Some people collect stamps. Some people collect bugs. I collect computers.
This is an addiction, perhaps not registered, but as powerful as any that are.
I'm also a hoarder, and proud. I collect these machines simply for the pleasure of having them. The fact that they are often rare, and are an important part of my history as a computer geek - that's all part of it.
Many people don't understand this passion, although curiously they do seem to accept other collecting vices, coins for example. They suggest that the computers must do something for them to be valuable, like coins or stamps ever do anything? Ah! But the value! Coins and stamps are worth money and computers are not! Not true at all. Hit eBay, they have value. Rarer computers are worth quite a lot to collectors, as are "special" computers. They're not just utilitarian, tools of society. They're a history that have helped bring us to where we are. I put to you that computers are like cars. A tool, initially, with a purpose that soon became something more - collectable. How much does a Model T go for these days? How much do you think a PDP 11 will go for in sixty years time?
Possibly even more important is the need to preserve the past. Computers, as
tools, are considered expendible... Once you're done with it, you just throw
it away. Even computer equipment that cost companies many hundreds of thousands
of dollars to purchase and install - even millions - after their use, which may
last multiple decades, are taken to the scrap metal dealer. Obsolesence.
But often these machines are an integral part of the computing revolution's
history, and if some aren't saved - all will go into a scrap heap to be never
(Please note, most of these pages have many thumbnails and may take some time
to load on a slow connection. Some of the pictures can be up to 950kB in size
depending on resolution and whether I could be bothered to resize them)
In front we have (what I'm sitting on) is my Sun 4/470, Shemal, (both
cabinets), to the left and right of Shemal is Sun 4/260s (One computer,
two cabinets, per side). On top of each 4/260 is one of the
Behind the front line is a large (5'6" high) three cabinet set, this is the PDP11/34 racks. On top, left cabinet, is one RL02 drive and my PC. On the centre cabinet is my CIT101 terminal (VT100), and on the right hand cabinet is another RL02 drive and my laptop.
And back again...