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Re: [Altair Computer Club] New Turnkey B kit (Unassembled!)

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  • KB
    Id have to say around 100,000 to 500,000 dollars. ... From: R Banks Subject: [Altair Computer Club] New Turnkey B kit (Unassembled!) To:
    Message 1 of 14 , May 27, 2009
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      Id have to say around 100,000 to 500,000 dollars.

      --- On Wed, 5/27/09, R Banks <sonicpt@...> wrote:

      From: R Banks <sonicpt@...>
      Subject: [Altair Computer Club] New Turnkey B kit (Unassembled!)
      To: altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2009, 1:19 PM

      Altair friends,

      I have an original Altair Turnkey B kit, unassembled, in the original MITS box, which I am interested in selling, for the best possible price. I do not have the transformer, however. The box has been previously opened, but everything is there. I have three questions.

      1. Does anyone have any ideas on how to best find a buyer? Since this could possibly be the only example of an unassembled Altair computer kit in existence (?), it seems a shame to sell it to someone who wants to build it. It should probably be made into a display in a museum. However, I am not interested in donating it for a tax deduction.

      2. What is the availability of the B model transformer?

      3. How to determine the proper value of such this unique item? One computer museum suggests an appraiser, but I haven't found one for vintage microcomputers.

      Any ideas or referrals would be greatly appreciated. By the way, I was the third Altair dealer (Virginia/DC) , and this is one of the few items that I kept, since 1978.

      Thanks,

      RGB


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    • oghull
      ... I d say that s a tad optimistic. Firstly, this is a 8800BT we re talking about, and while they re nice machines they don t usually fetch as much as an
      Message 2 of 14 , May 27, 2009
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        --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, KB <vacuumboy1@...> wrote:
        >
        > Id have to say around 100,000 to 500,000 dollars.
        >

        I'd say that's a tad optimistic.

        Firstly, this is a 8800BT we're talking about, and while they're nice machines they don't usually fetch as much as an equivalent 8800.

        Secondly, a beautiful unassembled 8800 sold on eBay a couple of years ago for less than $7000.00. And that was with an impressive selection of unassembled boards, software, documentation, and miscellaneous extras. That was also before the economy went down the tubes.

        I wish the OP luck in selling his machine, but let's try to stay somewhat grounded in reality.

        Geoff.
      • KB
        Well, If the serial number was 0001 ... From: oghull Subject: Re: [Altair Computer Club] New Turnkey B kit (Unassembled!) To:
        Message 3 of 14 , May 27, 2009
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          Well, If the serial number was 0001

          --- On Wed, 5/27/09, oghull <oghull@...> wrote:

          From: oghull <oghull@...>
          Subject: Re: [Altair Computer Club] New Turnkey B kit (Unassembled!)
          To: altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2009, 9:07 PM

          --- In altaircomputerclub@ yahoogroups. com, KB <vacuumboy1@ ...> wrote:
          >
          > Id have to say around 100,000 to 500,000 dollars.
          >

          I'd say that's a tad optimistic.

          Firstly, this is a 8800BT we're talking about, and while they're nice machines they don't usually fetch as much as an equivalent 8800.

          Secondly, a beautiful unassembled 8800 sold on eBay a couple of years ago for less than $7000.00. And that was with an impressive selection of unassembled boards, software, documentation, and miscellaneous extras. That was also before the economy went down the tubes.

          I wish the OP luck in selling his machine, but let's try to stay somewhat grounded in reality.

          Geoff.


        • Steve
          Isn t #0001 the one that was lost by Railway Express on the way to Popular Electronics? I guess there s still the possibility that it could turn up some day
          Message 4 of 14 , May 27, 2009
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            Isn't #0001 the one that was lost by Railway Express on the way to Popular Electronics? I guess there's still the possibility that it could turn up some day in some forgotten storage space of that defunct company. If so, I think the finder could name his price.

            Speaking of PopTronics, I found a recent PBS Charlie Rose interview will Bill Gates and his father to be somewhat amusing. The father was telling Charlie how Paul Allen and Bill had found the 1975 Altair article in POPULAR MECHANICS magazine. Bill never corrected him, and of course Charlie Rose was oblivious.

