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Oy vey! Gross mischaracterizations of our hobby.

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  • Evan Koblentz
    It pains me to criticize the media because I m in it. But ... recently I was grossly misquoted by the financial site Bankrate.com, re: any value in vintage
    Message 1 of 27 , Mar 5 11:12 PM
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      It pains me to criticize "the media" because I'm in it. But ... recently
      I was grossly misquoted by the financial site Bankrate.com, re: any
      value in vintage computing.

      http://www.bankrate.com/lite/smart-spending/collecting-items-as-an-investment.aspx

      I don't even recall anyone from that site ever contacting me! I think
      the write just copied information that I told another financial site,
      Minyanville.com, two years ago:

      http://www.minyanville.com/special-features/articles/old-computer-apple-computer-values-old/2/17/2011/id/32477

      Bankrate's story says that a desktop PC from 1998 could be a valuable
      collectible, with the implication that I'm the source of such nonsense.
      It also says that sky-high early Apple prices are "the excitement" that
      "led to" formation of groups like MARCH.

      (As many (most?) of you know, MARCH formed back in 2005, solely to allow
      collectors in our region to meet, tinker on vintage computers, and have
      fun.)

      We retrocomputing folks will never have the numbers of the Beanie Baby
      people, but, help a brother out: go to the Bankrate story, scroll down
      to find my comment, and vote it "up" by clicking the caret symbol
      underneath and to the left of the comment.

      More bad news: the story was picked up by Fox Business, where presumably
      many more people will see it than on Bankrate, but where there's no
      comment system. Soooo, a bunch of people will see the Fox version and
      get the idea that Pentium Windows 98 computers are ** L@@K R@RE !! and
      worth BIG BUCKS over on eBay. Oh, joy.

      http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2013/02/27/five-collectibles-to-stash-for-big-cash-later/

      Please know that it's not my fault. ;)

      - Evan
    • Christian Liendo
      ... I m sorry I laughed like crazy with that one.. First of all, if you take financial advice from any of NEWS Corp affiliates, you deserve what you get.
      Message 2 of 27 , Mar 6 4:57 AM
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        >From: Evan Koblentz <evan@...>
        > More bad news: the story was picked up by Fox Business, where presumably
        > many more people will see it than on Bankrate, but where there's no
        > comment system. Soooo, a bunch of people will see the Fox version and
        > get the idea that Pentium Windows 98 computers are ** L@@K R@RE !! and
        > worth BIG BUCKS over on eBay. Oh, joy.
        http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2013/02/27/five-collectibles-to-stash-for-big-cash-later/

        I'm sorry I laughed like crazy with that one..

        First of all, if you take financial advice from any of NEWS Corp affiliates, you deserve what you get.

        Second, yes.. Lets tell people that Windows 98 computers are collectible and those older ones in the 70s... 
        Nah that's junk give it to me.

        Thanks for the laugh. 
      • joshbensadon
        ... They make it sound like we are a secret group out to make lots of money by collecting old computers. I will admit, the thought of a vintage computer as an
        Message 3 of 27 , Mar 6 5:34 AM
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          --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:
          >
          > It pains me to criticize "the media" because I'm in it. But ... recently
          > I was grossly misquoted by the financial site Bankrate.com, re: any
          > value in vintage computing.


          They make it sound like we are a secret group out to make lots of money by collecting old computers.

          I will admit, the thought of a vintage computer as an investment did pass my mind, but there is no doubt it's my love of the 7400 and all it's friends that has lead me here.

          Regards,
          Josh
        • Brian Schenkenberger, VAXman-
          ... Keep your poly-ticks off the list. If you had any common sense, you d see that that article was taked, verbatim, from Bizrate.com. I have an ultra-
          Message 4 of 27 , Mar 6 6:40 AM
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            Christian Liendo <christian_liendo@...> writes:

            >{...snip...}
            >I'm sorry I laughed like crazy with that one..
            >
            >First of all, if you take financial advice from any of NEWS Corp affiliates=
            >, you deserve what you get.

            Keep your poly-ticks off the list. If you had any common sense, you'd see
            that that article was taked, verbatim, from Bizrate.com. I have an ultra-
            Liberal friend who once trashed NEWS corp., like you, for an article that
            originated from the BBC news!



