868RE: [Altair Computer Club] value of computers??
- Nov 13, 2005The easy answer is that what you have has value.
I sincerely doubt that the Smithsonian or any of the other computer-specific
museums want or need another Altair, but you never know.
Paul Allen is working on a museum in Albuquerque NM that isn't quite done
yet. They have an 8800, but they may not have the same depth to their
collection that, say, the Computer History Museum in Mountain View does.
At the moment Altair systems seem to be going in the $3K range, plus or
minus, with more complete, functional systems going higher. If you've got
the Teletype and boxes, along with what you'd otherwise expect (original
assembly and use documentation, mainly, but other docs, peripherals, etc.)
then you should easily be able to realize more from the machine. The
original box(es), believe it or not, will probably add hundreds.
The system sounds like a gem. I hope you consider keeping it as it sounds
like it has sentimental value to you. If you don't, I'm sure that there are
collectors out there that will treasure it as you did.
All the best,
The Vintage Computer Forum
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of pink1_mindspring
Sent: Sunday, November 13, 2005 5:47 AM
Subject: [Altair Computer Club] value of computers??
Forgive me for not knowing tech info. My beloved late husband was the
computer guru, not me.
I guess this is more of a fishing expedition than anything at the
moment, but I am curious as to what an Altair and assorted support
stuff is worth.
I know the Altair is an original, as he purchased it back in 1975 or
1976. Somewhere along the line he got a different faceplate, so I
I can remember first dating him and going down into his basement to
play games on the computer, and his booting up the computer by toggling
the front plate, and then feeding in paper tape programs via a teletype
(8 level I think). Funny looking back and realizing that instead of
reading off a monitor, you had to wait for the teletype to print out
I know there are a lot of books, documentations and I know when I was
packing things I saw an original (must be original, who would make
copies??) Microsoft basic program on papertape.
I suppose that what is sitting off in a corner of my basement is the
early history of Bill Gates. I think there is still the original
box that the Altair came in.
You could say that we were both packrats, and I am looking to maybe
change that, but don't even know where to begin finding the value on
such things. I don't think the Smithsonian would be interested in
a second unit, but I think it's pretty cool that I have something from
my husband that is important enough to history to be sitting in the
Sorry for rambling - I tend to do that when thinking about the past.
Anyway, if anyone could give me brief, basic, easy to understand (non
computer-techie type) info, I would appreciate it.
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