February 3, 2008
A new in box Apple //c system was recently sold on eBay. This is quite remarkable; a vintage computer-- twenty-three years old-- that has never been opened. The people who ultimately won the auction posted a beautiful set of unboxing pictures. For a brief moment, it was 1984 all over again.
On Thursday night, Kathryn and I unboxed my latest eBay acquisition: an Apple //c. There are many vintage Apple II computers available for auction, but this one is special: It's never been opened. Ever. It hasn't seen the light of day since before it was shipped on May 5th, 1988.
I wrestled with whether I should open the box, or store it and let it accrue collector's value. In the end, I decided that the reason for my purchase wasn't financial. My very first computer was an Apple //c, and I can't see wanting to part with this computer, ever.
It also happens to be the first model of Apple computer I ever owned, so the nostalgia is pretty intense for me, too. The owner paid $2,553 for the the privilege of owning and unboxing this Apple //c. Another vintage computer enthusiast expressed some dismay over the final price:
When I encountered the auction there were 31 minutes left and the bid was at $920. Too rich for my blood these days, sadly. But I was racked with pain in being unable to bid. I felt a little better when I saw the final auction ending price.... $2,553.00. To lend some perspective, back in 1984 the retail price of the Apple //c main unit was $1299. A rare find that went for a rather exorbitant amount.
Exorbitant? Hardly. The $1,299 that an Apple //c originally sold for in 1984 should cost about $2,670 in 2007 dollars, after factoring for inflation. I'm not sure what AppleWorks and the monitor originally sold for, but it's amazing how precisely the final auction value tracked the adjusted for inflation value of this 23 year old computer.
It wasn't until the Macintosh line was introduced that Apple products got exorbitantly expensive. The original 1984 128k Mac model was $2,495, and the 1985 512k Mac was $2,795. Expressed in 2007 dollars, that's $5,100 and $5,700 respectively. Like all young geeks, I was instantly enamored with the advanced capabilities of the Mac line, but it was financially beyond the reach of my family. I'm not sure I knew anyone that owned one of the original Macs; that's how far outside the realm of possibility they were, at least in the social circles we moved in. Instead of upgrading from an Apple // to the prohibitively expensive Mac series, I convinced my family to buy me an Amiga 1000 for $1,295 in 1985. Even with the 256 KB memory upgrade and the color monitor, it ended up being about the same price as an Apple //.
So I guess this is my point: many pundits forget how expensive Macs really were in the 80s and early 90s. For a very long time, Macs were the exclusive province of the upper middle class. It wasn't until Jobs returned in 1997, and Macs began adopting more and more commodity PC technology over time-- culminating in Apple's reluctant 2005 adoption of Intel CPUs-- that pricing parity was eventually restored. Today's Macs are quite competitively priced, largely because they are (well designed) commodity PCs.
Posted by Jeff Atwood
[Request: Please carry on writing catchy headlines.]
I still have my //c tucked away. It was a blast carrying around and connecting to color TVs and programming Basic in.
How I long for those days!
Reminds me of the good times I have every year at the Vintage Computer Festival Europe in Munich, the European version of the Silicon Valley Vintage Computer Festival.
As European my start has been a Commodore C128.
A that nostalgia ...
I still have my //C tucked away somewhere
I felt so sophisticated walking around and plugging it into TVs. 'War Games' had just come out and I used to scare a lot of people doing that. This was when the II+ and IIe were the standard, before PCs were mainstream.
If I were to sell it today on ebay, I'd probably only get $20 for it.
I'm always amused when people get annoyed at how much Apple products cost. If they're too rich for your blood, don't buy them. If the price isn't worth it to you, then it isn't. Nobody said it should be. But people grouse about Apple prices anyway. Endlessly. Sour grapes much?
Hey, Philip Snelgrove. Macs CAN play games, you install Bootcamp and Windows and you have a bona-fide windows box. Couple that with an iMac that's got a nice 3D videocard and you're rockin.
