Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

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Hello,

I just joined the AppleFritter.com Web site.

I don't know whether any of you collect Apple II or Macintosh computer systems, but I've been in the process of building an Apple IIgs System, component by component.

I'd welcome any of your thoughts on some questions that have come up for me while I've been working on building this Apple IIgs System.

(1) Is an Apple IIgs System really a financial investment/asset (that, even adjusting for inflation, likely will sell for more money than it cost to buy now, as a collector's item, (assuming that it's maintained well once it's purchased currently)? My impression is that, of all of the Apple II Systems, the Apple IIgs is the most sought after (and receives the highest monetary offers) by vintage Apple Computer buyers (I believe because, since it's the newest and last Apple II computer manufactured by Apple, it offers the greatest number of options for current expandability).

When I've read certain written descriptions accompanying Apple IIgs components or whole Systems on, for example, eBay, I've noted that some sellers have said that the Apple IIgs will continue only to become rarer and more difficult to find as the years go by, (I believe the implication being that therefore, if their supply/availability decreases, then demand [and the corresponding price offered by prospective buyers] will go up). However, I can't tell whether this is a marketing tactic. For example, in reality, at least currently, there seem to be a substantial number of Apple IIgs CPUs and other basic Apple IIgs System components coming onto eBay intermittently (with no short-term indication that I can see that the supply of these Apple IIgs CPUs and other basic Apple IIgs System components actually is diminishing). But, do you predict that, say, 10 years from now, it really will be substantially more difficult for a buyer to find Apple IIgs CPUs and other basic Apple IIgs System components, thereby actually raising the monetary value of an Apple IIgs System that I currently am in the process of purchasing?

(2) As I've found in many unrelated contexts as a common principle, the purchase of specific Apple IIgs components being offered for sale seems to follow the concept of "diminishing returns", especially with respect to the external condition in which any particular Apple IIgs component offered for sale looks to be in. That is, the difference in apparent external quality between a $40 Apple IIgs RGB Monitor and a $100 Apple IIgs Monitor seems often to be substantial and very noticeable - and therefore clearly worth making the greater ($100) investment to get an obviously better-maintained component. But, in accordance with the "diminishing returns" principle, in order to find an Apple IIgs RGB Monitor that's in A/A+ - "Mint Condition" (even with or without its box), versus one that's a little bit less than perfect, the cost might be $300 instead of $100 (just to have this Monitor without very slight yellowing, or a minor scratch or two on its plastic). Intuitively, it seems to me as though the highest (and most certain) monetary return-on-investment (or even net profit from their future sales) would be on Apple IIgs components that are purchased and subsequently maintained in A- condition - that is, very good-to-excellent condition, but just short of perfect condition - "Mint Condition".

(3) I've heard more than once that the final Apple IIgs CPU Revision - the ROM 3 - is not only the most powerful Apple IIgs CPU, but that it's also the rarest-to-find Apple IIgs CPU Revision (and, in part because of its comparative scarcity, that it's therefore currently the most expensive Apple IIgs CPU Revision). This comparative rareness of the Apple IIgs CPU Revision ROM 3 is surprising to me because both of the other 2 Apple IIgs CPU Revisions combined (the ROM 00 and the ROM 01) were sold for just over 2 years, whereas the ROM 3 CPU Revision was sold for over 3 years. But maybe there are other factors that I'm not considering (than the comparative time-on-sale by Apple of these Apple IIgs CPU Revisions). For example, maybe during the time when the Apple IIgs ROM 3 was sold - even though it was a longer amount of time than the 2 predecessor CPU Revisions combined - the Macintosh had become of much greater focus to Apple and to Apple Computer System buyers, and therefore had begun to comprise a greater and greater percentage of the total Apple Computers purchased by buyers from Apple who were going to buy either a new Apple IIgs CPU Revision ROM 3 or a new Macintosh.

