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Poll: How many vintage computers do you own?

In June 2010, 2,000+ computer enthusiasts celebrated old tech at the first Vintage Computer Festival in the UK. Do you own a vintage computer?

Most IT pros and computer enthusiasts that I know have at least one old computer stored away in basement or closet. And sometimes, those with old machines get together to celebrate their vintage computers.

In June 2010, The National Museum of Computing in the UK sponsored the first British Vintage Computer Festival at Bletchley Park. At least 2,000 visitors and 32 exhibitors attended the weekend event, which showcased vintage machines from the 1970s and 1980s.

There were lots of great old machines from Sinclair, Commodore, Amstrad, Heathkit, and others. There were even a few combinations of old and new technology, such as a 28-year-old Sinclair ZX Spectrum running Twitter.

Photo by: Andy Taylor

Andy Taylor, systems analyst, retro computer enthusiast in the UK, and attended the event and took more than 100 photos. I have put together a gallery from his pictures. Many thanks to Andy for allowing TechRepublic to republish these photos. For more information on Andy's collection of vintage computers, check out his website Retro Computers or his Flickr photostream.

Do you own a vintage computer?

If you have an old computer, working or not, I'd like to know about it. Take this TR Dojo poll and let me know just how many vintage (at least 20 years old) computers you own.

For more coverage of the Vintage Computer Festival, check out this gallery from our sister site ZDNet UK.

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

28 comments
xmechanic
xmechanic

1. Apple ][e with dual 5 1/4" floppys and a boatload of software (working!) 2. Macintosh SE with a 3 1/2" floppy and 2 40mb. external drives (working) 3. Kaypro II with dual 5 1/4" drives (looking for CP/M boot disks!) 4. Xerox 820-2 with external 8" floppy and 10 mb. hard disc case (working!)

Pastprime
Pastprime

Until about 5 years ago I had 22 old computers dating back to the Commodore Pet which was circa 1978. I had intended to start a museum but I had to give them to similarly minded people because we needed the garage clearing out. I still have many Sinclair Spectrum and BBC computer books and manuals if anyone would like them - I am clearing more space and don't want to just recycle them if there is a need out there.

fenring
fenring

Just one, a 486 portable, only for nostalgy. I gave a ZX81 (1k ram), a Vic 20 and a Commodore 64 to friends, years ago, normally they were girls. :) I started to repair computers Commodore with Capt.Kirck still rules on Enterprise, I think. What old am I! Bill, good job craking the Kindle. Interesting. All the best from Barcelona Jordi Tobella

jpdecesare
jpdecesare

In 2002 I went to the State of Oregon surplus sale, and I noticed a pallet up on a shelf, shrunk-wrapped. I climbed the latter and peeked: all old Mac stuff from the school system... 10 IIsi's, several LCII's, 2 IIcx's, 2 Classics, 2 SE/30s, ImageWriter, LaserWriter, several monitors and a few more things I'm forgetting. Price on pallet: $5. Seriously. Almost didn't fit in my car. Had fun cleaning and parting out THAT lot!

jpdecesare
jpdecesare

There are two things I want on my desk next to my 12GB i7 rig, iPhone 4 and iPad: a real Western Electric AL51 candlestick phone and my SE/30. The latter I have, the former I'm still workin' on. ;^)

RichardKP
RichardKP

I have a few, if 20 years make them vintage, I don't qualify. There are: An XT 8088 turbo with slow persistence green screen An 80286 16MHz with Win 3.0a and amber mono screen An 80386sx 33MHz with Win 3.11 non workgroups and EGA screen An 80486dlc 40MHz with win3.11 non workgroup and VGA mono screen A dual CPU P90 server with Netware 3.11 and SCSI hard drives All of these work. I also have 5 * 80486DX laptops, and a 386sx laptop, all were working when last checked. There are also several Pentium 1 (as opposed to II, III or 4, not the clock!) in the back which may or may not work.

usr19x@
usr19x@

I've tried to keep one of each generation. They include: Datateck 8088 AT&T 6312-WGS (A fast 286, I also had a 6300 8086) Tandy 1000 Tandy 1000 RLX with GEO OS Dell 333D 386 (WIN 3.1) + several home brew 486's with 95, NT I fire them up occasionally to show people what they're not missing.

Cabo Wabo Addict
Cabo Wabo Addict

I have the following: a Kaypro 8080 CPM box with 2 Hard-sector floppy drives, 64K memory, and Wordstar an 1802 Elf a Sinclair ZX-80 A Commodore 128 with 64K video memory (upgraded myself from 16K), two floppy drives, monitor, and a Hayes 2400 Baud modem with a home made serial interface. Original boxes and manuals too. and the most rare of all: a Mattel Aquarius Z-80 system with all of the game controls, tape drive, game cartiges, etc. with original box and manual. they all work and are in pristine condition.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Vintage computers. I'm not making a distinction between vintage PCs and vintage game consoles in my response. I've got a couple of Mac Classics, a Mac LC, a Quadra, a IIvx... an Atari 800, an Atari 800XL, an Atari 2600, a few Atari 5200s, a couple Atari 7800s, an Intellivision, a Vectrex and a Colecovision and an 8 bit NES... plus lots of stuff after the NES. I'm guessing there are other PCs in my basement I've forgotten about that would qualify, as well. But most of the vintage PCs, unless they're from the "8-bit golden age", are really more paper-weight than collectible.

zenajax2
zenajax2

I have 3 vintage computers that all work properly: 1. Osborne 2. Kaypro II 3. IBM PC Junior My first computer was an Ohio Scientific C4P. Unfortunately, I no longer have that one.

rucb_alum
rucb_alum

Commodore C64 w/ 1541 - Both have gone a bit wonky at this point. C128 - Wife gave a way the first one so a fellow student could write term papers! Those were the days when home PC did serious work, too. Amiga A1000 - Who'd a thunk anyone would pay close to 2 grand for a computer with no hard disk? Xerox StarStation - Only vintage PC I acquired as a collectible. Got it at the Trenton Computer Festival and Flea Market.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I had to leave unneeded/unused hardware behind whenever I moved to a new assignment. If you carry too much stuff across oceans, overweight charges add up very rapidly.

