Archive for March, 2009

Final Commodore SX64 Ebay price analysis

March 30, 2009

As I wrote I will remove now some models from my active search focus that are sold relatively often on Ebay because

  • I have enough statistical data to see where the prices tend to
  • it cuts down my workload

I will not remove them from the list, and I keep counting the sales, but I move them in a special category.

In addition, I can now analyse their prices and price influence factors a little bit. Here we go.

The SX64 have been produced probably in around 89000 units. It is a very collectible computer (partly also because there is the myth that only a few thousands have been produced, partly because it is the first color screen portable computer). There are only two influence factors on the price, namely:

  • whether the unit is working and includes the keyboard and the keyboard cable (as there have been no important accessories produced only for the SX64). IMO, only such units are collectible for this model.
  • whether it is sold on the US or on the Europe market (this last factor is probably reinforced by the 110/220V divide as the model includes the PSU)

The Ebay price statistics look like this:

Overall

  • numbers of units sold on Ebay in a period of 1 year: 184
  • price range (Euro): 26 – 450
  • median price (Euro): 175
  • average price (Euro): 181

US market

  • numbers of units sold on Ebay in a period of 1 year:  63
  • price range (Euro): 26 – 290
  • median price (Euro): 83
  • average price (Euro): 94

Europe market

  • numbers of units sold on Ebay in a period of 1 year: 121
  • price range (Euro): 90-450
  • median price (Euro): 221
  • average price (Euro): 226

As you can see, on the US market the price range starts lower, has a much lower average and median price, and some difference between the average and the median price. The Europe market price starts higher, has a much higher average and median price, and there is almost no difference in median and average price. Wouldn’t there be the 110/220V problem, one could earn some money buying SX64 in the US and importing them to Europe.

Ebay price list 17.03.2009 as a post

March 25, 2009

Explanations can be found in this post.