I played Half Life 2 Episode 2 recently via Steam on my previous generation iMac. Macs can play games, and quite well!
And it's my experience Macs are more stable in general (from my own empirical experience of using Macs and Windows based PCs for roughly the same amount of time - 5 years each).
$1295 for a 512K Amiga 1000? Man you got taken dude! Amigas suck in comparison to the awesomeness that was Atari ST.
I just setup a kick-ass PC running Ubuntu for less than a $1000 Australian. I walked into the Apple shop out of curiosity and saw similar spec computer going for close to $3500. Ha ha ha ha ha!
$2,553 for that old thing,man there are some weird people out there.
Amiga 500 w/ 1mb RAM. Needless to say, it was the bomba.
I'd have to agree with Pete, if you evaluate computers on $ for raw materials, then a Mac isn't worth it.
I bought my first Mac about a month ago, a bottom of the line Mini for $829 AUD delivered (you can talk apple down, just not by much in my experience, $20 in this case). I have only ever had Windows or Linux machines in the house, all built from parts. My main WinXP MCE 2005 computer that does email, web, skype, music etc for the wife and I started getting some graphics artifacts, then a week later started the perpetual start to boot, show xp logo, crash, repeat. I work full time, so the prospect of finding what was broken, replacing it and then doing a full re-install or re-image of the machine no longer sounded like fun.
I ordered the Mac Monday lunchtime and it arrived first thing Tuesday morning. I set it up in my lunch hour and everything just worked. I probably could have had a similar experience with a dell or other off the shelf system, but I wasn't keen on going to Vista or sticking with XP.
So what did I get for $829?
- computer hardware
- small form factor (the noisy PC was hidden in a custom cupboard, the mini is dwarfed by the answering machine that sits above it on the desk)
- a quiet computer (the fan only ramps up to audible when gaming)
- an up to date operating system
- essential applications, including a automated backup solution
- quick delivery
For my situation, I was quite happy to pay $829 for the above and the convenience of getting up and running quickly.
We attended a neighbourhood LAN party the other day, for the heck of it I took the Mac Mini as we were playing UrbanTerror (q3a based), and it ran fine (40-60fps, 1680x1050), I would call that a good game and the mac ran it fine. I also loved the game install process of drag+drop.
I build up a custom Ubuntu machine for the LAN, the hardware build took a few hours, then the OS install took another hour. Setup wasn't too bad (Yay for restricted driver manager), but then things like:
- Couldn't get S-Video out working
- X.org config hacking
- Sound not working in some games (WolfET), giving up once usual hacks don't work
- Games crashing intermittently
I decided to do a quick XP install thinking that would be easier:
- Most onboard hardware not recognized
- Mainboard driver CD kept crashing when installing
- Have to download graphics card drivers
In the end I rewrote the MBR to boot grub and put up with the issues under Ubuntu.
Maybe I'm getting old, but I no longer have the time to enjoy tinkering and sometimes pony up just for convenience!
shouldn't you be saving your 'firsts' for the WoW forums?
The Lisa was WAY more expensive than the Mac -- nearly $10k in 1983.
They were even more expensive the other side of the pond, since Apple was using a $1 = 1 exchange rate in the UK, as was common at the time. This is, I think, the main reason that Apple machines never caught on in the same way as a hobbyist machine in Europe in the 80s/90s.
Of course that left it open for a lot of home-grown companies to produce some great machines (although most of these companies are now defunct).
Now that the price differential is more reasonable, there's been a huge upswell in Mac-enthusiasm over here.
(Happy MacBook Pro user)
Apple fans are so homosexual.
I'm a dedicated mac user, and a fag. what of it?
I'd like to have something like this, but I couldn't bring myself to pay what i'd spend on a new MBP.
This makes my so want to take one of mine out of its box later today! Mine have been out of their boxes tho, and have seen loads of use.
Yes, I'm one of those freaks that collect those oldies...
Macs are competitively priced (except for the RAM) these days, though I've a feeling Steve Jobs quite likes the fact that people view them as the “expensive option”, even when they're not necessarily.
