VOGONS


Reply 20 of 37, by Shreddoc

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We can all jealously look back a mere 10-15 years ago, to when all this stuff was able to be found for very low cost. I'm in a small city in a remote country, and even here, this is how I would describe the computer area of my local dump/thrift store circa-2010 :

  • An average 25ft x 25ft room.
  • Old boxen ranging from the 80's, 90's and early 00's stacked in various places, including all the good branded stuff, for maybe $20ea.
  • A reasonable chance of dirty old Model M or similar keyboards just lying amongst random crap, for $1. I came away with 3 for $3, once.
  • 20+ various CRT monitors ranging from 14" to 19/20.

Contrast to today:

  • A few part-aisles of crap
  • Mostly boxes of cables
  • Maybe 5 terrible part-systems of ~10yo crap
  • A dozen rubbish discarded LCDs
  • Rubber dome keyboards - as many as you like! - for $2ea, double the price you'd have paid for a dirty Model M 10 years ago.

Reply 21 of 37, by Horun

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chublord wrote on 2021-08-26, 15:48:

Thanks for the replies. I knew "reasonable" means different things to different people (and different places), but it sounds like $75 for a complete tested machine may not be out of line...especially if it has some unique components.

Where I used to live there was a yearly garage sale at the local high school where there would be piles of computers for almost free. I miss that!

I have heard about a big local 'swap meet' (TRW Swap Meet) that supposedly is a decent place to find old equipment, but haven't tried it yet.

You live in Cali and I live just north, both states have rules where they are supposed to destroy+recycle all old computers when thrown out/donated so the prices are much higher because the percentage of those making it to a thrift store are fewer.
$75 for a working 486 thru P4 is a good price on our west coast considering if you bought thru Ebay or other online you have to pay shipping.

Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor.

Reply 22 of 37, by chublord

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I found this little guy on Craigslist. Can't tell what motherboard or processor is in there, any ideas? Price is right, $35.

00f0f_5WxohSZlbVHz_0t20CI_1200x900.jpg

IBM Valuepoint 486 DX4-100, Opti 802G, 50 MHz FSB, Voodoo1+S3 864, Quantum Fireball EX 4.0 GB, Seagate Medalist 1.6 GB, 128 MB FPM, 256k L2

Reply 23 of 37, by darry

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chublord wrote on 2021-08-27, 22:22:
I found this little guy on Craigslist. Can't tell what motherboard or processor is in there, any ideas? Price is right, $35. […]
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I found this little guy on Craigslist. Can't tell what motherboard or processor is in there, any ideas? Price is right, $35.

00f0f_5WxohSZlbVHz_0t20CI_1200x900.jpg

Looks like it might be an ECS P6VEM3 motherboard .

See https://www.ecs.com.tw/cn/Product/Motherboard/P6VEM3/gallery

Reply 24 of 37, by chublord

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Horun wrote on 2021-08-27, 01:15:
chublord wrote on 2021-08-26, 15:48:

Thanks for the replies. I knew "reasonable" means different things to different people (and different places), but it sounds like $75 for a complete tested machine may not be out of line...especially if it has some unique components.

Where I used to live there was a yearly garage sale at the local high school where there would be piles of computers for almost free. I miss that!

I have heard about a big local 'swap meet' (TRW Swap Meet) that supposedly is a decent place to find old equipment, but haven't tried it yet.

You live in Cali and I live just north, both states have rules where they are supposed to destroy+recycle all old computers when thrown out/donated so the prices are much higher because the percentage of those making it to a thrift store are fewer.
$75 for a working 486 thru P4 is a good price on our west coast considering if you bought thru Ebay or other online you have to pay shipping.

Thanks for the tip. Everything is more expensive on the west coast, it seems 🙁

IBM Valuepoint 486 DX4-100, Opti 802G, 50 MHz FSB, Voodoo1+S3 864, Quantum Fireball EX 4.0 GB, Seagate Medalist 1.6 GB, 128 MB FPM, 256k L2

Reply 25 of 37, by mtgmackid

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I'm also in California (near San Jose), and I've generally never paid more than $30-40 per unit for any of my old PC stuff from an ewaste source, so I wouldn't pay the $75. I can't pm you but if you're anywhere near the East Bay I could invite you to the places where I go.

One place that sells stuff for $40 per pc generally has a nice stock of Socket 7 systems (many in AT cases), a few 486s, many Slot 1 systems, etc. just to give you an idea.

Reply 26 of 37, by BitWrangler

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wat, now ur e-wastes are by invitation, is it black tie or will they let us scrubs in business casual in by the side door? j/k 🤣

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 28 of 37, by Jed118

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Reasonable is what someone is willing to pay.

The best part is, what may not be reasonable today, will become so eventually. Every minute, one more vintage system is scrapped, not even parted out. The late 90s cheapo Pentium MMX systems are now becoming scarce, and the kiddos that had them are now of disposable income age. Why this surprises anyone is beyond me - a collective, generational memory awakens, and what was lead is now gold. It's always been like this, and will be so.

