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Mikhail Liebenstein

Do you have a handheld computing device more expensive than the iPhone X?

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This may get a bit more attention than my previous post on the subject of Reverse Polish Notation Vintage Calculators - and could possibly make you some money.

Having hunted for ages, i but the bullet and forked out for a reasonable condition vintage HP 15C Scientific Calculator - £230. It sounds mad, but it is probably the best piece of handheld computing ever designed (usability/ ergonomics/ key layout/ durability etc) and the market seems to agrees with ebay prices generally ranging from $200-$700.

I put the reference into the iPhoneX as there are unopened 15C calculators on eBay on offer for $1200. The thing about the 15C is that it highly robust, and takes watch style batteries so the models produced between 1982 and 1989 (which are the valueable ones) will still be working long after the last iPhone X is dead.

In general I am fairly cynical of collectible tech, as there is a risk it can stop working. But I guess if something is to be collectible, it will be something on which you can replace the batteries.

Anyway my suggestion is, if you did an Engineering or Science degree in the 1980s or early 1990s and used an HP calculator you may be sitting on a small fortune. I also note the rarer HP 16C (Computer Science model) is also going for silly money. 

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I've got boxes of the things in the loft.  Mainly HP67 and 97 (they're the same just the 97 is the desktop version, 67 handheld).  A few older, a few younger.  Probably got 50 of the things.  I used to hand them out to (good) friends, but only so many people want an old calculator that doesn't seem to work (no-one can use rpn anymore).

I find those ones fascinating as they use these little lengths of magnetic tape on a plastic backing, a couple of inches long -- they are read in a little slot on the side.  Only 100 bytes, but that's a long program on a calculator.  I've got piles of the little mag cards as well, for all sorts of functions that aren't interesting any more (stats mainly).  And manuals, adaptors, cases, boxes, battery packs (which are all well past it).  

I've got a pile of HP85s as well, but they're more of a hassle as they're moooosive.

I suppose I should sort them all out.

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If it is still functioning (leaky batteries can sometime destroy contacts), then you may well be sat in a mini goldmine. Definitely worth sorting and putting on eBay if you don’t want to keep them.

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13 hours ago, Mikhail Liebenstein said:

 I also note the rarer HP 16C (Computer Science model) is also going for silly money. 

I've noticed a similar effect in housing. And old cars. And old masters. And ....

..

..

This old tech phenomenon is probably just the tail end of the asset bubble.

As a side note, aren't you just a tad embarrassed by your support for this decadent behaviour, where society eschews development in favour of hoarding anachronisms? Aren't you just attempting to be another little cog in an economy where having things is more important than doing things?

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Mikhail Liebenstein said:

If it is still functioning (leaky batteries can sometime destroy contacts), then you may well be sat in a mini goldmine. Definitely worth sorting and putting on eBay if you don’t want to keep them.

 

1 hour ago, Sledgehead said:

I've noticed a similar effect in housing. And old cars. And old masters. And ....

..

..

This old tech phenomenon is probably just the tail end of the asset bubble.

As a side note, aren't you just a tad embarrassed by your support for this decadent behaviour, where society eschews development in favour of hoarding anachronisms? Aren't you just attempting to be another little cog in an economy where having things is more important than doing things

 

My theory is that people eventually want to regain things that remind them of their youth.  This can be both things that they had, and things that they lusted over, but couldn't afford.  Hence why people currently want Mk2 Escorts (silly money), old vinyl, etc.   This is different from established 'collectables', like historic paintings -- these are kept as 'a way of showing how wealthy you are' and as a store of value.

The interesting thing is, these 'new collectables' generally asymptote out at about the original new price (about +/- 50%, inflation adjusted).  With the exception of the fancy rare stuff, vinyl records cost about £10-15; an escort goes for about £10k.  Perhaps I'll wait until the calculators are worth 50% of the inflation adjusted retail price (which would be about $1000 in today's money)...

Anyway, interesting thing is that all 'collectable' things go through a 'worthless' stage.  Indeed, it is IMO an important part of it, as it is during this stage that all of them are thrown away, leaving a rarity which can then support a price increase as demand appears.

It is my consideration that classic computers will go a similar way, and I have been investing accordingly.

Classic calculators are the bellwethers, as they precede the computer boom by about 10 years.  The calculators I've got I all obtained for free, as they were being thrown away.  

Obviously you have to be selective -- for example, classic Macs are always going to be more special than a no-name thrown together thing from '95 -- but the potential market is IMO quite wide.

