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Saga of the Commodores in Summit, NJ

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  • john_apw
    Gentlemen: This will be a rather detailed report of my activities in the matter of Commodore Computers in Summit, NJ . ( Detailed = long winded, but
    Message 1 of 7 , Nov 3, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      Gentlemen:

      This will be a rather detailed report of my activities in the matter
      of "Commodore Computers in Summit, NJ". ("Detailed" = long winded,
      but hopefully informative...)

      I saw the notice in the digest yesterday morning (Wednesday, 02 NOV
      2005) and I sent an email to Lou, the contact person.
      I received a phone call at about 11:30am. He told me that he had a
      number of old computers that his son was going to put up on eBay,
      but they were uncomfortable with shipping monitors, etc. He wanted
      his son to make some money, and when they checked the winning eBay
      bids for similar systems, they thought they might make $300 or $400,
      but it would involve a lot of work and time, trips to the Post
      Office, etc. To see if they could avoid the hassle, he contacted the
      winner and loser of an eBay auction to see if they would be
      interested. Instead, he was referred to the list. Thus the first
      message.

      I was preparing to arrange to see the equipment over the weekend
      when he expressed the urgency: the stuff was in a house being
      cleaned out and anything his son didn't take to sell that was still
      there on Friday (tomorrow) would go into the dumpster. I asked if I
      could come right over, and he said yes. An hour later I was there
      and found out what was going on.

      Seems that Lou is one of three guys who bought the house to re-
      develop, following the death at around age 80 of the sole owner, a
      fellow named David Z. Lou and his partners are preparing to gut and
      renovate the place, but the deceased had no relatives, and all his
      stuff was there, and it all has to be removed. Lou had someone buy
      furniture, etc. and when I explained the MARCH museum, he liked the
      idea that the stuff would go where it would be appreciated. So he
      gave me an exclusive on whatever I thought would be useful. He
      showed me around the place and I took mental notes. Then he
      mentioned that he had already removed some computers to his house,
      but would bring them back for me. Then he mentioned again that he
      wanted his son to get some money out of this. I told him we had no
      budget, but that I would see what I could do personally. He said he
      wanted $200, and I told him that I wasn't sure there was enough
      equipment to warrant that. But he hinted that I might change my mind
      when he brought back the other computers in the morning (Thursday).

      So, we agreed to gather all the computer stuff in the morning, and
      meanwhile he let me rummage around and take stuff I wanted. (Evan,
      this was when I was calling you to discuss truck rental, etc.
      Unfortunately, I can't take a Wurlitzer organ that Davi Z. built
      from kits...It's got a curved wood cabinet, two keyboards and stops,
      foot pedals and a cushioned bench; just too big for me to take it or
      store it...)

      Well, it seems that David was some sort of engineer and a total
      recluse. His little old house, with many tiny rooms, and little
      twisty passages, all alike, was packed wall-to-wall with radios,
      electronic components, audio equipment, computers, etc. He had one
      room with several systems on desks, another room set up like a
      repair shop, another with ham radio, and another with several
      computers, tons of software, and more components (looked just like
      the *old* Radio Shack store layouts!). This guy was a packrat of the
      most intense degree! He had a cache of empty boxes that he used for
      organizing all the equipment repair projects - from radios,
      telephone, to sewing machines, can openers, and food mixers! There
      must have been just dozens of empty boxes alone - not to mention all
      the shelves with boxes that had stuff in them...

      Mostly everything was carefully labeled, sometimes including notes
      about operational characteristics ("a few pixels bad", "motor noise
      in output audio", "this cable for xyz unit" etc.).

      So, on the theory that our local radio museum might be interested in
      some of the radio equipment, I started packing the car with
      shortwave radios, transistor radios, etc. Then I started packing
      test meters. Then I went for some of the spare parts. I also packed
      a typewriter and an old 1950's era HiFi. (Also a calculator or
      two...) In the long run, I decided that other stuff had more
      potential value than the small electronic components (resistors,
      diodes), so I left them behind.

      With the wagon full, I went home and planned for today. Lou had
      building inspectors coming in the morning so I wouldn't be able to
      start packing until around 10am. We agreed to touch base at 9am. I
      really had no place to unload into, so I decided I'd use the morning
      to bring the first load to the museum. Fred and I agreed to meet at
      InfoAge at 8:00 in the morning. He wouldn't be around after noon, so
      I was planning on a fast return to Summit, reload, and then back to
      InfoAge. I went to the bank and took out cash, wondering whether or
      not (besides the systems at the house) he'd have anything else
      worthwhile. I also went to Staples and bought a bunch of storage
      boxes.

      So this morning, I made the trip, got there, met Fred, and we
      unloaded the mostly radio stuff to a place in the basement just
      outside the room designated for our use. Fred showed me the inner
      room with all the shelves, and indicated that we could move the
      stuff into the inner room and onto the shelves at some later time
      (on the 12th, at least).

      I drove back, and on the way Lou called me to say that the
      inspectors would be late, so I should come back at 11. So instead of
      going straight to Summit and saving ~25 miles, I headed back home to
      handle some family business. That took longer than expected, so I
      called Lou and let him know. When I got there at about 11:30, he
      showed me the back of his pickup truck - LOADED with systems!!

      We packed all that stuff into my wagon, then I set to work on moving
      the (hopefully) working systems into the large boxes. Whenever
      possible, I did NOT unplug cables from devices; rather I carefully
      slid everything into the box together. It will take some care to
      untangle everything, but if we work on one system at a time, it
      shouldn't be a problem. (I felt that I had to do it this way in
      order to avoid losing the relationships between units unfamiliar to
      me - I didn't want unrelated things getting plugged in where they
      shouldn't...) Meanwhile Lou searched the attic and retrieved a few
      more systems and disk drives.

      Two hours later, there was barely enough room in my car for me! I
      had systems, printers, software, manuals, etc. etc. etc. (list will
      follow below!) I could barely close the rear hatch!

      I left Summit just before 2pm, and called Fred on his cellphone to
      let him know, even though I knew he wasn't going to be at the
      museum. I got there right at 3pm, checked in, and prepared to unload.

      By 4pm, I had managed to move everything from the car AND from the
      earlier drop-off (on the floor) into the inner room, onto the
      shelves, and categorized roughly into groups of related things.

      My day ended with the trip home, and this report. Total time
      involved: yesterday ~ 5 hours, today ~9 hours. Miles driven: ~320.
      Money spent $200 on equipment, $48 on boxes (not all were used),
      plus gas (~$30). Phone calls: unallocated part of my monthly
      minutes. Assessment: Well, I don't know about you, but I feel pretty
      good about it!

      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


      OK, so what's in the basement?

      Let me start with the non-computer stuff that we can use(?), or
      give, sell, or barter with:

      Radios
      =====================
      About 20 or 30 of various types (6 transistor, 8 trans, 12 trans, to
      other portable shortware receivers). Various makes and models,
      including a few Archer/Radio Shack, and some I don't recognize.
      (NOTE: Some have batteries in them and they should be removed on the
      12th)

      One Hi-Fi, probably early 1960's.

      One cool desktop set with big dials, and a matching external
      speaker, both in metal housings. Also two cigar boxes, one
      containing photos of some people with the radio, presumably one of
      the guys is David, and another cigar box filled with postcards from
      the other ham/shortwave operators he made contact with. I believe
      these additional materials may add value to whatever the hardware is
      worth...

      A box of vacuum tubes! Some used, but many in their individual
      boxes.

      Radio - Miscellaneous
      =======================
      A really cool FRAMED, COLOR chart of allocated and unallocated radio
      frequencies in the Atlantic City area in 1947!!!
      (The radio guys will wet their pants when they see this!!)


      Meters and test equipment
      =========================
      Several VOMs; I think one was built from a kit.

      A radio frequency generator, I think built from a kit.