In reality, they're only competitively priced *if* you can roughly match the component specs with equivalents from other manufacturers. Dell will give you a lot more choice, which means you can potentially get a cheaper machine that suits your needs just as well, but for the equivalent specifications of the Mac its offering could well be more expensive.
Personally, Apple's limited choices work well enough for me—I'm perfectly happy with the hardware in my Macs—but for a lot of power user-types, only the level of customisation you get with the Mac Pro is what they're looking for.
Even back around 2002, PowerBooks were still much more expensive than regular commodity laptops. I guess there’s still a bit of a premium for MacBook Pros, but they’ve evened out too. Wonder if the iPod’s success has anything to do with it.
The Amiga 1000 was a far better machine than the original Mac. No comparison. Not even close! 32-bit preemptive, multi-tasking GUI, dedicated video. Too bad Commodore blew it with the Amiga line, otherwise we may have better choices today.
Inflation doesn't apply normally to computers. In general, it's been my experience that any given computer's price DROPS about half in every year. As a computer, that Apple computer should have been priced asymptotically at ZERO. However, as a collectible, I'm sure the price was reasonable. But, then again, once the proud owners opened the package, it became valueless as a collectible (well, maybe not valueless -- but, it lost a LOT of its value).
There was no reason for them to open that package. It must be nice to have that kind of money to just flush down the toilet.
Apple hardware is not as affordable as comparable systems with other software. I can take a two year old PC, install Linux on it along with compiz and have a system that is just as stable and as cool as a mac - for a third of the price...
Yeah, I would have to disagree with Mo, and agree with Tim (and therefore Jeff)... Macs have always represented the "rich" alternative. People with MacIntosh, or other more recent Apple products, paid much much more for their hardware than PC people... as someone who recently capped off a 20-year career as a Graphic Designer, the Apple/PC war has been a part of my life for quite some time.
Usually, an Apple product has equated to roughly double the cost of an equivelant PC. This takes into account the times when the "latest" apple contained hardware that was as much as a year behind the modular harware available for the construction of a PC.
Unfortunately, Graphics people are NOT computer people, and most of the Graphics industry prefer the plug-and-go, no-thinkum approach, where they were trained to do their job (ie use photoshop, or w/e) and not to use a computer. Why would anyone need more than one mouse button? I will pay double for my mouse to make sure it has one button!
As a computer guy, it has been very frustrating trying to convince bean-counters and business people of 3 things;
1) Macs DO crash (especially if you plug hardware into them that was not manufactured by Apple ... say, a WACOM graphics tablet?!?, oh, you NEVER see THOSE in the graphics industry...)
2) Macs CAN play games (although not very good ones, and not very well)
3) PCs are just as capable as making graphics and sounds as anything by Apple... in fact, if you spend the same amount of money on the graphics card or audio card, PCs are MORE capable for less money. (since the mouse has more buttons, that can do cool things like open menus).
oh yeah, 5 things...
4) Apples are NOT more stable than PCs just because they run off a BSD platform.. especially not if you install MSOffice, and MS Explorer on them
5) If you plug alien hardware and run microsoft products on a macintosh, you are NOT "exploiting" a "better answer". You ARE taking a piece of hardware that is a year behind and cost twice as much as a PC, in order to enjoy EXACTLY the same set of problems... compounded by the lack of support available, compaired to doing the same thing on a PC.
Even back in the day, Apple computers were expensive. The Apple ][ was a lot more expensive than a Commodore 64, TRS 80 or Atari computer. (And they had lower case!) It did have cheap, high capacity disk drives though.
Hey Now Jeff,
Great story, nice to hear. I'm glad my pop keep our old TI 99/4a in our attic, however I'll never sell it. Vintage computers are fun to see.
Coding Horror Fan,
k sustu..... nao mete medu nenhum!!!!!!!1
No xabem alguma coixa mais axuxtadora....
