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Re: [Altair Computer Club] Every week you see an Altair 8800 for sale on Ebay.

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  • H.E.Robert Weir-L.V.C.C.
    Bill, You might be on to something! As far as the original s go, I believe they exist in three physical states; the unbuilt/partially built, the built/but
    Message 1 of 24 , Jun 24, 2007
      Bill,

      You might be on to something! As far as the
      'original's go, I believe they exist in three physical
      states; the unbuilt/partially built, the built/but
      under equipt, and the factory/home built-nicely
      accessorized and functional with memory and drives and
      software.

      I'm thinking that something made from a kit, can
      become a creation/work of art/child?,and would be held
      long beyond a store bought pre-assembled clone.

      I know that in my own personal experience, I dumped my
      original Altair, in favor of a dual cpu'ed Compupro
      machine, still bought board by board from Priority 1
      electronics, as the money became available, (I still
      love the RAM-17 boards, they are the bomb!) And to
      save wear and tear on my 16K-MCS's, I still use them
      in my 8800b, as they allow the selective use of the
      last 16K in 4k increments, for use with the 88-PROM or
      BASIC ROM cards, without modification as is required
      on the MITS boards,and the chips are easier to find
      cheeper than those blasted SEMI 4200's! Don't get me
      wrong,the 4200 are a very reliable chip, just hard to
      find, and when found, they aren't cheap!

      In closing, I just have to say, that I would rather go
      to my grave with my Altair, than have to sell it
      before I die???

      Just Bob....just ranting!

      --- billdeg <billdeg@...> wrote:

      > Every week you see an Altair 8800 for sale on Ebay.
      > The prices hold
      > steady between $1500-2500 meaning that demand is
      > strong. I believe
      > that people who bought Altairs in the beginning kept
      > them long after
      > they were obsolete, for sentimental reasons, more so
      > than any other
      > computer. That's why, for a relatively low volume
      > sales machine, there
      > are still so many around today.
      >
      > Now it seems like they are all being sold off due to
      > original owner's
      > passing, too much $$ to pass up, or who knows what.
      >
      > I don't know if anyone is compiling stats, but you'd
      > figure 300 Altair
      > 8800's have sold this year on Ebay. This abundance
      > can't last for
      > ever, but it has caused me to re-evaluate exactly
      > how many of these
      > things still exist.
      >
      > Anyone else thinking the same thing?
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/altaircomputerclub/join
      > (Yahoo! ID required)
      >
      >
      >
      mailto:altaircomputerclub-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com
      >
      >
      >




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    • billdeg@aol.com
      I m thinking that something made from a kit, can become a creation/work of art/child?,and would be held long beyond a store bought pre-assembled clone.
      Message 2 of 24 , Jun 25, 2007


        I'm thinking that something made from a kit, can become a creation/work of art/child?,and would be held long beyond a store bought pre-assembled clone. In closing, I just have to say, that I would rather go to my grave with my Altair, than have to sell it before I die???
        I bet a portion of the sales are re-purchases by persons who had an Altair, sold them, and decided that they
        want to get one again/regret getting rid of theirs.

        Bill









        AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's free from AOL at AOL.com.
      • keimei55118
        Hi, This is my first post; so sorry if this is at all inappropriate here. I listed our old Altair 8800 system the other day on ebay. Then looking for more
        Message 3 of 24 , Jun 25, 2007
          Hi,

          This is my first post; so sorry if this is at all inappropriate here.

          I listed our old Altair 8800 system the other day on ebay. Then
          looking for more information on it, I found the Vintage Computer
          Forums. A helpful person over there suggested, I let the people over
          here know about it.

          If anyone is interested it is ebay Item number: 180133473494

          I think that the Altair stayed in are family this long because of
          sentimental reasons. I remember about 15 years ago someone offered my
          brother like $300.00 for it. Not bad for something we didn't even use
          in over ten years. My brother said, "No, I spent more than that on
          the Extended BASIC alone". But I don't think it had anything to do
          with the money. My Dad and older brother built it when I was around
          ten years old. I'm 42 now! And I still have a lot of great memories
          of the success, failure, and mostly the fun we had working with this
          machine. What prompted the sale now? A few that recently sold in the
          $2000.00 range on eBay, also I found the whole thing still in my
          Mothers garage, and my Mom's need for some money. At first I thought
          cleaning it all up and do my homework to get it up and running or
          part it out (sell drive, cards, Etc. separately). I might have got
          more money for it that way. But if I actually got it going now I
          would probably still want to keep it.

          I think the original systems will/are pretty well dried up. I had
          offers from Japan and Germany for ours already. They seem to want
          them overseas. Some that sell on eBay also do not look quite right
          (power supplies, cables, backplanes, sometimes they just don't look
          like the ones in our 8800)

          Later,
          Keith


          --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "billdeg" <billdeg@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Every week you see an Altair 8800 for sale on Ebay. The prices hold
          > steady between $1500-2500 meaning that demand is strong. I believe
          > that people who bought Altairs in the beginning kept them long
          after
          > they were obsolete, for sentimental reasons, more so than any other
          > computer. That's why, for a relatively low volume sales machine,
          there
          > are still so many around today.
          >
          > Now it seems like they are all being sold off due to original
          owner's
          > passing, too much $$ to pass up, or who knows what.
          >
          > I don't know if anyone is compiling stats, but you'd figure 300
          Altair
          > 8800's have sold this year on Ebay. This abundance can't last for
          > ever, but it has caused me to re-evaluate exactly how many of these
          > things still exist.
          >
          > Anyone else thinking the same thing?
          >
        • Craig Landrum
          ... I suspect that a number of these 8800 s are resales - some wide eyed geek buys an 8800 and then a year later needs some $$s and sells it. You can sort of
          Message 4 of 24 , Jun 25, 2007
            >I don't know if anyone is compiling stats, but you'd figure 300 Altair
            >8800's have sold this year on Ebay. This abundance can't last for
            >ever, but it has caused me to re-evaluate exactly how many of these
            >things still exist.

