How much is an NeXT workstation worth?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by applefan1997, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. applefan1997 macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2005
    Koreatown, Los Angeles, California
    There are two on ebay, I wondered ho wmuch its worth
    Sold as is, pizabox style, unit only.
    How much can I expect to pay?
  2. RacerX macrumors 65832

    Aug 2, 2004
    It is sort of an open ended question... what are we really talking about?

    NeXT released a number of NeXTstations, which one are you looking at?

    What are the specs on it? I've seen many that come with only 8 MB of RAM and a 105 MB hard drive... which is not a lot of room to work with.

    And then there is the question of software. Does it come with NEXTSTEP or OPENSTEP preinstalled? Do you get the installation media with the system? What version of NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP is installed? NEXTSTEP 3.0 and later work better with 16 MB or more of RAM, and only NEXTSTEP 3.3 or OPENSTEP 4.2 were patched by Apple.

    And then there is the monitor, keyboard and mouse, etc. Is this just the NeXTstation itself or does it come with other hardware?

    All of that is going to come into play when looking at what you find on ebay. A minimum spec system would be between $75-150. The higher end systems jump up from their. And if it comes with the operating system media, then you can upgrade things like hard drives on your own (NeXTstations use the same type of SCSI drives Apple used to use, your only limitation is NEXTSTEP can't handle volumes larger than 2 GB).

    On the other hand, any NeXT system is a good investment... even if you need it to be a useful system. I have a ton of free software on my site for NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP that has been donated to the community, and non-free software is still very reasonable (a copy of Mathematica 3.0 for NeXT hardware is about $35, and I've seen some copies of 2.0 go for under $10 on ebay recently).

    So a nice NeXTstation running NEXTSTEP 3.3 can be a very useful piece of equipment, even today. And though you can run OPENSTEP 4.x on a NeXTstation, it tends to be a little of a resource hog. As the NeXTstations topped out with a 68040 at 33 MHz, that is a little slow for OPENSTEP. You can off set this by increasing the memory to more than 64 MB, but staying with NEXTSTEP 3.3 would be the best solution for NeXT hardware.

    Part of the reason Apple continued to update NEXTSTEP 3.3 as well as OPENSTEP 4.2 was because they knew that NEXTSTEP 3.3 was a better OS for owners of NeXT hardware. And at one point Apple would actually give owners of NeXT hardware free copies of NEXTSTEP 3.3 (which was required for the Y2K patch).

    Anyways, like computers of any platform, knowing more about the system can help in judging what it is worth.

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