I started collecting (hoarding) computers back in the 1990s, although sadly I don't have any of those particular machines any more. These days I often scour through ebay to see if there is anything that catches my eye. Here on this page is some of my hoard. Not all is technically retro, since some things are younger than 20 years old, but can at least be considered to be out of date and "obselete".

Hoarding is something I've had an issue with for many years, although for a period I managed to overcome it somewhat. That was until I started to think of things "I used to have" (some of which I had actively parted with in order to live more minimally!) and thought of them with regret, like "I wish I hadn't thrown that out/sold it cheap when it was considered worthless... if I'd have kept it, it would be worth something now..." So I probably sought to replace some of those things. There are also lots of excuses when it comes to considering parting with things (the typical excuses of a hoarder), even those that have little or no sentimental value. I hope to use this page to help me work through the things I have already acquired in order to part with them. Listed on the right are some things I have recently parted with.

"The Fixing Desk":
Let's select some things for me to focus on...

2021 2021 2021 2022 2022
HP Compaq DC5800
Upgrade to Windows 11 and sell on?
Gigabyte GA-M68MT-S2P System
From around 2011 I think, so not that old. With AMD Athlon II X3 CPU. I need to get this ready for selling...
ZX Spectrum +2 128K
...swap a RAM module... to see if that gets it working...
Antec Fusion Media Center
Build it
Fujitsu E620 PC
Assemble/install, and list for sale


Acquisitions so far in 2024:

3Com PalmV PDA
I guess I'm missing my Compaq iPaq (right). This is another "untested" item; I got it cheap with the Hewlett Packard below.
Hewlett Packard 620LX
Sold as "untested". Why did I buy this? I got it at a reasonable price though along with a couple of other items.
80 x Floppy Disks
I didn't have many floppy disks and I was having some issues with the ones I did have so I had been on the lookout for a "good deal" on a job lot of disks. I thought this was that, but for some reason my brain read the listing as saying 1.44MB when it didn't, so some of them have ended up being a lower capacity, and they were all sold as "untested" so this will make for a fun afternoon some time, going through this lot.
Compaq Armada E500 Laptop
This was selling cheap... so... yeah. It's faulty. From what I can see the power socket is broken but also the screen hinges are somewhat weak too. Thankfully at least sockets are available at a low price so maybe this is going to be a "simple" fix.
Apple Mac Mini 2006
I had one of these a while back that I was given but having no use for it I sold it on, although I still have the screen that was included with it, and a keyboard and mouse from another system I sold (see below to find that!). This one was being sold cheap; it's a little yellowed and the power lead needs attention, but it otherwise works. It only has 512MB RAM and the Intel Core Duo 1.66 MHz CPU I came to learn is only single core and 32-bit. It's possible to upgrade the system to 2GB, but to make it more useable to upgrade it to 4GB RAM requires replacing the CPU to a 64-bit variant and replacing the firmware... I've ordered a 2.0 GHz CPU from China, so we'll have to wait and see how this goes...
Toshiba Satellite S1800 Laptop
I was given one of these that was in poor condition; it had either spent some time outdoors, in the rain, or in a damp shed/garage - the screws were all rusty underneath. I had little hope that this laptop would work so rather than plug it straight in I did a little dismantling to check it over. I had to drill out some of the screw heads and the battery needed prying out because, as it turned ot, it was jammed in by a loose screw (I thought it was corroded in at first). Surprisingly the laptop powered on when plugged in, however the BIOS is locked with a password; there is a method to remove it using a unique adapter in the Parallel port, but rather than spend money on one of these I attempted to join the necessary points together with loose bits of wire. This didn't work. However, I found a whole replacement S1800 laptop on ebay for little more than the cost of the tool required, and in good condition; it just reportedly had a faulty screen and mouse pad... however the screen actually works so I only needed to swap over my original mouse pad - I now have a working (and booting) S1800, complete with original install discs for Windows XP.

Acquisitions in 2023:

Apple Mac Pro
This is another Mac that has been added to my collection but this one ticks two boxes; firstly it's a Mac Pro that I like the look of and have been on the look out for at a reasonable price, but secondly it has dual Xeon CPUs and I've wanted to dabble with something of this ilk, I just didn't expect it to be in a Mac format. This system was a pretty good deal since it included, in addition to the main hard drive, a 1TB drive and a 2TB, which I shall sell separately. There are a couple of issues with the system: the DVD drive fails to eject due to the finicky covers, and there is a bend to one of the feet, other than that it's built like a tank and weighs as much as one (25kg). I'm wondering if I can install Linux on it and replace the simple graphics card with something with more grunt?
I had two of these Cybikos from the year 2000. All require new batteries and this one was suffering from some further fault as I couldn't get any signs of life out of it when using an AC adapter. I sold it on and the buyer informed me the CPU was at fault (they clearly have more brains than me for this stuff). The one I currently still have is a clear one. You can read more about these [here].