            I suspect that a number of these 8800's are resales - some
            wide eyed geek buys an 8800 and then a year later needs some
            $$s and sells it.

            You can sort of tell the real geeks from the pretenders.
            The pretenders are the ones that post the 8800's "as is",
            or (even worse) post that the thing is "working" because
            the lights come on.

            If you can't boot it into Altair Basic or CP/M or Altair
            DOS 1.0, it ain't working, and getting it to that level
            takes some real investment in time and effort.

            I sort of classify these 8800's into one of three or
            four categories:

            1. A broken 8800 with a bad power supply, one or two
            cards, and nothing else. Doesn't work. No Doc.
            May get 2K on eBay if a geek's girlfriend buys it for
            his birthday.

            2. The basic 8800 with the original CPU and some type of
            MITS memory. May have a serial card. Must toggle programs
            in through the front panel. Probably doesn't work.
            May or may not have doc. 2-3K if a geek buys it to
            seriously restore.

            3. An 8800 cabinet with all sorts of foreign boards in
            it, sort of like a typical IMSAI. May have some third
            party diskette drives and controller and may boot CP/M.
            Probably doesn't work, but has a lot of doc. Another
            2-3K sale, 4K if pics of diskette drives are shown.

            4. An all-MITS 8800 in working condition complete with
            hard sectored MITS diskette drives. Has a serial card
            and can talk to an ASR33 or ADM3a. May have some
            exotic MITS boards like printer cards, EPROM card, etc.
            Boots into Basic, CP/M, DOS. This can be a 6-10K sale.
            I've seen an 8800 and an IMSAI sell together with doc
            and s/w for 10K.

            I see a lot of #1's and #2s. I see a #4 come along only
            every year or so when one of the faithful decides to
            sell their collection.

            --
            Craig Landrum
            Chief Technical Officer
            mindwrap, inc.
            Phone: (540) 675-3015 x 229
            Fax: (540) 675-3130
            email: craigl@...
          • Larry D. Pyeatt
            Craig, Do you know what the #4s typically sell for? ... -- Larry D. Pyeatt, PhD. pyeatt@cs.ttu.edu http://www.cs.ttu.edu/~pyeatt
            Message 5 of 24 , Jun 25, 2007

              Craig,
                Do you know what the #4s typically sell for?

              Craig Landrum wrote:

              >I don't know if anyone is compiling stats, but you'd figure 300 Altair
              >8800's have sold this year on Ebay. This abundance can't last for
              >ever, but it has caused me to re-evaluate exactly how many of these
              >things still exist.

              I suspect that a number of these 8800's are resales - some
              wide eyed geek buys an 8800 and then a year later needs some
              $$s and sells it.

              You can sort of tell the real geeks from the pretenders.
              The pretenders are the ones that post the 8800's "as is",
              or (even worse) post that the thing is "working" because
              the lights come on.

              If you can't boot it into Altair Basic or CP/M or Altair
              DOS 1.0, it ain't working, and getting it to that level
              takes some real investment in time and effort.

              I sort of classify these 8800's into one of three or
              four categories:

              1. A broken 8800 with a bad power supply, one or two
              cards, and nothing else. Doesn't work. No Doc.
              May get 2K on eBay if a geek's girlfriend buys it for
              his birthday.

              2. The basic 8800 with the original CPU and some type of
              MITS memory. May have a serial card. Must toggle programs
              in through the front panel. Probably doesn't work.
              May or may not have doc. 2-3K if a geek buys it to
              seriously restore.

              3. An 8800 cabinet with all sorts of foreign boards in
              it, sort of like a typical IMSAI. May have some third
              party diskette drives and controller and may boot CP/M.
              Probably doesn't work, but has a lot of doc. Another
              2-3K sale, 4K if pics of diskette drives are shown.

              4. An all-MITS 8800 in working condition complete with
              hard sectored MITS diskette drives. Has a serial card
              and can talk to an ASR33 or ADM3a. May have some
              exotic MITS boards like printer cards, EPROM card, etc.
              Boots into Basic, CP/M, DOS. This can be a 6-10K sale.
              I've seen an 8800 and an IMSAI sell together with doc
              and s/w for 10K.

              I see a lot of #1's and #2s. I see a #4 come along only
              every year or so when one of the faithful decides to
              sell their collection.