            >Second,=A0yes.. Lets tell people that Windows 98 computers are=A0collectibl=
            >e and those older ones in the 70s...=A0
            >Nah=A0that's=A0junk give it to me.
            >
            >Thanks for the laugh.=A0

            Aren't you insulting our fearless leader with such commentary?

            --
            VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)ORG

            Well I speak to machines with the voice of humanity.
          • Ray Sills
            Well... Evan s oy vey notwithstanding... and I certainly agree with him on the criticism of BankRate.com... ANY collectible is not truly an investment... it s
            Message 5 of 27 , Mar 6 6:42 AM
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              Well... Evan's oy vey notwithstanding... and I certainly agree with
              him on the criticism of BankRate.com... ANY collectible is not truly
              an investment... it's a speculation: you hope that someone in the
              future will pay you more for the item than you paid. (The "greater
              fool" theory). Of course, some people keep items (antiques or
              otherwise) for sentimental reasons.. ("This was my grandfather's
              rocking chair"..etc.) And, one of your descendants might feel that
              way about your first single-board computer.

              Nevertheless, you see on TV shows like Antiques Roadshow and the like,
              there are a lot of items that people own that are appraised at prices
              much greater than they paid, simply because the item is truly rare,
              made by a person of renown, or simply in demand because of a current
              fad. And a lot of those things are one-off items, or at least were
              produced in limited quantity from which only a few survive.

              In 100 years, if someone still has a working Windows 95 laptop, it
              will be worth more than it is now. But, that'll only help your great-
              grandchildren to cash in. But that will be because most similar
              laptops will have disappeared, into landfills or recycling centers.
              And, that still does not make it an investment.

              For something to be an investment, you have to have the expectation of
              a return on capital -while- you own it... like land, stock shares,
              real estate, and financial instruments. Sure, some of those things
              can be speculative too, but stock shares can pay dividends from
              earnings, real estate can be rented (or used, in which case you are
              your own landlord), and banks pay interest for the use of your money.

              73 de Ray
            • Evan Koblentz
              ... +1 to what Brian said. No politics allowed here.
              Message 6 of 27 , Mar 6 6:49 AM
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                >>> First of all, if you take financial advice from any of NEWS Corp affiliates

                >> Keep your poly-ticks off the list.

                +1 to what Brian said. No politics allowed here.
              • Evan Koblentz
                ... I took it with the humor that Chris intended.
                Message 7 of 27 , Mar 6 6:52 AM
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                  >>> those older ones in the 70s...Nah that's junk give it to me.

                  >> Aren't you insulting our fearless leader with such commentary?

                  I took it with the humor that Chris intended.
                • Wesley Furr
                  There is no doubt that older computers (certainly a good bit older than Win98!) have some value again, whereas once they were just old junk. However, except
                  Message 8 of 27 , Mar 6 7:10 AM
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                    There is no doubt that older computers (certainly a good bit older than
                    Win98!) have some value again, whereas once they were just old junk.
                    However, except for a few rarities, almost none are worth their original
                    purchase price...especially if you take inflation into consideration...

                    Wesley


                    -----Original Message-----

                    They make it sound like we are a secret group out to make lots of money by
                    collecting old computers.

                    I will admit, the thought of a vintage computer as an investment did pass my
                    mind, but there is no doubt it's my love of the 7400 and all it's friends
                    that has lead me here.

                    Regards,
                    Josh
                  • Evan Koblentz
                    ... Shh! People might find out. :)
                    Message 9 of 27 , Mar 6 7:17 AM
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                      >> They make it sound like we are a secret group out to make lots of money by collecting old computers.

                      Shh! People might find out. :)
                    • B. Degnan
                      ... MARCH s mission is first of all to have fun and work together on projects related to vintage computer preservation and use. Our other overall goal is to
                      Message 10 of 27 , Mar 6 7:36 AM
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                        >
                        > In 100 years, if someone still has a working Windows 95 laptop, it
                        > will be worth more than it is now. But, that'll only help your great-
                        > grandchildren to cash in. But that will be because most similar
                        > laptops will have disappeared, into landfills or recycling centers.
                        > And, that still does not make it an investment.
                        >
                        > For something to be an investment, you have to have the expectation of
                        > a return on capital -while- you own it... like land, stock shares,
                        > real estate, and financial instruments. Sure, some of those things
                        > can be speculative too, but stock shares can pay dividends from
                        > earnings, real estate can be rented (or used, in which case you are
                        > your own landlord), and banks pay interest for the use of your money.
                        >


                        MARCH's mission is first of all to have fun and work together on projects
                        related to vintage computer preservation and use. Our other overall goal
                        is to educate other about computer history (in particular Mid-Atlantic's),
                        and to rescue and preserve historical computers in our care. Check MARCH
                        FAQ's...nothing about cashing in!