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

            --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, KB <vacuumboy1@...> wrote:
            >
            > Well, If the serial number was 0001
            >
            > --- On Wed, 5/27/09, oghull <oghull@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > From: oghull <oghull@...>
            > Subject: Re: [Altair Computer Club] New Turnkey B kit (Unassembled!)
            > To: altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com
            > Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2009, 9:07 PM
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > --- In altaircomputerclub@ yahoogroups. com, KB <vacuumboy1@ ...> wrote:
            > >
            > > Id have to say around 100,000 to 500,000 dollars.
            > >
            >
            > I'd say that's a tad optimistic.
            >
            > Firstly, this is a 8800BT we're talking about, and while they're nice machines they don't usually fetch as much as an equivalent 8800.
            >
            > Secondly, a beautiful unassembled 8800 sold on eBay a couple of years ago for less than $7000.00. And that was with an impressive selection of unassembled boards, software, documentation, and miscellaneous extras. That was also before the economy went down the tubes.
            >
            > I wish the OP luck in selling his machine, but let's try to stay somewhat grounded in reality.
            >
            > Geoff.
            >
          • Tom Sanderson
            Some people think Altair equipment should be free and others value unassembeled and original boxes . I think presentation and information has some value.
            Message 5 of 14 , May 27, 2009
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              Some people think Altair equipment should be free and others value
              "unassembeled" and "original boxes". I think presentation and
              information has some value. I'd want to know what is in the boxes in
              addition to what is missing. Is is just the mainframe, or is the turnkey
              board included? What about the manual?

              There is also the possibility of selling the parts separately. The 8800b
              may have less value than an 8800, but your face plate is likely not
              faded or damaged and would help restore another 8800b to museum quality.
              I know at least one person that needs a motherboard. How many S-100
              connectors are included? I think they cost at least $16 each. What about
              card guides? Try finding them for sale. There are only two flat handle
              switches, but where can you buy just one at any price.

              I think a reproduction case costs more than $400 to manufacture. A
              perfect case would fit and restore an 8800 or 8800a. Some people would
              buy just the case top. Maybe there is an 8800 owner out there with a
              damaged case like the gentlemen with the modified case top.

              The serial number may not be 0001, but is the tag for sale? Someone
              might like an original box for their mainframe. Good luck on the price.
              I think $500 may be a minimum.

              What to people think think a transformer is worth? Can replacements be
              found? Would you be interested an a VG-4 transformer from a Vector 3
              computer?

              Tom



              --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, KB <vacuumboy1@...> wrote:
              >
              > Well, If the serial number was 0001
              >
              > --- On Wed, 5/27/09, oghull oghull@... wrote:
              >
              >
              > From: oghull oghull@...
              > Subject: Re: [Altair Computer Club] New Turnkey B kit (Unassembled!)
              > To: altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com
              > Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2009, 9:07 PM
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In altaircomputerclub@ yahoogroups. com, KB <vacuumboy1@ ...>
              wrote:
              > >
              > > Id have to say around 100,000 to 500,000 dollars.
              > >
              >
              > I'd say that's a tad optimistic.
              >
              > Firstly, this is a 8800BT we're talking about, and while they're nice
              machines they don't usually fetch as much as an equivalent 8800.
              >
              > Secondly, a beautiful unassembled 8800 sold on eBay a couple of years
              ago for less than $7000.00. And that was with an impressive selection of
              unassembled boards, software, documentation, and miscellaneous extras.
              That was also before the economy went down the tubes.
              >
              > I wish the OP luck in selling his machine, but let's try to stay
              somewhat grounded in reality.
              >
              > Geoff.
              >
            • Craig Landrum
              ... For what it s worth, I sold my 8800, in perfect working order with all MITs boards, 64K RAM, two working MITS 8-inch drives (and a third spare), a serial
              Message 6 of 14 , May 28, 2009
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                On 5/28/09 at 9:07 PM, oghull@... (oghull) wrote:

                >--- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, KB <vacuumboy1@...> wrote:
                >>
                >>Id have to say around 100,000 to 500,000 dollars.
                >
                >I'd say that's a tad optimistic.
                >
                >Firstly, this is a 8800BT we're talking about, and while
                >they're nice machines they don't usually fetch as much as an
                >equivalent 8800.
                >
                >Secondly, a beautiful unassembled 8800 sold on eBay a couple of
                >years ago for less than $7000.00. And that was with an
                >impressive selection of unassembled boards, software,
                >documentation, and miscellaneous extras. That was also before
                >the economy went down the tubes.
                >

                For what it's worth, I sold my 8800, in perfect working order with
                all MITs boards, 64K RAM, two working MITS 8-inch drives (and a third
                spare), a serial dumb terminal, a working teletype on stand, centronics
                printer, with loads of original software, with original copies
                of MITS
                doc still in MITS shipping envelopes for $6,000 to a private
                buyer (who
                also bought my perfect working order IMSAI 8080 with drives and
                SW for
                $3500).

                Still have a working IMSAI 8080 and other stuff, but no more Altair
                (sniff).



                --
                Craig Landrum
                Chief Technical Officer
                mindwrap, inc.
                Phone: (540) 675-3015 x 229
                Fax: (540) 675-3130
                email: craigl@...
              • mardy_marshall
                ... The market is really soft right now. A very clean IMSAI just went for a little over $900 yesterday on eBay. That same machine would probably have gone
                Message 7 of 14 , May 28, 2009
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                  --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "oghull" <oghull@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, KB <vacuumboy1@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Id have to say around 100,000 to 500,000 dollars.
                  > >
                  >
                  > I'd say that's a tad optimistic.
                  >
                  > Firstly, this is a 8800BT we're talking about, and while they're nice machines they don't usually fetch as much as an equivalent 8800.
                  >
                  > Secondly, a beautiful unassembled 8800 sold on eBay a couple of years ago for less than $7000.00. And that was with an impressive selection of unassembled boards, software, documentation, and miscellaneous extras. That was also before the economy went down the tubes.
                  >
                  > I wish the OP luck in selling his machine, but let's try to stay somewhat grounded in reality.
                  >
                  > Geoff.
                  >

                  The market is really soft right now. A very clean IMSAI just went for a little over $900 yesterday on eBay. That same machine would probably have gone for two or three times that much back in the good ole days.

                  And by the way, I paid $8000 for the unassembled 8800 kit.

                  -Mardy
                • Tom Sanderson
                  It is obvious the the people s perception of Altair value varies with their interest and budget and that market timing is important. My theory is that people
                  Message 8 of 14 , May 28, 2009
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                    It is obvious the the people's perception of Altair value varies with
                    their interest and budget and that market timing is important. My theory
                    is that people who pay a lot will take good care of their Altair,
                    enhance it and preserve it for the the future.

                    I think Craig under priced his Altair given the amount of work he put
                    into it. I think Mardy will get $8K of enjoyment by examining every part
                    and building the kit into a working system. The question is how to find
                    one of these special people who will appreciate the Altair and build it
                    into a working system. Part of the answer is related to how much of a
                    hurry you are in to sell and how much work you want to put into
                    presentation.

                    One person asked how much to sell his Altair for. I told him to make a
                    website and ask for a very high price. Instead of a website, he made a
                    detailed description on Ebay with lots of good mages and information. He
                    asked for $10,000 and only got two bids. The Altair sold for $10,035
                    dollars. The result was that other people saw the price and the supply
                    of Altairs increased on Ebay. If your Altair doesn't sell at a high
                    price, you can re-list it. If you have the time to wait, someone in the
                    world really wants the Altair and can afford to pay for something you
                    can't by at WalMart on short notice.

                    I don't know the price effect of a missing transformer or the value
                    limits of a Turnkey. My general advice for anyone selling an Altair is
                    to take very good photographs of every part. Take some time telling a
                    story about everything. For example 8800b rare flat switches, perfect
                    case that fits any Altair, museum quality faceplate. Tell something
                    about the machines history. In this case what was it like to sell
                    Turnkey systems as a dealer. Show each bag of parts and the box too.