Company Model #1 #2 Av. price EUR # sales Market OCMCI #/sales Remarks
Acorn System 1 157 1 157 3
Acorn A4 225 1 225 8 Notebook RISC
Acorn Atom 125 9 1125 29
MITS Altair 680 820 3 2460 1
MITS Altair 8800; 8800b 10000 1269 12 15228 10 833
APF Imagination Machine 197 1 197 0
Apple I 180 4
Apple III 65000 321 4 1284 18 16250
Apple Lisa 1 3
Apple Lisa 2 100000 630 17 10710 32 5882
Apple 20th anniversary Mac 467 7 3269 16 3000 in Europa, 600 in FR
Atari 4160STE 195 1 195 3 Specially
labelled 1040STE with 4MB RAM and TOS 1.6
Atari 1200XL 75 22 1650 29 Predecessor of the 600XL and 800XL, no Basic, 4
months production, not sold in EU
Atari 800XE 39 22 858 45 65XE version sold only in some european countries
Atari ATW800 200 250 5
Atari ST Book 1000 1200 546 2 1092 3 500
Atari Stacy 246 16 3936 6
Atari TT 141 39 5499 22
Atari Falcon 14000 280 86 24080 28 163
Be BeBox 1900 411 5 2055 5 380 100 developer models, 1000 * 66 Mhz, 800 * 133 MHz
Camputers Lynx 48, 96, 128 30000 104 7 728 27 4286
Canon Cat 20000 725 2 1450 1 10000 I doubt that all 20000 devices were sold
Commodore 4064; Educator 320 4 1280 2 PET case version of the C64; sold for schools
Commodore P500 1500 3000 250 1 250 8 1500 15000 machines in total
Commodore 610 / 620 159 13 2067 11 15000 machines in total
Commodore 710 / 720 303 7 2121 4 15000 machines in total
Commodore C116 10000 46 37 1702 49 270 Only sold in some european countries
Commodore C64 (Golden) 200 1000 2932 3 8796 2 67
Commodore MAX Machine 385 10 3850 9 sold in Japan
Commodore 3008 254 1 254 19
Commodore SX64 89000 169 186 31434 65 478
Commodore PET 2001 10000 192 91 17472 29 110
Commodore SuperPET 9000 102 4 408 11
Commodore Amiga 3000 228 52 11856 23
Commodore Amiga 3000T 5 Only 80 of these were sold in Germany
Commodore Amiga 4000 338 93 31434 28
Commodore Amiga 4000T 642 18 11556 1(?) 200-2000 4000T Commodore, mehr 4000T Escom
Commodore; MOS KIM-1 245 19 4655 11 7000 in Europe
Compukit UK-101 273 2 546 5
Comx COMX35 80 2 160 19
Dragon
64 64 9 576 30 reportedly min. 20000
Dragon 200 / 200E 8 spanish version of the 64 with different case
EACA Colour Genie EG2000 69 6 414 18
Enterprise 64 201 2 402 27 it’s not clear whether also the 64ers contribute to 80000
Enterprise 128 80000 103 13 1339 31 6154 see above
Exidy Sorcerer (II) *0000 198 6 1188 8
Frael Bruc 100 35 3 105 5
Hanimex Pencil II 64 3 192 7
HP 2100A 684 1 684 0
HP Integral PC 115 4 460 3
HP 98xx 80 9 720 26
IMS Multi-Media One
200 500 485 1 485 0 200
IMSAI 8080 17000 20000 760 11 8360 14 1545 pin compatible with Altair
Indata DAI 379 4 1516 6
Interact Home Computer System *0000 154 2 308 3 Later on became the Hector
Jupiter Cantab Ace 3000 9000 240 10 2400 13 900
Jupiter Cantab Ace 4000 800 259 2 518 3 400
Kenbak Kenbak-1 62 1
Komtek Komtek 1 122 1 122 3
Mattel Aquarius II 1
Memotech MTX500 76 6 456 14
Memotech MTX512 83 15 1245 23
Micronique Hector I,II(HR(+)) 81 4 324 12
Micronique Hector HRX 185 1 185 5
Micronique Hector MX 0
Mupid Mupid 1 8000 23000 51 2 102 5 4000 23000 im ersten Jahr
Mupid Mupid 2 40000 45 14 630 10 2857
Nascom Nascom 2 155 2 310 8
Next NeXTstation 168 33 5544 23 Next sold 50000 computers over all models
Next Cube 285 21 5985 14 Next sold 50000 computers over all models
Ohio Scientific (OSI) Challenger 258 4 1032 1
Ohio Scientific (OSI) Superboard II 70 2 140 2
Oric Telestrat 6000 3
Panasonic JR-200U 70 3 210 7 Japanese version: Matsushita JR-200
Philips P2000 55 2 110 19
Powertran Cortex 40 1 40 0
Processor Technology Sol-20 10000 375 6 2250 5 1667
RCA Cosmac 144 3 432 7
RFT KC compact 2000 1 I assumed 2000 as the highest serial number is 1953
Robotron Z9001 4000 81 1 81 5 4000
Robotron KC85/1 9000 2 Rebranded Z9001
Robotron KC87 17000 11 The 17000 is a projected number by me
Robotron Alba
1505
2000 ? Export version of the A5105
Robotron A5105 3000 3
Rockwell Aim 65 50000 175 20 3500 17 2500
MGT/Sam/West Coast Coupe / Elite 12000 142 10 1420 14 1200
Scientific Development
Corp
Minivac 601 236 9 2124 1
Sinclair MK-14 20000 50000 5
Sinclair QL 100000 91 158 14378 122 633
Sinclair ZX80 70000 100000 172 80 13760 57 875
Sord IS 11 158 2 316 1
Sord CGL M5 81 16 1296 18
Sord M23P 32 1 32 0
Spectravideo SVI-318MKII 127 4 508 6 Has black joystick and grey keyboard
SWTPC 6800 540 5 2700 3
SWTPC 6809 563 3 1689 0
Synertek SYM-1 50000 140 10 1400 5 5000
Tangerine Microtan 65 156 2 312 4
Tatung Einstein 20000 57 19 1083 26 1053
Tatung Einstein 256 60 2 120 6 Id guess not more than 1000 have been made
TCS Genie IIs 100 0
TCS Genie IIIs 200 0
Texas Instruments TI 99/4 83 2 166 9
Tomy Tutor 36 7 252 9
Triumph-Adler TA PC / PC16 46 15 690 23
VideoBrain FamilyComputer 252 1 252 3
Vtech Laser 50 21 9 189 10
Vtech Creativision 179 1 179 3
Xerox Alto 2000 0
Xerox Star (Xerox 8010) 30000 0
Xerox 6085 *0000 0



Lisa Heaven

March 24, 2009

Question to the seller of an Apple Lisa in Ebay.de:

How often do you want to sell the Lisa? There have been 3 successful sales of you in the last 6 months. I hope this is a serious offer…

Answer:

lisaheaven1

Sigh :-).

He needs the space for a new child... Oh, and by the way he once had 16 Lisa 2 and one Lisa 1.

This lucky guy is of course Rudolf Brandstötter, a 400+ systems collector from Austria.

