VOGONS


First post, by andreja6

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I've been trying to upgrade my PC with some luck, but WOW these parts are expensive!
So far I have not had any luck at thrift stores, but I did find a nice 5.25" drive at Free Geek Vancouver for only 5 bucks.

However, the disks are another story. I only found some disks on eBay, and paid a whopping 24 dollars for a 10 pack of new in wrap Xerox (The opened ones costed more!). It was the only good deal I could find
I'm really struggling to find these disks.

Where would you guys go to buy your retro hardware?

Reply 3 of 20, by Deksor

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I bought all my 5"1/4 disks (except 30 of them) on the craig's list clone of my country. I paid once ~20€ of shipping (the lot was free) for a hundred of them (only 360K disks) + a floppy drive that can write to DD and HD disks properly and the second time ~20€ (5€ + shipping) for another hundred. Most of them were also DD disks, but there are several HD ones which is good ^^

The other 30 disks I was talking about were found at two different yard sales and they were all brand new. One box contains DD disks and the other two contains HD disks.

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Reply 4 of 20, by andreja6

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Deksor wrote:

I bought all my 5"1/4 disks (except 30 of them) on the craig's list clone of my country. I paid once ~20€ of shipping (the lot was free) for a hundred of them (only 360K disks) + a floppy drive that can write to DD and HD disks properly and the second time ~20€ (5€ + shipping) for another hundred. Most of them were also DD disks, but there are several HD ones which is good ^^

The other 30 disks I was talking about were found at two different yard sales and they were all brand new. One box contains DD disks and the other two contains HD disks.

I bought over 70 3.5 NOS 1.44MB Disks in the Pancevo Buvljak (Flee market), europe has a lot of that. But here in Vancouver, i was amazed i even saw a 5.25 drive in person, let alone for 5 dollars

Reply 6 of 20, by kixs

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andreja6 wrote:
Deksor wrote:

I bought all my 5"1/4 disks (except 30 of them) on the craig's list clone of my country. I paid once ~20€ of shipping (the lot was free) for a hundred of them (only 360K disks) + a floppy drive that can write to DD and HD disks properly and the second time ~20€ (5€ + shipping) for another hundred. Most of them were also DD disks, but there are several HD ones which is good ^^

The other 30 disks I was talking about were found at two different yard sales and they were all brand new. One box contains DD disks and the other two contains HD disks.

I bought over 70 3.5 NOS 1.44MB Disks in the Pancevo Buvljak (Flee market), europe has a lot of that. But here in Vancouver, i was amazed i even saw a 5.25 drive in person, let alone for 5 dollars

Beograd is pretty far away from Canada 😉

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Reply 8 of 20, by dionb

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Depends a bit on your definition of vintage, but roadside finds are far from vintage IMHO. The oldest you're likely to find these days is Pentium 4 / Athlon XP.

We used to have a great thrift shop here in Amsterdam with a dedicated not-for-profit computer section that offered computer courses to the technically illiterate and rebuilt stuff they got donated to working systems running FOSS which were sold for low prices. They knew their stuff, had great stock of pretty much everything from mid 1990s onward for decent prices and were always willing to help if you were looking for something specific, particularly if you reciprocated (my employer frequently dumps old but still perfectly usable network hardware, which the thrift shop guys loved). Unfortunately they were too non-profit and ideologically motivated for their own good and went bankrupt last year. Since then I've been looking for an alternative, but haven't found it yet, and even if one appears, it will start from scratch i.e. the stuff people are dumping now, which is too new for what most consider 'real' vintage.

Two years ago I participated in a large online community-driven effort to donate hardware and build systems for charity. We received several hundred systems. Over half came from companies and were typical written-off office small-form-factor desktops, but the other half were private donations spanning everything from high-end gaming rigs to shop-bought bargain basement systems. It was great fun, I saw more diverse hardware than I had for a very long time (and put some once obscenely powerful high-end components into otherwise low-end systems 😉 ), but it was telling that we only received a handful of beige cases, and the oldest we saw was a late-model Pentium 3.

Basically that means I'm now down to garage finds and dead mans shoes - systems that have either been forgotten for ages, or have been used (or at least owned) by pensioners until they passed away and the next of kin need to get rid of the stuff. Local Craigslist-equivalents (here in NL: marktplaats.nl ) seem to be the best place to find them.

