The Guardian: 04/03/03: ‘Hammer drops at auction for old computer technology, founding member of Microsoft pays $70,000 for 1940’s Eniac Ring Computer.’
Why not bring Antiques Roadshow into the 21st Century? (excuse the oxymoron)
With ‘The RE-INVIGORATORS’ (Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth) a programme that looks at the value, collectability repair & renovation of electronic equipment. Everything from vintage guitars to personal computers, computer games, top loading VCR’s, (Betamax!) C.B radios, jukeboxes, turntables, midi-systems, valve & transistor amplifiers! ‘Bakelite is the new nanotechnology’.
The Guardian article describes the new crop of collectable ‘old technologies’ and the many and varied collectors dotted around the globe. A Japanese collector bought an Apple 1 for $25,000. But the enthusiasts are as much motivated by a desire to preserve old technology as opposed to simply profiting from it. Indeed, it would seem that this isn’t simply a way of collecting defunct technology but is, actually, a fast emerging area of research and preservation unto itself.
There is a huge market and profound interest in the so-called ‘new vintage’ie: electric technological equipment that was until recently regarded as simply obsolete and out of date. Now, old hardware is rightly considered design classics. But, all too often passed over as perhaps, symptoms of a bygone era of technological simplicity.
Personal computers are the new collectables, particularly amongst people who have worked in the computer industry and are perhaps creating a new lineage for their own recent past via the ever-evolving software.
This new breed of collector now communicates via the internet to sell &/or swap on-line. There is interest in this ‘new-old’ phenomenon from the Science Museum in London there is also a multi million dollar headquarters in Silicon Valley which houses many of the vintage computers that these avid young/ish collectors have rescued from land-fill sites and skips the world over.
RE-INVIGORATORS would tap into the publics’ love of memorabilia. Retro looking modernity has come almost full tilt with the Gadget shop selling old looking ‘Radiograms’Keeping akeen eye on where the next collection will surface keeps analysts sweating like pigs all night. We would talk to roadies and members of rock bands who used bulky gear of the 1950’s/60’/70’s, and utilize the notions of ‘geeks’ being into electronics and technology. That was then, nowadays, it would seem that the Geeks Shall Inherit The Earth. Or at the very least outbid us for it.