              --
              Craig Landrum
              Chief Technical Officer
              mindwrap, inc.
              Phone: (540) 675-3015 x 229
              Fax: (540) 675-3130
              email: craigl@mindwrap. com



              -- 
              Larry D. Pyeatt, PhD.
              pyeatt@...
              http://www.cs.ttu.edu/~pyeatt
              
              
            • Craig Landrum
              ... Larry; $4,000 - $8,000 is what I ve seen. As a real example, I have an 8800, all MITS-boards, 64K RAM 4 16K statis MITS boards), two serial cards so I can
              Message 6 of 24 , Jun 25, 2007
                On Monday, June 25, 2007 at 11:43 AM, Larry D. Pyeatt sent:

                >
                >Craig,
                > Do you know what the #4s typically sell for?
                >

                Larry;

                $4,000 - $8,000 is what I've seen. As a real
                example, I have an 8800, all MITS-boards, 64K RAM
                4 16K statis MITS boards), two serial cards so I can
                boot either to my Wyse 60 for "real" stuff or my ASR33
                for "show" stuff (doable by simply adjusting switches
                on the front panel). Also have the 1702 EPROM board
                with a boot EPROM and also a diskette head positioner
                EPROM. The MITS diskette controller set with three
                Altair diskette drives. Boot disks for several
                versions of Altair(Gates) BASIC, Altair DOS 1.0,
                and Burcom CP/M 54K for Altair. The MITS centronics
                board with an attached centronics lineprinter.
                Original 256 byte memory board (not in the box).

                Complete doc and schematics on everything, with two
                or three original binders. Spare 4200 chips. Spare
                switches. Spare LEDs.

                All in working, bootable condition, and it took me
                6 months of work and a lot of $$$ to get it that way.
                A year ago I was considering selling it and was
                going to post it on eBay for Buy Now price of $6,000
                to get a quick sale, but sanity prevailed.

                If I were to sell it today, I probably wouldn't do
                a Buy Now, but would have a 6K minimum. Of course,
                this is just me, and there may not be any takers
                out there that would spring for all this.

                Sold one of my two perfect working, CP/M booting
                64K, 4Mhz Z-80 IMSAIs with 3.5,5.25, and dual
                8-inch drives for $4,000 two years ago.

                --
                Craig Landrum
                Chief Technical Officer
                mindwrap, inc.
                Phone: (540) 675-3015 x 229
                Fax: (540) 675-3130
                email: craigl@...
              • keimei@comcast.net
                I m posting this from my e-mail. I did post this hours ago from yahoo but it didn t show up. Maybe the new guy can t post for awhile? Anyway, I m very sorry
                Message 7 of 24 , Jun 25, 2007

                  I 'm posting this from my e-mail. I did post this hours ago from yahoo but it didn't show up. Maybe the new guy can't post for awhile? Anyway, I'm very sorry if this appears twice. 

                   

                  This is my first post; hope its not at all inappropriate here.

                   

                  I just listed our old Altair 8800 system the other day on ebay. Then looking for more information on it, I found the Vintage Computer Forums. A helpful person over their suggested, I let the people over here know about it.

                   

                  If anyone is interested it is ebay Item number: 180133473494

                   

                  I think that the Altair stayed in are family this long because of sentimental reasons. I remember about 15 years ago someone offered my brother like $300.00 for it. Not bad for something we didn't even use in ten years. My brother said, "No, I spent more than that on the Extended BASIC alone". But I don't think it had anything to do with the money. My Dad and older brother built it when I was around ten years old. I'm 42 now! And I still have a lot of great memories of the success, failure, and mostly the fun we had working with this machine. What prompted the sale now? A few that recently sold in the $2000.00 range on eBay, also I found the whole thing still in my Mothers garage, and my Mom's need for some money. At first I thought cleaning it all up and do my homework to get it up and running or part it out (sell drive, cards, Etc. separately). I might have got more money for it another way. But if I actually got it going now I would probably still want to keep it.

                   

                  Later,

                  Keith
                • Dan
                  Wouldn t there be some record of production quantities of the various Altair machines ? =Dan [ vintage electrons are just as good ] [
                  Message 8 of 24 , Jun 26, 2007
                    Wouldn't there be some record of production quantities of the various
                    Altair machines ?

                    =Dan

                    [ vintage electrons are just as good ]
                    [ http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/ ]



                    billdeg wrote:
                    >
                    > Every week you see an Altair 8800 for sale on Ebay. The prices hold
                    > steady between $1500-2500 meaning that demand is strong. I believe
                    > that people who bought Altairs in the beginning kept them long after
                    > they were obsolete, for sentimental reasons, more so than any other
                    > computer. That's why, for a relatively low volume sales machine, there
                    > are still so many around today.
                    >
                    > Now it seems like they are all being sold off due to original owner's
                    > passing, too much $$ to pass up, or who knows what.
                    >
                    > I don't know if anyone is compiling stats, but you'd figure 300 Altair
                    > 8800's have sold this year on Ebay. This abundance can't last for
                    > ever, but it has caused me to re-evaluate exactly how many of these
                    > things still exist.
                    >
                    > Anyone else thinking the same thing?
                    >
                    >
                    > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    >
                    > No virus found in this incoming message.
                    > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
                    > Version: 7.5.472 / Virus Database: 269.9.6/865 - Release Date: 6/24/2007 8:33 AM
                    >
                  • Dan
                    I always wished that we (me and my brother) bought the 8800, but the 680 that we built back then is just as precious. I ll never let it go. =Dan [ vintage
                    Message 9 of 24 , Jun 26, 2007
                      I always wished that we (me and my brother) bought the 8800, but the 680
                      that we built back then is just as precious. I'll never let it go.

