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Vintage Computers Any vintage computer systems, calculators, video games etc., but with an emphasis on 1980s and earlier equipment.

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Old 29th Dec 2018, 1:25 am   #1
McMurdo
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Default Vintage computers abandoned in factory

My christmastide youtube viewing has included videos of abandoned places from two young guys called The Proper People.

In one video, they travel to Italy to explore a defunct textile manufacturer.

Lots of abandoned computer stuff including what look like 1/2in ibm tape drives and rooms of tapes, and a huge pile of something like IBM 3270 terminals etc.



https://youtu.be/rrx1tK5xcAk
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 10:03 am   #2
Dave Moll
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Default Re: Vintage computers abandoned in factory

What a sorry mess! The first image looks like they were once 3270 terminals (synchronous communications).
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 10:09 am   #3
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Default Re: Vintage computers abandoned in factory

The completeness of the installation blows the mind a bit. You would have thought that at the time of the closure, there would have at least been some residual value in the IT equipment !
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 10:23 am   #4
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Default Re: Vintage computers abandoned in factory

It must have closed recently enough that the IT equipment had little value.
Looking at the second photo shows that the floor tiles did have some residual value as they are gone.
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 11:59 am   #5
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Default Re: Vintage computers abandoned in factory

A pity
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 12:08 pm   #6
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Default Re: Vintage computers abandoned in factory

Sadly, obsolete computer installations have no value at all. In fact, they can't even be sold for scrap because their disposal comes under the WEEE regs.
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 12:09 pm   #7
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Default Re: Vintage computers abandoned in factory

The terminals in the first photo are mostly IBM 3278's which date from the late 1970's / early 1980's though there are a few slightly later ones hidden in there. At first glance the tape drives on the far left of the second photo look like IBM 3420's (mid/late 1970's) but a closer look reveals they are a 3rd party equivalent, the youtube video moves around too fast in the machine room to make out the manufacturers name. The 1980s fits in with the dates on some of the computer printouts in the video too.

The 3278 proved that someone in manufacturing had a sense of humor. Underneath the screen there is a cover that can be removed to reveal the large 'D' type keyboard connector, a BNC socket for the data coax, the usual kettle lead style power connector and a power supply fuse. Next to the fuse was a small label 'fuse 2amp slow blow p/n945374', the normal cause of a blown fuse was a defective power supply so the engineer would usually order a new power supply and half a dozen fuses. The next day a power supply would arrive - along with a little bag containing six labels.
Still makes me smile even now.

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Old 29th Dec 2018, 12:41 pm   #8
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Default Re: Vintage computers abandoned in factory

Falling into the trap of thinking IBM was being helpful!

David
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 2:17 pm   #9
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Default Re: Vintage computers abandoned in factory

We had a Systime PDP11 clone when I was at college 1987-88 with terminals in various buildings. 6 months after I'd left, I read in the 'Sentinel' about their new computer system, along with a picture of a huge skip in the carpark, filled to overflowing with all the terminals, printers, disc pack drives etc. All for the scrap man.
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 3:42 pm   #10
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Default Re: Vintage computers abandoned in factory

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
Sadly, obsolete computer installations have no value at all. In fact, they can't even be sold for scrap because their disposal comes under the WEEE regs.
In the Netherlands, and possibly in Italy as well, certified metals dealers will take in and pay for mixed electronics scrap. If you take it apart yourself they even have different prices for various categories, depending on the gold and copper content. CRTs might be a bit harder to get rid of, though.
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 10:48 pm   #11
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Default Re: Vintage computers abandoned in factory

With all those tapes and files left lyying around I guess data and IP rights protection wasn't much of a consideration for them back then.
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Old 29th Dec 2018, 11:14 pm   #12
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Default Re: Vintage computers abandoned in factory

A sad end to a once thriving employer. If it was privately owned, they may have just decided to close it down and abandon it. These days we're used to everything being picked clean by liquidators before the demolition men move in, a well rehearsed routine sadly.
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 9:02 pm   #13
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Default Re: Vintage computers abandoned in factory

One company I worked for, were bought out, and the new parent company was going to abandon the existing (expensive) London based premises. Unusually, they allowed the staff to have pretty much anything they wanted, as long as they were willing to remove it before the leasing company bought in the clearance people.

I took the Ford Galaxy (with the 5 rear seats removed) into central London on a Saturday, and helped myself to quite a bit of useful kit that day. Office chairs, laser printers, and yes, a few interesting items that will one day be 'vintage' equipment.

Good times.
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 9:14 pm   #14
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Default Re: Vintage computers abandoned in factory

I have some Dexion shelving and a Kaymar workbench acquired when my employer abandoned a service centre during a reorganisation.
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 10:49 pm   #15
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Default Re: Vintage computers abandoned in factory

I think they're the Memorex tape subsystem 3220/3228

see here :

https://mrxhist.org/docs/Ronc_5522.pdf

along with IBMs 3420 tape drives, a wonder of mechanical tape transport - able to open the tape spool case, thread the tape and then shuffle it back and forth at alarming speed past a bi-directional capstan and up and down two vacuum columns. Mesmerising to watch !

Andy
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 1:16 am   #16
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Default Re: Vintage computers abandoned in factory

Good grief, I've been looking for years for a 327X keyboard
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 11:22 am   #17
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Default Re: Vintage computers abandoned in factory

I was wondering some time back as to what to do with a number of DEC VT100 terminals. A friend who runs an underground bunker as a museum was glad to have them and set them up for punters to message each other. Despite the damp conditions, it seems they are still working years on!
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 5:09 pm   #18
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Default Re: Vintage computers abandoned in factory

Quote:
Originally Posted by lesmw0sec View Post
I was wondering some time back as to what to do with a number of DEC VT100 terminals. A friend who runs an underground bunker as a museum was glad to have them and set them up for punters to message each other. Despite the damp conditions, it seems they are still working years on!
That wouldn't be the one near Nantwich by chance?
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Old 13th Feb 2019, 11:44 am   #19
lesmw0sec
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Default Re: Vintage computers abandoned in factory

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Originally Posted by duncanlowe View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by lesmw0sec View Post
I was wondering some time back as to what to do with a number of DEC VT100 terminals. A friend who runs an underground bunker as a museum was glad to have them and set them up for punters to message each other. Despite the damp conditions, it seems they are still working years on!
That wouldn't be the one near Nantwich by chance?
Drakelow - near Kidderminster. I know the one you mean - follow the brown signs to the 'Secret bunker'!
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