I started collecting computers 15 years ago. The passion for old hardware came out of an IBM PS/2 Model 57. I got this computer in the early 2000 as a present for gaining 1st prize in my class. Until that moment I never owned a computer and the only ones I’ve put my hands on were those in special IT labs and at some neighbors . When I picked up my “prize” it was just the system unit and a Model M keyboard. The IBM had no memory and not a clue in the world what to make out of it. After spending some time on Yahoo Search,back in the internet cafe era, I was able to locate the computer model and what type of memory was need in order for it to work. After I had inserted the memory on the mobo and pressed the power button, magic happened! The IBM PS\2 Post came on screen that sticks with me even to this day. I just become more interested on how hardware works and it escalated…
Most of the computers that interest me are more than 30 years old. Given the age and the time that has run over them, every single machine needs special care and attention in order to get it up and running again.
The restoration process differs and its always challenging
The computers are rarely found in working condition. As they become obsolete and not useful, people either trash them or keep them for sentimental reasons usually in improper places, like: attics, basements, garages, etc. This places can be too humid, to hot or to cold for the computers to be stored on the long term. The plastic yellows if sun reaches, it cracks if its kept in cold temperatures, the capacitors leak, corrosion will eat it slowly and the worst scenario, leaking batteries.
Some restoration projects last more than 1 year because of some parts are just not easy to be found. I am always on the lookout for computers and parts on eBay, local sale sites, flea markets and recycling units.
One of my apartments rooms has become my workshop. Every computer that gets on the “operation table”, leaves the room like new. I start out by striping them off, freshly painting the cases if needed, repairing all the electronic and then putting them in storage in a proper controlled environment.