(4) I've noticed several similarities between the similar-vintage Apple IIgs CPU Version ROM 3 and the Macintosh LC II computer systems. These 2 computer systems look to me to have a relatively similar external design (and the 6.0.1 GS/OS for the Apple IIgs, as a whole, I believe looks similar to the O.S. of the Macintosh LC II). I'm wondering whether the Macintosh LC II's CPU has a circuit board casing that opens easily, as the Apple IIgs CPU Revision ROM 3 circuit board's CPU casing does. Or, have all vintages of Macintosh CPUs always been "closed systems", requiring tools to open their CPUs' casings (and not containing circuit board card expansion slots, for which I believe that the Apple II computer model line was renowned).

(5) Are there any particular advantages that either the Apple IIgs CPU Revision ROM 3 and/or the similar-vintage Macintosh LC II have compared to one another? This question doesn't seem to have an obvious answer to me because, for example, although the Apple IIgs CPU Revision ROM 3 may be much more easily expandable, this benefit seems potentially largely to be offset by the higher processor and RAM specifications, as well as the greater number of built-in peripheral device connection ports included with the Macintosh LC II. (For example, based on these 2 computers' baseline CPU maximum processor speed specifications, it looks to me as though the [usually I've seen costing around $175] purchase of, and inclusion in a CPU slot of an Apple IIgs CPU Revision ROM 3, a TransWarp processor speed accelerator card, might not increase the Apple IIgs CPU Revision ROM 3's processing speed to a higher velocity than that which the similar-vintage Macintosh LC II came standard in the first place [without this need to purchase a relatively expensive additional TransWarp CPU processor accelerator card].)

Thanks. If Members would like to comment on any of these Apple IIgs Computer System issues, that would be great. I'd be very interested to hear what you might want to talk about, especially regarding these topics.

Thanks again.

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Re: Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

It is not a financial investment/asset. It may go up, but trying to find that person that wants to pay what you did may take a long time. Buying a part at a time is the most costly thing to do. It like trying to buy a new car buy buying each part. They did a study of this years ago. A $6,000 car cost over $13,000 or something like that. Some will pay more for a Rom 0, which IMO you can not really use. Some like the Rom03. Some like the Woz O1.

The basic system should be easy to pick up even years from now. But the special add-ons will be more than the whole system. Like the Mountain Chassis Expansion Box only a 1,000 were made. Or maybe a Second Sight Card. The list goes on.

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Re: Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

If you're putting together an Apple IIGS sytem based on the possibility of selling it a few years down the road for more than what you paid for it my advice is: Stop Now! As Twilight Rodent posted there will be IIGS systems, from the ROM 00 to the ROM 01 to the ROM 03 available for years to come. Some add ons, such as the Transwarp GS or ZIP GS, will become harder to find, since there were never many manufactured in the first place. But overall if you're doing this to make more money later on then I would seriously suggest you forget it.

Dean

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Re: Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

There are only a few situations where an Apple IIGS will appreciate in value, compared to the average IIGS. In *my* opinion, here is my ranking in order of value:

1.) Prototype or never released version (Mark Twain, Ten Speed, etc.)

2.) A machine used by a notable developer, possibly autographed and authenticated

3.) New in the box, never opened or never used.

4.) Stuffed with premium cards (accelerators, RAM, storage, etc)

5.) Used but in absolute pristine, mint condition

The ROM 3 isn't 'rare' by any means, but some people prefer them over the ROM 01 because they have more tools in ROM (making it slightly faster) and have better slot management options. Some people prefer the 01, because some older titles bork on the 3 and won't run right.

I have several Apple II models that are new in the box, but I don't consider them investments. They're spares.

Still, there are suckers out there who'll drop stupid money on something pitched just right... I just wouldn't count on it.