                      =Dan

                      [ vintage electrons are just as good ]
                      [ http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/ ]



                      billdeg@... wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > In closing, I just have to say, that I would rather go
                      > to my grave with my Altair, than have to sell it
                      > before I die???
                      >
                      >
                      > Bill
                      >
                      >
                    • keimei55118
                      Dan My brother is 7 years older than me; he was a junior in high school. He spent a lot of time there with a DEC PDP8. He was the driving force to get the
                      Message 10 of 24 , Jun 26, 2007
                        Dan

                        My brother is 7 years older than me; he was a junior in high school.
                        He spent a lot of time there with a DEC PDP8. He was the driving
                        force to get the family into computers. We ordered the 8800 long
                        before it was ready to ship. I remember waiting for a new assembly,
                        even a punch tape with some new code. When this stuff showed up in
                        the mail it made for some awesome fun. The big things like the tty
                        and later the 8" drive or beehive terminal kept us amazed for months.
                        By the time I was in high school he helped me write all kinds apps
                        for the 8800. My brother actually had a problem with the first
                        version of BASIC and he called MITS, they couldn't answer his
                        question but, they would have someone call back. We finally got a
                        call back the next day and he spent two hours on the phone getting
                        BASIC up and running on the 8800. The guy on the other side of the
                        phone was Bill Gates. Was your brother younger or older than you?

                        Later,
                        Keith


                        --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, Dan <ragooman@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > I always wished that we (me and my brother) bought the 8800, but
                        the 680
                        > that we built back then is just as precious. I'll never let it go.
                        >
                        > =Dan
                        >
                        > [ vintage electrons are just as good ]
                        > [ http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/ ]
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > billdeg@... wrote:
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > In closing, I just have to say, that I would rather go
                        > > to my grave with my Altair, than have to sell it
                        > > before I die???
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > Bill
                        > >
                        > >
                        >
                      • Steve
                        Keith- That s a good story about Bill Gates. MITS and MSFT personnel really did spend hours on the phone with customers back then (I was in MITS Customer
                        Message 11 of 24 , Jun 27, 2007
                          Keith-

                          That's a good story about Bill Gates. MITS and MSFT personnel really
                          did spend hours on the phone with customers back then (I was in MITS'
                          Customer Service division and talked to people all over the world. I
                          remember having to time my conversations with a guy in northern
                          Alaska so that the comm satellites would be in the proper places
                          above the horizon). What we call customer support today (as from AOL
                          or Dell, for example) would not have been tolerated at MITS, or
                          probably at any of the other early computer companies.

                          It sounds like you have a lot of good memories of your family's
                          involvment with your Altair system. Are you SURE you want to sell
                          it? You'll never be able to replace it, you know, and it will only
                          become more valuable as time goes by.

                          By the way, I built my first Altair from a kit too. I still have it
                          and like Dan, won't ever sell it.

                          Steve
                          ===================================
                          --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "keimei55118" <keimei@...>
                          wrote:
                          >
                          > Dan
                          >
                          > My brother is 7 years older than me; he was a junior in high
                          school.
                          > He spent a lot of time there with a DEC PDP8. He was the driving
                          > force to get the family into computers. We ordered the 8800 long
                          > before it was ready to ship. I remember waiting for a new assembly,
                          > even a punch tape with some new code. When this stuff showed up in
                          > the mail it made for some awesome fun. The big things like the tty
                          > and later the 8" drive or beehive terminal kept us amazed for
                          months.
                          > By the time I was in high school he helped me write all kinds apps
                          > for the 8800. My brother actually had a problem with the first
                          > version of BASIC and he called MITS, they couldn't answer his
                          > question but, they would have someone call back. We finally got a
                          > call back the next day and he spent two hours on the phone getting
                          > BASIC up and running on the 8800. The guy on the other side of the
                          > phone was Bill Gates. Was your brother younger or older than you?
                          >
                          > Later,
                          > Keith
                          >
                          >
                          > --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, Dan <ragooman@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > I always wished that we (me and my brother) bought the 8800, but
                          > the 680
                          > > that we built back then is just as precious. I'll never let it go.
                          > >
                          > > =Dan
                          > >
                          > > [ vintage electrons are just as good ]
                          > > [ http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/ ]
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > billdeg@ wrote:
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > > In closing, I just have to say, that I would rather go
                          > > > to my grave with my Altair, than have to sell it
                          > > > before I die???
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > > Bill
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > >
                          >
                        • keimei55118
                          Steve, You re right, now you get (Dell India: Please be checking that your computer is plugged in ). Back then you could really talk directly with the
                          Message 12 of 24 , Jun 27, 2007
                            Steve,

                            You're right, now you get (Dell India: "Please be checking that your
                            computer is plugged in"). Back then you could really talk directly
                            with the engineers that designed and built the stuff.

                            Yea, it was an amazing time, we really felt kind of like pioneers,
                            doing things in their home that no one else was doing. Actually
                            spending the last few days finding all the resources available out
                            there, looks like you can surely continue to play with an 8800. I did
                            find that the Intel C8080-8 on the old CPU card is rare like hens
                            teeth. It would take some work though - find my variac, pull all the
                            boards, clean and inspect the chassis and power supply, bring the
                            power up slow and check the supply rails, add back a board at a time
                            and check all for proper operation, and do it all without doing more
                            harm than good. I have very little free time these days and adding
                            the 8800 as a hobby would be a major commitment. This was really my
                            brother's ultimate toy; I was just the little brother who wouldn't
                            leave him alone when he worked on it.

                            Thanks to my father who had to buy just about every Heath kit that
                            came out, and that the Altair was mostly a purchase for the family
                            business. He made it so my brother could get all this cool stuff. I
                            think after the tty was retired we had a large black typewriter, I
                            think it was called a Diablo.

