Sales and Services

Welcome to the 'Sales and Services' section of this website. While classic computers and the history of computing, more generally, no longer really rank amongst my main interests, I still appreciate them for the same reasons that originally drew me to this hobby in the first place.


I'm also offering certain items and services because: (a) I have acquired a few skills (and some semi-specialised equipment) over the years; (b) I hate the thought of classic computers ending up in the landfill for want of some basic cables, media or utilities; and (c) I still have quite a few machines from my erstwhile collection that I am in the process of selling off, primarily via my eBay store, however you are most welcome to contact me directly, if you'd rather (and/or for enquiries about larger-quantity orders).

dcj11-ac.jpg

To date, all of the hardware I've sold have either been in working order, or repaired, refurbished and re-tested by yours truly, with any blemishes or caveats clearly documented.

Where possible, the execution (and results) of any more extensive self-tests are also documented in video and, where appropriate, in console log form (e.g., here and here; I've included a couple of examples of this process below, but you can see the full set of videos on my YouTube channel, here.



The Usual Treatment

Exactly what is meant by 'maintenance' will, of course, vary depending on the type of the machine, its rarity, and the availability (or lack thereof) of compatible spares, however a typical treatment consists of the following:

  • a thorough cleaning of the case (outside and in);
  • a thorough visual inspection — including of the power supply's innards — prior to power on;
  • replacing any higher-risk or visibly faulty capacitors and/or backup batteries;
  • servicing any floppy drives (something that often entails stripping the mechanism and reapplying lithium grease, especially for 3.5“ floppy drives);
  • running as comprehensive a set of tests as possible; and
  • documenting the above processes and/or the end results, for completeness' sake, and for the potential buyers' peace-of-mind (and my own).


Custom Cables and Parts

For custom cables and other parts for which the above can't really apply, after making (or machining) them, they are still, of course, tested. In the case of (electrically) simple devices like battery adapters, they are just tested using a multimeter; for more complex items such as adapter cables, their continuity and mapping are verified using a custom automated cable tester prior to packing.

For smaller / non-fragile items (such as cables, 3D-printed items, etc.), items are usually just packed in padded bags or appropriately-sized boxes. Fragile items — and irreplaceable hardware, in particular — are packed much more thoroughly (please see this playlist for documentation on how I've prepared such machines for domestic, international and intercontinental shipping before asking generic questions). And to provide more context, by far most of the classic machines I'm selling were originally acquired in Australia and were safely shipped, by sea, to Germany using the same double-corrugated cardboard boxes with scrunched-up-paper-balls technique that I use to this day. (Items can even be double-boxed, though additional packaging charges would apply.)

But ultimately, I'll let the feedback I receive as a seller speak for itself.

As I have managed to amass a pretty extensive collection of operating system installation kits over the years, I usually include a USB stick with the compatible CD or DVD images on them, together with any standard 'layered products' and documentation. For cheaper items, I would make this available for a nominal fee; for more expensive items, such media would, of course, be included for free. For floppy disk-based systems, I usually try to include a pre-written disk with at least one transfer / image writing program on it (and possibly a suitable serial cable) so you can download and write additional disk images to real media with nothing more than a functioning serial port on a modern(ish) computer.

For headless machines (or machines with now relatively obscure video connectors), the machines also come with a suitable serial and/or video adapter cable that should allow you to use the machine, out of the box. For the more expensive machines, expect to receive an MAU (or AUI transceiver), too.

And given my ability to not only read, but also write disk (or disc) images for most of the machines I have (or have had), I will often include boot / OS installation media plus a few application or game disks.

  • Last modified: 2021-11-11 13:31
  • by Peter