      A REALLY BIG and REALLY COOL LOOKING meter for measuring radio
      signals.

      Some other radio signal test stuff.

      A resistor selection box and a capacitor selection box.

      Two separate meters (one volts, one amps?), and rack-panel of meters
      (several of each type?)




      OK, and now the computer stuff
      ====================================

      The "working systems" include: (these also include the power
      supplies)
      ------------------------------
      - Several Commodores (I think two are 64s, the other a 128), with
      monitor, floppies, joystick...

      - Another Commodore (64?) with floppy and really small printer

      - A flat grey Atari system box (don't remember the number), with
      monitor and keyboard

      - Amiga 1000(?): system box, monitor, kbd, mouse, floppy drive
      - extra Amiga boards

      - As many boxes of disks and diskettes as I could find...



      ALL OF THESE ARE BOXED UNLESS NOTED OTHERWISE!!!
      -------------------------------------------------
      One Atari 400
      One Atari 500
      Three Atari 800
      Two Atari 800XL
      Two Commodoare PET COLOR

      Four external disk drives - (I think 2 are 1581 or something like
      that, and the other 2 are different).
      Two Atari tape recorders
      One Atari tape recorder, not boxed

      Boards, cards, extenders, etc. for Atari

      Four Apple IIc monitors

      Two Tandy color computers
      One Tandy line printer (IV?) not boxed but with cover
      One Tandy floppy drive for CoCo
      One small box of fanfold paper.
      Some manuals for a Tandy 1000 (which I was not able to take)
      A small box of boards marked for the TRS80 Model II (didn't ID
      types, but there are probably 6 or 8 in the box)


      An original IBM PC keyboard (in IBM-blue-and-white box)
      Two other PC items (can't remember just now)
      Several cartons of IBM PC software, including early releases of:
      - Wordstar
      - Clipper
      - MS Excel
      - more...

      One Diablo 630 printer (with extra printwheels and ribbons! <VBG>),
      not boxed and VERY HEAVY!!!

      One Star Micronics printer (don't remember the number)
      Ribbons for a Star printer (But I don't know if they're for the
      above printer...)

      Two small boxes of manuals and documents for TI-99/4a

      One Atari TV game station
      Two Magnavox Oddessy systems, not boxed
      (if these have RCA-1802 microprocessors, I'm going to take one
      back for examination...)

      A bunch of unopened vinyl computer covers

      One Smith-Corona Electra 110(?) typewriter, not boxed

      Two cartons and a stack of other stuff, not identified... (I looked
      and saw; I just don't remember right now -- I think there were
      joysticks, a PONG game, and more...)

      Three small boxes of calculators
      WARNING: Evan is permitted to inspect these first and determine if
      any are worth adding to his collection!!
      A box of about 10 calculator covers

      One fairly modern modem

      ==================================================

      OK, I know there are more things that I haven't listed, but this is
      the best I can do at this time. We can double check on the 12th.

      (By the way, for the 12th (and afterward), we DO need tables,
      lights, and extension cords. (And hard hats?)
      And I would REALLY love it if somehow we get a hand truck or palette
      jack or something so that moving can be done with a lot less
      effort!!)

      BE ADVISED: there is very little room left on the shelves on the
      left side of the room! I'm sure this stuff can be condensed and re-
      organized, but I tried to keep things from getting too jammed, so
      that they are visible for inventorying and examination.


      Also, although he's a contractor doing a renovation, I explained to
      Lou that when someone donates stuff, we keep their name with the
      equipment, and I asked if he was interested in doing so. He laughed
      and said "You paid for it - it's yours, John!" So, when it comes to
      identifying where all this equipment came from, I think that I'd
      like to indicate that the original owner before me was David Z. We
      can get his full name and address from some of the boxes... Maybe we
      can also do some biographical research to find out more about his
      life and work...

      ===================================================

      So now you know "the rest of the story!"

      ===================================================


      I look forward to hearing your thoughtful assessment of what this
      equipment is worth toward our museum's goals.

      Thanks,

      -John M.
      Montclair, NJ
    • John Allain
      Hi John, I m just glancing at your email right now (busy). Sounds like we ll reach capacity (too) soon without too much effort. Your expense of $200. is a
      Message 2 of 7 , Nov 4, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi John,
        I'm just glancing at your email right now (busy).
        Sounds like we'll reach capacity (too) soon without too much effort.
        Your expense of $200. is a large one and I hope a decision not made
        unwisely.
        As a veteran seeker and finder, many systems that I have found were
        free. Future commitments of cash should be done carefully.
        ...will look more closely at the details you left after emailing some
        MARCH business.

        John A.
      • Evan
        I d like to buy the Geneva. Send me the details off-list please. - Evan ... From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com]On
        Message 3 of 7 , Nov 4, 2005
        • 0 Attachment

          I'd like to buy the Geneva. Send me the details off-list please.

          - Evan

          -----Original Message-----
          From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of john_apw
          Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2005 11:37 PM
          To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [midatlanticretro] Saga of the Commodores in Summit, NJ

          Gentlemen:

          This will be a rather detailed report of my activities in the matter
          of "Commodore Computers in Summit, NJ". ("Detailed" = long winded,
          but hopefully informative...)

          I saw the notice in the digest yesterday morning (Wednesday, 02 NOV
          2005) and I sent an email to Lou, the contact person.
          I received a phone call at about 11:30am. He told me that he had a
          number of old computers that his son was going to put up on eBay,
          but they were uncomfortable with shipping monitors, etc. He wanted
          his son to make some money, and when they checked the winning eBay
          bids for similar systems, they thought they might make $300 or $400,
          but it would involve a lot of work and time, trips to the Post
          Office, etc. To see if they could avoid the hassle, he contacted the
          winner and loser of an eBay auction to see if they would be
          interested. Instead, he was referred to the list. Thus the first
          message.

          I was preparing to arrange to see the equipment over the weekend
          when he expressed the urgency: the stuff was in a house being
          cleaned out and anything his son didn't take to sell that was still
          there on Friday (tomorrow) would go into the dumpster. I asked if I
          could come right over, and he said yes. An hour later I was there
          and found out what was going on.

          Seems that Lou is one of three guys who bought the house to re-
          develop, following the death at around age 80 of the sole owner, a
          fellow named David Z. Lou and his partners are preparing to gut and
          renovate the place, but the deceased had no relatives, and all his
          stuff was there, and it all has to be removed. Lou had someone buy
          furniture, etc. and when I explained the MARCH museum, he liked the
          idea that the stuff would go where it would be appreciated. So he
          gave me an exclusive on whatever I thought would be useful. He
          showed me around the place and I took mental notes. Then he
          mentioned that he had already removed some computers to his house,
          but would bring them back for me. Then he mentioned again that he
          wanted his son to get some money out of this. I told him we had no
          budget, but that I would see what I could do personally. He said he
          wanted $200, and I told him that I wasn't sure there was enough
          equipment to warrant that. But he hinted that I might change my mind
          when he brought back the other computers in the morning (Thursday).

          So, we agreed to gather all the computer stuff in the morning, and
          meanwhile he let me rummage around and take stuff I wanted. (Evan,
          this was when I was calling you to discuss truck rental, etc.
          Unfortunately, I can't take a Wurlitzer organ that Davi Z. built
          from kits...It's got a curved wood cabinet, two keyboards and stops,
          foot pedals and a cushioned bench; just too big for me to take it or
          store it...)

          Well, it seems that David was some sort of engineer and a total
          recluse. His little old house, with many tiny rooms, and little
          twisty passages, all alike, was packed wall-to-wall with radios,
          electronic components, audio equipment, computers, etc. He had one
          room with several systems on desks, another room set up like a
          repair shop, another with ham radio, and another with several
          computers, tons of software, and more components (looked just like
          the *old* Radio Shack store layouts!). This guy was a packrat of the
          most intense degree! He had a cache of empty boxes that he used for
          organizing all the equipment repair projects - from radios,
          telephone, to sewing machines, can openers, and food mixers! There
          must have been just dozens of empty boxes alone - not to mention all
          the shelves with boxes that had stuff in them...

