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Reply 260 of 678, by cyclone3d

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BitWrangler wrote on 2021-12-07, 15:06:

""Currently, you can find a 128MB PC800 for under $600 if you shop around, but if you compare this to $100 you can pick up a generic 128MB PC133 module for, that's still quite pricey. ""

https://www.anandtech.com/show/545/10

Yeah, I forgot how pricey RDRAM was when it came out.... now it goes for almost nothing... hah.

I remember working on an early Pentium IV system that had RDRAM. Even back then it was as slow as molasses.

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Reply 262 of 678, by cyclone3d

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The Serpent Rider wrote on 2021-12-07, 17:23:

now it goes for almost nothing... hah.

Depends which modules.

Only the 512MB and especially the 1GB modules can be "pricey" Nothing compared to what they originally cost though.. especially when you take inflation into account.

I've acquired more RDRAM modules than I could ever use, most of them either came in scrap lots or in RAM lots.

Also have both versions of the RDRAM to SDRAM ASUS adapters.

Plan on building a PIV and a PIII RDRAM system. Then I will probably save a few spare sticks and sell the rest.

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 263 of 678, by libby

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Claris wrote on 2021-12-06, 06:06:

At least your honest.

Well, exactly.

It's not really "wrong" to buy things to make a profit on, any more than to buy them to put in a display case or hoard in a collection never to be seen by anyone again.

my own personal view on ebay profiteering is twofold: "If I don't buy it to make a few bucks on, someone else will", and "putting the stuff on ebay puts it on the market where people have access to it and can choose to buy it at the going market rate if they wish". I don't concern myself with what people do with stuff they buy off me - if someone buys a GUS or V5 5500 off me and puts it in a display case, so be it. or if they buy a full pentium system off me for $150 and sell it to some whale for $700, good for them

out of my inventory, probably 2% of it is my actual collection, the rest I have little attachment to and it goes on ebay as I feel like it, within the bounds of what I reasonably can before the CRA come for their pound of flesh. usually I prefer to sell stuff to locals or fellow canadians at a cash discount that matches roughly what the ebay fees and income tax would be in my income bracket.

Reply 264 of 678, by feipoa

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libby wrote on 2021-12-11, 23:30:

it goes on ebay as I feel like it, within the bounds of what I reasonably can before the CRA come for their pound of flesh. usually I prefer to sell stuff to locals or fellow

You must have thousands of items. How are you determining your cost basis for the CRA? Surely you have several items with an unknown basis. Seems like the extent of your collection is beyond what would normally be considered the selling of household items.

I've thought a lot over the past 5 years about what to do with my vintage computer items, either when still living or after death. With time has come an evolution in personal values and I feel the cultivation of generosity to be one of the highest moral achievements. I think selling the lot for profit risks the culmination of greed. Therefore, if at the time of liquidation, I am in a situation whereby the family has enough to get by comfortably, I've come to the conclusion that all proceeds should go to charity, or to some other cause that directly or indirectly cultivates generosity. To further distance myself from any possible feelings of greed, I was thinking to list all items in open auctions rather than setting fixed prices.

I am nowhere near the point of liquidation, as I still find it too much fun to tinker with this rubbish, but if the onset of rapidly failing health does arise, I've pitched the idea to my wife and hopefully she will find a way to follow through. To me, this is a positive means to turn, what can sometimes be viewed as an addictive, obsessive, and greed supporting activity, into generous good, not just for the benefactor, but for oneself. There's also the added side-effect of it being a tax write-off, but I wouldn't let that be your driving force. Another idea, which would help share the feeling of generosity, would be to let the buyer choose their charity.

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Reply 265 of 678, by zyzzle

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libby wrote on 2021-12-11, 23:30:
Well, exactly. […]
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Claris wrote on 2021-12-06, 06:06:

At least your honest.

Well, exactly.

