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

Most watched eBay auctions    

Early 1976 Apple-1 Computer, From The Garage Of Steve JobsEarly Production Apple Ii Computer, 1977 Era, Serial A2s1-1962, Motherboard 2234Amiga 4000 Desktop System 040, 18mb Ram, 8gb Compact Flash DriveOriginal Commodore Pet 2001-8 Series Computer Datasette Recorder Chiclet Working Apple Lisa 2 With 10mb Widget DriveCommodore 128 Personal Computer 1986 Vintage Base With Original Box And CoverVintage Apple Ii Plus Computer A2s1048, Part/repair, Usa 1979Apple Macintosh Portable M5120 Laptop Computer With Case,power Supply BundleVtg Atari 800 Computer Original Packaging & Manual & Ibm Joystick Controllers Commodore Amiga 1200 Boxed With Cf Hard Disk** Excellent Condition **Apple //c Computer And Accessories, DocsVintage Heathkit H-8 Digital Computer Loaded With Boards Sinclair Zx Spectrum 16k Issue One ** Very Low Serial, Extremely Rare **Vtg Atari 800xl Computer Original Packaging & Manual ExcellentAmiga 4000 Motherboards - Batch Of ThreeRadio Shack Trs-80 Color Computer Multi-pak Interface Model 26-3024 (coco)Amiga 2000 System Loaded With UpgradesDolch Pac 65 - Vintage Computer.Vintage Atari 1200 Xl Computer W/manual & Power SupplyComplete Next Turbo Workstation N4000 W/ Monitor N1100 Keyboard 2122 & Mouse Rare Vintage Sinclair Zx80 Micro Mini Personal ComputerElite I - Apple Ii 2 Clone Plus Z80, Cpm - Working, Huge Lot Software / HardwareLot Of 2 -apple Ii Gs Iigs Limited Edition Woz. A2s6000 Tested / WorkingVintage Commodore 64c Computer Commodore 64 Vintage Computer Tested Working With Audio Video AdapterLnw 80 Model 2 With Lnw Expansion Chassis & Lnw Monitor Trs-80 Clone UntestedVintage Atari 800 & 850 Personal Computer & Interface Module W/ ManualMacintosh Lc Iii W/apple Iie Card, Y-cable, 5.25 Drive, Monitor, Kb Mouse, MoreVtg Atari 835 The Communicator Ii 400/800 Original Packaging & Manuals Hp 200lx Vintage Palmtop 5mb Ram CardCommodore Amiga A500 Computer Good Condition Untested Rare Vintage Apple Macintosh Se/30 Model M5119 Computer *one Owner*Commodore 128 Complete System W/ 1902 Monitor, 1571 Disk Drive, Modem 300 & MoreVintage Atari 810 Disk Drive W/ Original Box Packaging Attn CollectorsCommodore 128 Computer1974 Nuclear Chicago Pds/3 Vintage Nixie Tubes Display Computer Front PanelApple Mac Quadra 840 Av - Model M9020 - For Parts Or Repair1978- 1979 Apple 2 Ii Plus A2s1048 Vintage Computer In Good Physical ConditionApple Macintosh Powerbook 3400c Laptop Powerpc Vintage Excellent ShapeVintage Thinkpad 701csIbm Pcjr Computer - 128k, Disk Drive, V20 ProcessorApple Newton Messagepad 2000Atari 1040st Computer And ScreenCommodore A2320 Display Enhancer For Amiga 2000 W User ManualApple Ii Plus Computer Vintage Model A2s1048 & Disk ][ Drive Vintage 1978 Apple Iigs Computer A2s6000 1984 Macintosh 128k Model M0001 With Printer, Tablet + ExtrasVintage Made By Hart Models White Metal Army Landrover Field Computer 2 Telefunken 12ax7 Ecc83 Ribbed Plate Vintage Computer Gap/r TubesVintage Atari Home Computer Synapse Software Synfile + Syncalc Syntrend SyncommPortable Computer Vintage Husky Hunter 16/80Vintage Casio Pocket Computer/calculator Fx-702p W/ Fp-10 Printer & Rare ManualsVintage Filson Padded Computer BagOsborne Occ1 Portable Personal Computer W/ 140+ Floppy Disks & Manual-s/n 211805Atari 800xl Computer System Tested And WorkingIntel Sdk-85 Vintage Single Board Computer Intel 8085 CpuCommodore A2091 Scsi Controller Rev 4 For Amiga 2000 W User ManualVtg Atari 400/800 Home Computer Field Service Manual W/ Salt Cartridge TestingVintage Commodore 128 Personal ComputerCray Research Computer Key Board Vintage

Recent News: Computers

Source: Google News

VCF East X: The World's Largest USB Thumb Drive
Hackaday, April 20th

The Vintage Computer Festival last weekend featured racks and racks of old minicomputers, enough terminals for an entire lab, and enough ancient storage devices to save a YouTube video. These storage devices – hard disks, tape readers, and 8? disk ...Read more

Going gaga for TOPO, April 20th

The museum has vintage computers and software capable of programming the robot in its original Apple II computer language. However, it would be an onerous process and the TOPO didn't come with the controller that sold separately back in the day...Read more

VCF East: [Bil Herd] And System Architecture
Hackaday, April 20th

Last Friday the Vintage Computer Festival was filled up with more than a dozen talks, too many for any one person to attend. We did, however, check out [Bil Herd]'s talk on system architecture, or as he likes to call it, the art and science of...Read more

VCF East X: Minicomputing With The Raspberry Pi
Hackaday, April 19th

The Vintage Computer Festival in Wall, New Jersey doesn't just attract locals; [Oscar] came all the way from Switzerland to show off his PiDP-8/I. It's a miniature minicomputer, emulated in SimH, with blinkenlights and toggle switches mounted to a...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

Auctioning the Relics of Technology Pioneers
New York Times, April 17th

Although the auction prices of those early machines can vary wildly, depending on condition and provenance — another sold for $671,400 at auction in Germany in May — the Apple-1 is to the vintage computer world what the Ferrari 250 GTO is to the...Read more

Retro Edition: VCF East X This Weekend
Hackaday, April 15th

It's mid-April and time once again for the Vintage Computer Festival East X. The X means 10. It's a three-day ... This session will be a discussion of implementing a vintage networking protocol across different models and different brands of vintage...Read more

Forget classic cars. Retro-computing resurrects old tech, March 31st

Then they are shown off at events like the Vintage Computer Festival that take place at locations across the country. "If you went to an antique car show and touched some guy's '34 Chevy, he would cut off your finger on the spot," Koblentz said. "At...Read more