          Mostly everything was carefully labeled, sometimes including notes
          about operational characteristics ("a few pixels bad", "motor noise
          in output audio", "this cable for xyz unit" etc.).

          So, on the theory that our local radio museum might be interested in
          some of the radio equipment, I started packing the car with
          shortwave radios, transistor radios, etc. Then I started packing
          test meters. Then I went for some of the spare parts. I also packed
          a typewriter and an old 1950's era HiFi. (Also a calculator or
          two...) In the long run, I decided that other stuff had more
          potential value than the small electronic components (resistors,
          diodes), so I left them behind.

          With the wagon full, I went home and planned for today. Lou had
          building inspectors coming in the morning so I wouldn't be able to
          start packing until around 10am. We agreed to touch base at 9am. I
          really had no place to unload into, so I decided I'd use the morning
          to bring the first load to the museum. Fred and I agreed to meet at
          InfoAge at 8:00 in the morning. He wouldn't be around after noon, so
          I was planning on a fast return to Summit, reload, and then back to
          InfoAge. I went to the bank and took out cash, wondering whether or
          not (besides the systems at the house) he'd have anything else
          worthwhile. I also went to Staples and bought a bunch of storage
          boxes.

          So this morning, I made the trip, got there, met Fred, and we
          unloaded the mostly radio stuff to a place in the basement just
          outside the room designated for our use. Fred showed me the inner
          room with all the shelves, and indicated that we could move the
          stuff into the inner room and onto the shelves at some later time
          (on the 12th, at least).

          I drove back, and on the way Lou called me to say that the
          inspectors would be late, so I should come back at 11. So instead of
          going straight to Summit and saving ~25 miles, I headed back home to
          handle some family business. That took longer than expected, so I
          called Lou and let him know. When I got there at about 11:30, he
          showed me the back of his pickup truck - LOADED with systems!!

          We packed all that stuff into my wagon, then I set to work on moving
          the (hopefully) working systems into the large boxes. Whenever
          possible, I did NOT unplug cables from devices; rather I carefully
          slid everything into the box together. It will take some care to
          untangle everything, but if we work on one system at a time, it
          shouldn't be a problem. (I felt that I had to do it this way in
          order to avoid losing the relationships between units unfamiliar to
          me - I didn't want unrelated things getting plugged in where they
          shouldn't...)  Meanwhile Lou searched the attic and retrieved a few
          more systems and disk drives.

          Two hours later, there was barely enough room in my car for me! I
          had systems, printers, software, manuals, etc. etc. etc. (list will
          follow below!) I could barely close the rear hatch!

          I left Summit just before 2pm, and called Fred on his cellphone to
          let him know, even though I knew he wasn't going to be at the
          museum. I got there right at 3pm, checked in, and prepared to unload.

          By 4pm, I had managed to move everything from the car AND from the
          earlier drop-off (on the floor) into the inner room, onto the
          shelves, and categorized roughly into groups of related things.

          My day ended with the trip home, and this report. Total time
          involved: yesterday ~ 5 hours, today ~9 hours. Miles driven: ~320.
          Money spent $200 on equipment, $48 on boxes (not all were used),
          plus gas (~$30). Phone calls: unallocated part of my monthly
          minutes. Assessment: Well, I don't know about you, but I feel pretty
          good about it!

          !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


          OK, so what's in the basement?

          Let me start with the non-computer stuff that we can use(?), or
          give, sell, or barter with:

          Radios
          =====================
          About 20 or 30 of various types (6 transistor, 8 trans, 12 trans, to
          other portable shortware receivers). Various makes and models,
          including a few Archer/Radio Shack, and some I don't recognize.
          (NOTE: Some have batteries in them and they should be removed on the
          12th)

          One Hi-Fi, probably early 1960's.

          One cool desktop set with big dials, and a matching external
          speaker, both in metal housings. Also two cigar boxes, one
          containing photos of some people with the radio, presumably one of
          the guys is David, and another cigar box filled with postcards from
          the other ham/shortwave operators he made contact with. I believe
          these additional materials may add value to whatever the hardware is
          worth...

          A box of vacuum tubes! Some used, but many in their individual
          boxes.

          Radio - Miscellaneous
          =======================
          A really cool FRAMED, COLOR chart of allocated and unallocated radio
          frequencies in the Atlantic City area in 1947!!!
          (The radio guys will wet their pants when they see this!!)


          Meters and test equipment
          =========================
          Several VOMs; I think one was built from a kit.

          A radio frequency generator, I think built from a kit.

          A REALLY BIG and REALLY COOL LOOKING meter for measuring radio
          signals.

          Some other radio signal test stuff.

          A resistor selection box and a capacitor selection box.

          Two separate meters (one volts, one amps?), and rack-panel of meters
          (several of each type?)




          OK, and now the computer stuff
          ====================================

          The "working systems" include:  (these also include the power
          supplies)
          ------------------------------
          - Several Commodores (I think two are 64s, the other a 128), with
          monitor, floppies, joystick...

          - Another Commodore (64?) with floppy and really small printer

          - A flat grey Atari system box (don't remember the number), with
          monitor and keyboard

          - Amiga 1000(?): system box, monitor, kbd, mouse, floppy drive
          - extra Amiga boards

          - As many boxes of disks and diskettes as I could find...



          ALL OF THESE ARE BOXED UNLESS NOTED OTHERWISE!!!
          -------------------------------------------------
          One Atari 400
          One Atari 500
          Three Atari 800
          Two Atari 800XL
          Two Commodoare PET COLOR

          Four external disk drives - (I think 2 are 1581 or something like
          that, and the other 2 are different).
          Two Atari tape recorders
          One Atari tape recorder, not boxed

          Boards, cards, extenders, etc. for Atari

          Four Apple IIc monitors

          Two Tandy color computers
          One Tandy line printer (IV?) not boxed but with cover
          One Tandy floppy drive for CoCo
          One small box of fanfold paper.
          Some manuals for a Tandy 1000 (which I was not able to take)
          A small box of boards marked for the TRS80 Model II (didn't ID
          types, but there are probably 6 or 8 in the box)


          An original IBM PC keyboard (in IBM-blue-and-white box)
          Two other PC items (can't remember just now)
          Several cartons of IBM PC software, including early releases of:
          - Wordstar
          - Clipper
          - MS Excel
          - more...

          One Diablo 630 printer (with extra printwheels and ribbons! <VBG>),
          not boxed and VERY HEAVY!!!

          One Star Micronics printer (don't remember the number)
          Ribbons for a Star printer (But I don't know if they're for the
          above printer...)

          Two small boxes of manuals and documents for TI-99/4a

          One Atari TV game station
          Two Magnavox Oddessy systems, not boxed
             (if these have RCA-1802 microprocessors, I'm going to take one
          back for examination...)

          A bunch of unopened vinyl computer covers

          One Smith-Corona Electra 110(?) typewriter, not boxed

          Two cartons and a stack of other stuff, not identified... (I looked
          and saw; I just don't remember right now -- I think there were
          joysticks, a PONG game, and more...)

          Three small boxes of calculators
            WARNING: Evan is permitted to inspect these first and determine if
          any are worth adding to his collection!!
          A box of about 10 calculator covers

          One fairly modern modem

          ==================================================

          OK, I know there are more things that I haven't listed, but this is
          the best I can do at this time. We can double check on the 12th.

          (By the way, for the 12th (and afterward), we DO need tables,
          lights, and extension cords. (And hard hats?)
          And I would REALLY love it if somehow we get a hand truck or palette
          jack or something so that moving can be done with a lot less
          effort!!)

