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.

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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]

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]

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]

Other Great Reference Sites

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Recent News: Computers

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Better Block event spotlights New Kensington's revitalization
Tribune-Review, April 27th

Businesses in town will be open, and pop-ups will occupy storefronts and include furniture and home decor, an art gallery, an activities center with a story hour and Zumba classes, a bike shop, displays of vintage computers and an array of video games ...Read more

Voices of a new theater generation offer plenty of hope
Louisville Eccentric Observer, April 27th

High School, director, Jonathan Harper Schlieman, dramaturgy, Kate Cuellar) takes place on an ironically futuristic set that serves as control center for what seems like an interplanetary trip (are vintage computers the digital steampunk memes of...Read more

Great Computers Never Die
IEEE Spectrum, April 22nd

The Vintage Computer Festival East (VCF East) took place from 15-17 April at the InfoAge Science Center in Wall, New Jersey. Computers on display included: a fully restored and working Apple 1; an Altair 8800; and a host of 8- and 16-bit machines, ...Read more

They're Alive! Vintage Computer Fans Keep the Great Machines of the Past Running
IEEE Spectrum, April 20th

The InfoAge center is home to a permanent collection of vintage computers, covering the years from 1945 to 1986, but it's also home to the annual festival where enthusiasts gather to exhibit their personal collections of vintage computers and related...Read more

Hackaday Teams with Vintage Computer Festival for Retro Hackathon
Hackaday, March 31st

For the last few years, we've been going to the Vintage Computer Festival East in New Jersey. This is one of the best cons we go to every year; there are dozens of interesting exhibitors, awesome talks, a great venue, and a small consignment area...Read more

Vintage Computer Festival Brings Celebration Of Tech History..., March 16th

According to real estate website Movoto, Atlanta ranks No. 1 nerdiest major U.S. city. It should come as no surprise, then, that the Vintage Computer Festival (VCF) chose Atlanta-metro as the Southeast location of their annual event. This exciting and ...Read more

Check Out These Vintage Computer Viruses at the Malware Museum
Smithsonian, February 11th

Getting a computer virus these days is a very different experience than it was during the 1980s and '90s. Today, malware operators are stealthy, writing programs that will lurk silently in your computer, waiting for the opportunity to steal your credit...Read more

Super Bowl ads: Watch these vintage computer commercials from 1979-2002, February 4th

It's easy to see now what kind of an effect Apple's legendary 1984 Super Bowl ad had on the industry. Conceived for its then-new Macintosh computer, the spot was directed by Ridley Scott, who utilized a gorgeous film aesthetic. The result? It looked...Read more