Eg, my retirement* (not all of it!) is a collection of Silicon Graphics computers -- they were, in the early days, the only 'designed' computer, which made them attractive and desirable, but unaffordable to the majority -- they were minimum £20k (apart from the crappy Intel ones), most about £50k in the early 90s.  My most expensive couple had a list price of £250k.   There are about 30 of them, but they don't take up much room, and are a sort of geeky interesting talking point.

It all seems a bit fanciful, especially as I've probably not spent even £100 in putting it all together.  But I'm reminded of a story I heard a few years ago.  A guy's granddad had a garage, and in the postwar period someone came in with two cars to part-ex for a new Rover.  His granddad was apprehensive as the cars were pretty much worthless, but eventually gave the guy a pittance for the cars.  They then hung around the back of the yard under a tarp for a few years, until someone came and bought them for a few hundred quid (say, £5-10k in today's money) -- his granddad almost tore the guy's hand off.  

They were a pair of 1930's Bugattis.  

[* Having said this, they'll end up being even more worthless than they currently are...]

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3 hours ago, dgul said:

 

My theory is that people eventually want to regain things that remind them of their youth.  This can be both things that they had, and things that they lusted over, but couldn't afford.  Hence why people currently want Mk2 Escorts (silly money), old vinyl, etc.   This is different from established 'collectables', like historic paintings -- these are kept as 'a way of showing how wealthy you are' and as a store of value.

The interesting thing is, these 'new collectables' generally asymptote out at about the original new price (about +/- 50%, inflation adjusted).  With the exception of the fancy rare stuff, vinyl records cost about £10-15; an escort goes for about £10k.  Perhaps I'll wait until the calculators are worth 50% of the inflation adjusted retail price (which would be about $1000 in today's money)...

Anyway, interesting thing is that all 'collectable' things go through a 'worthless' stage.  Indeed, it is IMO an important part of it, as it is during this stage that all of them are thrown away, leaving a rarity which can then support a price increase as demand appears.

It is my consideration that classic computers will go a similar way, and I have been investing accordingly.

Classic calculators are the bellwethers, as they precede the computer boom by about 10 years.  The calculators I've got I all obtained for free, as they were being thrown away.  

Obviously you have to be selective -- for example, classic Macs are always going to be more special than a no-name thrown together thing from '95 -- but the potential market is IMO quite wide.

Eg, my retirement* (not all of it!) is a collection of Silicon Graphics computers -- they were, in the early days, the only 'designed' computer, which made them attractive and desirable, but unaffordable to the majority -- they were minimum £20k (apart from the crappy Intel ones), most about £50k in the early 90s.  My most expensive couple had a list price of £250k.   There are about 30 of them, but they don't take up much room, and are a sort of geeky interesting talking point.

It all seems a bit fanciful, especially as I've probably not spent even £100 in putting it all together.  But I'm reminded of a story I heard a few years ago.  A guy's granddad had a garage, and in the postwar period someone came in with two cars to part-ex for a new Rover.  His granddad was apprehensive as the cars were pretty much worthless, but eventually gave the guy a pittance for the cars.  They then hung around the back of the yard under a tarp for a few years, until someone came and bought them for a few hundred quid (say, £5-10k in today's money) -- his granddad almost tore the guy's hand off.  

They were a pair of 1930's Bugattis.  

[* Having said this, they'll end up being even more worthless than they currently are...]

You aren't alone in noticing this.

However, I would caution that IMHO, besides simply having been around in one's childhood, they should engage as many senses as possible, and do so in a positive way, so as to more effectively conjure happy memories / memories of desires (that grownups often find themselves bereft of, especially if they find themselves rich enough to spend money on "collectibles").

In that regard, I'd imagine very few people will want calculators from their youth, and even fewer will want computers (as these can't be "held" to engage the touch sensation). I think people would be better off collecting old consoles or handheld games machines like Gameboy. Having said that, I expect there are already a ton of collectors doing this, and that will likely reduce future rarity.

Another thing to consider, all things being equal, is size. Something like a Gameboy can be left on a coffee table (for guests to marvel / lust (?) over). Even if you have the space for a "museum", few of us will be sufficiently conceited to suggest one's guest should "withdraw to the antique computers room for cigars and a digestif".

Even then modern cloning can detract from price. Just look at the price of Stylophones (a latter day hand-held I have somewhere) - £20? And thrown into that mix is the disaster of Rolph Harris. Rolph's shady exploits seem to have gone right over the heads of some ebayers. For a laugh, I'm tempted to message that guy and ask him if he has any Jim 'l' fix it medallions or Gary Glitter LPs.