                            It would actually be cool to keep this thing. It's already listed on
                            eBay though and I told my mom I would try to sell it for her. I would
                            like to know from any of you guys that really still tinker with
                            these, what do you think our 8800 might be worth? I know it could
                            never be replaced. But, if I do get a future urge to try out vintage
                            computing as a hobby, we had another s100 cpm machine, it's also
                            still in mom's garage. It was called the DynaByte (Black face with
                            white trim and a wood grain cabinet top) and a gigantic hard drive
                            (almost the size of a small coffee table) I think it was like 5mb. It
                            was newer and more powerful than the Altair but nowhere near the
                            adventure in pioneering we had with the 8800. Thank you guys for
                            helping me remember the old times with the Altair and for keeping it
                            alive!

                            Keith


                            --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "Steve" <alltare@...>
                            wrote:
                            >
                            > Keith-
                            >
                            > That's a good story about Bill Gates. MITS and MSFT personnel
                            really
                            > did spend hours on the phone with customers back then (I was in
                            MITS'
                            > Customer Service division and talked to people all over the world.
                            I
                            > remember having to time my conversations with a guy in northern
                            > Alaska so that the comm satellites would be in the proper places
                            > above the horizon). What we call customer support today (as from
                            AOL
                            > or Dell, for example) would not have been tolerated at MITS, or
                            > probably at any of the other early computer companies.
                            >
                            > It sounds like you have a lot of good memories of your family's
                            > involvment with your Altair system. Are you SURE you want to sell
                            > it? You'll never be able to replace it, you know, and it will only
                            > become more valuable as time goes by.
                            >
                            > By the way, I built my first Altair from a kit too. I still have
                            it
                            > and like Dan, won't ever sell it.
                            >
                            > Steve
                            > ===================================
                            > --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "keimei55118" <keimei@>
                            > wrote:
                            > >
                            > > Dan
                            > >
                            > > My brother is 7 years older than me; he was a junior in high
                            > school.
                            > > He spent a lot of time there with a DEC PDP8. He was the driving
                            > > force to get the family into computers. We ordered the 8800 long
                            > > before it was ready to ship. I remember waiting for a new
                            assembly,
                            > > even a punch tape with some new code. When this stuff showed up
                            in
                            > > the mail it made for some awesome fun. The big things like the
                            tty
                            > > and later the 8" drive or beehive terminal kept us amazed for
                            > months.
                            > > By the time I was in high school he helped me write all kinds
                            apps
                            > > for the 8800. My brother actually had a problem with the first
                            > > version of BASIC and he called MITS, they couldn't answer his
                            > > question but, they would have someone call back. We finally got a
                            > > call back the next day and he spent two hours on the phone
                            getting
                            > > BASIC up and running on the 8800. The guy on the other side of
                            the
                            > > phone was Bill Gates. Was your brother younger or older than you?
                            > >
                            > > Later,
                            > > Keith
                            > >
                            > >
                            > > --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, Dan <ragooman@> wrote:
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > I always wished that we (me and my brother) bought the 8800,
                            but
                            > > the 680
                            > > > that we built back then is just as precious. I'll never let it
                            go.
                            > > >
                            > > > =Dan
                            > > >
                            > > > [ vintage electrons are just as good ]
                            > > > [ http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/ ]
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > >
                            > > > billdeg@ wrote:
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > > In closing, I just have to say, that I would rather go
                            > > > > to my grave with my Altair, than have to sell it
                            > > > > before I die???
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > > > Bill
                            > > > >
                            > > > >
                            > > >
                            > >
                            >
                          • Dan
                            That s a great story about Gates/MITS, something for the books ! My late brother was 11yrs older, and I was in high school too. He was working at Grumman
                            Message 13 of 24 , Jun 28, 2007
                              That's a great story about Gates/MITS, something for the books !

                              My late brother was 11yrs older, and I was in high school too. He was
                              working at Grumman Aerospace after Vietnam out on Long Island. It was so
                              cool to see all the projects at that place. Before the 680 , we built a
                              homebrew S-100 machine and terminal during the time that the 8800 was
                              released. We went to Computer Mart first opened in Manhattan, it was
                              great to see everything in there. I still have etched in my memory the
                              Compucolor I running the Star Trek demo. It was a ritual to go there
                              every month.

                              =Dan

                              [ vintage electrons are just as good ]
                              [ http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/ ]



                              keimei55118 wrote:
                              >
                              > Dan
                              >
                              > My brother is 7 years older than me; he was a junior in high school.
                              > He spent a lot of time there with a DEC PDP8. He was the driving
                              > force to get the family into computers. We ordered the 8800 long
                              > before it was ready to ship. I remember waiting for a new assembly,
                              > even a punch tape with some new code. When this stuff showed up in
                              > the mail it made for some awesome fun. The big things like the tty
                              > and later the 8" drive or beehive terminal kept us amazed for months.
                              > By the time I was in high school he helped me write all kinds apps
                              > for the 8800. My brother actually had a problem with the first
                              > version of BASIC and he called MITS, they couldn't answer his
                              > question but, they would have someone call back. We finally got a
                              > call back the next day and he spent two hours on the phone getting
                              > BASIC up and running on the 8800. The guy on the other side of the
                              > phone was Bill Gates. Was your brother younger or older than you?
                              >
                              > Later,
                              > Keith
                              >
                              > --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com
                              > <mailto:altaircomputerclub%40yahoogroups.com>, Dan <ragooman@...> wrote:
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > I always wished that we (me and my brother) bought the 8800, but
                              > the 680
                              > > that we built back then is just as precious. I'll never let it go.
                              > >
                              > > =Dan
                              > >
                              > > [ vintage electrons are just as good ]
                              > > [ http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/
                              > <http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/> ]
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > billdeg@... wrote:
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > In closing, I just have to say, that I would rather go
                              > > > to my grave with my Altair, than have to sell it
                              > > > before I die???
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > Bill
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > >
                              >
                              >
                              > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              >
                              > No virus found in this incoming message.
                              > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
                              > Version: 7.5.476 / Virus Database: 269.9.9/872 - Release Date: 6/26/2007 6:43 PM
                              >
                            • Dan
                              Steve, I didn t know you worked at MITS. That must have been great times. I still hope one day to find a broken 8800 that I can restore myself. =Dan [ vintage
                              Message 14 of 24 , Jun 28, 2007
                                Steve,

                                I didn't know you worked at MITS.
                                That must have been great times.