Xa uns tones nao faxem nada de jeitu...!!!!!!!
How much would I pay for a zx80, a cassette player and Hungry Horrace?
the real question is why didn't the person who had it in the first place open it?
i just want to high five this guy
The only reason I still don't own an Apple: $$$$$.
Macs sold a lot into the business market the first decade. At Boeing, the engineers got PCs (shared) and the managers got Macs (for themselves). Macs were heavily used for word processing, as the best graphical version of Word was on that platform in the 80s and early 90s. Boeing used Macs to develop proposal documents, such as for the billion-dollar LRAACA program.
And the flood of PC-vs-Mac comments begin...
To be fair to history...
In early 1990, Apple intro'd 3 new Macs: IIsi, LC and Classic. All three were positioned as "value" Macs, with the LC being a very aggressive color model, the Classic being a traditional small footprint BW model and the IIsi the most powerful of the three. I think retail for a Classic was $999...which at the time was an amazing price for a Mac, even if it was only a 68K processor and all that. Over the years, all three recieved necessary upgrades to CPU and innards, just like Macs do today. Over the years, the company that I was working for at the time distributed hundreds of thousands of these machines to computer resellers and individual buyers.
But all of these were pre-Jobs and really Apple's first attempt at being a little more value conscience. Apple has always been priced higher than the competition, if taken exclusively at the sum of the parts kind of comparison. The dreaded "ease-of-use" and cost of ownership angles do not factor into a simple cost comparison. Whether you choose to buy into that type of logic is up to you, as many people see no value in the "extra" goodness that Apple computers typically include.
We still have a 16 bit Apple Mac running Word from the 90's...
Any chance anybody is still using an equivelant PC from that era..?
I think not ...
If you buy quality it does count.
The picture of that poor soul lovingly hugging a piece of hardware is very disturbing.
That’s how they won the financial battle to get rich but lost the war for OSs to Microsoft.
In the places where I worked, the UTC's, Aetna's, Traveler's and GE's of the world, Mac's wound up on the desks of Graphic Designers, High Ranking executives (probably because they were cool looking since those people in those days rarely if ever touched a keyboard).
For the average Joe, the PC was their only choice, primarily because IT wanted it that way. In some companies, the influence of IBM was so great that not even clones made it through the door.
That, coupled with the high price, squarely put the Mac in primarily the Publishing nitch.
If it wasn't for PageMaker and the LaserWriter, I fear the Mac would have withered on the tree.
Oh, by the way, I also worked for Apple in the mid 80’s…
How much for a 20-year-old laptop?! I am getting so tired of the Apple "snob" appeal. What else would motivate someone to pay that kind of money for something that would otherwise sell on EBay for 20 bucks? That is no place for a computer for the masses. I will probably never own one.
For those interested you can purchase a working APPLE IIC for under $100. The extra $2453 was for it being unopened.
I think I will save up my money for an unopened Zenith Luggable so I can poor some gasoline over light it up and new have to actually see one again.
So, what does Apple //c mean? Do you really mean Apple iic? Why are you writing it that way, just don't want peeps to find this page via Google?
Apple fans are so homosexual.
It boggles my mind as to why you can be so passionate about a machine.. Move on my friend and get a life.
As I recall I true IBM wasnt that cheap in those days either. the original IBM PC 5150 was well above $2880 wtih 64k and 160kb drive. adjusting for inflation that can't be cheap. unless you went with the commodore, tandy, and atari offerings it really wasn't for the average person.
I remember when Jerry Pournelle used to say that most computers cost $2500 and the one you really want is around $5000
"How much for a 20-year-old laptop?! I am getting so tired of the Apple "snob" appeal. What else would motivate someone to pay that kind of money for something that would otherwise sell on EBay for 20 bucks? That is no place for a computer for the masses. I will probably never own one."
An original, excellent condition Model T Ford is worthless as a vehicle, but priceless as an antique. Albiet, that's an extreme example, but an unopened Apple //c is still a collectable. I would have donated it to one of those "history of computing" museums, actually, than sell it on ebay to someone who would dare open it.
