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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This Old Tech
PCWorld, November 11th

But first, a bit about me: I've been writing about vintage computers and classic video games for the past decade, first for my blog and later for many other publications, including PCWorld. I started collecting old computers and video games as a teen...Read more

Paul Allen's Philanthropy Mirrors His Passions and Business Approach
New York Times, November 2nd

His interests are diverse, including creating museums devoted to rock music and vintage computers, as well as building institutes devoted to learning about the human cell, brains and artificial intelligence. He celebrated the 10th anniversary of the...Read more

Vintage Computer Fest: Berlin 2015
Hackaday, October 9th

Berlin was a good city to be a geek in last weekend. Alongside the Berlin Maker Faire, there was the 2015 meeting of the Vintage Computing Festival: Berlin (VCFB). Each VCFB has a special theme, and this year it was analogue computers, but there was no ...Read more

7 Amazing Vintage Computer Collections
PC Magazine, August 15th

It's no secret that the breakneck pace of technological process in the computer industry—which churns out newer, faster models every year—leaves behind more than a few orphan platforms in its wake. Within only a few years of each machine's release, ...Read more

An Apple Aficionado, With a Million-Dollar Vintage Computer Collection
New York Times, June 8th

But vintage computers are his real obsession, namely ones made by Apple. He has created an exhibit on the history of the company in Roswell, Ga., where he is the chief executive of a corporate real estate firm. By his own estimate, he has invested more...Read more

Rare Apple 1 vintage computer donated to Northern California recycling center
KABC-TV, June 1st

A Northern California recycling company is looking for the woman who cleaned out her garage and dropped off an Apple 1 vintage computer worth $200,000. A recycling company in Milpitas made the surprising discovery. "It was like you know, like you won ...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

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