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Are high-end collectors having a genuine premium experience?


Keatah
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Are high-end collectors having a genuine premium experience? What I mean by that is I periodically cruise ebay's 'sold' listings and see some ridiculous prices on things that are of little use to me. While cool and all that, I gotta ask why?

 

I can have what I feel is a premium experience by enjoying things like the Mountain Music System. CFFA3000, coupla nice clean consoles, Novation Apple-Cat II (with all accessories), Grappler and Printer, Hayes Micromodem II. An array of Disk II drives.. All set and ready to run the vast amount of material from ftp.asimov. You get the idea, real practical hardware vs. collector material. To me something like this *IS* the premier interactive experience. It's there. It's in your face. It's working!

 

That as opposed to buying a $5000 item and watching it hang on the wall or sit in a box. If you know what I mean.

 

Seems Apple II was expensive back in the day, and beyond exorbitant now. And it's only getting worse.

 

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And for bonus, conduct all your classic Apple II experiences with genuine Apple-published manuals. They were excellent in the day and still excellent now. A mixture of PDF and original will do nicely thankyouverymuch. kthxbye!

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I shelled out for a nice II+ last summer because I wanted to create a late '70s period rig (I really wanted a regular II, but I know the Plus is as close as I'll ever get!), and there's just something about the keyboard. Love it. I even got a set of the old black wedge Atari Super Pong Pro-Am type paddles for it. Wasn't cheap, but totally worth it for me. All I really want for it now is an Integer ROM firmware card so I don't have to boot a DOS disk to load Integer programs from tape.

I don't know about all that other stuff, but I'm content to mess around with BASIC and cassette tapes and my collection of [mostly copied] disk games. :)

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See? That's a good experience. Enjoying the machine and doing with it what it was meant to do. Recreational programming, now, is where it's at for me.

 

Keep a lookout for the integer cards, sometimes I see them for as low as $79 on ebay. IIRC.

Edited by Keatah
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I shelled out for a nice II+ last summer because I wanted to create a late '70s period rig (I really wanted a regular II, but I know the Plus is as close as I'll ever get!), and there's just something about the keyboard. Love it. I even got a set of the old black wedge Atari Super Pong Pro-Am type paddles for it. Wasn't cheap, but totally worth it for me. All I really want for it now is an Integer ROM firmware card so I don't have to boot a DOS disk to load Integer programs from tape.

 

I don't know about all that other stuff, but I'm content to mess around with BASIC and cassette tapes and my collection of [mostly copied] disk games. :)

And for bonus, conduct all your classic Apple II experiences with genuine Apple-published manuals. They were excellent in the day and still excellent now. A mixture of PDF and original will do nicely thankyouverymuch. kthxbye!

I almost forgot, I do actually have a few of the original manuals. I know I've got five or six of the earlier ones (Integer BASIC, Applesoft, DOS, a few others I'm forgetting), and magazine cases full of manuals for the IIe and IIc (owners manuals, programming manuals, a bunch of others). The IIe and IIc books came with systems I got in rummage sales and thrift shops over the years, and I was lucky enough to find the Integer manual and some of the other earlier ones ('78-'80 printings) at VCF Midwest last fall for what, in my estimation, was astoundingly cheap. A couple bucks apiece, I think...guy had boxes and boxes of manuals and books and magazines for all kinds of different systems, I want to say 5 for $10--regardless, I loaded up! :-D

 

They're great reads. Definitely the best documentation of any "microcomputer" I've used. Tandy actually had really good manuals for their systems, too (oh, Radio Shack...what happened to you?), but nothing tops Apple's.

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I shelled out for a nice II+ last summer because I wanted to create a late '70s period rig (I really wanted a regular II, but I know the Plus is as close as I'll ever get!), and there's just something about the keyboard. Love it. I even got a set of the old black wedge Atari Super Pong Pro-Am type paddles for it. Wasn't cheap, but totally worth it for me. All I really want for it now is an Integer ROM firmware card so I don't have to boot a DOS disk to load Integer programs from tape.

 

I don't know about all that other stuff, but I'm content to mess around with BASIC and cassette tapes and my collection of [mostly copied] disk games. :)

 

Is it the tape experience you want or just to play integer basic games?

 

You can now play all integer basic games from a Prodos hard drive.

 

http://mirrors.apple2.org.za/ftp.apple.asimov.net/images/games/collections/Int.Basic.Pdos8.2mg.zip

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They're great reads. Definitely the best documentation of any "microcomputer" I've used. Tandy actually had really good manuals for their systems, too (oh, Radio Shack...what happened to you?), but nothing tops Apple's.

Actually I learned BASIC from a TRS-80 book. Then I learned hardware and system-level concepts, disk operations, and many other technical things from Apple manuals. You know the books are good if they can teach both a kid AND adult how to program and operate a system!

