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]

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]

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]

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

Source: Google News

Want to Go Back in Time and Fly First Class in a Pan Am 747? Now You Can
LA Weekly, November 20th

When the Collinses arrived at around 6:30 p.m., they entered the Air Hollywood building below a sign reading "First & Clipper Class Terminal." They checked in at a Pan Am desk complete with a vintage computer terminal, Pan Am branded rotary phone and ...Read more

Things Learned At: Pitchfork Paris
The Quietus, November 18th

You barely have to wait more than four minutes for a band to start, and if you want to take a break from the music you can play vintage computer games, scoff 'designer' fish and chips or browse the market of handmade goods. tQ's Karl Smith missed the ...Read more

The Lo-Fi SES is an adorable musical game controller made for chiptunes
The Verge, November 6th

The genre of chiptunes repurposes vintage computers and consoles — particularly the Nintendo Game Boy — to create music that can be as simple as an old game soundtrack or as complex as a tiny symphony. The Lo-Fi SES is sort of the opposite. It's an ...Read more

Apple-1 computer sold out of Steve Jobs' garage could pull in $600K or more
Ars Technica, November 3rd

He was able to run “the standard original software program, Microsoft BASIC, and also an original Apple-1 Star Trek game” on the vintage computer. It will be sold along with two cancelled checks from Charles Ricketts made out to Apple Computer. The...Read more

Vintage Computer Built By Steve Wozniak Goes For Big Bucks
TG Daily (blog), October 27th

Many of us have to have the best, up to date technology, but would you pay close to a million for a computer? Can't you get top of the line stuff for far, far less? Well, what about a computer built by the Woz himself back in 1976? As more

Transistor Sister remakes vintage computer parts as circuit chic
The Seattle Times, September 21st

At the hands of Seattle's Transistor Sister, vintage computer parts get a new life as tech-chic jewelry. Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times. Steve Grzadzielewski watches his sister Susan Grzadzielewski, and daughter Claire Montgomery make jewelry in...Read more

Vintage computer brochures channel your inner nerd
The Next Web, June 13th

Ever found yourself unable to concentrate and needing a bit of inspiration? Here's the ticket. Click over to the Computer History Museum Web site where a great exhibit — Selling the Computer Revolution — posts a brilliant collection of computer...Read more

Vintage Computer Festivals Rock On, VCF East 2014 Larger Than Ever
Cult of Mac, April 14th

What do you get when you combine several hundred serious geeks, two large rooms, five decades' worth of vintage computers, and a weekend in New Jersey? The Vintage Computer Festival East, of course! The ninth running of the VCF East was held April ...Read more