Or just luck on eBay. Sometimes people sell old crap for low prices, or misspell names or model nrs so that most bidders miss an auction.

Reply 9 of 20, by KCompRoom2000

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luckybob wrote:

Craigslist has been the source of like 90% of my stuff. Ebay is for parts to get things working.

Nope. I'm afraid even the supplies on Craigslist have dried up to the point where I hardly see anything older than LGA775 era stuff, on the rare occasion where I do find something older, it's usually no better than how it's priced on eBay (for example, some idiot tried to sell a PIII Desktop for $200 on CL several months ago, and there's another nutjob who's selling a Dell Dimension 4500 for $150. like those are any better than the already expensive ePay prices 🙄 )

These days, your best option on getting retro hardware without overspending (or paying a dime at all) is sneaking into a dump/recycler after hours to nab hardware from their scrap pile while praying that you won't be accused of stealing, I haven't actually gone that far but I've heard other people have attempted this stunt and managed to find some old gems that way. Those stubborn "recyclers" get what they deserve for refusing to sell hardware that's older than X years old anyway.

Now, on a more serious note, patiently and thoroughly searching for stuff on eBay and other sites does pay off since there's the occasional chance of finding a bargain that's close to what you're after. I also managed to find goodies at thrift stores during some of my monthly visits.

Reply 10 of 20, by ElementalChaos

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eBay sucks as we all know too well, I haven't seen anything notable on Craigslist in years, and thrift stores are increasingly sending all computer donations to recycling. If they sell anything at all, it's those dumpy Dell P4 towers with bad caps.
E-waste dumps have, for the past few months, been my sole source of vintage hardware. There's no better deal than free. It obviously depends on your local facility's policies and what people happen to still be throwing out. Rural areas usually mean older stuff. Probably my craziest haul was a working TRS-80 Model 4 back in September... later on found a PMMX233 rig with Voodoo2 and AWE64 Value inside, from the same dump.

There's also gold scrap lots on eBay which have landed me good stuff in the past, like an SB Pro 2.0 and one huge lot with several nice VLB Socket 3 boards. It's risky though, it's being sold as "broken" so the seller will take no care in shipping it and you'll have to pray it arrives safe.

Last edited by ElementalChaos on 2018-01-08, 03:30. Edited 2 times in total.

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Reply 11 of 20, by brostenen

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I find my stuff locally, on Amibay and some times a good deal will pop up on eBay. Regarding eBay, then it is really rare, like 2 or 3 pieces of hardware a year, that are cheap enough. Most of the times, it is Amibay. I got my ET4000-ISA from Amibay in 2016 or 17 as an example. (I can not remember the exact year)

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Reply 12 of 20, by Unknown_K

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The best deals are for obsolete hardware not collectable stuff. Most of my collectable items I purchased when they were just obsolete junk and people were giving the stuff away (ahead of the curve I guess).

Anyway the easiest way outside of market value on ebay is from trading with other collectors. Stuff you want tends to be junk another collector wants to ditch. Scrappers and recyclers are also good. Forums with for sale sections (VCF for example). Even ebay has some good deals if you look around a while. Garage sales sometimes. I had great luck with computer resellers who get stuff dumped onto them for trade or just to get rid of. Craigslist once in a while. Freecycle used to be good ages ago, I think it depends on the area and users.

Mostly you need to have your eyes open and find local contacts since it saves a ton on shipping. Some stuff I had was because they were too heavy to ship.

Collector of old computers, hardware, and software

Reply 13 of 20, by andreja6

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kixs wrote:
andreja6 wrote:
Deksor wrote:

I bought all my 5"1/4 disks (except 30 of them) on the craig's list clone of my country. I paid once ~20€ of shipping (the lot was free) for a hundred of them (only 360K disks) + a floppy drive that can write to DD and HD disks properly and the second time ~20€ (5€ + shipping) for another hundred. Most of them were also DD disks, but there are several HD ones which is good ^^

The other 30 disks I was talking about were found at two different yard sales and they were all brand new. One box contains DD disks and the other two contains HD disks.

I bought over 70 3.5 NOS 1.44MB Disks in the Pancevo Buvljak (Flee market), europe has a lot of that. But here in Vancouver, i was amazed i even saw a 5.25 drive in person, let alone for 5 dollars

Beograd is pretty far away from Canada 😉

Yes it is quite far! Went to visit some family and ended up shopping along the way.