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Are high-end collectors having a genuine premium experience? What I mean by that is I periodically cruise ebay's 'sold' listings and see some ridiculous prices on things that are of little use to me. While cool and all that, I gotta ask why?

 

I can have what I feel is a premium experience by enjoying things like the Mountain Music System. CFFA3000, coupla nice clean consoles, Novation Apple-Cat II (with all accessories), Grappler and Printer, Hayes Micromodem II. An array of Disk II drives.. All set and ready to run the vast amount of material from ftp.asimov. You get the idea, real practical hardware vs. collector material. To me something like this *IS* the premier interactive experience. It's there. It's in your face. It's working!

 

That as opposed to buying a $5000 item and watching it hang on the wall or sit in a box. If you know what I mean.

 

Seems Apple II was expensive back in the day, and beyond exorbitant now. And it's only getting worse.

For the most part I totally agree with you, 90+% of what I buy I bought to use, there are a couple odd exceptions. Lets start with the exceptions as there are only a couple - I really like the 'copy cards' so I have been tracking those down and buying them when I find them. Am I ever going to use them? Most likely not, but they are cool artifacts of a day gone by. I also recent found an AE Phasor in the box, I had to buy the whole apple setup from the guy, so I basically gave away the system to clear out the space, I will eventually get around to trying the Phasor.

 

Now everything else I have bought be it the rarer or higher end I bought to use, I bought a IIe to IIgs upgrade kit, I did a good bit of modifications to it and made a machine that never existed but would of been damn cool if it had. Was it expensive? some would say yes, but I bought it with a plan in mind and that plan was not to put it away and hope that it increases in value.

 

Now there will always be those that want an Apple II Rev O setup cause they think it will be the next Apple I. Me personally I think that machine is about worthless, what would I do with it? But if they want to spend the money on it then its their money to spend, and trust me if I find one at a garage sale or some other oddness I will be happy that they will pay me well for it.

Edited by c0op3r
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I think to some extent this all depends on whether you grew up with a system or not. If you did, then you remember actually using the system and maybe you never even stopped; you're just after the utility. Even if you did stop at some earlier date and are only now picking it up again, the thing that makes you want to return to it is how it felt to actually use it when it was current.

 

I also think that people who grew up with a system are more likely to have an ingrained sense of what things "should" cost because of what they actually remember things costing. So they're less willing to pay exorbitant prices on that level too.

 

People who are new to collecting something just have no frame of reference; all they care about is how much money they have and how cool they think something is. They probably have no idea what use they could even get out of an old computer at this point, they just want a conversation piece. And they probably actually are happy enough to get just that, because that's probably all they wanted to begin with.

 

In our economic system, there are people with way more money than they can even spend. The scale of what's a "normal" amount of money to spend on something is just different for them than it is for a lot of us. For me, spending $200 on an old computer I might use for fun a couple times a week is already a lot. For someone else, $5,000 for that same system might be nothing. The bad thing for the poorer among us is that our hobby has attracted the attention of a lot of people over the years, whereas all this stuff used to just be considered old junk. But now it's collectible, it's museum-level stuff, and owning different things has developed a cachet.

 

But I don't think people who spend thousands on an Apple II have saved up all their lives to be able to do that, so I don't think they're thinking about whether or not it was worth it. To them, $5,000 is like half a day's pay (or less) - of course it's worth it. They might drop that amount on a night out with friends. At least buying an Apple II or whatever, they have something to show for that money.

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I thought about this thread a little more, and one of the shockers for me is what people will pay for an Apple /// or a Lisa. Now I get there is some collectiblity to them as they were produced in low number compared to say an Apple IIe. But it was a dead and nearly worthless(in terms of sales) flop from Apple. So why pay 3k$ for one.

 

Kinda like the Apple I, if I found one in my attic tomorrow, I would play with it for a bit and then put it on loan to a museum someplace for other to see and enjoy. What am I going to do with it?

 

I totally get the nostalgia of these machines and the desire to recreate that, but pretty much none of us used an Apple I, Lisa and/or an Apple /// (I did see a Lisa when it came out at the local dealer as a kid).

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I don't deal with ebay or any online dealing for buying this kind of stuff. I stick local and it works out great. Sure you'll get the locals who will say "well this is what it goes for on ebay" but I will always retort with "then sell it on ebay". I have found various Apple II machines locally over the years for anywhere from $20-$150. And I can tell you I *rarely* pay the high end...my high end being that $150. $5000 is just well...stupid. Unless it were filled with some precious metal worth the cost :)

 

Let me put it this way. If I don't find it for $50 now I will down the road. I know I will. I have many times in the past. That one yard sale or craigslist listing. I can wait...someone will pull out another Apple machine that they want to get rid of :)

Edited by eightbit
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