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Retro Hardware Collecting rants

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Reply 40 of 934, by Deksor

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@Mister Xiado
You forgot this kind :
I saw it !
Sells an item for way too much on a local auction site or a flea market (places with few to no waranties if something go bad) because "I saw it selling at that price on the internet".
Some even sell that item in a lesser condition than the one on ebay (boxed game -> loose game, mint computer -> rough shape computer, etc).

Trying to identify old hardware ? Visit The retro web - Project's thread The Retro Web project - a stason.org/TH99 alternative

Reply 41 of 934, by cyclone3d

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Anonymous Coward wrote on 2020-06-11, 13:04:

It's probably been talked about before. There are one or two sellers on eBay who ask really obscene prices for their items, yet can't even be bothered to take a photo or make a decent item description. They look like something from eBay in 1995. Obviously I don't bother with these, but they're always getting in my way and making it hard to find what I want. Some of them are the same item listed 10 times.

Dreamhardware is one of them. They claim to be working on a system to have pictures posted but I'll believe it when I see it.

They will post pictures if you ask about specific items.

The really bad thing about them right now is that the listing titles are generally horrible and you have to go into the listing to look at the mfg part number.

I put in an offer a few days ago for a Logitech Soundman Wave that they were selling and they accepted.

It came quickly and was packaged well so I have no complaint about them in that regard. They also don't overcharge for shipping.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 42 of 934, by cyclone3d

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boxpressed wrote on 2020-06-11, 16:36:

A two-word rant that will be familiar to collectors in the US: "Media Mail."

AHAHAHAHAHA.. I hate media mail though I guess it is fine if you don't mind waiting 7-9 days to get something.

The one that is worse than that is Fedex Smartpost.

You drop it off at Fedex, who then takes their sweet time to get it to USPS, who then takes their sweet time to get it to you.

Not uncommon for it to take even longer than USPS Media Mail.

And to top it off, if you purchase your shipping through eBay or Paypal, Fedex Smartpost doesn't save any money at all and is usually more expensive.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 43 of 934, by Intel486dx33

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It’s like collecting old cars. You should know what you are getting into and know that it’s not new and will most likely need work.
This hobby should be for electrical engineers who know how to use electrical diagnostic tools and know how to repair electrical components.

If you want to play modern games then buy a NEW computer.

Reply 44 of 934, by imi

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Intel486dx33 wrote on 2020-06-11, 17:09:

This hobby should be for electrical engineers who know how to use electrical diagnostic tools and know how to repair electrical components.

nah, this hobby should be for everyone to have fun :3

whether it be playing old games or just tinkering with hardware.

Last edited by imi on 2020-06-11, 19:46. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 45 of 934, by PC-Engineer

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One thing is worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it.

Each of the old components getting rarer every day. If i need a special part to make my project perfect - then i pay for it. Last year i bought a LAPC-I for more than the price as it came out. As a child i had no money for it and today i have no time to search for a bargain and no nerves to annoy me, if someone other got it. I set my own value (depending of willing to have and special memories i connect with it) of a component and bid for it, not more.

I spend in sum maybe 5.000€ into this hobby over the last 10 years. So what? There are hobbies which are much mor expesive. I am lucky with it. And it seems, that my hardware increases in value 😉

Epox 7KXA Slot A / Athlon 950MHz / Voodoo 5 5500 / PowerVR / 512 MB / AWE32 / SCSI - Windows 98SE

Reply 46 of 934, by Miphee

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Shipping problems obviously.
Nothing is safe unless it's packed in a wooden box filled with foam rolls lined with styrofoam. I'm not even kidding.
Item I want: 2 pounds. Packaging needed to protect it: 4 pounds. If I want insurance that maybe pays: +100% on shipping that is already expensive.
I hate this uncertainty. I could get 10 flawless packages in a row and the 11th is so fuked up I just want to throw up.

Reply 47 of 934, by cyclone3d

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Miphee wrote on 2020-06-11, 18:34:
Shipping problems obviously. Nothing is safe unless it's packed in a wooden box filled with foam rolls lined with styrofoam. I'm […]
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Shipping problems obviously.
Nothing is safe unless it's packed in a wooden box filled with foam rolls lined with styrofoam. I'm not even kidding.
Item I want: 2 pounds. Packaging needed to protect it: 4 pounds. If I want insurance that maybe pays: +100% on shipping that is already expensive.
I hate this uncertainty. I could get 10 flawless packages in a row and the 11th is so fuked up I just want to throw up.

That's really sad.
I've sent at least 1,000 packages through USPS and have never had a single complaint of anything being damaged. I've even had an odd package or 2 come back from overseas after it was either undeliverable or the buyer just plain never went and picked it up from customs. Those arrived back to me in the same exact condition I sent them in except for the expected wear from traveling so far.

Then again, I am very picky about how I package stuff and often feel like other people couldn't care less or simply have no idea how to package stuff so it won't be damaged.