Mouse Mats
I now have two "retro" mouse mats. First the Hagar the Horrible one [bottom] which I bought a while back as new old stock, it has a copyright date of 1998 on it; sadly it has developed a slight crack at the left edge and the backing has somehow shrunk from front to back by about 5mm.

I recently gave my niece one of my other mouse mats so I had a quick look online for a replacement and found the Twix one [top] selling cheap. Copyright 1999 it features a slogan from their advertising campaign of the time which I remember well: "Twix, take a break from the norm", but other than that I don't particularly like the overall design here. It also displays the URL for the website www.cafebreak.co.uk which neither still exists or has any functioning backups on the Waybackmachine. However you can still watch one of the TV adverts [here]. To this day I still come out with the line "Grey'll never go out of fashion, because it's never been in fashion!" and I have "Norm's the name, sensible's the game!" ringing in my head.

HP 6735 Laptops
I found this pair of laptops on ebay, seemingly identical but one is an older single core Sempron-based system with a 60GB hard drive while the other had a more capable dual core CPU and had been upgraded to an SSD with Windows 10 installed; I'd mistakenly/assumed they were identical and was just going to prepare them for quick resale. However, for the Sempron I might set it back to factory, if only I can determine which version of Windows the COA refers to... [The dual-core one stopped working for a while, but is alive again now...]
ECS P6BAT-A+ Motherboard with Intel Pentium III
This bundle I found cheap on ebay seems ideal for going in the beige case listed below. The PIII is a 500MHz model and the board with its weird name is rev.2.0 (whatever the difference is with the rev.1.0 I don't know). It also includes 256MB of RAM, so it's ready to go. I was also given some hard drives today, one of which is IDE.

I'm not sure which OS to install on it...

A Job Lot of Graphics Cards
This was a deal for 10 "old" but working graphics cards, and the seller threw in a couple of extras because the heatsink was lose on one. I had fun testing them all and it turned out two were faulty were anyway, but the lose heatsink was easily rectified [except the card failed shortly thereafer...]. One is an AGP card, the others and more modern with 512MB-1GB RAM. [I've since sold one on] I'll either sell them individually or use them to upgrade from onboard graphics in various computers.
A Beige Case
I'm not sure why I justified getting another beige case, but I purchased it with the Dell laptop below, so combined it was a reasonable deal.
Dell Inspiron 4000 with Pentium III
This was sold to me with a faulty power socket... will it be as simple as that?
IDE Hard Drives
I got my hands on a few IDE hard drives with reasonable capacity (120/160GB) to use in some of my computers that lack SATA.
Dell Studio Hybrid 140g Computer (Windows Vista)
Current condition: faulty/damaged

I'd not seen one of these before, but the translucent case caught my eye. While Dell is quite well known for their boring office boxes, they have occasionally produced some interesting and Y2Kesque stuff like this.
Year: 2008? Read more here.

Power Mac G4 "Graphite" with Zip Drive
I've wanted one of these machines for a while but had been waiting for one at the right price, and not in too poor of a condition. This one required a hard drive and the OS installing. With that out of the way I also need the correct keyboard and mouse; I have a monitor that should suit it.

Released: 1999; Discontinued: 2004.