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Re: Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

(1)

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for most vintage computers to appreciate in value. Over the last 20 years, the overall trend in price has been up, but not by much. I've read that there were about 1.5 million IIgs units made, which makes it one of the more common vintage computers and middle of the pack for Apple IIs. As time goes on, attrition will reduce the available number of units, but interest in owning them is also likely to wane. The IIgs is not the newest Apple II model (that is the IIc+) and it was not the last to be manufactured (that would be the IIe). It is the only model that will run 16 bit Apple II software, but it was a late-comer to the Apple II line, so I'm not sure the average person interested in an Apple II for nostalgic purposes would seek out a IIgs over any of the 8 bit models. If you want an Apple II for investment purposes, look for an original integer II or maybe a IIc+. I think your money would be better invested in almost anything else, but those models seem most likely to increase in value, based on scarcity.

(2)

The best way to get a return on investment is in terms of the pleasure you experience using the machine. If you are looking for monetary return, the best way to get that is to buy broken equipment and fix it. Otherwise, unless you have something that makes for special collector appeal, like original cartons, or receipts, or the burger wrapper the original owner got with his lunch on the way back from purchasing the unit, you're probably not going to do much better than break even on selling common gear.

(3)

ROM0 is the scarcest IIgs model. ROM3s aren't particularly scarce - they make up a quarter to a third of IIgs units - so, hundreds of thousands.

(4)

The LC series was a low-cost series that didn't offer a lot of expansion capability. But, there were and are many Macs that offered significant expansion capability. The Mac II series offered internal slots in that time frame. The philosophies behind the Apple II and the Mac were very different. That is one reason why Apple lost so many customers over the transition.

(5)

The advantage of the IIgs over the LC is that it is an Apple II and can run Apple II software. The advantage of the LC is that it is a Mac and can run Mac software. It is worth noting that the LC is one of the Mac models with a PDS slot and, therefore, is able to use the Apple II compatibility card. So, the LC is one of the few Mac models that can also run Apple II software (but only 8 bit). The LC is a more advanced computer and has the ability to run Apple II software, so I'd give it the edge. Unless you want an Apple II, that is, in which case buying a Mac is about as useful as buying a Commodore 64. Wink

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Re: Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

BTW, Retro-brite gets rid of the yellow and is cheap and easy to make. Buy the cheapest, yellowest gear you can find and Retro-brite it. In the long run, you may end up with the better-looking case that way, since so much bromine has already migrated to the surface.

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Re: Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

Best way to invest in Apple for the long haul is to buy its stock. Try to buy when dips and hold on to it.

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Re: Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

IIgs,

It seems to me that you're overanalyzing.

What are you using your IIgs for; Fun, or Profit?

If it's for profit; STOP NOW!

If it's for your own enjoyment and learning, you can pick up a IIgs on eBay for a reasonable cost (plus shipping). It's the "extra's" that you have to contemplate (RAM Card, Sound Card, Accelerator Card, etc.) These are starting to get really expensive to find and buy (especially Accelerator Cards).

I have several here at home (ROM 0 through ROM 3), that I have no intention of getting rid of, plus the RAM Cards, Accelerator Cards, and other third party hardware. Smile

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Re: Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

> the Apple IIgs is the most sought after (and receives the highest monetary offers) by vintage Apple Computer buyers

I would think that an original Apple 1 would receive the highest monetary offers, followed far behind by an original Apple ][. These were the first two Apple computers and they are now rare finds.

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Re: Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

mmphosis,

That would be a correct assumption.

Finding an original Apple I (outside of a museum, or collectors showcase)in any sort of condition is akin to finding the "Holy Grail".
Finding an original Apple II in "decent" condition is getting harder all the time and more expensive, and if you think you're going to find one in mint condition you'll be back at the museum again.
Early Apple IIe's (before the Platinum) are relatively easy in all kinds of conditions and are inexpensive unless someone has bought one, then cleaned and refurbished it.
IIc's and IIgs's are plentifull, but it is the IIc Plus that commands a more expensive price. Smile

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Re: Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

About the Mountain Expansion Box. Their is little on the net about it. Their were only about a 1,000 of them made. That is what make it rare. How many still exist? So when I seen one at a Hamfest for $5.00 with manual, power supply and cards on the inside I bought it.