                                I still hope one day to find a broken 8800 that I can restore myself.

                                =Dan

                                [ vintage electrons are just as good ]
                                [ http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/ ]



                                Steve wrote:
                                >
                                > Keith-
                                >
                                > That's a good story about Bill Gates. MITS and MSFT personnel really
                                > did spend hours on the phone with customers back then (I was in MITS'
                                > Customer Service division and talked to people all over the world. I
                                > remember having to time my conversations with a guy in northern
                                > Alaska so that the comm satellites would be in the proper places
                                > above the horizon). What we call customer support today (as from AOL
                                > or Dell, for example) would not have been tolerated at MITS, or
                                > probably at any of the other early computer companies.
                                >
                                > It sounds like you have a lot of good memories of your family's
                                > involvment with your Altair system. Are you SURE you want to sell
                                > it? You'll never be able to replace it, you know, and it will only
                                > become more valuable as time goes by.
                                >
                                > By the way, I built my first Altair from a kit too. I still have it
                                > and like Dan, won't ever sell it.
                                >
                                > Steve
                                >
                                >
                              • Dan
                                Keith, That s a great story about Gates/MITS, something for the books ! My late brother was 11yrs older, and I was in high school too. He was working at
                                Message 15 of 24 , Jun 28, 2007
                                  Keith,

                                  That's a great story about Gates/MITS, something for the books !

                                  My late brother was 11yrs older, and I was in high school too. He was
                                  working at Grumman Aerospace, after Vietnam, out on Long Island. It was
                                  so cool to see all the projects at that place. Before the 680 , we built
                                  a homebrew S-100 machine and terminal during the time that the 8800 was
                                  released. We went to Computer Mart when it first opened in Manhattan,
                                  it was great to see everything in there. I still have etched in my
                                  memory the Compucolor I running the Star Trek demo. It was a ritual to
                                  go there every month.

                                  =Dan

                                  [ vintage electronics are alive in Pittsburgh ]
                                  [ http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/ ]



                                  keimei55118 wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Dan
                                  >
                                  > My brother is 7 years older than me; he was a junior in high school.
                                  > He spent a lot of time there with a DEC PDP8. He was the driving
                                  > force to get the family into computers. We ordered the 8800 long
                                  > before it was ready to ship. I remember waiting for a new assembly,
                                  > even a punch tape with some new code. When this stuff showed up in
                                  > the mail it made for some awesome fun. The big things like the tty
                                  > and later the 8" drive or beehive terminal kept us amazed for months.
                                  > By the time I was in high school he helped me write all kinds apps
                                  > for the 8800. My brother actually had a problem with the first
                                  > version of BASIC and he called MITS, they couldn't answer his
                                  > question but, they would have someone call back. We finally got a
                                  > call back the next day and he spent two hours on the phone getting
                                  > BASIC up and running on the 8800. The guy on the other side of the
                                  > phone was Bill Gates. Was your brother younger or older than you?
                                  >
                                  > Later,
                                  > Keith
                                  >
                                  >
                                • Dan
                                  300 in the first 6 mon this year ? That s 2 per day Did you mean since a year ago ? =Dan [ vintage electrons are just as good ] [
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Jun 28, 2007
                                    300 in the first 6 mon this year ?
                                    That's 2 per day
                                    Did you mean since a year ago ?

                                    =Dan

                                    [ vintage electrons are just as good ]
                                    [ http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/ ]



                                    billdeg wrote:
                                    >
                                    > but you'd figure 300 Altair
                                    > 8800's have sold this year on Ebay.
                                    >
                                    > __.
                                    >
                                  • billdeg@aol.com
                                    I meant ~one per week ~ 300/year.? Right now for example, there are 3 Altairs up for sale on Ebay in the vintage computers area, all 8800 s.? At this time
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Jun 29, 2007
                                      I meant ~one per week ~ 300/year. 

                                      Right now for example, there are 3 Altairs up for sale on Ebay in the vintage computers area, all 8800's.  At this time there are no IMSAI's, no other S-100 systems for sale.  I bet more Altair 8800's are sold on Ebay than any other S-100 system, except perhaps for IMSAI 8080's.  

                                      Bill


                                      -----Original Message-----
                                      From: Dan <ragooman@...>
                                      To: altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com
                                      Sent: Thu, 28 Jun 2007 7:27 pm
                                      Subject: Re: [Altair Computer Club] Every week you see an Altair 8800 for sale on Ebay.

