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Re: When was the last time a fully working and sorted Altair came up for sale?

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  • W Tom
    The trend now is estate sales. Some of us old guys have nice equipment. The problem is the person selling does not understand the equipment like the previous
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 11, 2013
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      The trend now is estate sales. Some of us old guys have nice equipment. The problem is the person selling does not understand the equipment like the previous owner. In other cases the seller is maximizing parts revenue.

      I see a trend where boards are removed and sold separate from the mainframe. Also drive cabinets are often separated from controllers. There is now a Turnkey board for sale in an auction separate from the Turney mainframe.

      > I know with all the effort I put into getting my system up I'm in no rush to sell,

      Exactly. I spent 35 years collecting parts and still have parts to fix. My goal was to use the system not build it.

      >...but do you guys think that is the case with everyone else. Once we get them working we never will part with them? Or is it that we only see the ones for sale that people lack the skills or time to work on?

      I'll be selling some boards soon because I lack the skills or time to work on them? There are just too many fun new skills to learn.

      Money is factor for some of us. I don't win auctions often. People with money and skill can build working systems. Good for them because they are often generous with the information they learned during the restoration process. Personality is a factor too. The people I see successfully building Altair systems have skills, money and the personality to be C-Level Executive or business owner.

      Luck is important. I've been lucky to get free or cheap parts. Each lucky part is a new problem requiring time, skills, and money. One lucky factor is an understanding and supporting wife. I don't know if being single is lucky, but more than once I've heard stories of wives wanting Altair's gone from the house.

      I'm lucky to have parts for a couple of systems and want them gone from the house. The biggest problem remains getting Pertec drives working. There are lots of bad memory boards and power supplies to fix too. My challenge is what can I do before the estate sale? One question is should I fix equipment? It does take time and the next owner may enjoy the challenge of repair.

      Lack of skill and lack of money are a bad combination. Can I buy disk drive repair service, even if I had the money? What about other repair services? How much is an 8800b switch, card guide or drive door worth?

      How much is a working Altair worth? Is it worth the trouble to make a working system? Fixing two Altairs adds two Altairs to the world. How many Altairs would result from selling the parts separate?

      One group member sold a working floppy system for around $6000. What would people pay for a working system? Selling a part should be easier than selling a system. I'm much more likely to sell an Altair now that I have a new Clone.



      W. Tom S.







      --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, corey986 <no_reply@...> wrote:
      >
      > Was thinking with all the Altairs coming up on EBay, I have yet to see one come up that actually is running and sorted out (I.e. running basic and programs).
      >
      > Has anyone seen one ever come up? What kind was it, early, A or B model?I have seen "it lights up" and stuff like that but actually running software?
      >
      > I know with all the effort I put into getting my system up I'm in no rush to sell, but do you guys think that is the case with everyone else. Once we get them working we never will part with them? Or is it that we only see the ones for sale that people lack the skills or time to work on?
      >
      > I guess this posting should be more of a poll or something....
      >
      > Cheers,
      > Corey
      >
    • tkaragiris
      It s been about three years since I first started looking to buy an Altair and in all that time I ve never seen a fully operational machine offered for sale.
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 11, 2013
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        It's been about three years since I first started looking to buy an Altair and in all that time I've never seen a fully operational machine offered for sale.

        It took me almost two years to learn enough to get mine operational and with no engineering background it was a difficult task. So now that I have a working Altair I'm not going to sell it. I have other computers in my VC collection that I'd consider selling but not the Altair. I've thought about what I'll do with it in the long run and I'll either give it to my children if they're interested in it or give it to a museum. As rare as these things are in the U.S, they are super rare in Australia, I can't imagine there would be more than a hand full in the whole country and probably even less that are usable.



        --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, corey986 <no_reply@...> wrote:
        >
        > Was thinking with all the Altairs coming up on EBay, I have yet to see one come up that actually is running and sorted out (I.e. running basic and programs).
        >
        > Has anyone seen one ever come up? What kind was it, early, A or B model?I have seen "it lights up" and stuff like that but actually running software?
        >
        > I know with all the effort I put into getting my system up I'm in no rush to sell, but do you guys think that is the case with everyone else. Once we get them working we never will part with them? Or is it that we only see the ones for sale that people lack the skills or time to work on?
        >
        > I guess this posting should be more of a poll or something....
        >
        > Cheers,
        > Corey
        >
      • mfeberhard
        I have perhaps one too many Altairs right now - I may be selling one one of these days on eBay. When I do, it will be a fully working Altair 8800b... I think
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 11, 2013
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          I have perhaps one too many Altairs right now - I may be selling one one of these days on eBay. When I do, it will be a fully working Altair 8800b...

          I think anyone who sells such an old machine will not offer a warranty - it will be something like "Working when I ship it, and guaranteed not to be DOA. but after that, you are on your own."

          -Martin E.

