Top 6 Vintage Computer Workstations

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In its purest sense, the term "workstation" refers to an individual computer that is connected to a local area network. However, it used more generally to describe any desktop computer, whether it is connected to a network or not. Like many modern versions, vintage computer workstations run multi-user operating systems and feature advanced accessories. Collectors and enthusiasts prize these classic pieces of technology for their vintage style, unique features, and limited availability. These six vintage computer workstations are among the most highly coveted models, which means they are often difficult to find and command high prices.
1 Xerox Alto Computer Workstation

The funding and freedom offered to researchers at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Centre resulted in what many call the first computer workstation. The original Xerox Alto was commissioned in late 1972, constructed in 1973, and was one of the most innovative computers produced at the time. It contains all of the fundamental technologies of modern PCs and consists of four separate parts: the graphics display, detachable keyboard, graphics mouse, and processor box containing two 3 MB disk drives. The graphics display uses raster-scan technology and has a unique portrait orientation. Other features include a waist-high, metal processor box; keyboard capable of chord commands; and three-button, wired mouse.

 

2 Acorn BBC Micro Computer Workstation

After devising plans for its Computer Literacy Project, the BBC contracted Cambridge-based Acorn to produce a machine with a standard set of features that used the computing language, BASIC. This resulted in the unveiling of the BBC Micro in late 1981. The original product line includes the Model A with 16 KB of memory and the Model B with 32 KB of memory, higher resolution, additional ports for connecting a monitor, a secondary CPU, and an optional floppy disk controller. Later models include the B+64, the B+128, and the BBC Master.

 

3 Apple II Vintage Computer Workstations
Apple II Vintage Computer Workstations

With a production run that spanned 16 years, the Apple II revolutionised personal computing. It was the follow up to the first Apple computer, and was the company's first machine with a case and a built-in keyboard. It could handle office applications, educational software, and games. The product line includes the IIe, II plus, II GS, and the portable IIc.

 

4 Vintage Macintosh Workstation

The Macintosh computer was released in January 1984 and was the first relatively affordable computer to use a graphical user interface. Its built-in 3.5-inch, 400 kB floppy disk drive, fast 8 MHz processor, built-in monitor, and consistency across applications, made it a commercial success, despite its limited memory of only 128 k of RAM, which could not be upgraded. Apple realised its shortcomings quickly and released the Macintosh 512 k, with four times the RAM of the original. Other models launched between 1984 and 1994 include the Macintosh Plus, with 4 MB of RAM and a full-sized keyboard, and the XL, SE, and Classic.

 

5 NeXT Vintage Computer Workstation

After leaving Apple in 1985, Steve Jobs founded another computer company: NeXT, Inc. NeXT workstations were revolutionary devices, designed and marketed for business and education, and built on standard Unix-based systems. The first product, the NeXT Cube, was unveiled in 1988, with a Motorola 68030 CPU able to run at speeds of 25 MHz and the first built-in digital signal processor. The Cube's technical specification and distinctive design of a 1-square foot magnesium cube continues to draw admirers. NeXT also manufactured the Station, a more affordable version of the Cube, with the same features in a conventional shaped box.

 

6 Vintage IBM Personal Computer Workstation
Vintage IBM Personal Computer Workstation

IBM's early workstations, the 5100 and the Datamaster, sold poorly due to their high prices. To save time and money, IBM used off-the shelf components from other manufacturers, such as a CPU from Intel and a Microsoft operating system, to create the 5150 in 1981. It featured an Intel 8088 processor and 16 KB of RAM; neither was impressive at the time. However, good quality construction, excellent expandability, and IBM's reputation, made the 5150 successful. It is one of the most popular vintage IBM computers among collectors.

 

How to Buy Vintage Computer Workstations

The most coveted vintage computer workstations are difficult to find. However, eBay makes the process easier. Buyers can take advantage of eBay's user-friendly interface to quickly and easily narrow search results. You can search from any page for complete systems and accessories to add to a collection, or parts and manuals to help to restore an existing machine. Enter keywords, such as "vintage computer workstation" and browse eBay's extensive inventory. Add more detailed keywords to refine the results list. Vintage computer collectors can shop with confidence buy checking the feedback of sellers before making a purchase.
 
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