The worst thing is to sit on stuff you don't need. Someone out there needs it! Give it a second life 😁 I love rebuilding crap I find/buy/obtain and moving it on, instead of stockpiling it en masse.

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What's for sale? my eBay!

Reply 29 of 37, by mtgmackid

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Joakim wrote on 2021-08-28, 05:37:

Oh you have to say the passphrase: "640K software is all the memory anybody would ever need on a computer." And the inner sanctum opens up.

Hey, stop blowing my secrets!

But in all seriousness, I do think being in CA means there's more supply than anything, so I would still hold out for a better deal.

Reply 30 of 37, by dormcat

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mtgmackid wrote on 2021-08-28, 06:12:

But in all seriousness, I do think being in CA means there's more supply than anything, so I would still hold out for a better deal.

San Jose area is THE Silicon Valley after all. 😉

On the other hand, being a tech-savvy location does not always mean ample supply. Here in Taiwan, where most MB from 1970's to early 2000's were made, transactions of used computer parts are limited to personal sellers on auction sites and e-waste centers. There's no place like Salvation Army or Free Geek, and I know only two physical stores that buy/sell used computers and parts in this metropolis of 6M population.

Meanwhile, on the southern end of this island:
https://news.tvbs.com.tw/life/1499902
An "ancient" cyber cafe attracted news reporters and check-in selfie takers with out-of-order computers and CRT monitors this April. I wonder if the owner is willing to sell some of them.

Reply 31 of 37, by Warlord

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Don't waste money on Junk. If your going to buy old hardware or a complete system invest in something good or rare for good reason or build your own out of quality or rare parts. Somtimes theres more of a reason why old computers end up in ewaste or places like this other than obsolesce becasue they are actually bottom tier hardware ewaste.

Most of the time when I am scoping out old computers, the thing I have in my mind is the value of the case, becasue most of the time you open it up it is the cheapest parts inside. So you need to ask yourself is the case and the PSU, and maybe a CD drive or floppy I can salvage from this shit pile worth 75.00 answer is generally no unless its just amazing rare find. If It actually has a good mobo inside from some kinda reputable manufacturer and is a late revision that has good upgrade support than its worth 75.00 if the case is decent. Otherwise no, If its just your run of the mill bottom tier consumer grade economy value rig its junk.

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Reply 32 of 37, by Tetrium

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dionb wrote on 2021-08-26, 10:59:
As with everything, there's a tradeoff between price, selectivity and convenience, and location makes a lot of difference. […]
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As with everything, there's a tradeoff between price, selectivity and convenience, and location makes a lot of difference.

If you live in an upmarket neighbourhood, chances are computers are replaced regularly and when that happens, they go straight to the scrapyard, which may not be helpful in letting you get hold of them. Further down the food chain things are different, people on low income hold onto computers longer and tend to be less neat about how they dispose of them. You get a whole ecosystem of people who scavenge junk metal left out on the street. If you can tap into that, you can get very interesting stuff very cheaply - but it will involve getting some very shady characters beer.

I live in a (by Dutch standards) rough neighbourhood with that sort of stuff going on. Since I've gotten involved in a community gardening project I'm actually talking to my neighbours a lot more. I help dig ditches (most people gardening are small and frequently elderly or disabled females, I'm a large generally healthy male), they appreciate it and tip me on old hardware. Not actually turned up anything really interesting yet (best so far was some late Philips low-end CRTs in decent condition), but sooner or later it will. Of course no guarantees on exactly *what* it will turn up though.

If you want something very specific and you want it now, you'd better have a fat wallet.

Scavenging on the streets is actually how it all began for me. And it 'kinda' got out of hand 🤣 but it was quite the adventure. Could write a book about it if only I hadn't forgotten most of the details by now.

Still, stuff can be gotten from the streets but it's much more uncommon (and it's not like it was common back then. I usually had to cycle approx 50km on average in Amsterdam before I found a single PC which may had already been scavenged with most of the juicy components already taken (especially RAM and HDDs were usually the first to go).

If someone wants to get stuff for cheap these days, it will usually be the stuff that 'nobody' (notice the parenthesis 😜 ) is interested in today. Back then nobody wanted those junk 486s and Pentium AT minitowers.

Being gifted an old PC is something I value if only because chances are relatively good that the components have not been tampered with (along with it being some kind of a time capsule which I already find interesting to experience regardless of how useful the internals end up being for me).

I do notice that even in second hand shops the stock of anything PC related has been dwindling for years now. About 3 weeks aho I visited a local second hand shop and they had virtually nothing related to PC hardware anymore (at best they had old and overpriced flatscreen HD-ready TVs 😒 ).
Still if they do sell an old PC, depending on what I can see is still within the PC case I'd wager something like €15 give or take. Chances are good that even if it does contain an AGP graphics card that it will probably be just another Radeon 9200SE 😜
My willingness to take the gamble will also depend on the PSU (the crappy ones will usually have died by now while the FSP units tend to have preserved the contents inside in a somewhat better shape overall).