                    If anyone has an Altair to sell and is not too much in a hurry, they can
                    build a website on Microsoft Small Business Office Live at no cost and
                    no tools are required other than a browser. The website can help
                    preserve Altair history and benefit the original owner, new owner, and
                    everyone else. The website can be included with the sale or be kept for
                    memories by the old owner. The website can advertise with a high price
                    while you wait for the proper buyer or look for missing parts or other
                    items to add value. There is also free storage for manual PDF files.
                    Ebay photos are often low quality and are gone after the sale.

                    If anyone builds a For Sale website for their Altair, I will include a
                    link to the website on www.virtualaltair.com. This website has traffic
                    from people who are already interested in Altairs. "Altair for Sale" is
                    included in the keywords used to find this site using search engines.
                    I'd sure like to include some of the photos on my website. I wish I
                    could have seen the photos of Craig's system and read stories of it's
                    construction. I've never seen an Altair kit. What do the parts bags look
                    like in Mardy's kit? Where can I get a good scan of an unassembled power
                    reglator board for an 8800bt?

                    If you don't ask for a reserve price the sale price can be low in any
                    given week. Some other time, their will be a buyer with spare cash. This
                    may be the last time time an 8800bt kit is for sale.

                    Tom



                    --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "mardy_marshall" <mardy@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "oghull" oghull@ wrote:
                    > >
                    > > --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, KB <vacuumboy1@> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > Id have to say around 100,000 to 500,000 dollars.
                    > > >
                    > >
                    > > I'd say that's a tad optimistic.
                    > >
                    > > Firstly, this is a 8800BT we're talking about, and while they're
                    nice machines they don't usually fetch as much as an equivalent 8800.
                    > >
                    > > Secondly, a beautiful unassembled 8800 sold on eBay a couple of
                    years ago for less than $7000.00. And that was with an impressive
                    selection of unassembled boards, software, documentation, and
                    miscellaneous extras. That was also before the economy went down the
                    tubes.
                    > >
                    > > I wish the OP luck in selling his machine, but let's try to stay
                    somewhat grounded in reality.
                    > >
                    > > Geoff.
                    > >
                    >
                    > The market is really soft right now. A very clean IMSAI just went for
                    a little over $900 yesterday on eBay. That same machine would probably
                    have gone for two or three times that much back in the good ole days.
                    >
                    > And by the way, I paid $8000 for the unassembled 8800 kit.
                    >
                    > -Mardy
                    >
                  • billdeg@aol.com
                    I agree...if you can take your time to sell, do.
                    Message 9 of 14 , May 28, 2009
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                      I agree...if you can take your time to sell, do.


                      
                      
                      >If you don't ask for a reserve price the sale price can be low in any >given week. Some other time, their will be a buyer with spare cash. This >may be the last time time an 8800bt kit is for sale.
                      > >Tom
                    • RMA
                      I am uncertain as to role with the the club, but your answer seems as though you know a lot about Altair, history, etc. I have built four units. I still have
                      Message 10 of 14 , May 28, 2009
                      I am uncertain as to role with the the club, but your answer seems as though you know a lot about 
                      Altair, history, etc. I have built four units. I still have several 8800Bs all working with hard drives, etc. 
                      I have a original led display and all of the newsletters from MITS. I do have a large inventory, but find I am unable 
                      to end the file, so will send a few pictures and lists. The manuals are for all of the systems I have. At 74 it is time to 
                      find a good home for all of these items. I would like to find someone who would want to purchase the whole lot-which
                      would be a truck load. I did have a university that was interested, but that fell through. I am attaching a few files and lists for 
                      you to look at.  Robert Adelstein-Denver
                    • R Banks
                      To all who have responded, Many thanks for your thoughts and ideas about selling an Altair. I especially want to thank Tom for his time and ideas on this. I am
                      Message 11 of 14 , May 29, 2009
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                        To all who have responded,

                        Many thanks for your thoughts and ideas about selling an Altair. I especially want to thank Tom for his time and ideas on this. I am quite intrigued by Tom's extensive thoughts. I have a few related items, like mint copies of the first three issues of Byte magazine, the two Popular Electronic issues introducing the Altair, other early books and mags, etc. and could put together a package deal, I guess. I have also thought of doing a web site about the early MITS days and being a dealer, but never got around it it. This is great food for thought! Thanks, guys!

                        RGB


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