Here is what a picture of it looks like. Number 47. He may have other pictures of it, but no way to access them.

http://www.mynewoffice.com/pcmuseum/antiques.htm

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Re: Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

The Mountain Expansion Box...

I have looked hi and low for one of these. But, I believe that it's another of the "Holy Grail" scenarios. From what I was able to glean fro several sites, it had a card that ran from your II into one socket inside the box with seven extra slots to place cards in.

The Laser 128EX had an optional box that attached to the motherboard which had two extra slots inside. I have one of these and have contemplated how to adapt it to an Apple II series computer. Smile

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Re: Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

I have two of the Mountain Hardware expansion chassis boxes.

I don't recall the serial numbers off-hand, but one should be below 100 and the other around 650-800 or something.

One of them is in pristine shape, I never used it aside from opening and testing. And the other one shows your basic typical wear. But nowhere near as bad as the school-used Apple II consoles.

It's basically a box with slots, a few logic chips here and there, a card that goes into the II. Also inside the box is a nice hefty-looking power supply. Lots of ferrite beads and diodes on the card. And ribbon cable 3" wide. IIRC.

Typically these would cost about $625 back in the day. I have no idea what they're worth today. But if they go for $5.00 at a hamfest, I can't imagine them cracking $50 on ebay.

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Re: Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

Hi,
The Hamfest was about 20+ years ago. But on Ebay they are over 600 hundred. A few wanted much more before the reserve was met. Heard there were only about 1000 of them made. The power supply was a wall wart.

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Re: Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

going through this thread is quite amusing....
it starts up with greedy thoughts and a guy who acts like a banker and wants to get insider info due to lack that he´s got nothing common to do with the market except trading.... such guys ruined banks and wall street and for sure are not the ones i´d welcome that far....
and the questions .... gosh! It seems that somebody slept in college and at harvard.....
what are basic laws to the market ??? shall we really open threads to give afterhour lessons to people that had been to lazy to do their homework and which didn´t pay attention at school ??? anybody out there that realy knows the basic rules: "the more customers and the less offers/items - the higher the price !" that simple ! and this in the age of google ....
ever heard something about wikipedia???? there is plenty stuff out there - to find out how many items of a computer modell have been created... facts like how many computers have been granted for nothing to schools and how many of them have been kicked off after some years to the dumpyards.... are we realy here to do greedy guys homework ???
up to my mind the thread is in the wrong site... put it up in the site: "greedy-mens-success-club" or try to find out if some students at harvard are that stupid to do your homework.... probably your bankaccount-advisor or your former wallstreet-trader will do the homework for you... but maybe you have to pay them for that task...
this is forum for retro computing and serious collectors and hobbyists that try to get those systems running - not for dumping the systems at wallstreet for economic destruction... - cause that would be the path where this leeds up... if you want to kick prices high here is my simple advice: buy as many dumpyards and recycling companies as possible... and then try to destroy as many computers as you can.... if do that as much as possible - the remaining amount of systems will shrink... and that will bring up your "investment" to a recognizable amount....

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Re: Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

I checked, yes, the supply is wall wart. And that is probably the style used in the production run when they were selling them.

My earlier one, I'm going to venture a guess and say it was a proto, has the supply built in. Integrated right into the same board that the slots are soldered into. One single piece of PCB fiberglass. This is NIB MIB, except for testing.

My later model has two covers. One, the standard-issue metal plate that comes with the box. And a second home-made plastic cover with 2 very low rpm fans in it. One blowing in and one blowing out, with the appropriate baffles to ensure air movement over the cards. These baffles were made from cardboard and tape. I did this when we filled these with modems and interfaces for BBS'ing.