                        The wired article I was in was more on target.
                        http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2013/02/restorations-2/?pid=589
                        Focus on the positive!

                        They say any press is good press, Evan. :-)

                        bd
                      • Christian Liendo
                        From: Evan Koblentz ... Thank you... Evan knows I am a bit on the warped humor side. (O_o )  I think it took a few years for Evan to
                        Message 11 of 27 , Mar 6 8:48 AM
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                          From: Evan Koblentz <evan@...>
                          >I took it with the humor that Chris intended.

                          Thank you... Evan knows I am a bit on the warped humor side. (O_o ) 


                          I think it took a few years for Evan to understand the term of endearment I used for my collection. "My Crap"

                          My ex used to call my collection crap, even screaming to me on a cell phone where the occupants of the car I was in heard it. 
                          She is gone, my crap is still here. 
                        • Dave McGuire
                          ... I don t know *anyone* involved in vintage computing who considers it to be speculation or investment . Anyone. And personally, with a few specific
                          Message 12 of 27 , Mar 6 8:52 AM
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                            On 03/06/2013 09:42 AM, Ray Sills wrote:
                            > Well... Evan's oy vey notwithstanding... and I certainly agree with
                            > him on the criticism of BankRate.com... ANY collectible is not truly
                            > an investment... it's a speculation: you hope that someone in the
                            > future will pay you more for the item than you paid. (The "greater
                            > fool" theory). Of course, some people keep items (antiques or
                            > otherwise) for sentimental reasons.. ("This was my grandfather's
                            > rocking chair"..etc.) And, one of your descendants might feel that
                            > way about your first single-board computer.

                            I don't know *anyone* involved in vintage computing who considers it
                            to be "speculation" or "investment". Anyone.

                            And personally, with a few specific exceptions, nothing I (in
                            particular) have here is for sale. Know how many tens of thousands of
                            dollars I'd get if I were to put my PDP10s on eBay? (hint: the last one
                            went for $25,000) They are NOT FOR SALE, plain and simple. They will
                            be willed to someone. I don't buy vintage computer hardware in hopes of
                            selling it to make a profit...I buy it because I want to HAVE it.

                            I believe this describes nearly everyone in the vintage computing
                            community, and certainly everyone here.

                            -Dave

                            --
                            Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
                            New Kensington, PA
                          • Dave McGuire
                            ... Bravo. The first time my S.O. says something like that, she s shown the door. End of story. (it has happened!) -Dave -- Dave McGuire, AK4HZ New
                            Message 13 of 27 , Mar 6 9:03 AM
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                              On 03/06/2013 11:48 AM, Christian Liendo wrote:
                              > I think it took a few years for Evan to understand the term of endearment I used for my collection. "My Crap"
                              >
                              > My ex used to call my collection crap, even screaming to me on a cell phone where the occupants of the car I was in heard it.
                              > She is gone, my crap is still here.

                              Bravo. The first time my S.O. says something like that, she's shown
                              the door. End of story. (it has happened!)

                              -Dave

                              --
                              Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
                              New Kensington, PA
                            • B. Degnan
                              ... hobby. ... endearment I used for my collection. My Crap ... phone where the occupants of the car I was in heard it. ... True, be we hobbyists need to
                              Message 14 of 27 , Mar 6 9:51 AM
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                                -------- Original Message --------
                                > From: "Dave McGuire" <Mcguire@...>
                                > Sent: Wednesday, March 06, 2013 12:31 PM
                                > To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                                > Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Oy vey! Gross mischaracterizations of our
                                hobby.
                                >
                                > On 03/06/2013 11:48 AM, Christian Liendo wrote:
                                > > I think it took a few years for Evan to understand the term of
                                endearment I used for my collection. "My Crap"
                                > >
                                > > My ex used to call my collection crap, even screaming to me on a cell
                                phone where the occupants of the car I was in heard it.
                                > > She is gone, my crap is still here.
                                >
                                > Bravo. The first time my S.O. says something like that, she's shown
                                > the door. End of story. (it has happened!)
                                >
                                > -Dave
                                >

                                True, be we hobbyists need to keep our crap under control, there is a point
                                when a collection becomes a problem and we need to know where the "line"
                                is... Sellam may have a new perspective on that.. We have to take our SO's
                                into account. Not everyone can appreciate our love of this hobby, there
                                are times where sensitivity is smart.

