Welcome to Lewin's vintage computer museum. This project started in approximately 1994, when I realized that I could finally afford all the computers I coveted as a small boy in the 1980s. As my mother can testify, I built up a vast collection over the years 1994-99, back home in Australia. That collection included two PDP-11/23 minicomputers, Atari STes, a Commodore Amiga 500, many Commodore 64s, C64Cs and VIC-20s, many Amstrad CPC 464/664/6128s and a rare CPC6128+, a TRS-80 Model 100, a TRS-80 Model III, two Sinclair ZX81s, two Sinclair ZX Spectrums and a ZX Spectrum +, an Acorn BBC Model B, an Atari 800XL, a Sinclair QL (actually, an ICL OPD intelligent telephone repackaged by Telecom Australia), a Macintosh Color Classic, two Macintosh Plus machines and a Macintosh SE, a few Apple IIc and IIe clones and real Apple IIes, several Microbees and many many other old friends, almost all of which were in full working order. I had intended to save all these machines in order eventually to open a real private computer museum. All of these machines have a significant emotional attachment for me, and preserving them was and is also an important personal quest.
Unfortunately, all these plans were abbreviated by my relocation to the United States in May 1999. A large proportion of the 120+ computers in my collection were disposed of, mostly to fellow enthusiasts, and the remainder of the collection is dwindling as my family disposes of it to make space. Shipping costs and customs problems make it unlikely that I will be reunited with my old friends.
Enter ebay! Most of the machines I had back home have now surfaced on ebay, and for those located in the USA I can usually afford the shipping costs. (Unfortunately, a fair number of my favorites - Amstrad, Sinclair and Acorn - never made it big in the USA). I am slowly but surely rebuilding my collection as funds permit.
The only machine for which I am avidly collecting everything is the Commodore VIC-20. This was the first machine I ever lived with, and I want to be sure that I will have enough parts to keep at least one VIC-20 working for the rest of my life; I would also like as much software as possible. I'll probably never own anything truly rare (at least, nothing that's rare right now!), but this system is sentimentally important to me.
The computers documented on this site are those that I have most recently reacquired for my collection. They have mostly been acquired through eBay, and they come from all over the world; I've bought computers from as far away as New Zealand and as close to home as Albany, NY.
One important point to note while you're reading the above reviews - I don't claim to be a guru-level expert on these systems. I am writing largely from what I remember about them, and since some of these machines date back to the early 1980s or late 1970s, my memory could easily be flawed.
Please keep checking back for updates to this section of larwe.com. If you have documentation or software from vintage computers (pre-1992), and you want to sell direct to me to help my quest, please feel free to email me or call (914) 645-9098; especially if you are located in Europe, Australia or New Zealand and willing to ship me Acorn, Sinclair, Microbee or Amstrad hardware. My funds are definitely not limitless, but I will make every effort to buy interesting items. Remember to visit my wanted list, too.