That reminds me.. I need to order some more rolls of bubble-wrap.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 48 of 934, by aaronkatrini

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The only thing I hate about collecting, is the impossibility to get something here in Italy because the seller doesn't ship, collect only.

I live in Rome, but most of the good stuff comes from the northern Italy, and almost guarantee the people selling it are 60+ years old. No smartphone with Whatsapp/Messenger and no PayPal. Sometimes they don't want to sell even if I send the money with no way of me getting my money back if something goes wrong.
And on top of that, I swear this is far more common what you'd think, even if I arrange for the courier to go to their front door do the pick-up, it's not good enough for them, only cash and on-hand deliver... I've seen many things go away I just couldn't get the seller ship them....
(PS. It's not worth driving for 7-8 hours, paying for diesel and highway fee - it can go up to 70-80 euros for something that might not work, the seller ghosts you ecc...)

Reply 49 of 934, by imi

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I wish I would have higher energy to actually drive around the country to pick stuff up... could have had a complete IBM XT including model M and IBM monitor for €90... but it took me so long to contemplate if I should take the 2-3hr drive that it was gone before I decided obviously.

also communication on the local classifieds is often so bad that you could risk agreeing on a sale and by the time you get there to pick it up they might have already sold it to someone else without telling you.

Reply 50 of 934, by Errius

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You sometimes run into people who insist on cash, cheque or bank transfer. I still have my old chequebook for these situations. I last had to use it in 2014.

Protagonist: Robot

Reply 51 of 934, by Caluser2000

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imi wrote on 2020-06-11, 17:11:
Intel486dx33 wrote on 2020-06-11, 17:09:

This hobby should be for electrical engineers who know how to use electrical diagnostic tools and know how to repair electrical components.

nah, this hobby should be for everyone to have fun :3

wheter it be playing old games or just tinkering with hardware.

Exactly and some of hobbyists seem to know a damn sight more than some of those so called IT guys from the '90s. 😉

I maintain/service and repair my '76 Honda CB550 Super Sport but am not trained as a motorcycle mechanic/engineer. Got it in '89. Starts first time every time I go to use it.

Last edited by Caluser2000 on 2020-06-11, 20:08. Edited 2 times in total.

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 52 of 934, by cyclone3d

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This isn't so much a collecting rant but a rant about local marketplaces.

There was a seller who had an EVGA Nvidia 1080Ti listed for $300. I contacted them and we set up a time to meet. I get there at the agreed time and then had to wait around 20 minutes for them to show up.

Seller claimed they had upgraded to 2080Ti cards and was just wanting to get rid of his old card.

So I buy the card and get it home and find out it doesn't work... GRRRRR. Seller said it was still under warranty but I decided to contact them anyway.. of course all I get is crickets. Stupid seller.

So I go on the EVGA website and the card has never been registered so I register it and it really is still under warranty. So I set up an RMA and send it off to EVGA.
They send me a "refurb" RTX2080 which really looks like a brand new card just without the accessories or external box sleeve.

So, even though the seller was kind of a jerk it ended up fine in the end and I have been using my shiny new video card for the past few months without any problems.

Even sold my 1070 that was in my kid's machine for about the same price.. minus ebay fees and shipping and then moved my 1070Ti to his computer.. (I originally bought those cards when the mining craze crashed so I got them for really good deals).

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 53 of 934, by cyclone3d

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Caluser2000 wrote on 2020-06-11, 19:42:
imi wrote on 2020-06-11, 17:11:
Intel486dx33 wrote on 2020-06-11, 17:09:

This hobby should be for electrical engineers who know how to use electrical diagnostic tools and know how to repair electrical components.

nah, this hobby should be for everyone to have fun :3

wheter it be playing old games or just tinkering with hardware.

Exactly and some of hobbyists seem to know a damn sight more than some of those so called IT guys from the '90s.

I completely agree though I am both.

But I have been working on / building computers since I was 12 so there is that.

Back then my Dad even bought me a multimeter kit from one of the local electronics stores that I had to put together and do the soldering myself. My Dad still has it as a backup.

I must have used low-end soldering equipment for 25+ years before I finally decided to purchase a soldering station with a hot air solder gun and then an antique desoldering station. Life is so much easier now when working on electronics.

All I had when I was growing up was a plain old non-adjustable 30w iron and a plunger type solder sucker. I did dig a higher power solder gun out of a dumpster once. Bakelite casing was cracked and you could get shocked by the coil if you touched it but it worked and helped a lot with soldering stuff that was attached to a ground plane.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 54 of 934, by Miphee

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cyclone3d wrote on 2020-06-11, 18:50:

That reminds me.. I need to order some more rolls of bubble-wrap.

