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]

Old-Computers.com

Old-Computers.com

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]

Oldcomputers.net

Oldcomputers.net

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]

Classic-Computers.org.nz

Classic-Computers.org.nz

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]



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Recent News: Computers

Source: Google News

'Rinehart's Studio' Puts a 19th-Century Sculptor's Career in Perspective
New York Times, March 26th

Vintage computers in pristine condition can now bring six-figure prices. In October, at a Bonhams auction in New York, the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Mich., paid $905,000 for a 1976 Apple 1 motherboard, which the catalog reported had “no apparent ...Read more

'Aggressive' plan aims to separate crops from waterways with buffers
Albert Lea Tribune, March 12th

Inside a '90s-era document sporting vintage computer graphics on its cover are some of the same recommendations state lawmakers are considering today. “At that time they were talking about 50-foot setbacks,” Woods said. “This is well-established...Read more

Video Premiere: NUN – “Cronenberg”
CMJ, March 11th

Check out the premiere of the excellent video for Cronenberg below, featuring hazy VHS-ly footage of vintage computers, rushing Euro trains, dilapidated buildings, and narcoticised women. Maybe not the perfect way to start your day, but a hell of a way...Read more

Marblehead recycling drive slated for weekend, March 14 and 15
Wicked Local Marblehead, March 10th

Clean out the phalanx of vintage computer monitors in the garage? Recycle that worn-out air conditioner you bought during the Clinton administration?” Swain and his crew can recycle all that e-junk for you, ethically, he said. On Saturday and Sunday...Read more

Is Your Creative Director A Douche Bag?
Co.Design, March 5th

The quiz's vintage-computer feel may be a wink at all the latest and greatest gadgets that your average douchey creative director might fetishize. Even this fake 1960s computer knows your boss is a creep: how's that for "innovation"? The choices in the...Read more

'The Oregon Trail' among thousands of vintage computer games now free online ...
OregonLive.com, January 14th

It's not so hard being a pioneer. I made it from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon City in just over three months during the summer of 1848. Sure, the four other members of my family died, I only had one ox left, and I arrived in Oregon with dysentery...Read more

Transistor Sister remakes vintage computer parts as circuit chic
The Seattle Times, September 21st

Steve Grzadzielewski has more than a million electronics parts lying around his house in West Seattle. But he's no engineer — Grzadzielewski and his sister Susan make and sell jewelry made out of vintage electronics parts. Their business, aptly named ...Read more

These Vintage Computer Ads Show We've Come a Long, Long Way
TIME, August 13th

These Vintage Computer Ads Show We've Come a Long, Long Way. TIME Photo. Aug. 13, 2014. SHARE. These ads from the 70's and 80's remind us of a time when computers came in briefcases and cost "Under $18,000!" These Vintage Computer Ads ...Read more