Back in the day, whenever I did any mods to anything, I made sure I kept original materials and did them in such a way to ensure MIB-like condition could be restored in a moment. Mostly out of fear of warranty violation and such. So, anyways, the fan cover we made, could be powered by 3 methods..
1-hook clips to points on the main board.
2-blank dummy card leaching power from a slot.
3-an external 2nd AC-adapter.

In that order. A quick and dirty cooling solution - tapping into the mainboard with those hook-clips (like for the lowercase/shift mod. Then a more permanent one with a slot-leach-blank-card - a blank card just connecting to the supply rails and some capacitors and inductors, drawing power from the bus like any card would. And finally when we wanted to make use of the "blank" slot, I did the AC-adapter power supply thing. I didn't want to overload anything beyond what we already had going. And I didn't feel like testing and wiring into the power supply circuitry more.

Back in the day this was the shit peripheral to have. Totally amazing! I swear I had a mainframe going on my desk at the time.

Regarding epay prices and such. I've noticed that there has been a slight uptick of Apple II and II+ systems for sale since Mr. Jobs passed on. There are also downright common items that are listed at insane prices. Just look here at the first page, 1500 for a II+? And 400 for a cpm card and 400 for a clock card? Good god! I for one hope nobody, not even a spoiled rotten rich noob is gullible enough to spring for this!
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=%22Apple+II%22&_sacat=0&_odkw=%22Apple+II%22&_osacat=0&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313
I see little that is rare about a micromodem or a unidisk. And they are even calling a 16k card RARE! OMFG.. Perhaps a NIB shrinkwrapped Microsoft 16k card may command a few hundred - as I believe it was M$' first CONSUMER hardware product - aside from industrial bios and dos firmware chips.

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Re: speedyG's 12/17/2011 rude remarks about me

12/22/2011

Dear speedyG:

I appreciate your candor in your 12/17/2011-posted addition to this Feed. I think that it expresses your thoughtful conclusions about the overall kind of person whom you reasonably could conclude that I am (after all, you do have the data of a single e-mail).

Especially in light of their unnecessary nastiness, and their public presentation (that evidently was not endorsed by its intended public audience), these remarks elucidate far more about their author's character and values, than about those of the individual targeted by them.

By way of, what I hope you'll experience as a constructive critique, I have composed the following revised "Footer" suggestion for your AppleFritter Account. I think that this revised "Footer" is much more clever, and still preserves some of the core thinking from your current one.

This revision includes a logically and stylistically called for ending (whether or not it's even accurate). Even a bit of humor thrown in, without it really undermining your basic somber and deeply profound sum-up of your apparently, in all conceivable respects, Two-Sectioned life.

"My early days?-- I had much money; sadly not much time --
Now I'm blessed with hours galore, but not a single dime.
This second stage boasts fewer friends, yet much more joy in life:
For even without funds or friends, I've got time for a wife!"

Respectfully,

Apple IIgs

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Apple IIgs wrote:

I have requested that my AppleFritter.com Member Account ("Apple IIgs") be deleted.

For various technical reasons, Applefritter accounts cannot be purged.

Quote:

I do not want to participate on a Web site that would permit your most recent remarks about me, personally, to remain posted for everyone -- Member and Non-Member -- who views this thread to read.

I don't believe any of the admins or moderators here have received any sort of contact from you regarding the post you take offense to. Is your expectation that any sort of material that you would disagree with be expunged automatically?

You have a choice -- you can stop participating in discussions at Applefritter of your own volition, or if you are incapable of doing so, your account can be disabled.

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Re: Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

Interesting that you decided to edit your post.

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Re: Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

Apple IIgs wrote:

Hello,
(1) Is an Apple IIgs System really a financial investment/asset (that, even adjusting for inflation, likely will sell for more money than it cost to buy now, as a collector's item, (assuming that it's maintained well once it's purchased currently)? My impression is that, of all of the Apple II Systems, the Apple IIgs is the most sought after (and receives the highest monetary offers) by vintage Apple Computer buyers (I believe because, since it's the newest and last Apple II computer manufactured by Apple, it offers the greatest number of options for current expandability).

