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868RE: [Altair Computer Club] value of computers??

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  • Erik Klein
    Nov 13, 2005
      The 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,

      Erik Klein

      www.vintage-computer.com <http://www.vintage-computer.com/>


      The Vintage Computer Forum

      -----Original Message-----
      From: altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com
      [mailto:altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of pink1_mindspring
      Sent: Sunday, November 13, 2005 5:47 AM
      To: altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com
      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
      have both.

      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
      the info.

      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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