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Last updated June, 2014

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This web site is dedicated to collecting, restoring and simply playing with old (A.K.A. vintage, classic, antique, outdated or just plain junk) computers. Like many in the computer age, I cut my teeth on computer systems that represent the dawn of the computer revolution. Some of these systems, such as the Altair 8800, Apple ][ and IBM PC have tons of historical significance. Others, such as the Atari 800, Osborne 1, Kaypro 2x and Dec Pro 350 have less historical but more personal significance (at least to me). All of these systems do, however, have one thing in common. They all take up some room in my home and often get time on the workbench to strut their stuff.

This site was created to document computers and related items that most rational people would consider junk and the history and stories of those items and the people that created or used them. It is all about systems that have, with few exceptions, never seen a mouse and many of which have never even seen a keyboard. It is, however, about classic systems that have a personality and a history. Systems that aren't carbon (silicon?) copies of the rest of the pack.

There are three criteria met by the computers listed here: They were, with a very few exceptions, built before 1985 (which classifies them as antiques in the computer world), they were built primarily to be used by individuals or very small groups and they were built to be sold inexpensively. That, along with the obvious requirement that these artifacts are actually computers, is my definition of "Vintage Personal Computer." Another requirement for listing here is, of course, that the item in question is in my personal collection. If you don't see it listed here then I probably don't have one. . . yet.

With that in mind there is now a Kenbak-1 and a Mark-8 in the collection. These machines are considered by many to be the first true personal computers. Depending on how you define your terms, that is.

On these pages you'll also find a brief history of microcomputers, a look at my collection of old machines and a few other tidbits that I have found useful. You will also find the Vintage Computer Forum (VC Forums or VCF to some) which is a message board for the vintage computer community. It is my sincerest hope that this forum continues to grow as a center for sharing, learning and camaraderie within the classic computer community.

A more recent addition is the Vintage Computer and Gaming Marketplace. This is an auction style market for vintage computing and vintage gaming enthusiasts to use as an alternative to the more generalized auction and sales sites. With the VCGM buying, selling and trading vintage computer and classic gaming gear is free and easy. With luck, and a little help from you, it should become as popular and useful as the Vintage Computer Forums.

There is also a fairly new Vintage Computer Wiki that is collecting information and gaining in value day by day.

Please note: This site is under constant construction and it probably always will be. If something isn't there today, check back tomorrow or next week and hopefully it will have appeared. As my collection and knowledge grows, so will these pages.

Also note, contributions are always welcome. If you see anything in error or if you have detail to add to any of the information you find here, please feel free to contact me at this address with whatever you have to offer. I'll do my best to use anything contributed and I'll credit everything I use.

I also adopt old, classic computer systems to save them from the scrap heap. Please keep in mind that I am not Bill Gates and, therefore, don't have unlimited resources or unlimited space for old systems. For most older computers and related items (software, manuals, magazines, etc.) I will be happy to pay shipping to have them sent to me (I'll drive to most places in the San Francisco Bay Area and possibly beyond to pick up interesting items as well). For some particularly interesting artifacts I may be willing to pay a premium above shipping depending on completeness, condition and my budget (see my Wish List for computers and parts that I'm especially interested in.) In all instances, however, if you have an historic system that you can no longer care for, I can and will do my best to find it a home, even if it's not my home.

Whatever you do, donate your classic computer, don't throw it away!

Thank you,

Erik S. Klein

Labeled with ICRA