St. Louis has a number of good thrift stores. They’re good for saving money, and if you’re looking for collectibles, there’s something more thrilling about finding it in a thrift store than a collectibles shop. Here are my recommendations for St. Louis thrift stores.
Collecting vintage computers can be fun. I also personally think it’s great that people are interested in preserving that history. Where to buy vintage computers hasn’t changed much over the years. It just may take a bit more work than it used to.
Some people think old computers are priceless. Others think they’re worthless. I don’t recommend wasting your time with people who think a Dell Pentium III laptop is worth $300. Think of the times you found a jewel for five bucks and keep moving.
There was one other interesting quote in the Post-Dispatch’s Top 10 collectibles for value this week:
10. Boxes (yes, simple boxes!)
For a starter, wooden boxes of all types with and without locking mechanisms, souvenir boxes, tea boxes, cigar boxes, jewelry, knife boxes and the list goes on for value. If you can put something in it, somebody wants to give you money for it.
Don’t get too excited, but a box doesn’t have to be made of wood to be valuable. Even a cardboard box can have some value, depending on what came in it. But don’t get too excited. Read more
Here’s a treasure trove for retro computing enthusiasts. Archive.org created the Byte digital archive. It’s exactly what it sounds like: A collection of digitized issues of Byte magazine available online, free.
Numerous archives of vintage computer magazines exist, many of which are of questionable legality so I’ll refrain from saying anything specific about that.
It’s been many years since 5.25-inch floppy disks suitable for Commodore, Apple, Atari, and other vintage 8-bit computers (not to mention IBM PCs and PC/XTs) have been something you can buy at the store down the street. I found some 360K DS/DD disks on Amazon, but they aren’t available in huge quantities.
What do you think of when you think of Bit Torrent?
I think of the place to quickly download ISOs of Linux distributions. My coworker one cube over calls it “that pirate thing.” Most people probably agree more with him than me.
I saw an interesting question about the configuration of mid-1980s (pre-PS/2) IBM PCs on a vintage computer forum this week. The question regarded how various machines came from the factory, especially when some collectors have PCs they bought from the original owners, including an invoice, showing the machine didn’t match known factory configurations. This made me think of the gray market.
The gray market referred to the practice of discounters getting genuine IBM PCs and reselling them, sometimes modified. The most famous gray marketer was Michael Dell–the “Dell” in Dell Computer Corporation–who got his start by upgrading bare-bones IBM PCs and selling them out of his dorm room and later, out of a condo. Eventually he decided he wanted a steadier supply, and started manufacturing, becoming the company we know today.
But Dell was far from the only one. Read more