"There was no reason for them to open that package. It must be nice to have that kind of money to just flush down the toilet."
I'll grant that it is odd to spend collectable-premium for fanboy product, but to get that "fresh out of box" experience...? It'll be worth it for some people.
(I am curious how/why it was unopened all these years - hopefully not a recall or something)
Good for you, Jeff, Enjoy! :-)
I owned one of the original "fat" macs (512K model). With an external floppy and printer. I was able to get a good deal at $3,000 for the whole package. One cool thing about the original macs was the fact that the entire development team had their signatures on the inside of the case. I think there were about 30 signatures. It was a good machine but it was quickly replaced by the Mac Plus, which a lot of the software for the Mac was written for. I ended up selling that machine in the early 90's for a few hundred dollars.
"it's amazing how precisely the final auction value tracked the adjusted for inflation value of this 23 year old computer"
It didn't, it's just a coincidence.
I have zero sentimental attachment to computers or gadgets so maybe I'm delusional but to my mind the greatest advancement in computing is that the hardware is essentially a commodity business. There are no advancements in the OS or even software arena that would surprise a well-read tech guy transported here from 1988 but the fact that you can purchase a machine for a few hundred dollars and have access to such a wealth of information and tools, would I think, blow a few minds.
The original mac was actually developed with a cost ceiling in mind. The engineers reluctantly exceeded it by several hundred dollars but then, right before it was released, the company simply added $500 to the price for a marketing budget really putting out of reach. The idea being that early adopters would pay anything. The most important part of the vision, as a machine affordable for (okay still pretty well off) friends and family, was betrayed.
My problem with mac pricing today isn't that it is overpriced some much as that there is little middle ground. You have to spend $2,000 to get dedicated graphics. On the laptop side the extra money you spend on a black MacBook gets you at least decent graphics card on a pc. That blows chunks.
That reminds me of my first computer... the Apple ||gs. :-)
Steve want to sell you the "Mac expereince". Thus, it will cost you more than say PC with Windows/Linux. You have to pay the Apple tax to unlock the OS X.
"There are no advancements in the OS or even software arena that would surprise a well-read tech guy transported here from 1988"
I think you would have to move that up to 1993 or 4, because talk of USB would of started around then. Yea you have daisy chaining before but USB flash drives are new compared to other pocketable media.
Also 1988 is a little to early for going from fidonet and BBSes to the Internet and the way that has changed computing.
I would really like an old Next computer. It is pretty amazing to think that the internet was created on one of those guys.
Sorry, Macs do not track with PC pricing, they have come slightly "closer" in price, but still, well over the mark. I recently (month ago) had this debate with a mac fanboy in a forum, claiming that it is a mere 10% increase, here is my reply:
The $599 cheapest Mac is about $365 in the PC world (The PC HD is faster (7200RPM), couldn't find one with 5400 RPM that the Mac has and I couldn't find a 1.82GHz CPU like the Mac, so it had a 2.0GHz CPU for the comparison)
The iMac, at $1199 is $671 in the PC world (The video card comes with 256 MB Ram instead of the 128 MB on the Mac, couldn't find the same chipset with the lower RAM total and the Mac's DVD/CD drive is slower)
Both PCs come with Windows XP (Vista would raise the price $30), the iMac one comes with a 20" LCD, I priced one from Viewsonic (could have saved $30 by going with Acer, a good brand, but not as known as Viewsonic)
For the $365 PC, the Mac Mini is 64% more
For the $671 PC, the iMac is 78% more.
And, on the iMacs, if I want 2 GB of ram and a 500 GB hard drive, $299 more. For the PCs, $47, over 6 times more cost for the Macs.
On the Mac Mini, for 2GB ram and 160 GB HD, $300 more. For the PC, $34, the Mac is a staggering 9 times as much for the upgrade.
That is on the cheapest macs, the more expensive ones simple make the difference absurd.