And on handheld electronic instruments, I note the Yamaha QY10, the world's first handheld MIDI sequencer (which I also have) is selling for a massive ~£50.

And then there is condition. I note having just looked that some bod with a gameboy in its original box with all the paperwork (I've got one!) is asking £110. Consoles on their own go for half or even a quarter of that. I suppose its about the "unboxing" experience. Maybe BNIB i-phones will retain some value, despite their stark lines, seeing as their packaging is so gorgeous.

And one further note. Maybe this is short-sighted on the part of those concerned, but I caught a preview of a "Salvage Hunters" prog where the 'pros' all agreed that the contents of an old 'radiogram' should be ripped out to make room for the electronics of a nice home cinema: in other words, they saw no value in the functional parts whatsoever, merely the look of the shell. If that view prevails in the future, who knows what will retain any value.

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3 hours ago, Sledgehead said:

You aren't alone in noticing this.

However, I would caution that IMHO, besides simply having been around in one's childhood, they should engage as many senses as possible, and do so in a positive way, so as to more effectively conjure happy memories / memories of desires (that grownups often find themselves bereft of, especially if they find themselves rich enough to spend money on "collectibles").

In that regard, I'd imagine very few people will want calculators from their youth, and even fewer will want computers (as these can't be "held" to engage the touch sensation). I think people would be better off collecting old consoles or handheld games machines like Gameboy. Having said that, I expect there are already a ton of collectors doing this, and that will likely reduce future rarity.

Another thing to consider, all things being equal, is size. Something like a Gameboy can be left on a coffee table (for guests to marvel / lust (?) over). Even if you have the space for a "museum", few of us will be sufficiently conceited to suggest one's guest should "withdraw to the antique computers room for cigars and a digestif".

Even then modern cloning can detract from price. Just look at the price of Stylophones (a latter day hand-held I have somewhere) - £20? And thrown into that mix is the disaster of Rolph Harris. Rolph's shady exploits seem to have gone right over the heads of some ebayers. For a laugh, I'm tempted to message that guy and ask him if he has any Jim 'l' fix it medallions or Gary Glitter LPs.

And on handheld electronic instruments, I note the Yamaha QY10, the world's first handheld MIDI sequencer (which I also have) is selling for a massive ~£50.

And then there is condition. I note having just looked that some bod with a gameboy in its original box with all the paperwork (I've got one!) is asking £110. Consoles on their own go for half or even a quarter of that. I suppose its about the "unboxing" experience. Maybe BNIB i-phones will retain some value, despite their stark lines, seeing as their packaging is so gorgeous.

And one further note. Maybe this is short-sighted on the part of those concerned, but I caught a preview of a "Salvage Hunters" prog where the 'pros' all agreed that the contents of an old 'radiogram' should be ripped out to make room for the electronics of a nice home cinema: in other words, they saw no value in the functional parts whatsoever, merely the look of the shell. If that view prevails in the future, who knows what will retain any value.

That's all quite right.  I just go with what I know (and can get hold of for free).   IMO people won't actually use them, but have them in a glass cabinet, to be taken out on rare occasions.  TO explore your 'tactile' thing, take model cars.  They're the ultimate tactile thing, but collectors keep them in their boxes and only actually take them out rarely.  It would all be about that right person (internet millionaire, say), having that cabinet with an early Mac and saying 'that's what I had to work with first of all'

I don't really understand it, actually -- but it is my guess for the future and the only cost is a massive weight holding down the roof.  Apart from the big ones, which hold down part of the garage.

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10 minutes ago, dgul said:

That's all quite right.  I just go with what I know (and can get hold of for free).   IMO people won't actually use them, but have them in a glass cabinet, to be taken out on rare occasions.  TO explore your 'tactile' thing, take model cars.  They're the ultimate tactile thing, but collectors keep them in their boxes and only actually take them out rarely.  It would all be about that right person (internet millionaire, say), having that cabinet with an early Mac and saying 'that's what I had to work with first of all'

I don't really understand it, actually -- but it is my guess for the future and the only cost is a massive weight holding down the roof.  Apart from the big ones, which hold down part of the garage.

You don’t have on of the old boxes from Cray acquisition, which then became the Sunfire Box when sold onto  Sun? That would be a large amount of tin to keep in the garage!