          BE ADVISED: there is very little room left on the shelves on the
          left side of the room! I'm sure this stuff can be condensed and re-
          organized, but I tried to keep things from getting too jammed, so
          that they are visible for inventorying and examination.


          Also, although he's a contractor doing a renovation, I explained to
          Lou that when someone donates stuff, we keep their name with the
          equipment, and I asked if he was interested in doing so. He laughed
          and said "You paid for it - it's yours, John!" So, when it comes to
          identifying where all this equipment came from, I think that I'd
          like to indicate that the original owner before me was David Z. We
          can get his full name and address from some of the boxes... Maybe we
          can also do some biographical research to find out more about his
          life and work...

          ===================================================

          So now you know "the rest of the story!" 

          ===================================================


          I look forward to hearing your thoughtful assessment of what this
          equipment is worth toward our museum's goals.

          Thanks,

          -John M.
          Montclair, NJ





        • Evan
          Oops, replied to the wrong email. Sorry. ... From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Evan Sent: Friday,
          Message 4 of 7 , Nov 4, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            Oops, replied to the wrong email.  Sorry.
            -----Original Message-----
            From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Evan
            Sent: Friday, November 04, 2005 11:37 AM
            To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [midatlanticretro] Saga of the Commodores in Summit, NJ

            I'd like to buy the Geneva. Send me the details off-list please.

            - Evan

            -----Original Message-----
            From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of john_apw
            Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2005 11:37 PM
            To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [midatlanticretro] Saga of the Commodores in Summit, NJ

            Gentlemen:

            This will be a rather detailed report of my activities in the matter
            of "Commodore Computers in Summit, NJ". ("Detailed" = long winded,
            but hopefully informative...)

            I saw the notice in the digest yesterday morning (Wednesday, 02 NOV
            2005) and I sent an email to Lou, the contact person.
            I received a phone call at about 11:30am. He told me that he had a
            number of old computers that his son was going to put up on eBay,
            but they were uncomfortable with shipping monitors, etc. He wanted
            his son to make some money, and when they checked the winning eBay
            bids for similar systems, they thought they might make $300 or $400,
            but it would involve a lot of work and time, trips to the Post
            Office, etc. To see if they could avoid the hassle, he contacted the
            winner and loser of an eBay auction to see if they would be
            interested. Instead, he was referred to the list. Thus the first
            message.

            I was preparing to arrange to see the equipment over the weekend
            when he expressed the urgency: the stuff was in a house being
            cleaned out and anything his son didn't take to sell that was still
            there on Friday (tomorrow) would go into the dumpster. I asked if I
            could come right over, and he said yes. An hour later I was there
            and found out what was going on.

            Seems that Lou is one of three guys who bought the house to re-
            develop, following the death at around age 80 of the sole owner, a
            fellow named David Z. Lou and his partners are preparing to gut and
            renovate the place, but the deceased had no relatives, and all his
            stuff was there, and it all has to be removed. Lou had someone buy
            furniture, etc. and when I explained the MARCH museum, he liked the
            idea that the stuff would go where it would be appreciated. So he
            gave me an exclusive on whatever I thought would be useful. He
            showed me around the place and I took mental notes. Then he
            mentioned that he had already removed some computers to his house,
            but would bring them back for me. Then he mentioned again that he
            wanted his son to get some money out of this. I told him we had no
            budget, but that I would see what I could do personally. He said he
            wanted $200, and I told him that I wasn't sure there was enough
            equipment to warrant that. But he hinted that I might change my mind
            when he brought back the other computers in the morning (Thursday).

            So, we agreed to gather all the computer stuff in the morning, and
            meanwhile he let me rummage around and take stuff I wanted. (Evan,
            this was when I was calling you to discuss truck rental, etc.
            Unfortunately, I can't take a Wurlitzer organ that Davi Z. built
            from kits...It's got a curved wood cabinet, two keyboards and stops,
            foot pedals and a cushioned bench; just too big for me to take it or
            store it...)

            Well, it seems that David was some sort of engineer and a total
            recluse. His little old house, with many tiny rooms, and little
            twisty passages, all alike, was packed wall-to-wall with radios,
            electronic components, audio equipment, computers, etc. He had one
            room with several systems on desks, another room set up like a
            repair shop, another with ham radio, and another with several
            computers, tons of software, and more components (looked just like
            the *old* Radio Shack store layouts!). This guy was a packrat of the
            most intense degree! He had a cache of empty boxes that he used for
            organizing all the equipment repair projects - from radios,
            telephone, to sewing machines, can openers, and food mixers! There
            must have been just dozens of empty boxes alone - not to mention all
            the shelves with boxes that had stuff in them...

            Mostly everything was carefully labeled, sometimes including notes
            about operational characteristics ("a few pixels bad", "motor noise
            in output audio", "this cable for xyz unit" etc.).

            So, on the theory that our local radio museum might be interested in
            some of the radio equipment, I started packing the car with
            shortwave radios, transistor radios, etc. Then I started packing
            test meters. Then I went for some of the spare parts. I also packed
            a typewriter and an old 1950's era HiFi. (Also a calculator or
            two...) In the long run, I decided that other stuff had more
            potential value than the small electronic components (resistors,
            diodes), so I left them behind.

            With the wagon full, I went home and planned for today. Lou had
            building inspectors coming in the morning so I wouldn't be able to
            start packing until around 10am. We agreed to touch base at 9am. I
            really had no place to unload into, so I decided I'd use the morning
            to bring the first load to the museum. Fred and I agreed to meet at
            InfoAge at 8:00 in the morning. He wouldn't be around after noon, so
            I was planning on a fast return to Summit, reload, and then back to
            InfoAge. I went to the bank and took out cash, wondering whether or
            not (besides the systems at the house) he'd have anything else
            worthwhile. I also went to Staples and bought a bunch of storage
            boxes.

            So this morning, I made the trip, got there, met Fred, and we
            unloaded the mostly radio stuff to a place in the basement just
            outside the room designated for our use. Fred showed me the inner
            room with all the shelves, and indicated that we could move the
            stuff into the inner room and onto the shelves at some later time
            (on the 12th, at least).

            I drove back, and on the way Lou called me to say that the
            inspectors would be late, so I should come back at 11. So instead of
            going straight to Summit and saving ~25 miles, I headed back home to
            handle some family business. That took longer than expected, so I
            called Lou and let him know. When I got there at about 11:30, he
            showed me the back of his pickup truck - LOADED with systems!!

            We packed all that stuff into my wagon, then I set to work on moving
            the (hopefully) working systems into the large boxes. Whenever
            possible, I did NOT unplug cables from devices; rather I carefully
            slid everything into the box together. It will take some care to
            untangle everything, but if we work on one system at a time, it
            shouldn't be a problem. (I felt that I had to do it this way in
            order to avoid losing the relationships between units unfamiliar to
            me - I didn't want unrelated things getting plugged in where they
            shouldn't...)  Meanwhile Lou searched the attic and retrieved a few
            more systems and disk drives.

            Two hours later, there was barely enough room in my car for me! I
            had systems, printers, software, manuals, etc. etc. etc. (list will
            follow below!) I could barely close the rear hatch!

            I left Summit just before 2pm, and called Fred on his cellphone to
            let him know, even though I knew he wasn't going to be at the
            museum. I got there right at 3pm, checked in, and prepared to unload.

            By 4pm, I had managed to move everything from the car AND from the
            earlier drop-off (on the floor) into the inner room, onto the
            shelves, and categorized roughly into groups of related things.

            My day ended with the trip home, and this report. Total time
            involved: yesterday ~ 5 hours, today ~9 hours. Miles driven: ~320.
            Money spent $200 on equipment, $48 on boxes (not all were used),
            plus gas (~$30). Phone calls: unallocated part of my monthly
            minutes. Assessment: Well, I don't know about you, but I feel pretty
            good about it!