Acorn A4 Notebook

March 21, 2009

Finally, I managed to get an Acorn A4 notebook computer from 1992. Actually, I got a working one and pieces of a second one. The only one(s) I saw on any Ebay since more than one year. As I do not know how many of these were made, I have to try to find serial numbers again. Here are the ones of my A4s:

  • AKB64-1015464 (no inner number)
  • no outer one (inner: 005220)

The A4 is a A5000 with a 24MHz ARM3 CPU, 2-4 MB RAM and 0-80 MB HDD. The case is shared with some machines of the other brands and OEM machines of Olivetti, namely:

  • Olivetti S20
  • Triumph-Adler Walkstation SX20(?)
  • DECpc 320sx(?)

i.e. the case, screen, battery, floppy drive, and DC/DC converter boards were the same and can be taken from these (cheaper and easier to get) machines.

The A4 weighs 3 kg… It is meant to be used with (Acorn) mouses, but you can simulate the mouse using (keyboard) keys. The interesting thing now is, that the mouse pointer also accelerates faster if you keep pressing the key, in contrast to e.g. a Atari ST where the mouse-over-keyboard behaviour was quite linear and therefore not fast enough.

Ebay price list updated

March 16, 2009

We proudly present: the New and Updated, Definitive and Utmost Important Ebay Price List of Rare Vintage Computers. Again as an .xls file.

After one year of recording Ebay prices now the new list. Here some statistical data from it:

  • Number of computer models in the list: 128
  • Number of recorded sales: 1383
  • Overall market volume: 291270 Euro
  • Average price per device: 211 Euro
  • Median of average prices : 168 Euro

The models that sold most numbers were:

  • Atari Falcon 6.2%
  • Commodore SX64 13.4%
  • Commodore PET2001 6.5%
  • Commodore Amiga 4000 8.0%
  • Sinclair QL 11.4%
  • Sinclair ZX80 5.7%

i.e. 6  models had over 51% of all sold computers! Therefore, in the next time I will conclude the pricing of SX64s and QLs and freeze their entries in the list, so I will not record further Ebay sales of them, saving me 25% of the work…

The most expensive regularly sold computer I recorded was an Altair 88000 for 2361 Euro. The most expensive sales of the not so regularly sold models were a Golden C64 for 3433 Euro, a Mac Portable prototype for 4307 Euro,  and a C65 for a whopping 7191 Euro!

The list is a .xls file readible by OpenOffice Calc or Excel. The first page gives you some overview data. The second page is the most important one giving you the

  1. Company (i.e. manufacturer)
  2. Model
  3. the number of devices produced (hypothesis 1)
  4. the number of devices produced (hypothesis 2)
  5. average price in Euro
  6. number of recorded sales
  7. the overall amount of revenue of this model (i.e. column 5 * column 6)
  8. The old-computers.com collector index of this model (i.e. the number of devices of this model the registered collectors  claim to have on this web site)
  9. The ratio of the number of devices produced (hypothesis 1) divided by the number of sales. I will explain this ratio and some of the values in an own post later on.
  10. Remarks

The fourth page collects the prototype models (which are not part of the overview data). The sixth page lists a few clones. The detailed recordings of the sales start at page 9, one page per model. These pages are used to calculate the values on the second page.

Please note that, although the list is now one year old, almost no category in it is already, therefore the price and the number of sales of some models are not yet statistically relevant (e.g. I included Robotron and RFT models only lately).

Please note also that my selection of computer models in the list is still somewhat arbitrary. It’s all my fault.

If you still want to access the old list (and I don’t know whether anybody should want that, please find it here).

I’d love getting some feedback on the list (positive or negative). Come on, be the first one ever to leave a comment on this blog :-).

My Robotron Z9001 arrived

March 14, 2009

I just got my Robotron Z9001 computer, and it works. I got also the Basic and the RAM module, along with a manual and the starter cassette. The serial number is 53044 which means 1985, number 3044, and it was produced in 02/1985. It was owned by a German university which fits perfectly in the fact that at that time computers were needed by companies, schools, and universities, so only a few models came into the hand of private persons. The original price of the computer without modules was even higher than an average monthly salary…

Rare Robotron and RFT computers

March 10, 2009

<several corrections and one update have been done until today, 19.03.2009>

Finally had some time to start looking into the German Democratic Republic (GDR) side of rare small computers.