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49 minutes ago, dgul said:

... It would all be about that right person (internet millionaire, say), having that cabinet with an early Mac and saying 'that's what I had to work with first of all'

I don't really understand it, actually -- but it is my guess for the future and the only cost is a massive weight holding down the roof.  Apart from the big ones, which hold down part of the garage.

Yeah, like anyone does, huh? :D

The longer I live, the longer the list of mysteries.

Like, why do we watch Bake Off and Master Chef in huge numbers? Can we taste any of it??? I guess it's an amygdala thing : "Uh. Food cooking. Me not starve. Uh. Me happy," which translates at dinner parties into "Oh that young sous chef - marrying balsamic vinegar with saffron and truffle oil; genius!"

Or how people who worry whether the cultures in their natural yogurt really are live, and then sling 20 B&H into the trolley.

You seem to have thought this all through very sensibly and made a very reasonable case for what you are doing. Pretty much exactly what I did when I recognized Lloyds TSB were the only high street bank likely to survive a housing meltdown. That approach cost me £20k. What can you do? Put it all in savings and watch Carney p!ss it all away for you?

Not that I consider myself as an active buyer of anything like that. I have a couple of synths, but I don't imagine Depeche Mode or Kraftwerk are about to make me an offer any greater than the kind of figures seen on ebay, despite the raving of sites like synthmania. I figure they've maybe still got all their equipment. Maybe a revivalist group like Chvrches would make me an offer. Then again, there are plenty of emulators for people who want the utility.

On a similar note I found myself buying QuickFit lab glassware a few years back. Ebay stuff mostly. I feel okay about it cos I always wanted it as a kid, and I paid one quarter of what the likes of Sigma Aldrich want. However, I don't imagine I'll ever mock up a lab and invite friends round for an organic synthesis 'jam'. :D Maybe someday I'll flog it to a Breaking Bad type retiree at a huge profit.

 

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3 hours ago, Mikhail Liebenstein said:

You don’t have on of the old boxes from Cray acquisition, which then became the Sunfire Box when sold onto  Sun? That would be a large amount of tin to keep in the garage!

No -- I've got the stuff that Silicon Graphics kept.  The big boxes are Infinite-Reality Onyx 2 racks -- I don't have a picture of mine, but they look a bit like this:

280px-Onyx2.JPG

I don't fire them up very often.  I think at full whack each one is about a 30 amp draw.  I've run one from a 13 amp feed with a current meter and it's fine so long as I don't turn all the graphics on... 

While they're surprisingly capable, the laptop I'm using now is noticeably more powerful.  A single one is powerful enough to run an industrial quality full immersion high fidelity flight simulator with motion platform, but you can't have that many concurrent tabs open on Firefox and it doesn't do flash -- so not so useful for everyday stuff.

That does remind, me, though -- I like to fire them up this time of year because they do make excellent fan heaters (the computing comes for free).

2 hours ago, Sledgehead said:

Not that I consider myself as an active buyer of anything like that. I have a couple of synths, but I don't imagine Depeche Mode or Kraftwerk are about to make me an offer any greater than the kind of figures seen on ebay, despite the raving of sites like synthmania. I figure they've maybe still got all their equipment. Maybe a revivalist group like Chvrches would make me an offer. Then again, there are plenty of emulators for people who want the utility.

You're just too early.  An original 1970s Minimoog would have cost about £5k in today's money -- price of an original now?  £2-5k.  Yet there was a time in the 80's when they'd be thrown away.  I'd guess Fairlights and similar are just about in the same territory.  

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14 hours ago, dgul said:

 

280px-Onyx2.JPG

I don't fire them up very often.  I think at full whack each one is about a 30 amp draw. .

That does remind, me, though -- I like to fire them up this time of year because they do make excellent fan heaters (the computing comes for free).

You're just too early.  An original 1970s Minimoog ...

Yeah, got me thinking about Fender Rhodes, Vox Continentals etc. All fetching highish prices. Maybe they don't look quite like a Fender Strat clipped to your den wall, but it's food for thought - if, that is, one must cave in to the seemingly relentless rationale, that it's better to put your money in the past than the future.

Curiously, I bet that Silicon Graphics kit knocks out more dB than a Marshall axe amp.

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I dunno.

The theory I'm working to is something along the lines of:

'What is being thrown away now that people (especially younger people) lusted after only a few years ago?'

It is quite a simple formula, but I've missed a few.  Eg, I should have been picking up film cameras 10 years ago -- there was stuff going for free (or very little) that's now relatively stratospheric.