            !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


            OK, so what's in the basement?

            Let me start with the non-computer stuff that we can use(?), or
            give, sell, or barter with:

            Radios
            =====================
            About 20 or 30 of various types (6 transistor, 8 trans, 12 trans, to
            other portable shortware receivers). Various makes and models,
            including a few Archer/Radio Shack, and some I don't recognize.
            (NOTE: Some have batteries in them and they should be removed on the
            12th)

            One Hi-Fi, probably early 1960's.

            One cool desktop set with big dials, and a matching external
            speaker, both in metal housings. Also two cigar boxes, one
            containing photos of some people with the radio, presumably one of
            the guys is David, and another cigar box filled with postcards from
            the other ham/shortwave operators he made contact with. I believe
            these additional materials may add value to whatever the hardware is
            worth...

            A box of vacuum tubes! Some used, but many in their individual
            boxes.

            Radio - Miscellaneous
            =======================
            A really cool FRAMED, COLOR chart of allocated and unallocated radio
            frequencies in the Atlantic City area in 1947!!!
            (The radio guys will wet their pants when they see this!!)


            Meters and test equipment
            =========================
            Several VOMs; I think one was built from a kit.

            A radio frequency generator, I think built from a kit.

            A REALLY BIG and REALLY COOL LOOKING meter for measuring radio
            signals.

            Some other radio signal test stuff.

            A resistor selection box and a capacitor selection box.

            Two separate meters (one volts, one amps?), and rack-panel of meters
            (several of each type?)




            OK, and now the computer stuff
            ====================================

            The "working systems" include:  (these also include the power
            supplies)
            ------------------------------
            - Several Commodores (I think two are 64s, the other a 128), with
            monitor, floppies, joystick...

            - Another Commodore (64?) with floppy and really small printer

            - A flat grey Atari system box (don't remember the number), with
            monitor and keyboard

            - Amiga 1000(?): system box, monitor, kbd, mouse, floppy drive
            - extra Amiga boards

            - As many boxes of disks and diskettes as I could find...



            ALL OF THESE ARE BOXED UNLESS NOTED OTHERWISE!!!
            -------------------------------------------------
            One Atari 400
            One Atari 500
            Three Atari 800
            Two Atari 800XL
            Two Commodoare PET COLOR

            Four external disk drives - (I think 2 are 1581 or something like
            that, and the other 2 are different).
            Two Atari tape recorders
            One Atari tape recorder, not boxed

            Boards, cards, extenders, etc. for Atari

            Four Apple IIc monitors

            Two Tandy color computers
            One Tandy line printer (IV?) not boxed but with cover
            One Tandy floppy drive for CoCo
            One small box of fanfold paper.
            Some manuals for a Tandy 1000 (which I was not able to take)
            A small box of boards marked for the TRS80 Model II (didn't ID
            types, but there are probably 6 or 8 in the box)


            An original IBM PC keyboard (in IBM-blue-and-white box)
            Two other PC items (can't remember just now)
            Several cartons of IBM PC software, including early releases of:
            - Wordstar
            - Clipper
            - MS Excel
            - more...

            One Diablo 630 printer (with extra printwheels and ribbons! <VBG>),
            not boxed and VERY HEAVY!!!

            One Star Micronics printer (don't remember the number)
            Ribbons for a Star printer (But I don't know if they're for the
            above printer...)

            Two small boxes of manuals and documents for TI-99/4a

            One Atari TV game station
            Two Magnavox Oddessy systems, not boxed
               (if these have RCA-1802 microprocessors, I'm going to take one
            back for examination...)

            A bunch of unopened vinyl computer covers

            One Smith-Corona Electra 110(?) typewriter, not boxed

            Two cartons and a stack of other stuff, not identified... (I looked
            and saw; I just don't remember right now -- I think there were
            joysticks, a PONG game, and more...)

            Three small boxes of calculators
              WARNING: Evan is permitted to inspect these first and determine if
            any are worth adding to his collection!!
            A box of about 10 calculator covers

            One fairly modern modem

            ==================================================

            OK, I know there are more things that I haven't listed, but this is
            the best I can do at this time. We can double check on the 12th.

            (By the way, for the 12th (and afterward), we DO need tables,
            lights, and extension cords. (And hard hats?)
            And I would REALLY love it if somehow we get a hand truck or palette
            jack or something so that moving can be done with a lot less
            effort!!)

            BE ADVISED: there is very little room left on the shelves on the
            left side of the room! I'm sure this stuff can be condensed and re-
            organized, but I tried to keep things from getting too jammed, so
            that they are visible for inventorying and examination.


            Also, although he's a contractor doing a renovation, I explained to
            Lou that when someone donates stuff, we keep their name with the
            equipment, and I asked if he was interested in doing so. He laughed
            and said "You paid for it - it's yours, John!" So, when it comes to
            identifying where all this equipment came from, I think that I'd
            like to indicate that the original owner before me was David Z. We
            can get his full name and address from some of the boxes... Maybe we
            can also do some biographical research to find out more about his
            life and work...

            ===================================================

            So now you know "the rest of the story!" 

            ===================================================


            I look forward to hearing your thoughtful assessment of what this
            equipment is worth toward our museum's goals.

            Thanks,

            -John M.
            Montclair, NJ





          • Evan
            Three cheers for John! Great job! ... From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of john_apw Sent: Thursday,
            Message 5 of 7 , Nov 4, 2005
            • 0 Attachment
              Three cheers for John!  Great job!
              -----Original Message-----
              From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of john_apw
              Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2005 11:37 PM
              To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [midatlanticretro] Saga of the Commodores in Summit, NJ

              Gentlemen:

              This will be a rather detailed report of my activities in the matter
              of "Commodore Computers in Summit, NJ". ("Detailed" = long winded,
              but hopefully informative...)

              I saw the notice in the digest yesterday morning (Wednesday, 02 NOV
              2005) and I sent an email to Lou, the contact person.
              I received a phone call at about 11:30am. He told me that he had a
              number of old computers that his son was going to put up on eBay,
              but they were uncomfortable with shipping monitors, etc. He wanted
              his son to make some money, and when they checked the winning eBay
              bids for similar systems, they thought they might make $300 or $400,
              but it would involve a lot of work and time, trips to the Post
              Office, etc. To see if they could avoid the hassle, he contacted the
              winner and loser of an eBay auction to see if they would be
              interested. Instead, he was referred to the list. Thus the first
              message.

              I was preparing to arrange to see the equipment over the weekend
              when he expressed the urgency: the stuff was in a house being
              cleaned out and anything his son didn't take to sell that was still
              there on Friday (tomorrow) would go into the dumpster. I asked if I
              could come right over, and he said yes. An hour later I was there
              and found out what was going on.

              Seems that Lou is one of three guys who bought the house to re-
              develop, following the death at around age 80 of the sole owner, a
              fellow named David Z. Lou and his partners are preparing to gut and
              renovate the place, but the deceased had no relatives, and all his
              stuff was there, and it all has to be removed. Lou had someone buy
              furniture, etc. and when I explained the MARCH museum, he liked the
              idea that the stuff would go where it would be appreciated. So he
              gave me an exclusive on whatever I thought would be useful. He
              showed me around the place and I took mental notes. Then he
              mentioned that he had already removed some computers to his house,
              but would bring them back for me. Then he mentioned again that he
              wanted his son to get some money out of this. I told him we had no
              budget, but that I would see what I could do personally. He said he
              wanted $200, and I told him that I wasn't sure there was enough
              equipment to warrant that. But he hinted that I might change my mind
              when he brought back the other computers in the morning (Thursday).