                                bd
                              • Evan Koblentz
                                Wow, the Bankrate site has deleted my comment.
                                Message 15 of 27 , Mar 6 9:53 AM
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                                  Wow, the Bankrate site has deleted my comment.
                                • Dave McGuire
                                  ... Damn suits. -Dave -- Dave McGuire, AK4HZ New Kensington, PA
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Mar 6 9:55 AM
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                                    On 03/06/2013 12:53 PM, Evan Koblentz wrote:
                                    > Wow, the Bankrate site has deleted my comment.

                                    Damn suits.

                                    -Dave

                                    --
                                    Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
                                    New Kensington, PA
                                  • Dave McGuire
                                    ... I think the real problem is a bit different. If an S.O. cannot come to terms with something their partner loves, even if said S.O. doesn t share that
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Mar 6 9:56 AM
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                                      On 03/06/2013 12:51 PM, B. Degnan wrote:
                                      >>> I think it took a few years for Evan to understand the term of
                                      > endearment I used for my collection. "My Crap"
                                      >>>
                                      >>> My ex used to call my collection crap, even screaming to me on a cell
                                      > phone where the occupants of the car I was in heard it.
                                      >>> She is gone, my crap is still here.
                                      >>
                                      >> Bravo. The first time my S.O. says something like that, she's shown
                                      >> the door. End of story. (it has happened!)
                                      >
                                      > True, be we hobbyists need to keep our crap under control, there is a point
                                      > when a collection becomes a problem and we need to know where the "line"
                                      > is... Sellam may have a new perspective on that.. We have to take our SO's
                                      > into account. Not everyone can appreciate our love of this hobby, there
                                      > are times where sensitivity is smart.

                                      I think the real problem is a bit different. If an S.O. cannot come
                                      to terms with something their partner loves, even if said S.O. doesn't
                                      share that interest, then the S.O. is just plain incompatible.

                                      Now, if a "collector" becomes unreasonable, like taking over the
                                      whole house in a way that makes things difficult for the uninterested
                                      S.O., that's a different problem entirely.

                                      -Dave

                                      --
                                      Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
                                      New Kensington, PA
                                    • Mike Loewen
                                      ... In the event of my untimely demise, my wife has instructions to contact this group for assistance in selling the valuable items and finding homes for the
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Mar 6 10:45 AM
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                                        On Wed, 6 Mar 2013, Dave McGuire wrote:

                                        > And personally, with a few specific exceptions, nothing I (in
                                        > particular) have here is for sale. Know how many tens of thousands of
                                        > dollars I'd get if I were to put my PDP10s on eBay? (hint: the last one
                                        > went for $25,000) They are NOT FOR SALE, plain and simple. They will
                                        > be willed to someone. I don't buy vintage computer hardware in hopes of
                                        > selling it to make a profit...I buy it because I want to HAVE it.

                                        In the event of my untimely demise, my wife has instructions to contact
                                        this group for assistance in selling the valuable items and finding homes
                                        for the rest. With working IMSAIs selling for > $2,000, that's only fair
                                        to her.

                                        Someone else will have to help find buyers for $10,000 worth of brass
                                        instruments. :-)


                                        Mike Loewen mloewen@...
                                        Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
                                      • Brian Schenkenberger, VAXman-
                                        ... You just can t trust anybody with... - a suit. - a shave. - a haircut. - a practiced profession. - a title other than Mr. or Mrs. ... -- VAXman- A Bored
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Mar 6 11:17 AM
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                                          Dave McGuire <Mcguire@...> writes:

                                          >On 03/06/2013 12:53 PM, Evan Koblentz wrote:
                                          >> Wow, the Bankrate site has deleted my comment.
                                          >
                                          > Damn suits.

                                          You just can't trust anybody with...

