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

An Apple-1 is now a work of art
Business Standard, December 19th

On December 11, as part of what was called the "Exceptional Sale", Christie's in New York auctioned off the "Ricketts" Apple-1 personal computer, a surviving example of the first model Apple sold commercially in 1976. This particular computer - a green...Read more

Why You Shouldn't Buy Apple's Hottest Product This Holiday Season
Motley Fool, December 13th

The product retailed for under $700 in 1976. In response to the huge price the Apple 1 fetched, computer collector Dick Huston commented "[t]his sale takes us across a boundary line to where you have to start looking at these things as art pieces, like...Read more

Apple 1The last vintage computer sells for N65m
Pulse Nigeria, December 12th

The machine, hand-built by Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak, still works. When the Apple 1 launched, it marked the true beginning of the home computing era. Published: 12.12.2014; Oke Efagene. Print; eMail · The machines were hand-built by Apple ...Read more

Ricketts Apple-1 Sells for $365K at Auction
PC Magazine, December 12th

The antique computer was sold in 2004 to Virginia collector Robert Luther during a police auction of storage locker goods. The item comes with the cancelled check from the original garage purchase on July 27, 1976, made out to Apple Computer by Charles ...Read more

Gaming Mice for Nongamers
Wall Street Journal, December 10th

From left: Razer DeathAdder, Mionix Avior 8200 and Logitech Performance Mouse MX F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Anne Cardenas. By. Dennis Tang. Dec. 10, 2014 2:01 p.m. ET. 4 COMMENTS. WANT TO UPGRADE your computer's ...Read more

An Apple-1, on Sale at Christie's, Finds a Techie
New York Times, December 9th

I'm big into the vintage computer scene. I didn't realize collecting vintage computers was a scene. It very much mimics the classic car community. You see the different factions: Should something look cosmetically correct? What's a restoration versus a...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

Vintage computer brochures channel your inner nerd
The Next Web, June 13th

Ever found yourself unable to concentrate and needing a bit of inspiration? Here's the ticket. Click over to the Computer History Museum Web site where a great exhibit — Selling the Computer Revolution — posts a brilliant collection of computer...Read more