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

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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 1 of 24 , Jun 25, 2007
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      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 2 of 24 , Jun 25, 2007
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        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 3 of 24 , Jun 25, 2007
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          >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 4 of 24 , Jun 25, 2007
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            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 5 of 24 , Jun 25, 2007
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              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 6 of 24 , Jun 25, 2007
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                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 7 of 24 , Jun 26, 2007
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                  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 8 of 24 , Jun 26, 2007
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                    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 9 of 24 , Jun 26, 2007
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                      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 10 of 24 , Jun 27, 2007
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                        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 11 of 24 , Jun 27, 2007
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                          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 12 of 24 , Jun 28, 2007
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                            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 13 of 24 , Jun 28, 2007
                            • 0 Attachment
                              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 14 of 24 , Jun 28, 2007
                              • 0 Attachment
                                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 15 of 24 , Jun 28, 2007
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  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 16 of 24 , Jun 29, 2007
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    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 17 of 24 , Jun 29, 2007
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      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 18 of 24 , Jun 30, 2007
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        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 19 of 24 , Jun 30, 2007
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          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 20 of 24 , Jun 30, 2007
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            --- 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 21 of 24 , Jun 30, 2007
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              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 22 of 24 , Jun 30, 2007
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                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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