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!

Reply 33 of 37, by keenmaster486

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Not sure how it is in Europe but in the United States we have many recycling centers which will usually sell you old PCs for lower end prices if you ask nicely.

World's foremost 486 enjoyer.

Reply 34 of 37, by Tetrium

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dormcat wrote on 2021-08-28, 08:18:
San Jose area is THE Silicon Valley after all. ;-) […]
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mtgmackid wrote on 2021-08-28, 06:12:

But in all seriousness, I do think being in CA means there's more supply than anything, so I would still hold out for a better deal.

San Jose area is THE Silicon Valley after all. 😉

On the other hand, being a tech-savvy location does not always mean ample supply. Here in Taiwan, where most MB from 1970's to early 2000's were made, transactions of used computer parts are limited to personal sellers on auction sites and e-waste centers. There's no place like Salvation Army or Free Geek, and I know only two physical stores that buy/sell used computers and parts in this metropolis of 6M population.

Meanwhile, on the southern end of this island:
https://news.tvbs.com.tw/life/1499902
An "ancient" cyber cafe attracted news reporters and check-in selfie takers with out-of-order computers and CRT monitors this April. I wonder if the owner is willing to sell some of them.

Even though I didn't understand a single word of what was said, that was interesting to watch 😜
Any idea why this women even had such archaic systems in a running commercial setting?

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!

Reply 35 of 37, by dormcat

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Tetrium wrote on 2021-08-31, 16:48:

Even though I didn't understand a single word of what was said, that was interesting to watch 😜
Any idea why this women even had such archaic systems in a running commercial setting?

Here's a rough translation / transcript:


0:00 Narrator: "What kind of store will make you drop a tear of nostalgia? The rusty rolling shutter door slowly rises up......"
(Shutter door rolling)

0:07 Narrator: "It's like traveling 20 years back in time. This cyber cafe still has coin-operated vintage computers with beige-colored speakers, reminding your childhood memories. Yet there's almost no customer."

0:18 Owner: "No customer all day long, up to two weeks. (Sometimes passersby) drop NT$10 (US$0.36 or €0.31) to check email or search something. Can't cover expenses, so I tuned air conditioning off."

0:27 Narrator: "Computers are dusty as no customers in two weeks. Back in its heydays, however, the entire 3-story building had no empty seat. Only one computer is operational now; the rest have 'out-of-order' stickers on them. Our photographer volunteered to give it a try fixing them."
(Clock ticking)

0:49 Narrator: "After checking wires, buttons, and the computer inside out, it just didn't work. The owner refuses to discard those computers of more than two decades old, rather keeps them inside the store as relics."

1:03 Owner: "My brother suggested lending those computers to movie makers as period-correct props (laugh)."

1:09 Young man: "(I visited) twenty years ago when my family had no computer, playing FPS games and such. Sometimes I wonder whether if or how the store is still opened."

1:17 Man with baby: "Back in my junior high days."
1:20 Reporter: "Feeling nostalgic?"
1:22 Man with baby: "Yup, exactly."

1:23 Narrator: "This 'retro' cyber cafe can't compete with modern ones. The storefront is owned by the same owner so there's no rent to pay, however. The owner does consider closing down the cyber cafe and rent it to other business tenants. TVBS News [reporters' names] in Kaohsiung."


So that setting is hardly "commercial."

There is, however, another small and cramped 20+ years old cyber cafe in the same city that has transformed into a daycare and community center: https://youtu.be/nx6ZtjcFcco
The owner granny makes homey snacks; parents are more comfortable to allow their kids staying inside as most old timers are neighbors and know each other well.

The other end of the spectrum is something like this: https://youtu.be/75JHJ45Le0c
Hard to believe they can coexist in the same city (sometimes just a few blocks away), right? 😉

Reply 36 of 37, by chinny22

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Sitting on the bus going down the high street few years back I realised Internet Cafe's had disappeared, No doubt due to smart phones.
Funny thing is last year seemed like they were making a comeback rebranded as esport bars.
I don't really get the demand, fast Internet is common and hardware doesn't become obsolete nearly as quick but the one in Westfield Stratford seemed to be doing good business at least?

Reply 37 of 37, by gerry

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chinny22 wrote on 2021-09-01, 09:34:

Sitting on the bus going down the high street few years back I realised Internet Cafe's had disappeared, No doubt due to smart phones.
Funny thing is last year seemed like they were making a comeback rebranded as esport bars.
I don't really get the demand, fast Internet is common and hardware doesn't become obsolete nearly as quick but the one in Westfield Stratford seemed to be doing good business at least?

it doesn't make sense as 'esports bars' either, maybe at a stretch as a social thing

I occasionally visit the internet cafe in GTA 3 though!