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One Man’s Trash Is… A Rare $60,000 Historical Computer



According to Smithsonian Magazine, a salvage company in London was cleaning out a property and found an odd-looking computer device. No one knew what it was, and they couldn’t find anything with a quick online search. The devices in question were two ultra-rare Q1 computers dating from the early 1970s.

While these machines looked formidable, they contained Intel 8008 CPUs but did have built-in screens, keyboards, and printers. The two machines had a few minutes of fame at Kingston University London and are now for sale. They will probably bring about $60,000 each. Not bad for salvage junk.

Ironically, the $60,000 price tag is lower than the original cost, reported at $90,000. The article reports that many Q1s were employed at NASA sites around the United States. There are also reports they were sold in Europe and Asia. It wasn’t clear if the newer machine was one of the Q1s that used a Zilog Z80 instead of an 8008 or if both devices used the original Q1 CPU.

If you haven’t heard of the Q1, you haven’t been keeping up with your Hackaday reading, but you can watch the video below. Sure, that’s a Z80 machine, but you do get a peek inside. The 8008 gets a bad rap, but for the time period, it was certainly high-tech.

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