A quick extra post this week. I’ve just spent a day sorting through some of my computer collection in the garage – we’re moving soon (we hate moving), but we have some time up our sleeves to prepare, so we’ve been sorting through rooms in our current home to get rid of stuff we don’t need. Today’s rummage through my collection was primarily to clean machines which aren’t boxed (and the tops of boxes) so I’m not moving dust into the new place.

One of the things I found is this lovely t-shirt I got from the dealer we bought our europlus from, Computer Lighthouse (there are two pictures, front and back). The colours are still vibrant but, unfortunately, I think it’s a little small for me these days – I’m sure it must have shrunk over the last 25+ years as it used to be a good fit. I find it odd they went to the trouble of producing these t-shirts but didn’t bother to put their phone number on them.

I have more europluses than I thought – I counted four today (I thought I was up to three). I have two other early ][‘s – one’s missing its lid, and the lid on the other that says it’s a ][+ (i.e. North American), but the colour of the lid’s plastic doesn’t match the rest of the case, so I have some motherboard detective work to do on those (maybe I have the lid on the wrong machine). At least I’ve been able to update my page banner using one of the better ][europlus badge photos I took today (I might play with it a bit more, though).

I also have more //c’s than I thought – seven, if my tired brain is remembering properly (there may be more in boxes I didn’t unpack today – there’s certainly one in its original box, and I found a shrink-wrapped Apple IIc Owner’s Manual, too). I might have to put some of the //c’s on eBay. I love the idea of the //c as a compact machine ideal for reliving a collector’s Apple ][ days of yore, but I always find myself firing up a //e or IIgs, instead.

Looks like I have six //e’s at home (add those to the one at the office). Not sure about IIgs’s, I think I have three – the final census will have to be a job for after we move.

I did start to take photos of the items, their serial numbers, etc. I’ll have to make a database of the collection someday – does anyone know of a good template/schema for a retrocomputer collection database?

I also found a TRS-80 Model I base unit and a Model II keyboard. Although I still get nostalgic whenever I see a Model I, I don’t have anything but those two base components (don’t even have a PSU), so I think they’re eBay-bound as well.

Although I completed the cleaning I wanted to get done today, it’s just made me realise how much documenting and real cleaning I have to do, let alone trying to check that everything’s operational. At least the place we’re buying has a decent amount of storage/work space, so I may actually be able to get back into the nuts and bolts of having a collection, rather than just collecting bits (and the bits collecting dust).

Have you looked through a neglected portion of your collection recently? Found any gems? Let me know in the comments.