                                          - a suit.
                                          - a shave.
                                          - a haircut.
                                          - a "practiced" profession.
                                          - a title other than Mr. or Mrs.

                                          :)

                                          --
                                          VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)ORG

                                          Well I speak to machines with the voice of humanity.
                                        • Ray Sills
                                          ... A very good idea. Even better would be to put it in writing, as part of a legal will. Heaven forbid, but it could happen that one of us expires along
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Mar 6 11:21 AM
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                                            On Mar 6, 2013, at 1:45 PM, Mike Loewen wrote:
                                            > In the event of my untimely demise, my wife has instructions to
                                            > contact
                                            > this group for assistance in selling the valuable items and finding
                                            > homes
                                            > for the rest. With working IMSAIs selling for > $2,000, that's only
                                            > fair
                                            > to her.
                                            >
                                            > Someone else will have to help find buyers for $10,000 worth of
                                            > brass
                                            > instruments. :-)
                                            >
                                            >

                                            A very good idea. Even better would be to put it in writing, as part
                                            of a legal will. Heaven forbid, but it could happen that one of us
                                            expires along with our significant other in a common accident... (that
                                            does happen). And I think virtually all of us would want to see that
                                            these important items are placed in the hands of someone who will
                                            continue to care for them... and not just get tossed as "junk". That
                                            happens, too.

                                            In my case, anything that might be of interest to MARCH, has already
                                            been donated to MARCH... with the single exception of my RCA VIP.

                                            73 de Ray
                                          • joshbensadon
                                            ... That s a great idea. I personally would hope my son will take an interest but who knows? I didn t take an interest in my dad s stamp collection but
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Mar 6 11:22 AM
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                                              --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, Mike Loewen <mloewen@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > In the event of my untimely demise, my wife has instructions to contact
                                              > this group for assistance in selling the valuable items and finding homes
                                              > for the rest. With working IMSAIs selling for > $2,000, that's only fair
                                              > to her.


                                              That's a great idea. I personally would hope my son will take an interest but who knows? I didn't take an interest in my dad's stamp collection but hopefully, I'll find a way to get him involved.

                                              Does anyone here have children that are interested in this hobby?
                                              If so, would you say it's their nature or how you raised them?

                                              For Evan's sake, I'll label this as OT.

                                              Cheers,
                                              Josh
                                            • Mike Loewen
                                              ... Hey, I must be trustworthy! Mike Loewen mloewen@cpumagic.scol.pa.us Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Mar 6 11:22 AM
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                                                On Wed, 6 Mar 2013, Brian Schenkenberger, VAXman- wrote:

                                                > Dave McGuire <Mcguire@...> writes:
                                                >
                                                >> On 03/06/2013 12:53 PM, Evan Koblentz wrote:
                                                >>> Wow, the Bankrate site has deleted my comment.
                                                >>
                                                >> Damn suits.
                                                >
                                                > You just can't trust anybody with...
                                                >
                                                > - a suit.
                                                > - a shave.
                                                > - a haircut.
                                                > - a "practiced" profession.
                                                > - a title other than Mr. or Mrs.

                                                Hey, I must be trustworthy!


                                                Mike Loewen mloewen@...
                                                Old Technology http://sturgeon.css.psu.edu/~mloewen/Oldtech/
                                              • William Donzelli
                                                ... All these PeeCees and Windows machines we hate now will be worth money - and I think the timeframe will be far shorter than 100 years. Every class of
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Mar 6 12:08 PM
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                                                  > In 100 years, if someone still has a working Windows 95 laptop, it
                                                  > will be worth more than it is now. But, that'll only help your great-
                                                  > grandchildren to cash in. But that will be because most similar
                                                  > laptops will have disappeared, into landfills or recycling centers.
                                                  > And, that still does not make it an investment.

                                                  All these PeeCees and Windows machines we hate now will be worth money
                                                  - and I think the timeframe will be far shorter than 100 years. Every
                                                  class of gadget that had an impact on society becomes collectable
                                                  eventually.

                                                  > For something to be an investment, you have to have the expectation of
                                                  > a return on capital -while- you own it... like land, stock shares,
                                                  > real estate, and financial instruments.

                                                  This is not true. You can certainly have investments that are solely
                                                  intended for heirs, either trusts or living people. There are indeed
                                                  people that do this in their estate plans - it is not an uncommon
                                                  strategy.