It's not really "wrong" to buy things to make a profit on, any more than to buy them to put in a display case or hoard in a collection never to be seen by anyone again.

my own personal view on ebay profiteering is twofold: "If I don't buy it to make a few bucks on, someone else will", and "putting the stuff on ebay puts it on the market where people have access to it and can choose to buy it at the going market rate if they wish". I don't concern myself with what people do with stuff they buy off me - if someone buys a GUS or V5 5500 off me and puts it in a display case, so be it. or if they buy a full pentium system off me for $150 and sell it to some whale for $700, good for them

The problem with this laissez-faire attitude is that it *actively* destroys hobbyists and all that they stand for. It turns what should be a fun hobby into a game of economics where hoarders like yourself are making the problem worse by not "sharing the love" and stockpile thousands of useable hobbyist items and wait to pounce when the price is right. Those thousands of items in your inventory could all be gotten rid of to hobbyists for "reasonable" prices. Instead, you sit on them hoping to get hundreds of dollars per item, at your whim and caprice.

Those of us who are old enough to remember the active hobbyist days of the '70s and '80s are decreasing. I'd *gladly* give away some of the items I've used over the years to a fellow hobbyist before I'd stoop to cashing-in on the evil Ebay bandwagon. It's about the principle of the thing to me. I've lived the hobbyist life. Anyone who could prove to my satisfaction that they'd give some of my hardware a good future home of productive hobbyist use is worth more than thousands of dollars of "dirty" money from investors or scalpers. Couild I *use* that money? Sure, who couldn't!!?? But, it would give me much more pleasure to sell a V3 3000 for a token amount ($25 or something) or an old complete Pentium system for $100 to someone who would use it and actively contribute to fostering and keeping the hobby alive. Doing this need NOT cost thousands of dollars. I'd like to contribute to that modus operandi, if it's something I can do in some small way to contribute positively to keeping retro computing alive and real. For the "fun" of it , not the obscene profiteering which anything "retro" has become today... for people with too much money and not enough brains who are ruining the hobby...

Reply 267 of 678, by feipoa

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zyzzle wrote on 2021-12-12, 04:29:

"dirty" money from investors or scalpers.

Well said. And best not to become an accomplice by paying top dollar.

Ultimate 486 Benchmark | Ultimate 686 Benchmark | Cyrix 5x86 Enhancements | 486 Overkill Graphics | Worlds Fastest 486

Reply 268 of 678, by libby

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zyzzle wrote on 2021-12-12, 04:29:

The problem with this laissez-faire attitude is that it *actively* destroys hobbyists and all that they stand for. It turns what should be a fun hobby into a game of economics where hoarders like yourself are making the problem worse by not "sharing the love" and stockpile thousands of useable hobbyist items and wait to pounce when the price is right. Those thousands of items in your inventory could all be gotten rid of to hobbyists for "reasonable" prices. Instead, you sit on them hoping to get hundreds of dollars per item, at your whim and caprice.

Those of us who are old enough to remember the active hobbyist days of the '70s and '80s are decreasing. I'd *gladly* give away some of the items I've used over the years to a fellow hobbyist before I'd stoop to cashing-in on the evil Ebay bandwagon. It's about the principle of the thing to me. I've lived the hobbyist life. Anyone who could prove to my satisfaction that they'd give some of my hardware a good future home of productive hobbyist use is worth more than thousands of dollars of "dirty" money from investors or scalpers. Couild I *use* that money? Sure, who couldn't!!?? But, it would give me much more pleasure to sell a V3 3000 for a token amount ($25 or something) or an old complete Pentium system for $100 to someone who would use it and actively contribute to fostering and keeping the hobby alive. Doing this need NOT cost thousands of dollars. I'd like to contribute to that modus operandi, if it's something I can do in some small way to contribute positively to keeping retro computing alive and real. For the "fun" of it , not the obscene profiteering which anything "retro" has become today... for people with too much money and not enough brains who are ruining the hobby...

I'll keep it brief, but

1) almost no PC/mac stuff is so rare that it's unobtainable without spending huge amounts of money, and the things that are can be substituted, usually
2) a lot of the stuff I have was obtained from e-waste, surplus or from people who were going to curb it - so had I not obtained it, it would likely be in landfill or otherwise destroyed by now
3) noone is entitled to something for nothing or for a particular price, in the same way that I don't consider myself entitled to a profit. I generally pass up on buying items from hobbyists like you who sell things far below market rate with your intent, out of politeness. but if it's sitting at a thrift store, sitting with a way underpriced BIN on ebay, sitting in an e-waste gaylord, or advertised on facebook marketplace, welp

this being said, the hobby is sometimes expensive, we all have bills to pay, such is the way of things.