That's the only way! Unfortunately I deal with 10-20 different sellers each month and some of them get sloppy with the packaging.
I try warning them but sometimes even my regulars cheap out on the bubble wrap.
Also USPS must be way better than the post-commie Hungarian post with it's minimal wage workers.

Reply 55 of 934, by schmatzler

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The one thing that always jucks me up is a machine coming from a heavy smoker and - of course - that was not mentioned in the listing.

Getting the smell out of a ThinkPad keyboard is almost impossible. I mostly throw those away and order a replacement one.
I wish people would just be honest and tell me beforehand, but I guess secretly they know that their addiction would drive down the price.

I prefer bug carcasses over the smell and stickyness of nicotine any day.

Reply 56 of 934, by Errius

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Haha, I got my first multimeter out of a trashpile too. I was about 15 at the time. It was a heavy black plastic thing that must have been made in the 50s or 60s. I stupidly threw it away when it stopped working.

Protagonist: Robot

Reply 57 of 934, by red_avatar

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Oh lord I have so many gripes when it comes to retro stuff being sold at ridiculous prices:

- they use pictures from another auction and you end up with a much worse looking item (especially for yellowed parts this sucks)

- same as above but you end up with a different variant of the hardware (for example, a Sound Blaster with missing OPL3 chips - happened to me twice, seller admitted to not having the OPL3 version)

- as said in the post above, smokers ... even if you get it clean, the smell ... dear lord. It's worse if the item you bought has a fan because you'll get that tobacco smell for months even after you've cleaned it

- "tested working" when it's clearly a lie.

I bought a "tested working) Geforce 4 Ti 4600 - these are NOT cheap (easily €150+) and it immediately showed artifacts. Replacing the fan didn't fix it so clearly the previous owner had let it overheat. Even during boot up the BIOS text had letters corrupted so this was a pretty big failure - when I contacted the seller, they were getting bitchy, saying my system was incompatible (yeah right) and after a lot of trouble they only wanted to refund the card itself, but I had to mail it back which meant I'd be out €50. I had to threaten with Paypal before he just refunded it completely and I didn't have to mail it back.

- How about photoshopped pictures? I bought a keyboard that looked spotless on the image minus a tiny bit of damage. I received it and it was really yellowed. The damage was there so it was not a swapped picture but the seller clearly screwed with the white balance to get it to look new. Worst thing is, you can't even get your money back because it's just cosmetic and not really damage ...

- Hardware that needs specific cables or other accessories to work but the seller puts in some random crap and calls it complete. I had this problem with a hand scanner: it needs a PCI board and the seller had put in some crappy ethernet PCI card instead. Without the card, the scanner is useless! Or how a bout a special power supply needed and they add just any random power supply they have lying around hoping you wouldn't notice it doesn't fit. I had this happen with the MT-32 which uses a very special adapter.

- Mislabelling goods to rarer more expensive versions. Happens a lot for Sound Blaster cards, graphics cards, keyboards, etc. You'll see people selling IBM membrane keyboards as mechanical keyboards for example.

Basically, if you're not careful you get scammed sideways and with the prices they ask for this hardware, it's an expensive mistake if you do get scammed ...

Retro game fanatic.
IBM PS1 386SX25 - 4MB
IBM Aptiva 486SX33 - 8MB - 2GB CF - SB16
IBM PC350 P233MMX - 64MB - 32GB SSD - AWE64 - Voodoo2
PIII600 - 320MB - 480GB SSD - SB Live! - GF4 Ti 4200
i5-2500k - 3GB - SB Audigy 2 - HD 4870

Reply 58 of 934, by cyclone3d

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red_avatar wrote on 2020-06-11, 20:46:

Oh lord I have so many gripes when it comes to retro stuff being sold at ridiculous prices:

- Mislabelling goods to rarer more expensive versions. Happens a lot for Sound Blaster cards, graphics cards, keyboards, etc. You'll see people selling IBM membrane keyboards as mechanical keyboards for example.

Basically, if you're not careful you get scammed sideways and with the prices they ask for this hardware, it's an expensive mistake if you do get scammed ...

The thing about the IBM keyboards is that the Model M is a membrane keyboard in the first place. Then you have the later Model M keyboards that were made by Lexmark. Not sure if they came in both clicky and non-clicky variants, but the one I have that I bought is a non-clicky model. Bought it from a seller that basically had a picture of a bunch of stuff in their garage or whatever and I recognized the shape of the Model M just by seeing the side of the keyboard.

Was really surprised when I got it that it was a non-clicky keyboard as I had been unaware that they were made that way at some point.

Thought I was going to have a spare for my 1989 IBM Model M that I pulled out of a dumpster about 25 or so years ago.

At least both the mini-tower AT case computers I purchased as well from that seller were pretty nice.... basically a really good score on those.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 59 of 934, by Katmai500

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I don't love the crazy pricing for retro items, but it does make for an extra special day when I score a part I've been searching for at a great price. It adds to the thrill of the hunt for me.