Microsoft Altair Basic

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Microsoft Altair Basic

Postby Gibsaw on Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:29 am

I think the price ($500) won't be achievable in NZ, but it's an interesting auction.

An original, unopened 8" floppy version of MS-BASIC

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Computers/Vintage/auction-353593181.htm
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Re: Microsoft Altair Basic

Postby tezza on Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:16 am

Yes, interesting item.

I see this as a genuine investment collectors item, purchased in the sole hope it will increase in value over time. For an investment, software doesn't (yet) seem to be offering the returns classic boxed and unopened hardware does so it's a bit of a gamble I think. Mind you it is Microsoft Basic and it is on 8 inch disks.

I'm not sure there are all that many true investment collectors operating in the vintage computer section of TradeMe. Software is easily posted. If I was the seller, I'd be looking at e-bay for this one.
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Re: Microsoft Altair Basic

Postby Gibsaw on Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:20 am

Ok... Now the guy really is dreaming.

$5000?!! It'd need to be the original paper tape from Paul Allen's trip to MITS to fetch that. :lol:

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Computers/Vint ... 703178.htm
"dsakey" on trademe. Apple II's are my thing.
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Re: Microsoft Altair Basic

Postby lizardb0y on Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:59 am

Gibsaw wrote:Ok... Now the guy really is dreaming.

$5000?!! It'd need to be the original paper tape from Paul Allen's trip to MITS to fetch that. :lol:


Oh that old thing? I must still have that somehere... ;)

Gibsaw wrote:http://www.trademe.co.nz/Computers/Vintage/auction-360703178.htm


Obviously bitten by the eBay bug. I see that on eBay regularly - unrealistic reserve and every time the item fails to sell, the price goes up.

Just ignore him and he'll go away.
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Re: Microsoft Altair Basic

Postby XOR on Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:45 am

tezza wrote:Yes, interesting item.

I see this as a genuine investment collectors item, purchased in the sole hope it will increase in value over time. For an investment, software doesn't (yet) seem to be offering the returns classic boxed and unopened hardware does so it's a bit of a gamble I think. Mind you it is Microsoft Basic and it is on 8 inch disks.

I'm not sure there are all that many true investment collectors operating in the vintage computer section of TradeMe. Software is easily posted. If I was the seller, I'd be looking at e-bay for this one.


The devil is in the details for this particular item.

Although the seller claims to have obtained his copy in 1975, he's actually selling version 5.21 of the MS-BASIC Interpreter (which wasn't released until mid-1983).

It's hard to say what it is worth. But I personally don't see how it could be would be worth more than $50-75 USD to a collector of CP/M memorabilia. Although it's unusual to see a "new in box" copy from that era, it's a relatively late version of a software product that was neither notable or significant.

I'd personally rather have the inflation adjusted $350 USD (in 1983 dollars) that this software was originally sold for. According to this USD inflation calculator it would have cost $777.69 USD in today's dollars after adjusting for inflation.
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Re: Microsoft Altair Basic

Postby Gibsaw on Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:55 pm

XOR wrote:
The devil is in the details for this particular item.

Although the seller claims to have obtained his copy in 1975, he's actually selling version 5.21 of the MS-BASIC Interpreter (which wasn't released until mid-1983).


AAAAAAND ... You can have a genuine ALTAIR for about US$4K (Ebay) and an IMSAI (altair clone) for about US$850. (Ebay)

I'm feeling more and more disgust with this person... His advertisement is full of puffery and outright bollocks.

I'd like to think he's merely uninformed, but more likely he's someone who's looking to sucker another newbie (investment) collector into paying too much... This software is worth MAYBE $100

...as XOR has pointed out, it's a late version, not particularly historic, and not even rare. (freely downloadable from Here)
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