The money in not even close. Now, if Apple had taken the Vista flop (I have several machines with Vista, I like it, but then, I threw a lot of money at the PCs) to release OS X at $199 for PCs (a premium over the Apple price...) I would upgrade all of the machines to OS X and used bootcamp for Vista and XP. (with hopes to eliminate them during the next upgrade cycle)
First PC I coded on - TRS Model 1 (w/16k upgrade)
First PC I owned - TI-99/4a (gift, loved that machine)
First PC I bought - Apple ][c
First x86 PC - 386sx
First G3 PC - eMac (blue w/15" CRT)
Look how he hugs his dongle!
Yes but they still are dongles. Macs are just toys in my opinion. You can't play with them like a pc. For example yo modify core components and watch your computer slowly die or you just increased your start up speed by 10 fold b/c windows likes running a lot of junk (its ADD I tell ya!). Macs are cool but they are just shiny toys.
Where's the lesson exactly?
Gee - some guy bought an old, and probably useless computer. As a human, I'm glad that he's happy, but otherwise who cares?
[Request: Please stop writing catchy headlines for the sake of it.]
"Macs are cool but they are just shiny toys."
Isn't that what Vista is? A shiny toy that is broken most of the time.
Sorry, I haven't had a very good experience with Vista 64. It's a heap of junk. At least my MacBook Pro worked out of the box. I spent almost a year trying to fix Vista.
"$1295 for a 512K Amiga 1000? Man you got taken dude! Amigas suck in comparison to the awesomeness that was Atari ST."
I seriously nearly fell off my seat. (not starting flame war(I promise))
I still have my //c tucked away. It was a blast carrying around and connecting to color TVs and programming Basic in. How I long for those days!
I wrote a data acquisition system on a Apple IIe in Basic. The first thing I did was write a pre-compiler so variables could be something human readable and not A1.. Z99, and subroutines could be Call Something instead of Call 11230.
Folks - the i/t technology wasn't great back then -- you were just young...
Ah yes, a Mac tends to invoke strange feelings. I can still recall the feeling of being connected with the whole universe when I hugged my Mac Classic. Kidding folks, kidding!
Anyway, I am always amazed by the comments on Windows vs Mac vs Linux etc, here elsewhere. It seems that life inside one OS is incomplete if you haven't made degrading mark on another OS. They're just tools, folks. Use anything that works for you be open minded to other ways of doing things.
(I use Linux, Mac Windows. The ordering is alphabetical)
I just bought a //c from a garage sale for $20 a few weeks ago. It boots perfectly, with monochrome green monitor intact. It's very hard to describe the rush of pleasure I get from turning the thing on.
So many memories flood back, on cold winter nights staying up late to keep plugging code away to create my castle drawing, all in hres (or was it hgres? i can't remember anymore!), of playing Rescue Raiders, of writing a clock application counting seconds and minutes...and then realizing that I couldn't really do anything else with the computer while it was running...but I didn't care. It was mine, and mine alone.
I could make it do some amazing things just with my mind and fingers. I wrote programs to do my math homework, thinking I was cheating the system, not realizing that by designing an algorithm to solve the issue, I was internalizing the process far more than just doing the problems alone.
Now, my wife would never forgive me for spending $2500 for this pleasure today, but I still know deep down the feeling is priceless.
Now, with that being said, Jeff, could you PLEASE post something else so that little Phil Collins' lookalike moves down the page a bit? There's something unwholesome in his grin...
That is soooo awesome... I've got a few old Macs I get a kick out of running every now and then. a NIB Apple IIc is an amazing find! Takes me back...
Who the fuck buys a $1300 computer and doesn't open it for $23 years? Plus $1300 in the stock market twenty years ago would be worth a LOT more than $2553 paid for it on E-bay.
I received my first computers as hand me downs from a math teacher (I am forever grateful). First it was a Commodore 64 - but it only used cartridges and we only used it for games. Then it was an Apple II followed by a II+, IIe, and IIgs. Along the way somewhere another Commodore 64 (that I spent many hours programming) and a IBM 286 SX were thrown in (with DOS and a window manager). Ahhh...the good old days.