Reply 269 of 678, by Nexxen

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It's the rule of money.
Money is a means to an end. And the ends aren't always kind.
We can't do anything about it.

So is life, and it sucks big time.

I don't collect retro stuff, I don't have that economical power. I'm just a hobbyist.
I collect/ed other things. I know that some people just keep a stash of some rare stuff and slowly put them out on the market whenever they feel like to cash as much as they can. And they know it's hurting hobbyists and collectors. But, do collectors have a right that can be protected? Nope. Historical and cultural interests do.
Some rare coins have become investment field for big funds (gold coins mostly). What can you do? Nothing.

It really does suck. A lot.

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Reply 270 of 678, by Plasma

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zyzzle wrote on 2021-12-12, 04:29:
libby wrote on 2021-12-11, 23:30:
Well, exactly. […]
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Claris wrote on 2021-12-06, 06:06:

At least your honest.

Well, exactly.

It's not really "wrong" to buy things to make a profit on, any more than to buy them to put in a display case or hoard in a collection never to be seen by anyone again.

my own personal view on ebay profiteering is twofold: "If I don't buy it to make a few bucks on, someone else will", and "putting the stuff on ebay puts it on the market where people have access to it and can choose to buy it at the going market rate if they wish". I don't concern myself with what people do with stuff they buy off me - if someone buys a GUS or V5 5500 off me and puts it in a display case, so be it. or if they buy a full pentium system off me for $150 and sell it to some whale for $700, good for them

The problem with this laissez-faire attitude is that it *actively* destroys hobbyists and all that they stand for. It turns what should be a fun hobby into a game of economics where hoarders like yourself are making the problem worse by not "sharing the love" and stockpile thousands of useable hobbyist items and wait to pounce when the price is right. Those thousands of items in your inventory could all be gotten rid of to hobbyists for "reasonable" prices. Instead, you sit on them hoping to get hundreds of dollars per item, at your whim and caprice.

Those of us who are old enough to remember the active hobbyist days of the '70s and '80s are decreasing. I'd *gladly* give away some of the items I've used over the years to a fellow hobbyist before I'd stoop to cashing-in on the evil Ebay bandwagon. It's about the principle of the thing to me. I've lived the hobbyist life. Anyone who could prove to my satisfaction that they'd give some of my hardware a good future home of productive hobbyist use is worth more than thousands of dollars of "dirty" money from investors or scalpers. Couild I *use* that money? Sure, who couldn't!!?? But, it would give me much more pleasure to sell a V3 3000 for a token amount ($25 or something) or an old complete Pentium system for $100 to someone who would use it and actively contribute to fostering and keeping the hobby alive. Doing this need NOT cost thousands of dollars. I'd like to contribute to that modus operandi, if it's something I can do in some small way to contribute positively to keeping retro computing alive and real. For the "fun" of it , not the obscene profiteering which anything "retro" has become today... for people with too much money and not enough brains who are ruining the hobby...

If you had an Apple-1, would you sell it to me for $20? It's just an old computer that can't do very much, so I think that's a reasonable price.

Reply 271 of 678, by BitWrangler

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IMO everything needs to be $20 a "piece" (board/CPU/set of RAM) right now and $30 by the end of next year.... gold prices look set for a breakout upwards... and also we're below the 1980 high with inflation adjusted dollars and inflation is revving back up. Gold fever will set in and we'll have a hard time keeping cheaper/older parts out of the hands of scrappers unless we're willing to pay more than the value of raw materials in them by enough margin to edge out the scrappers with magical thinking (i.e. one guy said he got a quarter gram out of a card of that same general shape and age, so maybe some of them have a bit more even, and it's okay paying a bit more than spot on 0.25g now, because by the time I process it, it will be worth double.... (and a lot of them don't even account for shipping)) Though I guess gold recovery as a slackly accounted hobby gives you 30 cents back on your entertainment dollar where going to the movies or drinking it would give you zero return.

