Odd vintage computer sellers
aperry at snowmoose.com
Thu Jan 2 13:02:48 CST 2020
Most of us who collect vintage computers probably have our own stories
like this, but I find this so amusing that I just have to share it.
Last year I did an exhibit on SPARC clones for VCF PNW and wanted to
include a Solbourne in it. Unable to cajole Cameron into loaning me one
:-), I went looking for one to buy on eBay.
There was a seller with, among other Solbourne hardware, a listing for
some number of IDT S4000DXs. They had started with 6 and were down to
4-5 when I started looking. IIRC, the base Buy-It-Now (BIN) price was
around $225, but, when they didn't sell, they were relisted with a
varying discount. In relistings, the BIN was as low as $167.
In a relisting where the discounted price was $195 BIN, I offered $175.
The seller didn't accept and, in the counter offer exchange, eventually
went above the discounted price. I didn't go for that. Then, in the next
relisting, the discounted price was $167. I bought one.
They were being sold with a HDD and a Solbourne frame buffer (Sun frame
buffers don't work in S4000DXs), but no keyboard or mouse (Solbournes
use proprietary keyboards and mice). The one that I got had a dead
Sun0424 (Seagate ST1480N) HDD and, I found out later, a broken frame buffer.
I put in a SD2SCSI and installed OS/MP (Solbourne's version of BSD
SunOS). From the serial console, it worked fine and I included the
system in my VCF PNW exhibit. After the show, I spent some time trying
to make a Solbourne to Sun keyboard adapter, but couldn't get it to
work. I have had it up for sale for a few months (my attention is now
focused on the barn-find Sun 3/260 that I hope to have working for this
year's VCF PNW).
But, back to the seller that I got the S4000DX from ...
The seller is still trying to sell 2 of the original 6 S4000DXs (that at
one point included the one that I have). However, the pricing has
changed. Now, instead of the old base price of around $225, the base
price is now $3060. Yes, $3000. But they are being offered with an 83%
discount, so one can get a S4000DX for the low, low price of just under
I find this amazing and odd.
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