Personally looking at the Apple II stuff I believe the rev 0. original Apple II would be the model to look for from around 1976-77

In my opinion the only items that can ever be considered collector grade are the items that are in their origial boxes, like new etc...in the past we have seen on ebay items like an brand new Apple IIC with the monitor, all the boxes etc.. sell for over $5,000
that's the sort of thing that is considered collectors items, not beaten up, old junky yellowed systems, these are the ones to play with, enjoy, mod etc...

but as others have said this should be a hobby, to enjoy yourself, bring back memories of your childhood etc growing up with these computers.

One could also look at the system of grading coins and stamps as an example of how the value of things can vary greatly.

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Re: Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

gsmcten wrote:

The Mountain Expansion Box...

I have looked hi and low for one of these. But, I believe that it's another of the "Holy Grail" scenarios. From what I was able to glean fro several sites, it had a card that ran from your II into one socket inside the box with seven extra slots to place cards in.

The Laser 128EX had an optional box that attached to the motherboard which had two extra slots inside. I have one of these and have contemplated how to adapt it to an Apple II series computer. Smile

In fact its rather more a "slot-repeater" than a "slot-expansion" because you just have the same slots put by cable outside of the computer.... in fact its just a extendes version of the same project that had been published in the "ELcomp"magazine in 1978.... you might not use the same slot outside and inside of the computer at the same time.... if you have for example the Z80 softcard in the computer in slot 4 you might not use slot 4 at the outside of the computer...

it was repeatedly published as "copycat" in other magazins and books too...
I´ve got the description from ELcomp and i´ll scan and publish it in the next days after christmas and publish the link here to the PDF-File generated from the scans....

and I agree with Macintosh128k .... i mentioned nearly same few posts above...
but in fact i very carefully read the initial opening post in the thread.... that is really a remarkeble thing to read and think about...
- in fact the used terms and the kind of questions are remarkable.... that was also the reason that i made a rather "rude reply" as the initiator of the thread claimed it to be.... sure ...
its not the fact that it had been only one post to think about ... its more about the content and terms used within to think about... it felt like beeing "beamed in the backroom of a wallstreet office" listening to the terms used there and watching a discusion and then thereafter being "beamed back to AF in a thread".... and my summary wasn´t only to the initial post but also to the questions and opinions in the follow-up after---
there surely is a difference between AF members thinking of the value of the one or other component in their collection... but i really hope that they will never reduce that to a view only to be an "object of investment" to "gain maximum of interest from investment"....
the reaction was rather interesting tooo...

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Re: Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

Old computers are very much like old cars, you can't just stick your old Mustang, Mercedes whatever in a shed for 20 years and expect to drive it out of the garage and sell it.

Old cars and old computers need to be maintained, Anyone into old Macs will know all about recapping boards, floppy drives needing adjustments, old floppies failing etc...

If you can't do any of this yourself, well you have to pay someone to do it, there goes any investment you might be looking to gain money from.

Maybe in another 25-30 years an Apple II will be worth some serious coin, the few remaining examples that the true enthusiasts / collectors people interested in these old things have tinkered with and kept going.

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Re: Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

agree 100 % !

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Re: Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

Mac128,

Can't argue with you there.

I've said it before...I started gathering Apple II's and older Mac's for my personal enjoyment. Teardown, clean, rebuild, and use. My mom keeps asking me what I'm going to do with them. Her eternal question of "Why don't you sell them?" is always ringing in my ears.

She does not understand (and she is not the only one) the simplicity, nor the beauty of the machine after it has been cleaned up and is fully operational (he said with a tear in his eye).

Some folks see them as investments. I see them as fun. Smile

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Re: Some Apple IIgs Computer System questions

stockpiling parts is the way to go
if you have 5 of any given system in a few years you will be down to 1 or 2 and parting out the rest to keep the others going.