[rescue] I want a VAX

gsm at mendelson.com gsm at mendelson.com
Wed May 5 13:20:41 CDT 2010

On Wed, May 05, 2010 at 11:34:55AM -0600, Richard wrote:
>There's also recycledgoods.com that routinely lists lots of vintage
>gear for ridiculous prices.  They always have a BIN price with a best
>offer option.  I routinely make a reasonable offer which is always
>declined.  The item proceeds to remain unsold.  At some point you'd
>think the guy would figure out that regularly selling items for lower
>prices is more money than rarely selling highly overpriced items.  I
>wonder if his mentality is "well, eventually I'll sell everything at
>my big price", not realizing that the stuff he's selling isn't
>valuable to any going concern but only to collectors like me.

I recently went to visit a company that sells surplus electronics and 
test equipment. 


His prices were very reasonable for what they were, but too rich for me. :-(
I'm broke and was looking for 20 year old items at near scrap prices. He
had them at one time but sold out.

I went with a friend who sells high speed video cameras. We were discussing
why he chooses to keep his prices high, instead of dropping them on a dusty
item that has not been touched in years, to sell them to a "live" customer.

My friend explained it to me with a story. There is a company here that
makes aircraft parts. One of the applications for my friends cameras is
a special method of detecting cracks, bubbles and other flaws in castings.

The person he presented to was very interested in the technology but was
not interested in buying it. This was because the buyers of the parts he
made had very specific specifications for testing the materials and he
had to follow them exactly, including the exact devices and models of
devices that were used.

He told my friend that if he wanted to sell his cameras, or the process
that used them, he would have to go back to the purchasers of the parts
and get them to change the contract to add them. 

Your vendor is hoping that somewhere in the world there is someone using 
a test rig that was made 20 years ago to make a part or device they are 
still selling. An integral part of that test rig is that specific Honeywell
terminal and no other would do. 

Quite simply, if such device did use a Honeywell terminal, and it was replaced
by a PC running a terminal emulator it would no longer be in spec, and they
would be violating the contract.

In a case like that, they have no choice but to buy that one Honeywell terminal
at almost any price. It might almost be worth it to take it apart and replace
all the capacitors in it. :-)

Just before I left Philly in the mid 1990's there was a similar store
called Fertik's Electronics. A guy showed up every once in a while looking
for circuit boards similar to 1970's vintage PDP computers. He used the 
boards to train new techs on soldering and component replacement 
techniques because he was maintaining and supplying boards for
20 year old minicomputers that were still in use.

As late as 1985, when I lost my source of information, there were two
1960's vintage IBM 1800's in use in Philly. I expect that either user
would have paid "big bucks" to keep those systems running.


Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Jerusalem, Israel gsm at mendelson.com  N3OWJ/4X1GM
New word I coined 12/13/09, "Sub-Wikipedia" adj, describing knowledge or
understanding, as in he has a sub-wikipedia understanding of the situation. 
i.e possessing less facts or information than can be found in the Wikipedia.

More information about the rescue mailing list