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 272 of 678, by Joakim

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BitWrangler wrote on 2021-12-12, 15:12:

IMO everything needs to be $20 a "piece" (board/CPU/set of RAM) right now and $30 by the end of next year.... gold prices look set for a breakout upwards... and also we're below the 1980 high with inflation adjusted dollars and inflation is revving back up. Gold fever will set in and we'll have a hard time keeping cheaper/older parts out of the hands of scrappers unless we're willing to pay more than the value of raw materials in them by enough margin to edge out the scrappers with magical thinking (i.e. one guy said he got a quarter gram out of a card of that same general shape and age, so maybe some of them have a bit more even, and it's okay paying a bit more than spot on 0.25g now, because by the time I process it, it will be worth double.... (and a lot of them don't even account for shipping)) Though I guess gold recovery as a slackly accounted hobby gives you 30 cents back on your entertainment dollar where going to the movies or drinking it would give you zero return.

This. Inflation has no morals.

Reply 273 of 678, by libby

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To paraphrase Mark Twain - all it takes to get people to want something is to make it rare.

Fifty years ago, kids put trading/sports cards in their bike spokes and checked the lists with pens. Today trading cards are an entirely speculator driven hobby from bottom to top - foil variants, foil packs preventing resealing, beckett grading, et al. That entire industry revolves around the introduction of artificial scarcity, because old cards became scarce and business oriented collectors and investors moved in.

Trading cards are a fairly monolithic hobby because they serve no practical purpose and they are made of common, nearly worthless materials. They are only driven by speculation and scarcity, little more. They're intended as a marketing tool for sports leagues. They're an effective vehicle for money laundering and wealth transfers. Observe what is happening to the retro boxed console games market now.

Retrocomputing is a much more complex hobby because it has a greater historical impact, was not built around collecting and trading from the start, requires much greater technical understanding and skill to be proficient in, and introducing artificial scarcity into modern computing isn't a viable business model to operate on. NVidia and AMD would much prefer to sell a billion GPUs they make $50 apiece on than 100 million they make $500 on, because it's better for their taxes, keeps more people retained, and keeps more users/companies/VARs tied into their ecosystem with contracts and sponsorships. Computer equipment is made of materials which have an ever-increasing scarcity and raw value. It's unlikely you'll see some grading company putting Gravis cards in lucite, or ebay listings mentioning "foxing around the edges" of Voodoo 2s.

As hobbies go there's tons of valid reasons for everyone involved to participate in this hobby, and that's why I say there's no "right" way to go about it. Some people care more about speculation, some care about preservation, some care about access. All of these tie into one another. Speculation drives interest which keeps things out of landfill or from being melted down for component metals. How many Voodoo 5 5500s or GUS cards or whatever holy grail which are available in the market to purchase, are only available because someone who had one was made aware it was desirable, so sold it instead of tossing it out? What's better, more interest and more available hardware that's more expensive, or less interest and hardware that's cheaper, but more scarce? The latter cannot math out - if it's scarce and sought after, it will rise in market value and drive speculation. This is just basic economics. One can reminisce over the 70s-80s hobbyist days all they like, but during that time the hobby was small and the vast majority of old equipment was being literally shredded or sent to landfill by companies as there was low demand for it.

As there is no "right" way to go about things, there's also no "wrong". If the ebay prices are too high, don't pay them. Build your own Snark Barkers or other replica cards and homebrew systems. Emulate. Do what thou wilt. But grumbling over the prices or people carving out an income or operating a business surrounding the hobby and equipment, won't do a thing to change it. Like the computing industry, things change and grow in the hobby surrounding it. It's called a "hobby industry" now, and that's a genie you can't put back in the metaphorical bottle.

- If making money is your goal, you win because the industry has shifted in a way that makes doing so viable, your collection is now worth more money, even if YOU don't choose to profit from it.
- If preservation is your goal, less equipment and "lost treasures" end up in landfill, so you win even if YOU aren't getting to be the preservationist.
- If getting to play with the equipment is your goal, more of it ends up at meets and shows for you to play with as a result of this, and more gets documented and emulated, so you win even if YOU don't get to have the actual computer in your house.
- And if introducing new people to computing or spawning a new generation of programmers/engineers/whatever is your goal, all of the above accomplish this, so you win unless YOU don't like that.