My first was an Atari 800 w/48k RAM, no disk drive, no monitor, and an Atari BASIC cartridge. I had used computers before that (VIC-20, C-64, Atari 600, time-sharing, etc.), but the Atari 800 was the first one I bought and owned. I think it cost me well over $1500 with the 48k RAM and a cassette tape drive, and software. Great computer for its time.
Your history is somewhat off. While Mac prices were definitely on the high-side in the late 80s, that situation changes in the early 90s. In October of 1990, Apple introduced a series of low-cost Macs: Macintosh Classic, Macintosh LC, Macintosh IIsi. These units were priced favorably with name-brand PCs of the era with similar capabilities. From that point onward, Macs continued to be competitive with name-brand PCs with similar capabilities.
Certainly the taint of "overpriced" stuck with the Mac for the next 15 years or so!
There were definitely personalities involved here. Sculley convinced Jobs to raise the introductory price of the Mac from $1999 to $2495. Jean-Louis Gassee openly opposed the low-cost Macs, and left the company shortly before they were introduced. Gassee was certainly most focused on more and more powerful (and way more expensive) computers. The Macintosh IIfx was probably the most expensive next to the Lisa -- at around $8,000.
Just because a piece of USB hardware doesn't work on a particular Apple doesn't mean Apple has intentionally done anything. It's just an incompatability. They're no more guilty than any other hardware manufacturer, and to be fair, they seem to have a pretty good record.
It sucks bro, but there's no conspiracy.
I have a Fujistu laptop that was pretty high end at the time. It has an SD reader, but for some reason it rejects just one of my cards. This card works everywhere else and Fujitsu denies there's anything wrong. Is Fujitsu conspiring against Memorex? Doubt it.
With regards to hard drives running off USB, many laptops don't supply enough power to run them. The Mac must supply 'enough' because the iPod is just a hard drive.
I have a black 13" macbook. Laughably the only compatability I've had is the stupid thing corrupts my PC formatted iPod if I plug it in and I try to write files to it.
Read a very angry post on Aria's webstite (they sell hardware). If you've got a USB powered device (in this case an external HDD) they won't run on Macs (or at least the laptops) because they have done something non-standard with the USB and it doesn't give enough power.
I think I'll go down the 2-year-old machine with Ubuntu Linux on it route... everything will just *work*.
Another point, heard a very interesting podcast from Guy Kawasaki on Conversations Network (URL no idea) who used to work for Apple in the old days. If it hadn't been for Quark Express and the birth of desktop publishing the Mac would have died. They were *lucky*.
Actually, it was Aldus PageMaker which was responsible for the Mac's survival. QuarkXPress was introduced shortly thereafter.
"..I decided that the reason for my purchase wasn't financial. My very first computer was an Apple //c.."
To all those who feel it was a dumb idea to open the packaging, the guy didn't buy it for a financial gain. The //c has an emotional value for him.
PC's weren't the only thing expensive in the 80's, and even the early 90's. It wasn't uncommon for people to spend $4,000 on a loaded PC.
I found opening and using the PC right away kind of strange. I guess it'd be like buying unopened toys (sorry, collectibles) on eBay, then wrapping them up and opening them, re-living Christmas morning of 1971.
I don't think the price of used/vintage computers would track inflation. New computers are way more powerful, so old computers tend to drop in value, and drop pretty fast.
I'd think that the price of used computers would more closely track with used cars. Used cars tend to drop in value fast... until they become rare antiques, where a running one is becomes worth a whole lot more as a collectible.
That seems to apply here more than inflation. I have to agree with above, the fact that it tracked with inflation is a fluke.
Somehow, this reminds of that scene from the Woody Allen movie "Sleeper" where the guy ends up 200 years in the future and finds a vintage Volkswagen Beetle in a cave. He turns the key and it starts right up.