                                      
                                      300 in the first 6 mon this year ?
                                      That's 2 per day
                                      Did you mean since a year ago ?
                                      
                                      =Dan
                                      
                                      [ vintage electrons are just as good    ]
                                      [ http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/        ]
                                      
                                      
                                      
                                      billdeg wrote:
                                      
                                      > > but you'd figure 300 Altair > 8800's have sold this year on Ebay. > > __. >
                                      Yahoo! Groups Links <*> To visit your group on the web, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/altaircomputerclub/ <*> Your email settings: Individual Email | Traditional <*> To change settings online go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/altaircomputerclub/join (Yahoo! ID required) <*> To change settings via email: mailto:altaircomputerclub-digest@yahoogroups.com mailto:altaircomputerclub-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: altaircomputerclub-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to: http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

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                                    • Steve
                                      Bill, I must admit that your math is a bit advanced for me. I have read and reread your last message, and I can t figure out what you were trying to say. Did
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Jun 29, 2007
                                        Bill,

                                        I must admit that your math is a bit advanced for me. I have read
                                        and reread your last message, and I can't figure out what you were
                                        trying to say. Did you really mean to say 1/wk = 300/yr?

                                        My best guess would be that maybe 40 or 50 Altairs are sold each
                                        year. There were probably a lot fewer IMSAIs made than Altairs, so
                                        I'm not surprised that they're rarer on ebay. Historically, they
                                        haven't sold for as much $$$, mainly because they weren't "The
                                        First". I think it's very likely that Altairs outsold all other S-
                                        100s by a wide margin.

                                        steve
                                        ========================================

                                        --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, billdeg@... wrote:
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > I meant ~one per week ~ 300/year.?
                                        >
                                        > Right now for example, there are 3 Altairs up for sale on Ebay in
                                        the vintage computers area, all 8800's.? At this time there are no
                                        IMSAI's, no other S-100 systems for sale.? I bet more Altair 8800's
                                        are sold on Ebay than any other S-100 system, except perhaps for
                                        IMSAI 8080's.??
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Bill
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > -----Original Message-----
                                        > From: Dan <ragooman@...>
                                        > To: altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com
                                        > Sent: Thu, 28 Jun 2007 7:27 pm
                                        > Subject: Re: [Altair Computer Club] Every week you see an Altair
                                        8800 for sale on Ebay.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > 300 in the first 6 mon this year ?
                                        > That's 2 per day
                                        > Did you mean since a year ago ?
                                        >
                                        > =Dan
                                        >
                                        > [ vintage electrons are just as good ]
                                        > [ http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/ ]
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > billdeg wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > > but you'd figure 300 Altair
                                        > > 8800's have sold this year on Ebay.
                                        > >
                                        > > __.
                                        > >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        ______________________________________________________________________
                                        __
                                        > AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's
                                        free from AOL at AOL.com.
                                        >
                                      • billdeg@aol.com
                                        Yes I am a bit slow here :-) I *really* meant 50 / year Altairs sold on Ebay. Bill In a message dated 6/29/2007 10:41:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ...
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Jun 30, 2007
                                          Yes I am a bit slow here :-)
                                          
                                          I *really* meant 50 / year Altairs sold on Ebay.
                                          
                                          Bill
                                          
                                          In a message dated 6/29/2007 10:41:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
                                          alltare@... writes:
                                          
                                          
                                          > I must admit that your math is a bit advanced for me. I have read > and reread your last message, and I can't figure out what you were > trying to say. Did you really mean to say 1/wk = 300/yr?


                                          **************************************
                                          See what's free at http://www.aol.com.
                                        • Dave Freeman
                                          I don t know but my guess would be more Imsai s were sold as they had a more aggressive marketing and sales program and much broader distribution program. Nice
                                          Message 20 of 24 , Jun 30, 2007
                                            I don't know but my guess would be more Imsai's were sold as they had a more
                                            aggressive marketing and sales program and much broader distribution program.
                                            Nice reading the various opinions on this- maybe someone really knows the answer?
                                            Dave Freeman
                                            The PC Museum
                                            www.thepcmuseum.net
                                            On Jun 29, 2007, at 7:39 PM, Steve wrote:

                                            Bill,

                                            I must admit that your math is a bit advanced for me. I have read 
                                            and reread your last message, and I can't figure out what you were 
                                            trying to say. Did you really mean to say 1/wk = 300/yr?

                                            My best guess would be that maybe 40 or 50 Altairs are sold each 
                                            year. There were probably a lot fewer IMSAIs made than Altairs, so 
                                            I'm not surprised that they're rarer on ebay. Historically, they 
                                            haven't sold for as much $$$, mainly because they weren't "The 
                                            First". I think it's very likely that Altairs outsold all other S-
                                            100s by a wide margin.

                                            steve
                                            ============ ========= ========= ========= =

                                            --- In altaircomputerclub@ yahoogroups. com , billdeg@... wrote:
                                            >
                                            > 
                                            > I meant ~one per week ~ 300/year.? 
                                            > 
                                            > Right now for example, there are 3 Altairs up for sale on Ebay in 
                                            the vintage computers area, all 8800's.? At this time there are no 
                                            IMSAI's, no other S-100 systems for sale.? I bet more Altair 8800's 
                                            are sold on Ebay than any other S-100 system, except perhaps for 
                                            IMSAI 8080's.??
                                            > 
                                            > 
                                            > 
                                            > Bill
                                            > 
                                            > 
                                            > -----Original Message-----
                                            > From: Dan <ragooman@.. .>
                                            > To: altaircomputerclub@ yahoogroups. com
                                            > Sent: Thu, 28 Jun 2007 7:27 pm
                                            > Subject: Re: [Altair Computer Club] Every week you see an Altair 
                                            8800 for sale on Ebay.
                                            > 
                                            > 
                                            > 
                                            > 
                                            > 
                                            > 300 in the first 6 mon this year ?
                                            > That's 2 per day
                                            > Did you mean since a year ago ?
                                            > 
                                            > =Dan
                                            > 
                                            > [ vintage electrons are just as good ]
                                            > [ http://ragooman. home.comcast. net/ ]
                                            > 
                                            > 
                                            > 
                                            > billdeg wrote:
                                            > >
                                            > > but you'd figure 300 Altair
                                            > > 8800's have sold this year on Ebay.
                                            > >
                                            > > __.
                                            > >
                                            > 
                                            > 
                                            > 
                                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                            > 
                                            > 
                                            > 
                                            > 
                                            > 
                                            > 
                                            ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
                                            __
                                            > AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's 
                                            free from AOL at AOL.com.
                                            >