                                                  --
                                                  Will
                                                • William Donzelli
                                                  ... Yes, as part of a will. However, nobody does this. And I really mean *nobody*. One part of my profession is buying up the estates of engineers and ham
                                                  Message 24 of 27 , Mar 6 12:29 PM
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                                                    > A very good idea. Even better would be to put it in writing, as part
                                                    > of a legal will.

                                                    Yes, as part of a will.

                                                    However, nobody does this. And I really mean *nobody*.

                                                    One part of my profession is buying up the estates of engineers and
                                                    ham radio operators, and see this first hand. Widows are burdened with
                                                    piles of interesting stuff that they all to often see as crap. For
                                                    every estate cleanout I do, I hear of ten that went in the dumpster,
                                                    because of a lack of proper, formal estate planning. And proper,
                                                    formal estate planning means a will with detailed and explicit
                                                    instructions on what is to be done with the collection.

                                                    Anything else, as good as the intentions may be, is skating close to worthless.

                                                    So...broadcasting to everyone here...create or update your wills.

                                                    --
                                                    Will
                                                  • William Donzelli
                                                    ... Do you mean a Collection Policy? Nope, never heard of such a thing, either... -- Will
                                                    Message 25 of 27 , Mar 6 12:39 PM
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                                                      > True, be we hobbyists need to keep our crap under control, there is a
                                                      > point
                                                      > when a collection becomes a problem and we need to know where the "line"
                                                      > is...

                                                      Do you mean a Collection Policy?

                                                      Nope, never heard of such a thing, either...

                                                      --
                                                      Will
                                                    • Wesley Furr
                                                      Do these detailed and explicit instructions need to be part of a formal lawyer-written and legalese-filled document, or will it suffice to have a written note
                                                      Message 26 of 27 , Mar 6 12:44 PM
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                                                        Do these detailed and explicit instructions need to be part of a formal
                                                        lawyer-written and legalese-filled document, or will it suffice to have a
                                                        written note with your signed name on it? Or just a formal will with a line
                                                        saying to see a related informal document?

                                                        Sounds like a good idea regardless of what one is collecting...

                                                        Wesley


                                                        -----Original Message-----

                                                        Yes, as part of a will.

                                                        However, nobody does this. And I really mean *nobody*.

                                                        One part of my profession is buying up the estates of engineers and ham
                                                        radio operators, and see this first hand. Widows are burdened with piles of
                                                        interesting stuff that they all to often see as crap. For every estate
                                                        cleanout I do, I hear of ten that went in the dumpster, because of a lack of
                                                        proper, formal estate planning. And proper, formal estate planning means a
                                                        will with detailed and explicit instructions on what is to be done with the
                                                        collection.

                                                        Anything else, as good as the intentions may be, is skating close to
                                                        worthless.

                                                        So...broadcasting to everyone here...create or update your wills.

                                                        --
                                                        Will
                                                      • William Donzelli
                                                        ... A legal will does not have to be a lawyer-written and legalese-filled document, but often it is a good idea. It is also a good idea to have all the
                                                        Message 27 of 27 , Mar 6 1:00 PM
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                                                          > Do these detailed and explicit instructions need to be part of a formal
                                                          > lawyer-written and legalese-filled document, or will it suffice to have a
                                                          > written note with your signed name on it? Or just a formal will with a
                                                          > line
                                                          > saying to see a related informal document?

                                                          A legal will does not have to be a lawyer-written and legalese-filled
                                                          document, but often it is a good idea.

                                                          It is also a good idea to have all the information in a will, rather
                                                          than on attached documents. The latter are prone to getting lost, and
                                                          can result in a tangle if the will is contested.

                                                          To do this properly, the collection should be clearly defined, so the
                                                          executor knows what is to be dealt with. Major items in the collection
                                                          should be identified and listed with descriptions, model numbers, and
                                                          even serial numbers, if applicable. There should be clear guidelines
                                                          for the executor so they know how to deal with the collection. There
                                                          should be contingencies in case the executor can not perform his
                                                          duties (this happens a *lot* - executors die too), listing museums and
                                                          historic groups that could potentially help. There should also be
                                                          contingencies in case beneficiaries can not accept what is willed to
                                                          them (because they die too).

                                                          All this is basic estate lawyer stuff.

                                                          --
                                                          Will
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