              So, we agreed to gather all the computer stuff in the morning, and
              meanwhile he let me rummage around and take stuff I wanted. (Evan,
              this was when I was calling you to discuss truck rental, etc.
              Unfortunately, I can't take a Wurlitzer organ that Davi Z. built
              from kits...It's got a curved wood cabinet, two keyboards and stops,
              foot pedals and a cushioned bench; just too big for me to take it or
              store it...)

              Well, it seems that David was some sort of engineer and a total
              recluse. His little old house, with many tiny rooms, and little
              twisty passages, all alike, was packed wall-to-wall with radios,
              electronic components, audio equipment, computers, etc. He had one
              room with several systems on desks, another room set up like a
              repair shop, another with ham radio, and another with several
              computers, tons of software, and more components (looked just like
              the *old* Radio Shack store layouts!). This guy was a packrat of the
              most intense degree! He had a cache of empty boxes that he used for
              organizing all the equipment repair projects - from radios,
              telephone, to sewing machines, can openers, and food mixers! There
              must have been just dozens of empty boxes alone - not to mention all
              the shelves with boxes that had stuff in them...

              Mostly everything was carefully labeled, sometimes including notes
              about operational characteristics ("a few pixels bad", "motor noise
              in output audio", "this cable for xyz unit" etc.).

              So, on the theory that our local radio museum might be interested in
              some of the radio equipment, I started packing the car with
              shortwave radios, transistor radios, etc. Then I started packing
              test meters. Then I went for some of the spare parts. I also packed
              a typewriter and an old 1950's era HiFi. (Also a calculator or
              two...) In the long run, I decided that other stuff had more
              potential value than the small electronic components (resistors,
              diodes), so I left them behind.

              With the wagon full, I went home and planned for today. Lou had
              building inspectors coming in the morning so I wouldn't be able to
              start packing until around 10am. We agreed to touch base at 9am. I
              really had no place to unload into, so I decided I'd use the morning
              to bring the first load to the museum. Fred and I agreed to meet at
              InfoAge at 8:00 in the morning. He wouldn't be around after noon, so
              I was planning on a fast return to Summit, reload, and then back to
              InfoAge. I went to the bank and took out cash, wondering whether or
              not (besides the systems at the house) he'd have anything else
              worthwhile. I also went to Staples and bought a bunch of storage
              boxes.

              So this morning, I made the trip, got there, met Fred, and we
              unloaded the mostly radio stuff to a place in the basement just
              outside the room designated for our use. Fred showed me the inner
              room with all the shelves, and indicated that we could move the
              stuff into the inner room and onto the shelves at some later time
              (on the 12th, at least).

              I drove back, and on the way Lou called me to say that the
              inspectors would be late, so I should come back at 11. So instead of
              going straight to Summit and saving ~25 miles, I headed back home to
              handle some family business. That took longer than expected, so I
              called Lou and let him know. When I got there at about 11:30, he
              showed me the back of his pickup truck - LOADED with systems!!

              We packed all that stuff into my wagon, then I set to work on moving
              the (hopefully) working systems into the large boxes. Whenever
              possible, I did NOT unplug cables from devices; rather I carefully
              slid everything into the box together. It will take some care to
              untangle everything, but if we work on one system at a time, it
              shouldn't be a problem. (I felt that I had to do it this way in
              order to avoid losing the relationships between units unfamiliar to
              me - I didn't want unrelated things getting plugged in where they
              shouldn't...)  Meanwhile Lou searched the attic and retrieved a few
              more systems and disk drives.

              Two hours later, there was barely enough room in my car for me! I
              had systems, printers, software, manuals, etc. etc. etc. (list will
              follow below!) I could barely close the rear hatch!

              I left Summit just before 2pm, and called Fred on his cellphone to
              let him know, even though I knew he wasn't going to be at the
              museum. I got there right at 3pm, checked in, and prepared to unload.

              By 4pm, I had managed to move everything from the car AND from the
              earlier drop-off (on the floor) into the inner room, onto the
              shelves, and categorized roughly into groups of related things.

              My day ended with the trip home, and this report. Total time
              involved: yesterday ~ 5 hours, today ~9 hours. Miles driven: ~320.
              Money spent $200 on equipment, $48 on boxes (not all were used),
              plus gas (~$30). Phone calls: unallocated part of my monthly
              minutes. Assessment: Well, I don't know about you, but I feel pretty
              good about it!

              !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


              OK, so what's in the basement?

              Let me start with the non-computer stuff that we can use(?), or
              give, sell, or barter with:

              Radios
              =====================
              About 20 or 30 of various types (6 transistor, 8 trans, 12 trans, to
              other portable shortware receivers). Various makes and models,
              including a few Archer/Radio Shack, and some I don't recognize.
              (NOTE: Some have batteries in them and they should be removed on the
              12th)

              One Hi-Fi, probably early 1960's.

              One cool desktop set with big dials, and a matching external
              speaker, both in metal housings. Also two cigar boxes, one
              containing photos of some people with the radio, presumably one of
              the guys is David, and another cigar box filled with postcards from
              the other ham/shortwave operators he made contact with. I believe
              these additional materials may add value to whatever the hardware is
              worth...

              A box of vacuum tubes! Some used, but many in their individual
              boxes.

              Radio - Miscellaneous
              =======================
              A really cool FRAMED, COLOR chart of allocated and unallocated radio
              frequencies in the Atlantic City area in 1947!!!
              (The radio guys will wet their pants when they see this!!)


              Meters and test equipment
              =========================
              Several VOMs; I think one was built from a kit.

              A radio frequency generator, I think built from a kit.

              A REALLY BIG and REALLY COOL LOOKING meter for measuring radio
              signals.

              Some other radio signal test stuff.

              A resistor selection box and a capacitor selection box.

              Two separate meters (one volts, one amps?), and rack-panel of meters
              (several of each type?)




              OK, and now the computer stuff
              ====================================

              The "working systems" include:  (these also include the power
              supplies)
              ------------------------------
              - Several Commodores (I think two are 64s, the other a 128), with
              monitor, floppies, joystick...

              - Another Commodore (64?) with floppy and really small printer

              - A flat grey Atari system box (don't remember the number), with
              monitor and keyboard

              - Amiga 1000(?): system box, monitor, kbd, mouse, floppy drive
              - extra Amiga boards

              - As many boxes of disks and diskettes as I could find...



              ALL OF THESE ARE BOXED UNLESS NOTED OTHERWISE!!!
              -------------------------------------------------
              One Atari 400
              One Atari 500
              Three Atari 800
              Two Atari 800XL
              Two Commodoare PET COLOR

              Four external disk drives - (I think 2 are 1581 or something like
              that, and the other 2 are different).
              Two Atari tape recorders
              One Atari tape recorder, not boxed

              Boards, cards, extenders, etc. for Atari

              Four Apple IIc monitors

              Two Tandy color computers
              One Tandy line printer (IV?) not boxed but with cover
              One Tandy floppy drive for CoCo
              One small box of fanfold paper.
              Some manuals for a Tandy 1000 (which I was not able to take)
              A small box of boards marked for the TRS80 Model II (didn't ID
              types, but there are probably 6 or 8 in the box)


              An original IBM PC keyboard (in IBM-blue-and-white box)
              Two other PC items (can't remember just now)
              Several cartons of IBM PC software, including early releases of:
              - Wordstar
              - Clipper
              - MS Excel
              - more...

              One Diablo 630 printer (with extra printwheels and ribbons! <VBG>),
              not boxed and VERY HEAVY!!!

              One Star Micronics printer (don't remember the number)
              Ribbons for a Star printer (But I don't know if they're for the
              above printer...)

              Two small boxes of manuals and documents for TI-99/4a

              One Atari TV game station
              Two Magnavox Oddessy systems, not boxed
                 (if these have RCA-1802 microprocessors, I'm going to take one
              back for examination...)