What opportunities might there be now?  I just don't know, but I'll throw a few out there for discussion (I'm not getting involved in any of these...)

  • Decent quality CRT TVs
  • Very early smartwatches (Pebble, Metawatch, the early Sony ones)
  • Early 'bulky' digital cameras, especially if there's something novel about them (like the Ricoh ones)
  • VCR players and tapes
  • Books (not special ones, just normal books -- thinking about the 'price per yard' for people who want to put a library in their home)

Anyway, there are probably others and I'd be happy to accept that the price of the above is unlikely to soar... but they're all things that are currently worthless, where they're being thrown away and where any future increase in demand because of 'retro' won't be readily met.

 

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2 hours ago, dgul said:

What opportunities might there be now?  I just don't know, but I'll throw a few out there for discussion (I'm not getting involved in any of these...)

  • VCR players and tapes
  • ....

 

Who can say? Cassette players seem to have managed it - at least the Nakamichi RX range (they spin the cassette to play the second side). I think this one featured in the movie 9 and 1/2 weeks. V High end at the time. For something that isnow  basically, useless, inferior tech, you'd think "worthless", but some guy as it listed for £700 on ebay. Here it is in action (the 20 second mark shows you the "flip").

 

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2 hours ago, Sledgehead said:

Who can say? Cassette players seem to have managed it - at least the Nakamichi RX range (they spin the cassette to play the second side). I think this one featured in the movie 9 and 1/2 weeks. V High end at the time. For something that isnow  basically, useless, inferior tech, you'd think "worthless", but some guy as it listed for £700 on ebay. Here it is in action (the 20 second mark shows you the "flip").

 

Thanks -- it reminded me that I've got a few Sony Pro-Walkman that I've forgotten abut -- I'll get rid of them now.

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4 hours ago, dgul said:

I dunno.

The theory I'm working to is something along the lines of:

'What is being thrown away now that people (especially younger people) lusted after only a few years ago?'

It is quite a simple formula, but I've missed a few.  Eg, I should have been picking up film cameras 10 years ago -- there was stuff going for free (or very little) that's now relatively stratospheric.

What opportunities might there be now?  I just don't know, but I'll throw a few out there for discussion (I'm not getting involved in any of these...)

  • Decent quality CRT TVs
  • Very early smartwatches (Pebble, Metawatch, the early Sony ones)
  • Early 'bulky' digital cameras, especially if there's something novel about them (like the Ricoh ones)
  • VCR players and tapes
  • Books (not special ones, just normal books -- thinking about the 'price per yard' for people who want to put a library in their home)

Anyway, there are probably others and I'd be happy to accept that the price of the above is unlikely to soar... but they're all things that are currently worthless, where they're being thrown away and where any future increase in demand because of 'retro' won't be readily met.

 

Though it needs to have replaceable batteries in my view. iPhones and Watches from today will be a bit of a rarity, as battery changes will be needed and who knows what weird battery form factor Apple have used.

iPhone 5s are already disappearing, the battery starts to swell and splits the chassis open after about 4-5 years of regular charging.

i think the batteries can be replaced, but it seems to involve busting the thing open, after which it is never quite the same.

 

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38 minutes ago, dgul said:

Thanks -- it reminded me that I've got a few Sony Pro-Walkman that I've forgotten abut -- I'll get rid of them now.

Yep, very iconic, especially the model used in Guardians of the Galaxy.  (Sony TPS-L2)

Plenty of cheap, probably broken ones on eBay, but looks like anything decent is £60-110.

BTW, I once had to stop a girl at work selling her iPod 160 GB off for some bargain price on the company social mail distribution list, at the time they were going for £300+ on eBay - the exact point being when Apple canned the disk based models, as the storage capacities dropped massively as some people just need to have 160GB of music.

Less of an issue now,  as iPhone capacities have over taken that.

 

Correction: 1 x TPS-L2 on for £112, the rest are more like £300+

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4 hours ago, dgul said:

Thanks -- it reminded me that I've got a few Sony Pro-Walkman that I've forgotten abut --plated I'll get rid of them now.

:lol:

I remember a mate at uni doing his nut over that Nakamichi (and a gold plated version of it) - it was pure unfulfillable lust as the things were that pricey. He'd have the disposables now to scratch the itch (and be disappointed when his mates just don't get it).

Linn Sondek LP12s were also raved over in audiophile circles. Beard stroking vinyl buyers have propelled these back to stupid prices - £2k for just the turntable: no cartridge. No tonearm. No preamp. No power supply. Makes you wonder just how long the madness will last.

