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

Source: Google News

The Post Office drives sub-postmasters to ruin or suicide
Daily Mail, April 24th

Reputations of people selected for a job that demands they be of good character have been shredded in an effort to prove that an antique computer network — unfit for use by any self-respecting private firm — can do no wrong. Yet, the Post Office...Read more

Reg Lectures serve up Net Terrors, Rare Earths, and Ancient Tech
The Register, April 24th

From Cutting Edge to Museum Piece On June 24 we will be hosting The National Museum of Computing co-founder Kevin Murrell, who will be tell us how his team track down the UK's vintage computers before returning them not just to museum condition, but ...Read more

From IBM to Apple: Eight computers that changed the world, April 23rd

Yes, there's a certain rose-tinted nostalgia when it comes to waxing lyrical about the vintage computers from the late 1970s to early 1990s, but anyone who lived through those years will remember the rapid pace of development, and the excitement of...Read more

VCF East X: Amigas And Non-Apple Macs
Hackaday, April 22nd

The Amiga 1000, the original Amiga, was introduced in 1985, making this the 30th anniversary of the Commodore Amiga. Of course this needed to be represented at the Vintage Computer Festival, and [Bill Winters] and [Anthony Becker] were more than up to ...Read more

The world's largest USB thumb drive has just 10MB of space
TechSpot, April 22nd

The Vintage Computer Festival took place last weekend in Wall, New Jersey. Its mission is to both promote the preservation of obsolete computers and afford people the opportunity to experience the technologies, people and stories that led us to where...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

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