                                          • oghull
                                            ... On www.imsai.net, Todd Fischer quotes numbers of 17,000 - 20,000 for the IMSAI and 12,000 for the 8800, but a quote from Ed Roberts on the same page
                                            Message 21 of 24 , Jun 30, 2007
                                              --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, Dave Freeman <dfreeman@...>
                                              wrote:
                                              >
                                              > I don't know but my guess would be more Imsai's were sold as they had
                                              > a more
                                              > aggressive marketing and sales program and much broader distribution
                                              > program.
                                              > Nice reading the various opinions on this- maybe someone really knows
                                              > the answer?

                                              On www.imsai.net, Todd Fischer quotes numbers of 17,000 - 20,000 for
                                              the IMSAI and 12,000 for the 8800, but a quote from Ed Roberts on the
                                              same page points out that there were also about 30,000 8800b machines
                                              sold.

                                              Geoff.
                                            • Steve
                                              Thanks, Geoff. Yeah, I should have said that there were more 8080-based Altairs of all types ﷯in﷯ ﷯toto﷯ sold than any other brand.
                                              Message 22 of 24 , Jun 30, 2007
                                                Thanks, Geoff.
                                                Yeah, I should have said that there were more 8080-based Altairs of
                                                all types ﷯in﷯ ﷯toto﷯ sold than any other brand. I wouldn't argue with
                                                the fact that the IMSAIs outsold the original 8800.

                                                Processor Tech's Sol-20 was pretty popular too. I wonder what its
                                                production numbers were.

                                                Steve
                                                ============================
                                                --- ﷯In﷯ altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "oghull" <oghull@...>
                                                wrote:
                                                >
                                                > --- ﷯In﷯ altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, Dave Freeman <dfreeman@>
                                                > wrote:
                                                > >
                                                > > I don't know but my guess would be more Imsai's were sold as they
                                                had
                                                > > a more
                                                > > aggressive marketing and sales program and much broader
                                                distribution
                                                > > program.
                                                > > Nice reading the various opinions on this- maybe someone really
                                                knows
                                                > > the answer?
                                                >
                                                > On www.imsai.net, Todd Fischer quotes numbers of 17,000 - 20,000 for
                                                > the IMSAI and 12,000 for the 8800, but a quote from Ed Roberts on
                                                the
                                                > same page points out that there were also about 30,000 8800b
                                                machines
                                                > sold.
                                                >
                                                > Geoff.
                                                >
                                              • Steve
                                                Boy, my last post came through with a bunch of garbage characters. I hope this reads better: Thanks, Geoff. Yeah, I should have said that there were more
                                                Message 23 of 24 , Jun 30, 2007
                                                  Boy, my last post came through with a bunch of garbage characters. I
                                                  hope this reads better:

                                                  Thanks, Geoff.
                                                  Yeah, I should have said that there were more 8080-based Altairs of
                                                  all types in toto sold than any other brand. I wouldn't argue with
                                                  the fact that the IMSAI outsold the original Altair 8800.

                                                  Processor Tech's Sol-20 was pretty popular too. I wonder what its
                                                  production numbers were.

                                                  Steve
                                                  ============================

                                                  --- ﷯In﷯ altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "Steve"
                                                  <alltare@...>
                                                  wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > Thanks, Geoff.
                                                  > Yeah, I should have said that there were more 8080-based Altairs of
                                                  > all types ﷯﷯in﷯﷯
                                                  ﷯﷯toto﷯﷯ sold than any
                                                  other brand. I wouldn't argue with
                                                  > the fact that the IMSAIs outsold the original 8800.
                                                  >
                                                  > Processor Tech's Sol-20 was pretty popular too. I wonder what its
                                                  > production numbers were.
                                                  >
                                                  > Steve
                                                  > ============================
                                                  > --- ﷯﷯In﷯﷯
                                                  altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "oghull"
                                                  <oghull@>
                                                  > wrote:
                                                  > >
                                                  > > --- ﷯﷯In﷯﷯
                                                  altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, Dave
                                                  Freeman <dfreeman@>
                                                  > > wrote:
                                                  > > >
                                                  > > > I don't know but my guess would be more Imsai's were sold as
                                                  they
                                                  > had
                                                  > > > a more
                                                  > > > aggressive marketing and sales program and much broader
                                                  > distribution
                                                  > > > program.
                                                  > > > Nice reading the various opinions on this- maybe someone really
                                                  > knows
                                                  > > > the answer?
                                                  > >
                                                  > > On www.imsai.net, Todd Fischer quotes numbers of 17,000 - 20,000
                                                  for
                                                  > > the IMSAI and 12,000 for the 8800, but a quote from Ed Roberts
                                                  on
                                                  > the
                                                  > > same page points out that there were also about 30,000 8800b
                                                  > machines
                                                  > > sold.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Geoff.
                                                  > >
                                                  >
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