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I remember people justifying their purchases of the first iPods with the thought that they would become collectors' items, rather than landfill. A bit like those old Pierrot themed things in the '70's / early '80's.

Anyway, I'm sure my dad was given an HP-45 or HP-55 at work, because he taught me RPN on it. I hope it's still lurking around somewhere...

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2 minutes ago, Toast said:

I remember people justifying their purchases of the first iPods with the thought that they would become collectors' items, rather than landfill. A bit like those old Pierrot themed things in the '70's / early '80's.

See, I think the first ipods will become collectors' items -- but it doesn't make any sense to actually buy them.  There was a point in time when the gen-I was valueless.  The time to get them was then.  You could have got a dozen, stashed them away, bring them out in 15 years or so.  But to actually pay anything other than a pound or so defeats the whole point of it all.

Of course, you might ask the question is it worth it?  A dozen ipods might be worth £1k in 10 years.  IMO you'd only do it if it interested you.  Hence, you have to be selective, otherwise it is just crazy hoarding.

[It is already just crazy hoarding, but if there's no logic to it anywhere and the enjoyment is just in having these things in boxes -- well, then it really is just madness.]

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1 hour ago, Toast said:

I remember people justifying their purchases of the first iPods with the thought that they would become collectors' items, rather than landfill. A bit like those old Pierrot themed things in the '70's / early '80's.

 

Fire up the JCB, we're going in hot

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_video_game_burial

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1 hour ago, dgul said:

See, I think the first ipods will become collectors' items -- but it doesn't make any sense to actually buy them.  There was a point in time when the gen-I was valueless.  The time to get them was then.  You could have got a dozen, stashed them away, bring them out in 15 years or so.  But to actually pay anything other than a pound or so defeats the whole point of it all.

I agree completely, but thought it was interesting psychology/marketing at the time. I imagine that to a man/woman, they threw them away when the version 2 came out: it was clear even to them that they were playing games with themselves to justify buying the latest expensive fashion item.

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22 minutes ago, Toast said:

I agree completely, but thought it was interesting psychology/marketing at the time. I imagine that to a man/woman, they threw them away when the version 2 came out: it was clear even to them that they were playing games with themselves to justify buying the latest expensive fashion item.

Sorry -- they were buying them new because they'd be collectable?  Now that really is mad.  They'll almost certainly never regain the inflation adjusted new price.  Very few things do.

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13 minutes ago, dgul said:

Sorry -- they were buying them new because they'd be collectable?  Now that really is mad.  They'll almost certainly never regain the inflation adjusted new price.  Very few things do.

Yup, bonkers, but like I've said, I have seen that attitude a few times over the decades when it comes to ridiculously expensive fashion items. I have never known whether it was initiated by the company (in some way outside of the mainstream advertising, since the first time I encountered it was in the '70's), or whether it's a recurrent aspect of human psychology (and then spreads amongst the social network). The latter would run something like:

<unconscious self>: "I need that to fit in with the crowd!"

<rational self>: "Good grief, that's expensive. I couldn't possibly justify spending that much on that!"

<unconscious self, who can be a real b4stard sometimes>: "...but I'll die of shame without it!"

<rationalizing self">: "Well, if I subtract off the resale value, because it'll be a collectors' item in 20 years, then it's not really that much..."

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2 hours ago, dgul said:

See, I think the first ipods will become collectors' items -- but it doesn't make any sense to actually buy them.  There was a point in time when the gen-I was valueless.  The time to get them was then.  You could have got a dozen, stashed them away, bring them out in 15 years or so.  But to actually pay anything other than a pound or so defeats the whole point of it all.

 

I agree in principle with your views on this topic, and I certainly think what you are saying is worth telling to anyone you care about when they are perhaps too young to appreciate such things.

However, there is an issue: 'condition'.

To achieve the goal of transporting one back to one's youth (which I think we agree is the basis for the value of these otherwise obsolete items), one seems to need to relive the entire acquisition / yearning stage. And it seems that to do this most effectively, one needs something at least in a condition that doesn't scream second-hand. Of course, to make the spell complete, one requires the item to be in the 'fabled' condition of BNIB. But anything bought and unopened is usually bought for the purposes of collecting, and few of these collectors will throw in the towel for pennies. And generally the stuff sold for pennies is in poor condition.

For i-pods that doesn't matter so much as you can keep plenty of them. But for bigger stuff, you really only wanna be storing premium condition stuff, especially if you end up Big-Yellowing it.

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  • 406 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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