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

VCF East X: The World's Largest USB Thumb Drive
Hackaday, April 20th

The Vintage Computer Festival last weekend featured racks and racks of old minicomputers, enough terminals for an entire lab, and enough ancient storage devices to save a YouTube video. These storage devices – hard disks, tape readers, and 8? disk ...Read more

Going gaga for TOPO
www.brantnews.com, April 20th

The museum has vintage computers and software capable of programming the robot in its original Apple II computer language. However, it would be an onerous process and the TOPO didn't come with the controller that sold separately back in the day...Read more

VCF East: [Bil Herd] And System Architecture
Hackaday, April 20th

Last Friday the Vintage Computer Festival was filled up with more than a dozen talks, too many for any one person to attend. We did, however, check out [Bil Herd]'s talk on system architecture, or as he likes to call it, the art and science of...Read more

VCF East X: Minicomputing With The Raspberry Pi
Hackaday, April 19th

The Vintage Computer Festival in Wall, New Jersey doesn't just attract locals; [Oscar] came all the way from Switzerland to show off his PiDP-8/I. It's a miniature minicomputer, emulated in SimH, with blinkenlights and toggle switches mounted to a...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

Retro Edition: VCF East X This Weekend
Hackaday, April 15th

It's mid-April and time once again for the Vintage Computer Festival East X. The X means 10. It's a three-day ... This session will be a discussion of implementing a vintage networking protocol across different models and different brands of vintage...Read more

Forget classic cars. Retro-computing resurrects old tech
Today.com, 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