here in (West) Germany, that naturally means a good representation of computers from the former Democratic...Read more

Ga. Festival Features Vintage Computers, Punch Cards And All
WABE 90.1 FM, April 30th

It's part of an exhibit at the third annual Southeast Vintage Computer Festival. The PDP-8 turns 50 this year. PDP stands for Programmable Data Processor – and the PDP-8 was the first commercially successful minicomputer. It looks nothing like your...Read more

Vintage Computer Festival comes to Roswell
NeighborNewspapers.com, April 29th

With more than 900 technology companies dotting its Golden Corridor, north Fulton is often regarded as a hotbed for digital innovation. This weekend, a two-day event in Roswell will pay homage to the antique hardware and software that helped pave the...Read more

Vintage Computer Festival: Computern ohne Trinkbecherhalter
Heise Newsticker, April 26th

Das Vintage Computer Festival Europe in den Räumen des Eisenbahner-Sportvereins verbindet diesmal den 1. Mai als Kampftag der Arbeiterklasse mit dem Thema "Der Osten ist bunt". Neben den KC-Rechnern aus der DDR stehen Homecomputer aus der ...Read more

Meet George—1958's one-of-a-kind analog computer—at Vintage Computer ...
Ars Technica, April 18th

The Vintage Computer Festival East is a once-a-year museum exhibit in Wall, New Jersey that shows off vacuum tube and transistor computers from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. While our own John Timmer visited the museum several years ago, we were long ...Read more