Why old Macs?

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by Hrududu, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. Hrududu macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2008
    Central US
    Lets face it, there are plenty of people out there (including some on this forum) who think collecting old Macs is pretty dumb. Most people are after the latest and greatest, and have no interest in obsolete systems. So why do you collect Macs instead of stamps, coins, or even classic cars?
  2. David Schmidt macrumors 6502

    David Schmidt

    Aug 22, 2006
    Southeastern USA
    If your sole purpose is to use computers, that makes an amount of sense (assuming you can afford the latest and greatest).
    My list, off the top of my head... because they:
    • Are interesting to look at
    • Have sentimental value
    • Are interesting period pieces in terms of software and hardware
    • Provide a special "something" that is missing from, say, emulation
    • Are actually useful for archival purposes as Apple sees fit to "obsolete" disk formats and networking protocols over time
  3. MacTech68, Sep 1, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    MacTech68 macrumors 68020


    Mar 16, 2008
    Australia, Perth
    Considering you list six G3 Macs in your signature, maybe you can answer this question yourself? :D

    Maybe it's because they represent a company that many have said would be long dead by now.

    Maybe it's because a collection of old Macs looks better than a collection of old IBM clones (though there are those that collect those too).

    Maybe it's because we've used them and still find uses for them.

    Maybe it's simply that they represent an industrial design timeline.

    Sometimes I wish I collected stamps. They'd be easier to store per item! ;)

    Oh and most of my extremely old Macs were acquired for free!
    buy herbalaire
  4. patrickdunn macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2009
    St. Louis, MO
    They make me reminisce about the good days!

    Seriously, they bring me back, its like listening to an old song. Its still cool to play around with them, and to think how far we've come.
  5. spue2001 macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2008
  6. Hrududu thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2008
    Central US
    Its just interesting to hear what other people's reasons are. I guess a lot of it has to do with drooling over these computers years ago, but never being able to afford them until now. Each one is pretty unique and its cool just to get a new toy to play with. The topic came to mind today when I found myself winning a TiBook on eBay. I really don't have any use for it, but I've always wanted one and have always been impressed with the design and how it was really the first of its kind.
  7. MacTech68, Sep 1, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    MacTech68 macrumors 68020


    Mar 16, 2008
    Australia, Perth
    Indeed. Having worked for an Apple specialist for over 20 years, I was pleased a few months ago when a friend gave me a Pismo he found at an auction. The DVD drive works perfectly, the battery holds 2hrs charge and there's not a scratch on it. I recall 'drooling' over them when the first shipment arrived.

    I've just ordered a 512MB SO-DIMM for it, threw a spare AirPort card into it and it runs 10.4.11 reasonably well. As a standby laptop it performs nicely and I finally get to use one! :D
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  8. three macrumors 65816


    Jan 22, 2008
    Washington State
    I collect older Macs because I like both of them, the iMac G3 changed the computer world completely, and the iMac G4 is beautiful.
  9. quantum003 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 27, 2009
    You know, I wish I could explain it. I feel some sort of compulsion to play around and tinker with them, to experiment and see what I can get them to do and what they just plain refuse to do. I enjoy trying to get old computers working with new peripherals and vice versa. Stylewriter inkjet printers working with G5 towers and that sort of thing. Everytime I see any kind of used or cheap Apple cable, power supply, or dongle I always pick it up... I feel like I want to have one of everything, to be prepared for any kind of Apple conundrum I might find myself in. :eek: It's ridiculous. I have a very patient wife.

    Truth to be told I guess I collect pretty much everything Apple, not just old Macs.
  10. rekhyt macrumors 65816

    Jun 20, 2008
    Part of the old MR guard.
    The only Mac that I really regret and have kind of a little bitter feeling about not discovering Macs before it is the G4 Cube.

    I used to love browsing commercials and "fan made" videos/commercials of Apple when I got a Mac and I found the G4 Cube in one of the videos and it was the coolest thing ever. I was used to living in a PC environment with boring looking computers and it really "opened my eyes".

    I wish I could find one.
  11. yoyo5280 macrumors 68000


    Feb 24, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia & Bay Area
    Because it shows progression of good industrial design through the ages.
  12. covisio macrumors 6502


    Aug 22, 2007
    The inclusion of classic (or vintage) cars is an interesting comparison, and also applies to things like vintage hi-fi, vintage cameras, vintage personal audio players, etc. I wouldn't consider stamp and coin collectors to be of the same 'breed', generally.

    What happens is, when new technology appears it is usually priced in the premium bracket to reflect the development costs that went into it, the fact that it is 'new' and 'special' and typically the physical materials of the product and the construction quality are of a much higher quality early on in the product's life. These early examples are often the most interesting, both physically and historically.

    Over time, the drive to lower production costs cause simplification of construction, cheaper materials, and so on. Ultimately the product becomes completely commoditized and essentially disposable. This has happened to most Wintel boxes.

    I think Apple (computers) have been able to transcend this (and are therefore more collectable) because:
    • They still come up with true innovations
    • Great industrial design (though sometimes at the expense of performance and features, I cite the Cube as an example)
    • Usually using high-quality materials, design and construction, especially on the high-end products
    • Keeping prices firm so that they are always perceived to exist in a plane 'above' the common-or-garden Wintel box
    • Carefully maintaining the 'cult' of Apple by the use of 'all of the above' and good marketing

    I'm sure that there is significantly less interest in collecting Macs from the 'non-Jobs' era, which was notable for the machines becoming more standardized, PC-like construction, beige, etc. Or am I wrong?
  13. SpaceKitty macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2008
    Fort Collins Colorado
    This week, we discovered used Mac store in my area that has practically every Mac made over the last 10 years or so from the first iMac to the cube. I want to get so many of them that I will probably go broke in the next year! Most of them are in like new condition.