No matter how you spin it, you win unless you wanted things to stay the way they were back in the day where YOU got to have all the toys, and everything involving computing was gatekept as arcane wizardry that laypeople could naught comprehend.

The hobby and industry are infinitely more accessible today than they were 20-30 years ago, the only thing that's declined along the way is insular hobby communities and groups. And those do have a charm and feel to them which I can understand, but the entire Internet is the same way. 30 years ago the Internet was only accessible to people in select western countries, was populated by about 95% men, who were by and large mostly white. Today that is not the case. This hobby also had the same problem, and its growth changes that. This is nothing but a good thing, and if speculation helps drive that change, so be it.

Reply 274 of 678, by TheMobRules

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The problem with the reasoning above is that it treats all old hardware as if it had the same level of scarcity, and for the same reasons. I fully understand why actually rare stuff like 3D Blaster VLB or GUS cards go for really high prices, those items are truly scarce and desirable for collectors despite their limited usefulness, which makes the prices ramp up to insane levels. That's the way it is and it has to be accepted, only a select few will be able to have these, kind of like a Ferrari 250 GTO or something like that.

However, someone hoarding thousands of generic, bottom of the barrel items like Trident VGAs or ISA I/O cards, and then attempting to sell them for around $50 each, is effectively killing the hobby. What makes these items interesting to hobbyists in the first place is that they're mostly unwanted by collectors and hold no historical interest, so it should be a cheap way to tinker with old stuff. However in the last few years someone decided that pretty much every computer part that is somewhat "old" must command a premium price. Sure, interesting stuff still sells between a reduced amount of people, but with these "low-end" items you can just see them getting re-listed over and over as they keep rotting in a warehouse. Right now I'm looking at an eBay listing of a run of the mill 486 motherboard which has all the keyboard connector area covered in blue battery corrosion. It could be a nice project for someone who has the knowledge to repair it, but they want $150 for it!!! And I think I saw this same board like 2 years ago, it was going for around $100... I honestly don't understand the reasoning behind this, but this behavior is getting more and more common.

To be honest, at this point I have pretty much everything I want and I enjoy it, it's not a lot but I have more than enough variety for the eras of computing I'm interested in, so I only buy occasionally. Though I feel bad about tinkerers who want to get into it right now, when even PC Chips garbage is considered "premium"... so for their sake I hope the bubble bursts sooner than later. For me a lot of the fun with this hobby had to do with being able to build machines for a few bucks that would have been insanely expensive back then... so I don't think I would have even gotten into it with the current prices.

Reply 275 of 678, by libby

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The above mentioned warehousing behavior has been a thing on eBay since the early 2000s. Those same companies list the same items across many marketplaces. Their business model has always been to hoard tens or hundreds of thousands of items in vast football field sized warehouses and keep the inventory for sale online. People like myself who flip a few things and sell here and there don't base our prices on theirs, we base prices on what things have actually *sold* for and we usually don't have any desire to hoard things for decades seeking returns. If I wanted to do that, I'd invest in gold or stocks or real estate or other things which deliver consistent returns over such periods.

You can blame ebay removing the insertion fee for listings for the increase you're observing, as the only cost involved to hoard such items and relist them indefinitely is space. The philosophy of "sooner or later someone will want this specific item and pay the big bucks for it" is a nonviable business model unless your listing costs and space costs are zero or near zero. And ebay did this in response to amazon's business model.

However, if I wanted to go buy a Trident VGA or ISA I/O card, I can still go find one just about anywhere for ten bucks, even ebay. And I'd gladly sell someone one for around that price too, as sure I have a couple dozen or so. Those people don't kill the market. They may influence prices slightly higher, but there's more than enough people who value their space or inventory reduction over pie in the sky returns potential, to fulfill hobby demand.