Apple iMac A1311
I've had a few of these in my possession now, I ended up purchasing a couple to use to repair a client's machine and while I still have one of those I recently purchased another for a low price that included the original keyboard and mouse; these are worth a bit on their own. Sadly the machine has been medalled with and is somewhat faulty with the fans constantly spinning at full speed, this is therefore a work in progress. [Update, I sold one so I'm back to owning only one now]
Amstrad Notepad NC100
These seem to fetch a reasonable price but I got this one cheap because it was listed as having a faulty keyboard... but weirdly enough it has been working fine for me. After finally getting round to transferring a file from it over Serial to an old laptop I have found the transfer process to be error-prone and I'm not sure why. I prefer typing on it compared to my AlphaSmart 3000 though (see below).
Dan / Dantum
Dan has an ASUS A7N8X motherboard and an Athlon XP CPU. The case, whilst lacking a front blanking cover, has a removable motherboard tray. It has a "650W" Q-Tec triple fan PSU (one of which I had to replace, which was quite a task because the enclosure has 12 screws). At present I've stripped the whole thing down, cleaned out the case and reassembled it and installed a hard drive and Windows XP, there are still a few more things to do though.
Blank Media
I have a small hoard of blank media, some new old stock, including audio and video cassettes, CDs, DVDs, and floppy disks. My thought is that some of this stuff may (one day) cease to be manufactured, and thus be more sought after.
Toshiba Satellite Pro 420CDT
Another one of these. This one was sold to me as faulty... it doesn't power up properly; I've tinkered with it but can still not get it to start up; the power light comes on but nothing on the screen and no sounds of life. I'll probably just sell it on as it is.
Toshiba Satellite M60-132 Laptop (XP)
With original recovery discs this is a nice 17" laptop. The only problem is the mouse pad didn't work and with the battery installed it wouldn't start up. I later acquired a replacement mouse pad and all is well in that department, just no replacement battery packs available.
Dell Latitude E5500 (Vista)
Originally from 2009, although with Windows 10+ on it it doesn't seem retro! I got it for a good price though. However, I came to realise the mouse pad isn't working well. I don't know how mouse pads fail but I've encountered a few now; this laptop still sports a little mouse "nub" though.
Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ30
I finally re-found the camera that I wanted. I think these are from 2005. I've enjoyed using it so far.
K7T266 Motherboard
The motherboard arrived faulty/damaged but includes CPU, cooler, RAM, and graphics card. Plus I got a partial refund.
Joblot: Sony CDR-DVD150E and 2 x Canon DC100 DVD
They just needed chargers, and some suitable mini DVD-RWs. I'll sell one of the Canons and then decide between the remaining Canon and the Sony as to which one to keep... for a while longer.
"Computer case with power supply"
... I can't remember which one this is and ebay no longer has an picture for the listing... I think it has an Abit motherboard because I next purchased this AGP graphics card to go with it:
Sony CyberShot DSC-S85
I actually find this camera quite hand to use for quick snapshots, like ebay listings, where one doesn't need a super high resolution. See Gallery for example pictures and more about this camera.
Asus CrossFireX M4A88TD-V
For some reason I decided I needed another go at a CrossFire system when I saw this board. The downside to my previous one (see below) was that it needed an additional slot between the two PCI-Express slots, as the top card would just cook under load.

The list doesn't end here!

Click here for 2022's Acquisitions

Click here for 2021's Acquisitions



Sold Stuff

HP DeskJet 1220C A3 Printer
I was given this printer (along with a load of other stuff), but I have been unable to get hold of a working colour cartridge for it; they're all old stock now and either dried up or the printer is faulty - it prints in black.

Compaq iPAQ H3970
I got this complete in box at a relatively low price because the battery was dead. While direct replacements weren't available I was able to find one to work with it, which was a little risky because the original had a BMS board attached to it, but luckily it worked fine and I played many rounds of solitaire on it... before reluctantly selling it (I didn't want to but I hadn't used it as intended)

iMac G5
This was going for a reasonable price considering it was listed as fully working and included its keyboard and mouse. Other than watching a DVD on it (Forgetting Sarah Marshal, which ironically features a similar system as a working prop) I sold it on, without the keyboard and mouse.

Creative Sound Blaster Live 5.1 SB0100 Sound Card
I've now sold a couple of these at a reasonable price. I think I acquired one as part of a system that didn't really need a separate sound card. Then I saw another for sale at a low price (compared to what I sold my previous one for) so I bought it to sell on. I'm not sure why these particular one fetch a higher price than "similar" ones. Perhaps something about the midi chip?

Sony Bloggie MHS-CM5
I'd wanted to try a Sony Bloggie for a while and this is the one I got hold of, complete in original box, but it was potentially faulty as it wouldn't charge/switch on. Thankfully a replacement battery sorted it out. Given that the Bloggie line is seemingly targeted at bloggers (it's in the name, right?) the camera is not great of this as even at full arm length and zoomed right out, you appear somewhat too close. I never got into actually using it so I just sold it on.

ASRock M3A770DE Motherboard and CPU
I bought this bundle mainly because the RAM was interesting... the modules have heatsinks for watercooling (I sold those though, see below). My niece wanted a gaming computer so I used the motherboard for that.

Antec Sonata Solo Piano Black. A nice case in its original box. It had a complete PC inside but I removed all that and sold the case on after repairing the power button.

OCZ Flex XLC RAM with water cooled heat spreaders!

Panasonic RC_6099. My dad had a radio alarm clock so as a child I wanted one too, and ineed I had one, a cassette player one. I don't know what happened to it, but for a while I had/used this one, but it went unused for so long and I noticed the plastic was starting to yellow, so I sold it. I kind of miss it...!


Radio Shack CCR-81 Computer Cassette Recorder. I managed to break one of the button mechanisms on this, so I sold it on as faulty.

CoolerMaster WaveMaster case sold, in original box. A rare find. It just needed a thorough clean.

Bundle of AMD Slot A CPUs, one with a decent Thermaltake cooler making the bundle a good deal and I subsequently sold them all. If I had a Slot A-based system I would have kept that Thermaltake one though!

HP Pavilion DV6 - replaced the motherboard/BIOS and sold! I did like this laptop though.