What to do with the Apple II?
October 1, 2009 6:27 PM   Subscribe

What do I do with several Apple IIs (and a Commodore, and maybe a few other "vintage" comptuers) that I have?

Nostalgia has finally given way to practicality, and I need to do something about the basement shelf overflowing with computers older than I am - but I have absolutely no clue how to do it. It seems wasteful to throw out a perfectly working Commodore 64 (in the original packaging!), or any of several models of Apple IIs with boxes of related 5.25" disk software. I read about a team at MIT creating cheap computers out of Apple IIs for developing countries, and while I can't find any further information for them online, donating to a cause like that would be awesome. Short of that, what else can I do to clean out the house? What's the best thing to do with these computers?
posted by niles to Grab Bag (19 answers total)
If they're in good working shape you can make some good money on eBay, especially for the Apples.
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:38 PM on October 1, 2009

i would give that C= a *wonderful* home, where it would be actively used and loved. beyond that, yeah sell to collectors via ebay, etc.
posted by radiosilents at 6:40 PM on October 1, 2009

Send them to me :)
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:49 PM on October 1, 2009

What else do you have? Some '80s micros are indeed much sought after.
posted by tss at 6:55 PM on October 1, 2009

I know some kids who use Commodores and Amigas to make music. Check out trackers like Polly Tracker, Rock Monitor, Reflex Tracker, Digiorganizer, Ninjatracker, Sadotracker, or Goattracker.

One warning: trackers are complicated but rewarding, and you can run C64-style trackers on modern computers for generally similar results (but you won't look half as cool while performing). I know a kid who works with OctaMED on the Amiga, and he generally says musicians who perform live on Amigas are suicidal. You're going to have to mod and circuit bend it eventually, and eventually it's going to A) crash while you're on stage and B) completely die on you.
posted by Juliet Banana at 6:58 PM on October 1, 2009

And yes, if you want to sell it on eBay, there are many little budding chiptune artists who would be happy to take it off your hands.
posted by Juliet Banana at 6:59 PM on October 1, 2009

If you want to donate to charity, sell the computers on eBay and donate the proceeds. Apple IIs can easily fetch the price of a decent netbook. Selling components separately may help, too.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:59 PM on October 1, 2009

Donate them to the Vintage Computer Festival
posted by rottytooth at 7:11 PM on October 1, 2009

Yes, ca-ching on eBay. Definitely.
posted by WCityMike at 7:34 PM on October 1, 2009

I was horrified to learn that one of my friends made A LOT of money on eBay selling one vintage Apple computer. I was horrified because I agreed to donate two comparable Apple computers in fine working order a few years earlier. Seriously, everyone's assessment of 'ca-ching' is NOT an exaggeratation. Sys Rq has it: sell and donate the proceeds rather than donate the hardware.
posted by Mael Oui at 8:06 PM on October 1, 2009

I have an Apple //e set up as a serial terminal for my linux server by following this tutorial.
posted by Mr. Anthropomorphism at 8:08 PM on October 1, 2009

Sell them. Don't donate them. I cannot imagine any charity is going to be happy receiving obsolete hardware unless they are a vintage computer charity.
posted by chairface at 9:54 PM on October 1, 2009

I have an Apple IIc that is used exclusively for Infocom games. Something about the green screen text display makes it all just more perfect.
posted by rokusan at 12:00 AM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Have you thought about a Maquarium?
posted by MuffinMan at 5:21 AM on October 2, 2009

Dont donate them to charity. They'll just end up in a dumpster after the IT guy sees them. Just sell them on ebay. Anyone willing to pay for them will use them.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:47 AM on October 2, 2009

Far as the C64 goes, I'd cannibalize the SID chip out of it then buy yourself a HardSID. Those chips are rare and quite sought after and you'll be able to listen to C= music happily on your PC (assuming you have one).

As for the Apple][s, no suggestions apart from craigbaying 'em.
posted by cyniczny at 7:49 AM on October 2, 2009

Make sure you boot up 'Summer Games' or 'Dr J & Larry Bird One-On-One' before you let them go.
posted by jasondigitized at 9:17 AM on October 2, 2009

Also consider freecycle, I got rid of a few old iMacs that way.... to people that were happy to have them and had uses for them...

And, yeah, don't donate them. My agency stopped taking donated computers that were more than a few years old.

anyone want my TAM? In the basement, original box, still has the pen and pencil set....

:) just kidding, not for sale!
posted by HuronBob at 3:16 PM on October 2, 2009

I think some people may have missed my idea for donating: I'm not looking to donate to the local library for internet terminals, but more along the lines of something like the MIT project I mentioned, or the Vintage Computer Festival that rottytooth mentioned.

While I think I have a few things that I can send to the Festival, it looks like the stuff I have is relatively common, so they won't take much of it. eBay though looks interesting. Truth be told, even though I used to sell on eBay semi-professionally, I never even thought about listing it because I assumed there wasn't any sort of market. Looks like it's worth my time to at least investigate.

jasondigitized: I used to play Summer Games all the time. I never quite got the technique for frisbee down, though. I might need to try it one last time.
posted by niles at 5:56 PM on October 2, 2009

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