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

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This Music Video Is Infected
Fast Company, September 30th

Hoff seems to be discouraging technical discussions--which makes us skeptical about the degree to which Blaster Worm or any virus can be deployed to create sound or imagery. The vintage computer artifact may only be a conceptual ingredient, but it...Read more

X Files
Baltimore City Paper, September 23rd

“Annihilation”manages to channel both Ballardian technocratic dystopia and Lovecraftian unearthly dread. It invokes both Tarkovsky's “Stalker” and the vintage computer game Myst. It also delivers a grim satire of the modern office. (Coworkers: Can't...Read more

Students lead the march in Science in The City
MaltaToday, September 23rd

Computer science students will be showcasing a History of Computing exhibition with Vintage Computer Club Malta at La Vallette Band Club, and will also feature Spheros – the electric balls. They are also running a QR Treasure Hunt with several ...Read more

Doing a television show with Joan Rivers
Chicago Daily Herald, September 22nd

Her eyes turned into the two spinning reels of tape on those vintage computers as she processed every detail about the show. Then out of the blue, she looked over at me and asked, "Did you get my gay boys?" She had called me a few days earlier and told ...Read more

University students all set for Friday's Science in the City
Times of Malta, September 21st

Computer science students will be holding a History of Computing exhibition with Vintage Computer Club Malta at La Vallette Band Club, and will also feature Spheros – the electric balls. A treasure hunt with several educational fun facts distributed in ...Read 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

Listen: James Murphy turns the US Open into 400 hours of music
Gigwise, September 10th

LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy has created 400 hours worth of new music - each created from a different round of the US Tennis Open. Listen below. The tracks, which were created using an algorithm capturing the rhythm of each game's volleys, serves ...Read more

Casady: New fire stations, radio upgrades essential for public safety
Lincoln Journal Star, September 1st

It was in the vintage computer section. “We are more and more vulnerable to failures with some of these components … and that is why it is critical that we get cracking on replacing the system. "It doesn't have an expiration date. It isn't like a...Read more