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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Review: the 1997 Psion Series 5 personal digital assistant
The Verge, August 2nd

After all, with few exceptions, there's no such thing as an antique computer — just an old one. But the Psion was such a good idea that I wish someone would pick it up for a modern device (or that this already exists, and I just haven't heard about it...Read more

Stortford IT company launches new shop with vintage computer library
Herts and Essex Observer, July 30th

A Bishop's Stortford IT company displayed its library of vintage computers and ran a 'gaming geek' workshop at the official opening of its new store. Genmar - which prides itself on employing "geeks that speak non-geek" - first opened a shop in the...Read more

Vintage computer maker Commodore is back as a retro gaming smartphone
GMA News, July 16th

Remember Commodore, the iconic home computer that helped bring computing to the masses over 30 years ago? It's back—this time as a smartphone. But the smartphone, dubbed the Commodore PET, comes not just with the Commodore name: it also ...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

Rare Apple 1 vintage computer donated to Northern California recycling center. Rare Apple computer worth $200K left at Milpitas recycling center. A recycling company in Milpitas is looking for a woman who cleaned out her garage and dropped off an Apple...Read more

Vintage Computers At Maker Faire
Hackaday, May 17th

The vintage-computer booth also had a few interesting retrocomputers including a Commodore 128D, the Apple made, Bell & Howell branded Apple II, and an Amiga 2000. Right next door was the Computer History Museum, who brought a very kid-friendly ...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