If I find a 486 motherboard in e-waste or whatever and pay around 3 bucks for it, test it, and it works, and I decide I don't need it and want to sell it, I base the price on my understanding of the hobby and marketplace. Those giant warehousing companies don't understand the hobby market, they understand the brokerage and industrial markets, where some company who has a building-sized book binding machine based around a PLC on a 486 motherboard needs that exact motherboard to replace theirs that failed, and will pay $800 for it to have it DHL overnighted to their door.

But there are other considerations and tie-ins which drive demand for systems and parts. An example is film and television production. One person I know rents old computers to production companies as props, he rented a bunch of Toshiba Pentium laptops to one which needed a half dozen or so of them, for something like $50 a day each, I assume for a television show set in the mid-1990s. Those are reasons why some companies and people hoard equipment like this as well, which weren't a thing in the past. How much do you think the producers of "Stranger Things" or "Agents of SHIELD" paid some prop company for computers and walkie-talkies from the 1980s? The latter show's final season had several episodes set around a mid-1980s computer store.

This is why I say this hobby and industry are very complex, and there are far more reasons than just our individual ones which drive demand or price some people out. Some people will be priced out as the industry changes and more people enter for different, new reasons that didn't exist even ten years ago.

Reply 276 of 678, by zyzzle

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Plasma wrote on 2021-12-12, 09:48:

If you had an Apple-1, would you sell it to me for $20? It's just an old computer that can't do very much, so I think that's a reasonable price.

Well, no, I wouldn't sell an Apple I, because I'd still be *using* an Apple I if I owned it . Indeed, I still use an original ROM 0 Apple II purchased new in 1977. It's still going strong after almost 45 years. I'd never sell it, because I still get lots of use out of it as a hobbyist. The thought of selling it for any price, especially an egregiously inflated price, has never even occurred to me. It's got 45 years of patina on it, and it's never going into some scalper's / investor's hands while I'm alive.

As to "donating" everything to a charity out of generosity, this isn't the right thing to do, either. Think about what a charity will do with your "valuable" retro items. Either they'll be thrown away (they won't realize that they have value, they'll be worthless "old junk" to the charity), or the charity would just turn around and try to sell everything on Ebay for the highest profit imagineable. The last thing the charity is going to do is to expend the effort to get your hobbyist items into the hands of like-minded hobbyists who will actually use them and appreciate them for their intrinsic value, and not just for dollar signs.

As pointed out, the issue is extradordinarily complex, and it is just going to get worse and worse over time. Real or "perceived" rarity do NOT go hand in hand, and it is sad that false rarity has done so much to foster out-of-control greed. It's become a real shit show and it really does disgust me, who has been a hobbyist since the good old days of the early 1970s and the Intel 4004, the nixie-tube calulators, and the Altair hobbyist kit. I haven't "hoarded", I've slowly acquired the stuff that I have -- and you'd better believe I still use and enjoy it, and shall for as long as I'm physically capable of typing!

Reply 277 of 678, by BitWrangler

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Riddle me this though, when I first came onto Vogons, we were in the typical "one paycheck ahead of the poorhouse" rut, managing, living modestly. However, a number of things have come together over last few years, and we're not rich yet, but actually have disposable income now, credit cards all paid off, lots to be thankful for... So when I want to buy a particular lump of hardware, am I screwing the dudes with limited funds if I snatch up the bargains,? Or am I maintaining downward price pressure that helps us all by keeping it from getting out of hand? OR should I be letting the bargains go and aiming for the nicely shined up and guaranteed working stuff at the larger premium? Because hey I can afford it and it's less messing around.... but I'm applying upward price pressure and may be screwing everyone that way.

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 278 of 678, by libby

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I try to balance things between it being a hobby and an investment/bonus income. I'm usually generous selling things to locals and people in my communities way below average ebay rates, unless something is GUS (as an example) level hot/rare or I paid a higher price for it to begin with.