              A bunch of unopened vinyl computer covers

              One Smith-Corona Electra 110(?) typewriter, not boxed

              Two cartons and a stack of other stuff, not identified... (I looked
              and saw; I just don't remember right now -- I think there were
              joysticks, a PONG game, and more...)

              Three small boxes of calculators
                WARNING: Evan is permitted to inspect these first and determine if
              any are worth adding to his collection!!
              A box of about 10 calculator covers

              One fairly modern modem

              ==================================================

              OK, I know there are more things that I haven't listed, but this is
              the best I can do at this time. We can double check on the 12th.

              (By the way, for the 12th (and afterward), we DO need tables,
              lights, and extension cords. (And hard hats?)
              And I would REALLY love it if somehow we get a hand truck or palette
              jack or something so that moving can be done with a lot less
              effort!!)

              BE ADVISED: there is very little room left on the shelves on the
              left side of the room! I'm sure this stuff can be condensed and re-
              organized, but I tried to keep things from getting too jammed, so
              that they are visible for inventorying and examination.


              Also, although he's a contractor doing a renovation, I explained to
              Lou that when someone donates stuff, we keep their name with the
              equipment, and I asked if he was interested in doing so. He laughed
              and said "You paid for it - it's yours, John!" So, when it comes to
              identifying where all this equipment came from, I think that I'd
              like to indicate that the original owner before me was David Z. We
              can get his full name and address from some of the boxes... Maybe we
              can also do some biographical research to find out more about his
              life and work...

              ===================================================

              So now you know "the rest of the story!" 

              ===================================================


              I look forward to hearing your thoughtful assessment of what this
              equipment is worth toward our museum's goals.

              Thanks,

              -John M.
              Montclair, NJ





            • Degnan
              John, I wish to add to my earlier remarks that the money spent is really inconsquential compared to the great haul...I don t want to seem critical of what you
              Message 6 of 7 , Nov 4, 2005
              • 0 Attachment
                John,
                I wish to add to my earlier remarks that the money spent is really
                inconsquential compared to the great haul...I don't want to seem
                critical of what you did in the bigger picture for MARCH and vintage
                computing. I would have done the same thing.
                Bill D
              • Jim Scheef
                Yea!
                Message 7 of 7 , Nov 4, 2005
                • 0 Attachment
                  Yea!

                  --- john_apw <infomagic@...> wrote:

                  > Gentlemen:
                  >
                  > This will be a rather detailed report of my activities in the matter
                  > of "Commodore Computers in Summit, NJ". ("Detailed" = long winded,
                  > but hopefully informative...)
                  >
                  > I saw the notice in the digest yesterday morning (Wednesday, 02 NOV
                  > 2005) and I sent an email to Lou, the contact person.
                  > I received a phone call at about 11:30am. He told me that he had a
                  > number of old computers that his son was going to put up on eBay,
                  > but they were uncomfortable with shipping monitors, etc. He wanted
                  > his son to make some money, and when they checked the winning eBay
                  > bids for similar systems, they thought they might make $300 or $400,
                  > but it would involve a lot of work and time, trips to the Post
                  > Office, etc. To see if they could avoid the hassle, he contacted the
                  > winner and loser of an eBay auction to see if they would be
                  > interested. Instead, he was referred to the list. Thus the first
                  > message.
                  >
                  > I was preparing to arrange to see the equipment over the weekend
                  > when he expressed the urgency: the stuff was in a house being
                  > cleaned out and anything his son didn't take to sell that was still
                  > there on Friday (tomorrow) would go into the dumpster. I asked if I
                  > could come right over, and he said yes. An hour later I was there
                  > and found out what was going on.
                  >
                  > Seems that Lou is one of three guys who bought the house to re-
                  > develop, following the death at around age 80 of the sole owner, a
                  > fellow named David Z. Lou and his partners are preparing to gut and
                  > renovate the place, but the deceased had no relatives, and all his
                  > stuff was there, and it all has to be removed. Lou had someone buy
                  > furniture, etc. and when I explained the MARCH museum, he liked the
                  > idea that the stuff would go where it would be appreciated. So he
                  > gave me an exclusive on whatever I thought would be useful. He
                  > showed me around the place and I took mental notes. Then he
                  > mentioned that he had already removed some computers to his house,
                  > but would bring them back for me. Then he mentioned again that he
                  > wanted his son to get some money out of this. I told him we had no
                  > budget, but that I would see what I could do personally. He said he
                  > wanted $200, and I told him that I wasn't sure there was enough
                  > equipment to warrant that. But he hinted that I might change my mind
                  > when he brought back the other computers in the morning (Thursday).
                  >
                  > So, we agreed to gather all the computer stuff in the morning, and
                  > meanwhile he let me rummage around and take stuff I wanted. (Evan,
                  > this was when I was calling you to discuss truck rental, etc.
                  > Unfortunately, I can't take a Wurlitzer organ that Davi Z. built
                  > from kits...It's got a curved wood cabinet, two keyboards and stops,
                  > foot pedals and a cushioned bench; just too big for me to take it or
                  > store it...)
                  >
                  > Well, it seems that David was some sort of engineer and a total
                  > recluse. His little old house, with many tiny rooms, and little
                  > twisty passages, all alike, was packed wall-to-wall with radios,
                  > electronic components, audio equipment, computers, etc. He had one
                  > room with several systems on desks, another room set up like a
                  > repair shop, another with ham radio, and another with several
                  > computers, tons of software, and more components (looked just like
                  > the *old* Radio Shack store layouts!). This guy was a packrat of the
                  > most intense degree! He had a cache of empty boxes that he used for
                  > organizing all the equipment repair projects - from radios,
                  > telephone, to sewing machines, can openers, and food mixers! There
                  > must have been just dozens of empty boxes alone - not to mention all
                  > the shelves with boxes that had stuff in them...
                  >
                  > Mostly everything was carefully labeled, sometimes including notes
                  > about operational characteristics ("a few pixels bad", "motor noise
                  > in output audio", "this cable for xyz unit" etc.).
                  >
                  > So, on the theory that our local radio museum might be interested in
                  > some of the radio equipment, I started packing the car with
                  > shortwave radios, transistor radios, etc. Then I started packing
                  > test meters. Then I went for some of the spare parts. I also packed
                  > a typewriter and an old 1950's era HiFi. (Also a calculator or
                  > two...) In the long run, I decided that other stuff had more
                  > potential value than the small electronic components (resistors,
                  > diodes), so I left them behind.
                  >
                  > With the wagon full, I went home and planned for today. Lou had
                  > building inspectors coming in the morning so I wouldn't be able to
                  > start packing until around 10am. We agreed to touch base at 9am. I
                  > really had no place to unload into, so I decided I'd use the morning
                  > to bring the first load to the museum. Fred and I agreed to meet at
                  > InfoAge at 8:00 in the morning. He wouldn't be around after noon, so
                  > I was planning on a fast return to Summit, reload, and then back to
                  > InfoAge. I went to the bank and took out cash, wondering whether or
                  > not (besides the systems at the house) he'd have anything else
                  > worthwhile. I also went to Staples and bought a bunch of storage
                  > boxes.
                  >
                  > So this morning, I made the trip, got there, met Fred, and we
                  > unloaded the mostly radio stuff to a place in the basement just
                  > outside the room designated for our use. Fred showed me the inner
                  > room with all the shelves, and indicated that we could move the
                  > stuff into the inner room and onto the shelves at some later time
                  > (on the 12th, at least).
                  >
                  > I drove back, and on the way Lou called me to say that the
                  > inspectors would be late, so I should come back at 11. So instead of
                  > going straight to Summit and saving ~25 miles, I headed back home to
                  > handle some family business. That took longer than expected, so I
                  > called Lou and let him know. When I got there at about 11:30, he
                  > showed me the back of his pickup truck - LOADED with systems!!
                  >
                  > We packed all that stuff into my wagon, then I set to work on moving
                  > the (hopefully) working systems into the large boxes. Whenever
                  > possible, I did NOT unplug cables from devices; rather I carefully
                  > slid everything into the box together. It will take some care to
                  > untangle everything, but if we work on one system at a time, it
                  > shouldn't be a problem. (I felt that I had to do it this way in
                  > order to avoid losing the relationships between units unfamiliar to
                  > me - I didn't want unrelated things getting plugged in where they
                  > shouldn't...) Meanwhile Lou searched the attic and retrieved a few
                  > more systems and disk drives.
                  >
                  > Two hours later, there was barely enough room in my car for me! I
                  > had systems, printers, software, manuals, etc. etc. etc. (list will
                  > follow below!) I could barely close the rear hatch!
                  >
                  > I left Summit just before 2pm, and called Fred on his cellphone to
                  > let him know, even though I knew he wasn't going to be at the
                  > museum. I got there right at 3pm, checked in, and prepared to unload.
                  >
                  > By 4pm, I had managed to move everything from the car AND from the
                  > earlier drop-off (on the floor) into the inner room, onto the
                  > shelves, and categorized roughly into groups of related things.
                  >
                  > My day ended with the trip home, and this report. Total time
                  > involved: yesterday ~ 5 hours, today ~9 hours. Miles driven: ~320.
                  > Money spent $200 on equipment, $48 on boxes (not all were used),
                  > plus gas (~$30). Phone calls: unallocated part of my monthly
                  > minutes. Assessment: Well, I don't know about you, but I feel pretty
                  > good about it!
                  >
                  > !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                  >
                  >
                  > OK, so what's in the basement?
                  >
                  > Let me start with the non-computer stuff that we can use(?), or
                  > give, sell, or barter with:
                  >
                  > Radios
                  > =====================
                  > About 20 or 30 of various types (6 transistor, 8 trans, 12 trans, to
                  > other portable shortware receivers). Various makes and models,
                  > including a few Archer/Radio Shack, and some I don't recognize.
                  > (NOTE: Some have batteries in them and they should be removed on the
                  > 12th)
                  >
                  > One Hi-Fi, probably early 1960's.
                  >
                  > One cool desktop set with big dials, and a matching external
                  > speaker, both in metal housings. Also two cigar boxes, one
                  > containing photos of some people with the radio, presumably one of
                  > the guys is David, and another cigar box filled with postcards from
                  > the other ham/shortwave operators he made contact with. I believe
                  > these additional materials may add value to whatever the hardware is
                  > worth...
                  >
                  > A box of vacuum tubes! Some used, but many in their individual
                  > boxes.
                  >
                  > Radio - Miscellaneous
                  > =======================
                  > A really cool FRAMED, COLOR chart of allocated and unallocated radio
                  > frequencies in the Atlantic City area in 1947!!!
                  > (The radio guys will wet their pants when they see this!!)
                  >
                  >
                  > Meters and test equipment
                  > =========================
                  > Several VOMs; I think one was built from a kit.
                  >
                  > A radio frequency generator, I think built from a kit.
                  >
                  > A REALLY BIG and REALLY COOL LOOKING meter for measuring radio
                  > signals.
                  >
                  > Some other radio signal test stuff.
                  >
                  > A resistor selection box and a capacitor selection box.
                  >
                  > Two separate meters (one volts, one amps?), and rack-panel of meters
                  > (several of each type?)
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > OK, and now the computer stuff
                  > ====================================
                  >
                  > The "working systems" include: (these also include the power
                  > supplies)
                  > ------------------------------
                  > - Several Commodores (I think two are 64s, the other a 128), with
                  > monitor, floppies, joystick...
                  >
                  > - Another Commodore (64?) with floppy and really small printer
                  >
                  > - A flat grey Atari system box (don't remember the number), with
                  > monitor and keyboard
                  >
                  > - Amiga 1000(?): system box, monitor, kbd, mouse, floppy drive
                  > - extra Amiga boards
                  >
                  > - As many boxes of disks and diskettes as I could find...
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ALL OF THESE ARE BOXED UNLESS NOTED OTHERWISE!!!
                  > -------------------------------------------------
                  > One Atari 400
                  > One Atari 500
                  > Three Atari 800
                  > Two Atari 800XL
                  > Two Commodoare PET COLOR
                  >
                  > Four external disk drives - (I think 2 are 1581 or something like
                  > that, and the other 2 are different).
                  > Two Atari tape recorders
                  > One Atari tape recorder, not boxed
                  >
                  > Boards, cards, extenders, etc. for Atari
                  >
                  > Four Apple IIc monitors
                  >
                  > Two Tandy color computers
                  > One Tandy line printer (IV?) not boxed but with cover
                  > One Tandy floppy drive for CoCo
                  > One small box of fanfold paper.
                  > Some manuals for a Tandy 1000 (which I was not able to take)
                  > A small box of boards marked for the TRS80 Model II (didn't ID
                  > types, but there are probably 6 or 8 in the box)
                  >
                  >
                  > An original IBM PC keyboard (in IBM-blue-and-white box)
                  > Two other PC items (can't remember just now)
                  > Several cartons of IBM PC software, including early releases of:
                  > - Wordstar
                  > - Clipper
                  > - MS Excel
                  > - more...
                  >
                  > One Diablo 630 printer (with extra printwheels and ribbons! <VBG>),
                  > not boxed and VERY HEAVY!!!
                  >
                  > One Star Micronics printer (don't remember the number)
                  > Ribbons for a Star printer (But I don't know if they're for the
                  > above printer...)
                  >
                  > Two small boxes of manuals and documents for TI-99/4a
                  >
                  > One Atari TV game station
                  > Two Magnavox Oddessy systems, not boxed
                  > (if these have RCA-1802 microprocessors, I'm going to take one
                  > back for examination...)
                  >
                  > A bunch of unopened vinyl computer covers
                  >
                  > One Smith-Corona Electra 110(?) typewriter, not boxed
                  >
                  > Two cartons and a stack of other stuff, not identified... (I looked
                  > and saw; I just don't remember right now -- I think there were
                  > joysticks, a PONG game, and more...)
                  >
                  > Three small boxes of calculators
                  > WARNING: Evan is permitted to inspect these first and determine if
                  > any are worth adding to his collection!!
                  > A box of about 10 calculator covers
                  >
                  > One fairly modern modem
                  >
                  > ==================================================
                  >
                  > OK, I know there are more things that I haven't listed, but this is
                  > the best I can do at this time. We can double check on the 12th.
                  >
                  > (By the way, for the 12th (and afterward), we DO need tables,
                  > lights, and extension cords. (And hard hats?)
                  > And I would REALLY love it if somehow we get a hand truck or palette
                  > jack or something so that moving can be done with a lot less
                  > effort!!)
                  >
                  > BE ADVISED: there is very little room left on the shelves on the
                  > left side of the room! I'm sure this stuff can be condensed and re-
                  > organized, but I tried to keep things from getting too jammed, so
                  > that they are visible for inventorying and examination.
                  >
                  >
                  > Also, although he's a contractor doing a renovation, I explained to
                  > Lou that when someone donates stuff, we keep their name with the
                  > equipment, and I asked if he was interested in doing so. He laughed
                  > and said "You paid for it - it's yours, John!" So, when it comes to
                  > identifying where all this equipment came from, I think that I'd
                  > like to indicate that the original owner before me was David Z. We
                  > can get his full name and address from some of the boxes... Maybe we
                  > can also do some biographical research to find out more about his
                  > life and work...
                  >
                  > ===================================================
                  >
                  > So now you know "the rest of the story!"
                  >
                  > ===================================================
                  >
                  >
                  > I look forward to hearing your thoughtful assessment of what this
                  > equipment is worth toward our museum's goals.
                  >
                  > Thanks,
                  >
                  > -John M.
                  > Montclair, NJ
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
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