Who Can Spot The Error In The Headline?

Problematic headline: How Much Is That PC in the Attic?:

You know that old computer that’s been sitting in your basement for years? The one you’ve been meaning to throw away? Well, maybe your laziness will pay off.

Old computers, it seems, are becoming hot collectibles. And so are many of the items associated with them.

I won’t leave it to you to guess: The problem is that none of the collectibles mentioned in the article is a PC.

As you know, gentle reader (because you’re an old man, old man), PCs refer pretty specifically to computers running MS-DOS or Windows. Of course, the first PC was the IBM PC and then the IBM PCjr., and then the race was on in the late 1980s and into the 1990s as a bunch of manufacturers made PC ‘clones’ running the same software.

These things are commodity boxes with little fan loyalty or brand differentiation, so they won’t be collectibles like old Apples or Commodores or more esoteric things are. Come on, who’s going to pay anything for an old Packard Bell or Gateway? Really? Well, I’d pay a buck for them, and then I’d gut their components for handicrafts and dump the rest at the computer recycling shop.

The collectible stuff is the older, differentiated things with nostalgia value and brand identity. Apple, Commodore, Atari, and so on.

But, alas, you never see these things in garage sales anymore. All the basements containing them have been cleaned out already.

2 thoughts on “Who Can Spot The Error In The Headline?

  1. Speaking of basements, remember when computers were weird enough that they were pretty much only allowed in the basement? Then at some point in the 90s, the Internet made them respectable enough to bring upstairs, and these days they of course are carried around in our pockets.

    I’ve frequently wondered what drove all that. Were they seen as more useful (and social) devices, or did us kids who thrived on Zork and BBSes grow up and bring then upstairs with us?

  2. PC World, curiously, misused the term last decade in a list of the 10 Worst PCs of All Time — there’s an Apple III and a VIC-20, for instance — but any Packard Bell was The Worst.

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