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

According to Smithsonian Magazine, a salvage company in London was clearing out a property and found a strange 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.

Although these machines looked great, they contained Intel 8008 processors but had built-in displays, keyboards, and printers. Both machines enjoyed a few minutes of fame at Kingston University in London and are now on sale. They will likely bring in around $60,000 each. Not bad for recovery waste.

Ironically, the $60,000 price tag is lower than the original cost, which was listed at $90,000. The article reports that many Q1s were employed at NASA sites in the United States. There are also reports that they were sold in Europe and Asia. It was unclear whether the newer machine was one of the Q1s using a Zilog Z80 instead of an 8008 or whether both devices used the original Q1 processor.

If you haven’t heard about Q1, you haven’t been keeping up with your Hackaday readings, but you can watch the video below. Sure, it’s a Z80 machine, but you get a glimpse of the interior. The 8008 has a bad reputation, but for its time it was certainly high tech.

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