JuliaX111
JuliaX111

I have a working commodore64 the mk2 in the 128 style case.. I need a F1 key and I think a 4 .. managed to fit some from a dreamcast keyboard on there, but they look bad and fall off.. The tape system still works. Also needs attention I have a spectrum 128+ I keep meaning to have a proper look at that sometime.

.Martin.
.Martin.

I had an old 386, which the battery melted and took half the mobo. couple of weeks ago, my old IBM PS/2 (Laptop), got accidentally put out in the hard waste, I only noticed after it had been in the rain for about four hours :(

andytuk
andytuk

If you want to know anything else about the computers featured here, feel free to leave a comment on my blog, send me a email or message me on Twitter. All my contact details are on my blog. Hope you enjoy the photos! Andy

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

With a vehicle it has to be over 30 years old to be considered Vintage so my 1982 Ducati Darmah SS is defiantly a Vintage Bike that [b]SWMBO[/b] will not let me race at classic meetings :_| But I suppose that the Vic 20 defiantly falls into that category and probably a few of the early Pentiums that I have around that I just couldn't bear to part with. I didn't keep any of the earlier stuff as the Capacitors that doubled as a RTC Power Supply leaked and buggered the Boards. They just where not worth the effort of unsoldering the Caps and reattaching them whenever you want to fire one up. The Tyan Dual Processor 200 MMX M'Board that I have well actually it had slower CPU's on it when I first saw it but I upped it to the fastest that it could carry and loaded as much RAM as it could carry then loaded Debian onto it. Then as it was used to Low Level Format HDD one of the staff screwed up with a 3.5 to 2.5 inch Drive converted and blew one of the IDE Channels but it still chugs away quite happily, mainly because I fitted a PCI Card that allows bigger HDD to be fitted. :D Still got a few of the interesting old original Pentiums and a Cyrix or 2 around the place as well as a few Dual Processor P2 Boards. Not really sure how many I have here but that old Gigabyte GA6 BXDU Dual P2 Board with an entire GIG of RAM fitted, I still swear is faster than than the i7 System that I'm currently using. Col [i]edited[/i] because I'm suffering from the Boxy Disease Typo's by the thousand.

john3347
john3347

My first computer was a mid-80s Amstrad computer with either 8086 or 8088 processor (I forget which) and two 5 1/4 floppy drives and no hard drive at all. I contributed it to a son a few years ago and he proceeded to dissect it. That one is gone. A few years ago, an early Tandy model was donated to me and recently burned in a house fire. This, sadly, leaves me with no vintage "stuff". I do have a Winbook XL Laptop from almost 15 years ago that still works, but can't do much by today's standards.

xmechanic
xmechanic

You wouldn't happen to have (or be able to create) a working boot disk for the Kaypro II, would you? I'd really like to get mine up and running, and I don't have the necessary hardware to make one on another machine. I think the KP-II uses hard-sectored discs? Please contact me if you can. Thanks! Dave

andytuk
andytuk

To me, any computers pre 486 era are vintage to me. Thats what I limit my personal collection too, apart from a couple of newer machines and consoles.

john3347
john3347

The author defines "more than 20 years old" as vintage for the purposes of this discussion.

seanferd
seanferd

Are computers made from squishing grapes into must? I probably have like 8 way outdated systems. Unfortunately, I no longer have my true classic, an old OSI.

RRomig
RRomig

Until a couple of weeks ago I had several vintage computers to include a Tandy 1000 and an IBM System 32. Most vintage pc I have now is a Pentium 120.

learn4ever
learn4ever

Mine will go to zero this week. I have let go my Sun Sparc20. I just don't do UNIX any more and I guy I know wanted it for the museum at U of Waterloo. Beautiful piece of hardware. Sweet RISC processor.

RipVan
RipVan

I think that's what it is. It is still in the original box and I am sad that I never bought any RAM expansion module for it. I have a football game that you can play on it, and that was about all I used it for, other than tinkering in BASIC. My dad gave me a Radio Shack computer that I have not even looked at. It should be early to mid 80's. I still haven't unpacked since my divorce. So I have no idea how long it will be till I pull those out and look at them again. But now I would sure like to!

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

The IBM Netfinity server got passed on to someone who had space and my Coleco Adam passed long ago (did manage to get hands on a friend's surviving Adam a few years back). Not sure where my "laptop" ended up (old beast with a huge body and a three by five inch screen flipup covering the keyboard). My oldest remaining is the Toughbook CF27 though it may have rotted out given the amount of time it's been shut down in the back of the closet. I know some other regulars have far older hardware still bootable.

JuliaX111
JuliaX111

And by that I mean a real survivor like the Compaq deskpro 486sx given to me a few years ago with it's original windows95 and office intact.. and still as one time upgraded to a grand total of 6mb's of ram (they were supplied with 4 my researches inform me.. for the rrp of ?2.200). The only thing not working after these 17 or so years is the NE2000 network card. If anybody would like it I will let it go to a collector who will give it a good home, the same "free" as I received it.. It's a shame I don't still have my packard-bell 8088 :)

comobu
comobu

I have an Apple //, a couple of //cs, IIes, and a pile of IIgss. Only one IIe is still in the original box. I think I have an Apple ///, but haven't checked if it is still there since I retired. Most of the machines in the garage would probably fire up and run.