          --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "tkaragiris" <tkaragiris@...> wrote:
          >
          > It's been about three years since I first started looking to buy an Altair and in all that time I've never seen a fully operational machine offered for sale.
          >
          > It took me almost two years to learn enough to get mine operational and with no engineering background it was a difficult task. So now that I have a working Altair I'm not going to sell it. I have other computers in my VC collection that I'd consider selling but not the Altair. I've thought about what I'll do with it in the long run and I'll either give it to my children if they're interested in it or give it to a museum. As rare as these things are in the U.S, they are super rare in Australia, I can't imagine there would be more than a hand full in the whole country and probably even less that are usable.
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, corey986 <no_reply@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Was thinking with all the Altairs coming up on EBay, I have yet to see one come up that actually is running and sorted out (I.e. running basic and programs).
          > >
          > > Has anyone seen one ever come up? What kind was it, early, A or B model?I have seen "it lights up" and stuff like that but actually running software?
          > >
          > > I know with all the effort I put into getting my system up I'm in no rush to sell, but do you guys think that is the case with everyone else. Once we get them working we never will part with them? Or is it that we only see the ones for sale that people lack the skills or time to work on?
          > >
          > > I guess this posting should be more of a poll or something....
          > >
          > > Cheers,
          > > Corey
          > >
          >
        • steve
          I sold an Altair 8800bT a couple of years ago. It was fully functional, with 100 percent Altair parts, and I included cassette BASIC on CD, with the
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 11, 2013
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            I sold an Altair 8800bT a couple of years ago. It was fully functional, with 100 percent Altair parts, and I included cassette BASIC on CD, with the necessary software, cables, and EPROMs to load and run it from a PC. It sold in a few hours with a Buy-it-Now of $3500. As quickly as it sold, I figured that I probably priced it too low.

            I'm hanging on to the 8800b that I built from a kit back in ~1978.

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

            --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, corey986 <no_reply@...> wrote:
            >
            > Was thinking with all the Altairs coming up on EBay, I have yet to see one come up that actually is running and sorted out (I.e. running basic and programs).
            >
            > Has anyone seen one ever come up? What kind was it, early, A or B model?I have seen "it lights up" and stuff like that but actually running software?
            >
            > I know with all the effort I put into getting my system up I'm in no rush to sell, but do you guys think that is the case with everyone else. Once we get them working we never will part with them? Or is it that we only see the ones for sale that people lack the skills or time to work on?
            >
            > I guess this posting should be more of a poll or something....
            >
            > Cheers,
            > Corey
            >
          • deramp5113
            I think there is a buyer for every variation of system condition you ll find on eBay: Beat up and hybrid systems are often purchased at low cost just to get a
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 12, 2013
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              I think there is a buyer for every variation of system condition you'll find on eBay:

              Beat up and hybrid systems are often purchased at low cost just to get a board or two, or hard to find parts.

              Complete, but non-functional systems are often bought by people like us because they make for a good fixer-upper system at a reasonable price.

              Like Steve's experience -- and I'd like to see the outcome of one of Martin's auctions for a full and working system -- there are also buyers who want to be up and running with as little work as possible, and they're will to pay for it.

              Just five percent of Altair 8800 Clone sales have been kits, and those have been to the same customers that are also purchasing an assembled unit. I think this shows that is a market for complete, ready to use, Altairs that aren't a challenge to get up and running.

              When I am done with the current projects on my plate, I may purchase, refurb, and sell a few Altair systems. I enjoy working on them but don't need a room full of Altair computers.

              Mike


              --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, corey986 <no_reply@...> wrote:
              >
              > Was thinking with all the Altairs coming up on EBay, I have yet to see one come up that actually is running and sorted out (I.e. running basic and programs).
              >
              > Has anyone seen one ever come up? What kind was it, early, A or B model?I have seen "it lights up" and stuff like that but actually running software?
              >
              > I know with all the effort I put into getting my system up I'm in no rush to sell, but do you guys think that is the case with everyone else. Once we get them working we never will part with them? Or is it that we only see the ones for sale that people lack the skills or time to work on?
              >
              > I guess this posting should be more of a poll or something....
              >
              > Cheers,
              > Corey
              >
            • Craig Landrum
              ... About 10 years ago I sold a complete working 64K Altair 8800 system with all original Altair CPU, mem, floppy disk, printer, etc boards - fully populated
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 12, 2013
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                On 8/11/13 at 12:59 PM, no_reply@yahoogroups.com (corey986) wrote:

                >Was thinking with all the Altairs coming up on EBay, I have yet
                >to see one come up that actually is running and sorted out
                >(I.e. running basic and programs).
                >....
                >
                >I guess this posting should be more of a poll or something....
                >
                >Cheers,
                >Corey

                About 10 years ago I sold a complete working 64K Altair 8800
                system with
                all original Altair CPU, mem, floppy disk, printer, etc boards - fully
                populated and working, with two working Altair disk drives, a
                Wyse terminal,
                and a working ASR33. Could boot to the Wyse or ASR via front
                panel boot
                time switch configs to use one of two SIO boards. Could boot BASIC,
                Burkom CP/M. It was a private sale for $6500.00. At the same
                time on
                eBay, I put up a working 64K IMSAI that used my own BIOS -system came
                complete with dual 8-inch floppies, and combo 5.25/3.5 drive
                mounted in
                an IMSAI 2 diskette drive cabinet. Booted to CP/M 2.2. That
                sold for
                $3500 and I heavily touted it as in "perfect working, bootable condition",
                and compared it to the normal "lame, as-is" offerings normally seen.
                Said it had been "lovingly restored to original working
                condition by a
                old-time computer geek". Sold pretty quickly :-)

                --
                Craig Landrum
                Chief Technical Officer
                mindwrap, inc.
                Phone: (540) 347-2552 x 229
                Fax: (540) 347-2556
                email: craigl@...
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