Collecting and the Spirt of Old Machines...


Original poster
Jun 4, 2000
Alexandria, VA
Saw this post on the usenet, comp.sys.apple2:

From: "Ernest" <>
Newsgroups: comp.sys.apple2
Subject: Some thoughts on collecting

Sometimes, collecting old computers can be kind of depressing. Today, a nice
man, a teacher from a local school brought over several large boxes of old
Apple II software and manuals. There wasn't anything particularly
"collectable" in the lot, other than a set of Mastery Development network
setup disks.

The part that was depressing for me was seeing how neatly, and carefully
arranged and sorted it all was. This was obviously a school with a struggling
budget, and I could clearly see how much pride they took in their
hand-me-down software and manuals. Much of it was even sorted by class and
grade, with a student's name on each 5.25" disk. I guess that it was their
work for that year -mostly 2nd-4th grades.

I don't know exactly why sorting through this stuff depressed me. Maybe it
was because I could see that they once cared very much about this stuff, and
now it was being thrown out like so much rubbish.

Next week, I get to go and pick through their old hardware -including their
Mastery Development Network systems. I'm sure that I'll find some nice things
but it will probably hit me the same way. They were still using their Apple
IIe's on this network up until a year or so ago, when the license expired.

It's lately begun to get to me. Each of these old systems, and bits of junk
have their previous owner's energy (for lack of a better word) all over them.
I find disks with old letters and diaries on them, or computers with stickers
that some teenage kid stuck on them. I take them apart, and clean them up. I
effectively sterilize them of any sign of previous usage. I never thought
about it before but I've started to lately and it sort of bums me out a
little. Who were these people? What are they doing now? Did Sue finally marry
Bill? Has Jack gone on to college? It's like seeing the ghosts of previous

I should also say, though that most of the time, the history of these old
computers fascinates me. I only collect clones now, and I know that there
can't be more than a handful of certain ones left out there. I enjoy that
part of it -knowing that at least the systems that I have will not be going
to the land fill any time soon.


Web Page:

...almost brings a tear to the eye. I know the feeling, though it ususally comes from having found some old 5.25" disk I'd stored ol schoolwork on back in 1983, etc. And definitely nice to see an old mahine up and appreciated in the present day. I've got a few setup of my own, as you folks know.



Original poster
Jun 4, 2000
Alexandria, VA
One of the responses was thus:

From: "Bryan Villados" <>
Newsgroups: comp.sys.apple2
Subject: Re: Some thoughts on collecting

I feel your pain... I recently went to an elementary school that was jam packed with Apple equipment. I could only take one car load, and I had to leave the rest behind. I took some photos of the temporary storage facility that sat on their school lawn:

--- Bryan



macrumors 68000
Apr 16, 2002
The sad thing is that most of that stuff is probably still useful/functional, but was dropped for the next latest and greatest or for budget spending reasons.

I have seen that same scene has played out here at the university many times. The sad part is not knowing what is going to happen to it all. But I guess that is also a good thing...


macrumors 68000
Nov 24, 2002

I recently bought a Mac Classic II and was looking for older system software for it. (among other sites) used to be able to distribute older versions of Mac OS (and the tours, which are great) but Apple recently decided to revoke that option and now if you want to find OS 6 or something, you're pretty much screwed.

I can't help thinking Apple is helping to push those old computers to the dump. It really is a shame, but business is business I guess ... :(
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