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]

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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King: We Are King review – an ambient dream of a debut
The Guardian, February 7th

But it's simplest to turn straight to The Greatest. From its antique computer game sonics, to its retro-futurist vibe, The Greatest sounds like very little of the genre out there today, unless we're counting Daft Punk as a soul band. King's three-way...Read more

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Inext Live, February 5th

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10 Questions: There's a tear in Ben Lai's jokes for beer
Vancouver Courier, February 4th

Non-musically, currently one of my favourite hobbies is collecting and repairing old vintage computers. Yes, I'm a nerd. 9. What will you miss most about Shindig? I will miss being introduced to new bands and new people every year. The Vancouver music ...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

Cyril Hahn Let Us Peek Into His Internet Browser History
THUMP, January 28th

DJs live on their computers, so what better way to find out about them than by exploring the apps and websites they use every day. THUMP caught up with Cyril Hahn at the Pantages Hotel before the Toronto stop of his Fall 2015 tour. Opening his laptop...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

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