At the end of the day there is tons and tons of this stuff still sitting in basements and garages and lockers being unearthed. A kid who used to sell me stuff he found at the waste transfer station, gave me a random 486 desktop missing the cover which had two perfect condition GUS MAX 2.1 cards in it. There are always spectacular deals if people want to spend the time and effort hunting them. I show people how to find them on discords and in spaces I inhabit, or point them out if they're things that are too far away or would be prohibitive to get shipped to me. But I'm generally ruthless about acquiring as much as possible when I have local access to sources that are cheap, or spot an ebay listing for a GUS for $10 buy now on my feeds, because over time I've learned how quickly sources can go bad or dry up. I can't assume to know the motivations of other local people who may purchase things that I do not, and don't have time to "interview" them. I've been doing this for about 20 years now, and have a somewhat unique memory that lets me very rapidly pick out and identify things of cash or practical value from photos or while digging through equipment, so may as well use that talent for some personal gain.

Everyone's allowed to have their own set of principles to guide them in how they conduct themselves, in my opinion. It does suck that prices of this equipment have steadily risen over time, but it also sucks that inflation has caused the value of a dollar to decrease over that time.

It sucks that new people entering the hobby can't easily build or buy a whole working retro PC setup for 50 bucks, and it's admirable for old guard folks to be willing to contribute gear to such folks free or at low cost. However, it can be said that a lot of young people today are struggling to pay their bills or rent, and I would challenge those old guard folks who decry reselling as increasing prices in the hobby: if you aren't willing to share or rent an unused or underused portion of your home to such a person at well below market rental rates, then you probably don't have much of an argument. This hobby is a luxury, affordable housing is a necessity. It isn't morally wrong to speculate or make a reasonable profit as a participant in this hobby, because at the end of the day it is a luxury.

When doing so is intentionally impeding the access of the whole community to something, ie buying up every last GUS posted anywhere to try monopolize the supply then listing them all for $1000, that's scalping and is different. But I don't think anyone here is defending that sort of egregious behavior, and the giant inventory companies and vast majority of resellers and speculators aren't doing that either.

Reply 279 of 678, by feipoa

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zyzzle wrote on 2021-12-14, 03:22:

As to "donating" everything to a charity out of generosity, this isn't the right thing to do, either. Think about what a charity will do with your "valuable" retro items. Either they'll be thrown away (they won't realize that they have value, they'll be worthless "old junk" to the charity), or the charity would just turn around and try to sell everything on Ebay for the highest profit imagineable. The last thing the charity is going to do is to expend the effort to get your hobbyist items into the hands of like-minded hobbyists who will actually use them and appreciate them for their intrinsic value, and not just for dollar signs.

feipoa wrote on 2021-12-12, 03:09:

I've thought a lot over the past 5 years about what to do with my vintage computer items, either when still living or after death. With time has come an evolution in personal values and I feel the cultivation of generosity to be one of the highest moral achievements. I think selling the lot for profit risks the culmination of greed. Therefore, if at the time of liquidation, I am in a situation whereby the family has enough to get by comfortably, I've come to the conclusion that all proceeds should go to charity, or to some other cause that directly or indirectly cultivates generosity. To further distance myself from any possible feelings of greed, I was thinking to list all items in open auctions rather than setting fixed prices.

I am nowhere near the point of liquidation, as I still find it too much fun to tinker with this rubbish, but if the onset of rapidly failing health does arise, I've pitched the idea to my wife and hopefully she will find a way to follow through. To me, this is a positive means to turn, what can sometimes be viewed as an addictive, obsessive, and greed supporting activity, into generous good, not just for the benefactor, but for oneself. There's also the added side-effect of it being a tax write-off, but I wouldn't let that be your driving force. Another idea, which would help share the feeling of generosity, would be to let the buyer choose their charity.

zyzzle, if your comment was directed towards my charity plan, then either you mis-intepretted my writings, or I was not clear enough. I've bolded the term proceeds in my response. The plan is not to donate the physical items in the collection, but to sell them individually at open auction and donate the cash proceeds to a charity. I agree that donating the physical hardware would be foolish and irresponsible. If I'm already dead before liquidation, it will be difficult for my wife to list them, thus I've given her the e-mail of a place which can sell them via consignment. Alternately, if one of my kids takes interest, and are of the age of majority, perhaps he/she/they can figure out how to list them on eBay or wherever.

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