I wanted to write “rare home computers”, but that was not the reality in the GDR at that time. Although there was a number of computer models aimed at the professional market, the availability was so restricted  and the cost of these models was so high that the state (you remember that the GDR was a Planned Economy state where most manufacturers were owned by the state and where the available products were determined by a state planning organization and then manufactured according to a some years-in-advance-plan? Well, in addition, western technology was mostly available if they managed to re-produce it themselves…) decided that the resulting home computers should be used by small companies who needed such stuff to write receipts and so on. So we consider only computers that would have been home computers in the western world if they would have been available there (and so were in fact exported) and if they would have been offered two years earlier…

There are a number of very good web sites on GDR computers, some written by very knowledgeable engineers, some of which had even worked at the corresponding manufacturers. As often in the world when web sites are about computers that have been sold only in one country, most use the local language (in this case German). For further reading, why not considering these sites:

As far as I can tell the following models are rare:

  • Robotron A5105: 3000 devices have been produced
  • Alba PC 1505 (which was intended to the export version of the A5105, but was then mainly sold in the GDR): 2000 devices have been produced.
  • RFT KC Compact (a CPC clone): It is not known how many have been produced, but given the fact that the production time was very short, that only a few exist even in collections, and that the only serial number I know of is 1953, most probably not many have been produced.
  • Robotron Z9001: produced between September 1984 and February 1985 somewhere in 1986
  • Robotron KC85/1 (renamed Z9001): produced between March 1985somewhere in 1986 and March 1987
  • Robotron KC87 (the successor of the KC85/1): produced between April 1987 and March 1989

Z9001, KC85/1 and KC87 together had a production volume of about 30000 units. If  we therefore divide (because we do not have other numbers) this overall number by the number of production months, we get the following approximation:

  • Z9001:  ~ 4000 (the highest serial number I know of is 3249)
  • KC85/1: ~ 9000 (the highest serial number I know of is 2076)
  • KC87: ~ 17000 (the highest serial number I know of is 9576)

I took the serial numbers from this thread in a forum. The Robotron devices seem to use a numbering scheme where the first digit was the 8x production year.

After some very interesting discussion in this thread, I believe that the numbers of these three models are distributed more like this:

  • Z9001:  some 10000 devices
  • KC85/1:  some 3000 devices
  • KC87:  some 20000 devices

I added all of them to my Ebay price list so I can start monitor their prices.

Apart from the above models, also the RFT KC85/2, RFT KC85/3, and RFT KC85/4 models exist. About 30000 of each of these models shall have been produced with the highest serial numbers known as 7660, 31606, 34676, respectively. Now, also 30000 is rare according to my 100000 devices criteria, but I’m hesitating adding also these models. Let’s see, may be later on…

5th Waiblingen User Meeting

March 8, 2009

As I promised, here is a report of the 5th Waiblingen User Meeting of the German “Verein zum Erhalt klassischer Computer” (Society for the Conservation of Classical Computers). It took place in Waiblingen, Germany, where about 20 people met for one day spending it chatting on vintage computing, repairing old computers, playing, and enjoying the rare opportunity to have around people that share the same strange interest.

I am new to the scene, and it was my first event of this kind, and I had as much fun as everybody else. The mixture of geekiness and mature behaviour of persons who have their own family is much more calm and much more ennjoyed as a seldom event in an otherwise routine life than the gatherings When We Were Young and the same computers we use now were state of the art :-).

Still, the guys (and girl) are geeks which I could tell already from the fact that no one seem to wonder or even asked why I wore my stereo mike headset-look-alike livescribe system with which I recorded the event audio-wise. Obviously, one had seen much more oscure things than that :-).

I interviewed each and everyone on what computers they collect, what they think about buying stuff at Ebay, and what system might be missing in my Ebay list (turns out I have to add the Amiga 1000).

By the massive help of electro-man (well, in fact he did and I watched amased…) I finally got my Tatung Einstein 256 power-and-video cable made using an Einstein not-256 power supply, half a SCART cable and half the provided Einstein 256-to-monitor cable, and it worked. Yeah! All I now have to figure out is which of my TV sets is able to display the UK variant of PAL :-).

On display were several C64s, a Zenith CP/M machine, a Vectrex console, several Amigas, and, my personal highlight, the massively pimped ZX81 of some crazy german guy who added an external keyboard, a floppy controller, floppy disk drives, a hard disk controller and hard disk, a plotter kit, a massive switchable ROM, a central PSU for all that together with a DIY UPS, and a bunch of not-yet-identified extensions that Christian Ortner is currently restoring after having obtained the system. The only PCB not made by the guy himself is the ZX81 PCB, and the hard disk controller…

All in all, it was an event that was really fun and that motivates me to go to other such meetings (maybe the next VCFE).

I’ll try to get some photos on the event.

Exciting Times

March 6, 2009

I’m back again after some time with no entries. These are exciting times for me. Not only I can write this from my brand new (and soon to be mobile computer classic 🙂 Sony Vaio P11, but also using UMTS/3G (HSDPA/HSUPA that is :-)) so from now onyou can expect more entries from me written on the way to work :-))). In addition I’m looking forward to participate in my first Vintage Computer event, the “Waiblinger User Meeting” from which I will also report. Oh, and after this event I will publish the next Ebay Price List, with over 1300 entries after 1 year of recording these prices.