    Some of those old Macs were just so cool!

    I was too little when those Macs were being sold and I didn't know anyone who had any anyways so now I can play catch up.
  14. brad.c macrumors 68020


    Aug 23, 2004
    50.813669°, -2.474796°
    <I'm not responding to you specifically, quantum003 :)>
    I'm pretty much tired of doing that by the time I get the next one.
  15. Hrududu thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jul 25, 2008
    Central US
    Its funny you should say that, because I think for the most part its true. However, I do have a good friend who is also big on old Macs, but has little interest in anything newer than the G3. I think personally I like Macs from Steve's era better for the most part, but I am huge on Newtons and I've still got a few systems from the John Scully era that I'd like to have too. But you're right, most don't really care for the 90's stuff as much.
  16. Mars478 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 6, 2008
    NYC, NY
    For me its the Joy of getting new Macintosh computers. You don't always get a new Mac so often, but with the Old Macs you can get them very often because they are cheap and aplenty. And they are also very unique and I like the vintage Mac OS as well. Each Mac has a story and its fun deciphering the computer.
  17. quantum003 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 27, 2009
    For some reason I just like them. They're good looking machines and playing with the older ones reminds me of my childhood.

    Plus- they just work. A friend gave me four 10-12 year old Powerbooks, all with dead batteries, all without chargers. He couldn't use them obviously. I took them home, pulled out the corresponding chargers (ex-boy scout, always prepared): every single one of those machines booted right up. OS 7 and OS 8 completely intact and functional in every way.

    I'm not sure because I haven't tried- do old PC's still continue to work that well? :D :apple:
  18. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    I won't call it collecting old macs, but PowerMac G4 are one of the best values for home servers. I have a dual 800, running 24/7 for years. It has 6 hard drives in it on gigabit ethernet.
  19. Kristenn macrumors 6502

    Aug 30, 2009
    I guess we dont really collect. But maybe. My family has only owned 2 Windows computers out of all the Macs we have.

    We still have a Macintosh 128k it still works but floppys get stuck sometimes. And the Macintosh II works like new. We have a Performa 6200 that crashes a lot but it still does work... I think all computers from Apple before steve jobs came back were kind of bad though... right?

    And my flower power iMac G3 still works but I had to put a new hard drive in. Are iMac G4 still works fine and my dad took his Intel iMac with him when he left. And I would still be using my G3 iMac but I needed a faster Mac for school since my school uses Macs mostly... thats when I got my Mactel MacBook Pro this year.

    The Macs in are school are mostly eMacs and Intel iMacs. Like 2007 versions. Most of them have Tiger but maybe 10 of them have Leopard. And a few of the teachers have Snow Leopard.

    Are Windows Machines we have just dont look interesting at all. People that even dont like Apple have to admit that they just have a certain look. It is easy to tell a Apple computer from any other computer... even when you dont see that apple. Like there new laptops. No other laptops really look like how the ones Apple look.

    And are Windows boxes... only one of them turns on.. its Windows 95 but it hangs at the loading screen :eek:
  20. coupdetat macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2008
    I like collecting old Macs because it reminds me of everything Apple used to stand for. Yes, sometimes they put form over function, but that's what gives the computer personality and charm. Plus, a G3 or G4 is really all I need to get most of my work done. I do lots of writing on my iMac G3 because it is silent, and my eMac is my main scientific work machine because it is super reliable and runs Matlab nicely.
  21. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    if i had the space i would collect imac g3`s too, but unfortunatly my flat is too small , so i stick with my emac and i love it ,the design is great i even found a desk lamp thats matching the design and a telephone everything in this timeless classy design

    these new stuff they build
    (flat screens just look like rectangular picture frames ) where is the design part of these things , apart from colour or material there is no difference to see :(
    but if you look on a emac G4 or a imac G3 you will know you are
    looking at a apple computer and they are build to last
    it is like if you look at a volkswagen beetle you know its a volkswagen
    they might not be as powerful as new computers but they are still usable for every day tasks even photo editing or video editing is possible

    so for me there is only one answer
    i simply love theses old mac`s:)
  22. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    Not to mention cheaper (for the most part, depending on the model).

    You're not likely to find people throwing or giving away old stamps, coins, or classic cars... :eek:

    Most of my computers in my collection were my own I purchased new, salvaged from the dumpster, or purchased for a great price before collecting computers became popular.

    Plus, the design of Apple Computers, down to the manuals and boxes, are awesome and worth collecting. I don't know of many people who collect Dell 386's... :eek:

    Then there's this guy's who made an Apple Museum in his basement:

  23. Aries326 macrumors 6502

    Dec 28, 2007
    My first Apple was a IIgs. The next, a PowerBook 5300. I then went PC for a number of years. I made my first Hackintosh close to 2 years ago.

    I've had the iPhone 2G, 3G now 3GS. I love how Apple products just work. They're usually elegant in design, and easy to use. I just bought a MacBook Pro 15". I love every bit of it.

    I'm about to buy a G4 Cube, display it in my living room and use it as a jukebox with my first iPhone as the controller. I fell in love with them way back when I was still in school. I didn't have the money for it then, but now they're dirt cheap. Plus I have money to finally buy it. :)
  24. Chimpy macrumors 6502

    Mar 9, 2007
    Mainly because they are mainly beautiful pieces of industrial design.

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