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Hello + sad news + opportunity

Posted: 12 Feb 2019 00:50
by duncanbudd
Hi - my name is Duncan but I am joining on behalf of the widow of a good friend of mine; he died a couple of years ago. He was big into old tech and she hung onto the stuff for a while but has finally decided that the time has come to part with his old equipment and let someone else use it. As I am more technical than she is (though nowhere near as technical as the dear, departed Simon) I offered to help. I had a look at eBay but also decided there would probably be a place like this where the relevant community hangs out, I can get better advice and, well, isn't fleabay. I am delighted to have found you and hope you can advise me on the best way to sell the items at a reasonable price (inc 'job lot' vs 'brand-specific job lot' vs 'individual items').

Below is a superficial list containing info such as make and model (where known) but you may need to ask detailed questions or ask me to secure photos to help narrow things down more specifically (eg sub-model or amount of RAM, if these were variable). The chances of me being able to fire any of them up to test and/or read details off boot screens is low (but I guess not zero). I can more easily look at serial numbers or possibly open things up and check chips. There are also some add-on boards, cables and software which I have sorted into the relevant piles where I can but are not listed (yet). Please do let me know if there are especially rare models or software titles I should be looking out for.

- Memotech MTX512 (in original packaging) + ReMemorizer (and instructions + original ROMs)
- BBC Micro x2 + some large external 5.25" diskette drives
- Oric 1
- Dragon 32/64 (there are three but I forget what the split is). One has a fitted leather case.
- ZX81
- Amstrad 8256 + Monitor
- Commodore 64 + some specialist cables
- IBM InfoWindow II 3153 + keyboard

I think that is the lot. Do let me know if there is a better place on the board to discuss this and/or whether email would be better.

I should be back round with the equipment for a day sometime next week but please send Qs through now so I can plan and make best use of the time there.

Thanks in advance,

Re: Hello + sad news + opportunity

Posted: 12 Feb 2019 18:12
by 1024MAK
There are other forums full of good people (i.e, me :lol: ) for other machines:

Acorn machines: StarDot forums
ZX80, ZX81 and clones: Sinclair ZX World forums
ZX Spectrum and clones: World of Spectrum and World of Spectrum forums,
Spectrum Computing and Spectrum Computing forums
QL: The Sinclair QL forum and the QL Wiki
Amstrad 8 bits: CPCWiki forums and Wiki

I’m not on the main Commdore forum: Lemon64

For the Memotech, there were two models originally, the MTX500 with 32k of RAM and the MTX512 with 64K of RAM. But the label/name on the machine may be misleading, as machines have been found with a different amount of RAM in them than the label/name would indicate. There were some later machines, but these are far less common.

Acorn BBC Micros came as either the model A with 16K of RAM, or the model B with 32K of RAM. There are also the later B+ (64K or RAM) and also a B+ with 128K of RAM.

I’m not into Orac or Dragon machines, so you would be best to wait for someone else to tell you about these.

The Sinclair ZX81 is easy, they only ever had 1K of RAM when made by Sinclair. The TS1000 (USA) version had 2K of RAM.

To work out the actual specifications and actual amount of RAM, really needs either good quality photos of their insides, or power them on and enter some commands to see how much RAM the system has found. With ZX Spectrum and QL computers though, it is best not to open them, as the original keyboard membranes become very fragile with age.

Serial numbers often tell you very little about the specifications or model of the machine.

If you are after the maximum amount of money, you need to test them, as sold as working machines are worth a lot more than ‘untested’ machines (which on fleabay is often code for ‘I could not get it to work’ or ‘when tested, it was found to be faulty”).

And clean them before taking photos.

Generally, most people that are in the market to buy machines, are after one make / type. So it would probably be best not to sell as one large job lot. If you have the time, sell each machine separately (but with some accessory’s/software/books etc).

If you are more interested in them finding a good home rather than just the money side, sell in the sales/trading sections of the relevant forums.


Re: Hello + sad news + opportunity

Posted: 14 Feb 2019 13:16
by Dave
HI Duncan,

Welcome to the Forum - though it sounds like you're just passing through?

Anyway, on the subject of your friend's MTX for sale . . . .

The best prices will usually be achieved if you sell through eBay, but you never know who the stuff is going to, as Mark notes, forums like this are generally full of "good people" and the machine is much more likely to go to a "good home" than on eBay - even if it doesn't realise quite as much cash.

The downside is that most people on the forum will likely already have at least 1 MTX (some have more :D ), and on small forums like this one, the "market" is probably quite small.

However, I do know that Lez (Anderson) is looking for one and you might like to consider giving him a good deal. Lez doesn't currently own a Memotech, but really wants one. Lez has been very supportive of the forum and very generous in donating a huge amount of components to the community so that we can continue to develop hardware addons for these vintage systems. If you wanted to support a supporter, then you might like to send Lez a PM and see if you can reach a mutually acceptable figure,


Re: Hello + sad news + opportunity

Posted: 15 Feb 2019 13:27
by lezanderson

If the MTX512 is still for sale, I can offer £100+Postage. though you'll probably get quite a bit more, possibly double or more, on eBay !

Best Regards

Re: Hello + sad news + opportunity

Posted: 16 Feb 2019 23:15
by duncanbudd
Thanks everyone. I shall ask the Merry Widow how she would like to proceed on the Memotech (which definitely says 512 on the case). I know she's not after total revenue maximisation as neither she nor I have the time to handle too many eBay sales. Some sort of mid-ground optimisation between the two. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.


Re: Hello + sad news + opportunity

Posted: 16 Feb 2019 23:53
by 1024MAK
By the way Duncan, where abouts in the country are these computers?