Definition of vintage?

Anything to do with New Zealand Classic or Vintage Computing not covered in the other forums

How aged must a computer be to become vintage?

Five years
No votes
Ten years
Twenty years
Once it hits obsolescence
Total votes : 7

Definition of vintage?

Postby Carcenomy on Thu Aug 28, 2008 10:40 am

This is something that's always bugged me. Like since the concept was first posed to me.

What constitutes a vintage computer?

I know with cars it's determined exclusively by age and production, but what about for computers? I mean hey, we're into the Windows 6.0 generation now. The cheapest machine down at your local computer store these days has more computational power than all of our collections combined.

So what of the machines from the last decade?

Typically in the vintage computing circles, a lot of emphasis is placed on machines of the late 70s and early 80s - the formation years of modern computing, the rise of personal computing. But that was 30 years ago - there has been LOTS happening recently, so what becomes of the machines from 20, even 10 years ago?

They're obsolete now, but are they aged enough to become vintage? Will they ever become vintage when initiatives like e-Day scoop them up and tear them apart for scrap?

Really, I'm quite keen on hearing people's views on this. What IS the definition of vintage?
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Postby tezza on Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:56 pm

Hi C,

Like any subjective term in the English language, the definition of vintage when it comes to computers can be debated at length. In the end, it tends to be a consensus opinion.

At a site I frequent, the vintage computer forums (, they take the view that it's anything from a PC-compatible 486 downwards (about 1996 and earlier..and whatever the Mac equivalent is at that time). That's generally a definition I agree with and one that I've used for this site. Anything more modern than (Pentiums, Celerons etc.) are more obselete than vintage IMO.

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Postby Carcenomy on Mon Sep 01, 2008 12:44 pm

Fair statement, however what I'm seriously curious about, is if computers can become vintage through age, or if they need to be of a set generation to obtain vintage status.

I'm assuming generation :)
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Re: Definition of vintage?

Postby lizardb0y on Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:05 pm

I tend to classify a computer of any age which is no longer in production and unique in some significant way,or contributed something to the industry, as worthy of preservation. Rarity has some influence.

The deciding factor for me is simple; if I wanted one when it was new, but couldn't afford it, then I have to have one!
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Re: Definition of vintage?

Postby Carcenomy on Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:38 am

Good call Lizardboy, that's pretty much how I look at things. However by the same stroke, there's a worrying set of machines that will become vintage very shortly... The freakin iMac/iBooks. They're officially obsoleted by Apple now, spares are no longer available, and some of them were quite uncommon production options (read: Key Lime plastics on iBooks). But really, can something like that ever really be seen as a vintage?

Doesn't really fit in a collection alongside a ZX81 and a Commodore64 ;)
Just the local Commodore hobo and middle-aged PC hoarder.
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