Reply 14 of 20, by andreja6

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ElementalChaos wrote:

eBay sucks as we all know too well, I haven't seen anything notable on Craigslist in years, and thrift stores are increasingly sending all computer donations to recycling. If they sell anything at all, it's those dumpy Dell P4 towers with bad caps.
E-waste dumps have, for the past few months, been my sole source of vintage hardware. There's no better deal than free. It obviously depends on your local facility's policies and what people happen to still be throwing out. Rural areas usually mean older stuff. Probably my craziest haul was a working TRS-80 Model 4 back in September... later on found a PMMX233 rig with Voodoo2 and AWE64 Value inside, from the same dump.

There's also gold scrap lots on eBay which have landed me good stuff in the past, like an SB Pro 2.0 and one huge lot with several nice VLB Socket 3 boards. It's risky though, it's being sold as "broken" so the seller will take no care in shipping it and you'll have to pray it arrives safe.

Speaking of gold scrap, i think this listing has some stuff that looks pretty valuable:
https://www.ebay.ca/itm/5-Lbs-Gold-Recovery-S … AcAAOSwu6taUuVH

Reply 15 of 20, by kixs

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andreja6 wrote:
kixs wrote:
andreja6 wrote:

I bought over 70 3.5 NOS 1.44MB Disks in the Pancevo Buvljak (Flee market), europe has a lot of that. But here in Vancouver, i was amazed i even saw a 5.25 drive in person, let alone for 5 dollars

Beograd is pretty far away from Canada 😉

Yes it is quite far! Went to visit some family and ended up shopping along the way.

Great 😀

In many Eastern Europe countries you can find old hardware for cheap. But most usually there is only common stuff - nothing special as prices were too expensive back then. I only find better parts in Western Europe and USA... but prices are accordingly high...

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Reply 16 of 20, by blurks

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I was at my local electronic waste facility the last working day before christmas to dump some old batteries and other broken stuff. I was the last guy before closure. Staff was already pissed because they were just about to close when I came in. Threw my stuff in the container and saw a motherload of retro hardware. Early 90's CRT's, complete early to mid 90's rigs, accessories, I even saw a sealed box of Windows 3.0. Place was packed to the brim. I didn't dare to ask to take something, the guy right next to me looked super annoyed...
Sad to imagine that they just get stripped, crushed, partially recycled and the remains land on a dump site in Nigeria but, oh well... life is life... nanaananana.... 😀

Sticking to local classifieds is a good way to save some cash compared to most offerings on eBay but usually takes more time to find the exact item you want when it is exotic. eBay has become very expensive and I only buy there if the price is somehow justified, which still happens but you have dig deep.

Reply 17 of 20, by Smack2k

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I have great luck with Freecycle personally. At least once a month I get someone dumping old hardware and other items due to moving or cleaning out their house. I have received all kinds of stuff that way, some of it good, some of it bad. I end up taking the whole lot from them and then sorting through the good and getting rid of the bad. On top of regualar hardware (motherboards / cases / video cards / sound cards)I get almost all my cabling and wires via freecycle as most that are dumping their stuff have a ton of it. I have no luck on craigslist in my area, and also use ebay quite a bit to score some things, but I search until I find deals on them due to a misposting or other issue that keeps others from seeing / buying / bidding on it...

Reply 18 of 20, by andrewreader

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My best deal was the 386 PC for £60. I had to drive 1hr30mins to collect, but the seller was lovely and I got lots more stuff as part of the deal.

I mainly use Ebay, but search on Gumtree and Amibay too.

On Ebay, I search in my local vicintiy and for good or bad, on the PC hardware that you search on, you have the links to what other people went on to view.

Reply 19 of 20, by amadeus777999

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If one leaves out dumps, recycling centers and "happy endings"(hopefully not in combination with recycling center staff),
finding something specific can be pretty time consuming & pricey.

Only alternative that's slightly far reaching and cheaper may be a forum about older hardware that's perferably local to your country. BUT do not be fooled, what goes for a high price on ebay may be dependant on a "swap item" on the forum where latter is often so hard to get that one could rather buy from ebay directly.

I have payed a good price for most of my hardware but I only took higher quality stuff, besides some duds, that I really wanted. Prices on ebay are borderline retarded but there are also a few good deals here and there.

The best items in my micro-collection have been found accidentallly, "changing hands" for a rather "low" price.