eBay Purchase #10 – Creative Sound Blaster SBS10 Speakers

sbs10speaker-1eBay Purchase Price: $20.50 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: New Old Stock

After scoring a brand new sound card for my 486 build, a Sound Blaster AWE 64 Gold, it crossed my mind as to the likelihood of finding a PC speaker set of similar vintage. After searching for a while on eBay, the chances looked rather slim. Then out of the blue, these new set of speakers came out of nowhere and fortunately I had won the auction. With the lack of thrift stores compared to North America, finding items such as these makes it all the more challenging.

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eBay Purchase #9 – Microsoft BackOffice Server 2.0

msboffice2-1eBay Purchase Price: $60 AUD

Country of Origin: United States

Condition: Very Good

Long since discontinued, BackOffice was a suite of server orientated products in combination with Windows NT aimed at business. Originally released with Windows NT 3.5 Server included, the final version had Windows 2000 Server.

This particular version is 2.0 released in April 1996, and was the last to include Windows NT 3.51, just four months prior to NT 4.0. I grabbed this copy among some other newer versions of BackOffice from the same seller. The postage was pricey given their size and weight, though finding complete copies of these isn’t that easy.

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eBay Purchase #8 – Symantec pcAnywhere32 7.5

pcanywhere75-1eBay Purchase Price: $25 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Very Good

Just recently I picked up a complete copy of pcAnywhere32 7.5 remote access software. The good news is the manuals are in excellent condition, and the original parallel port cable is included which can often go missing. The bad news is that out of the four floppy disks for the software itself, the second disk couldn’t be imaged due to bad sectors. Fortunately I could retrieve this elsewhere.

Symantec’s strategy in the late 1980s and early 1990s had been one of company acquisitions. One such acquisition was announced in August 1990 with the purchase of Peter Norton Computing Inc. who had a stronghold in the DOS disk utilities space. Symantec retained the Norton branding and had done so for a number of years.

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eBay Purchase #7 – Microsoft Publisher 2.0

mspub2-1.pngeBay Purchase Price: $1 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Very Good

Sometimes every now and then a bargain is picked up, and in this case it was a new shrink wrapped copy of Microsoft Publisher 2.0 for only $1 AUD. Other copies found tend to be priced between $50 to $100.

This version of Publisher from 1993 had a few minor variations to the retail box particularly with the large fonts on the front, and the coloured diamond that would either say just “Version 2.0” or mention some sort of special offer.

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eBay Purchase #6 – Microsoft Windows/386 2.11

windows_logo_and_wordmark_-_1985-svg

 

 

eBay Purchase Price: $100+ AUD

Country of Origin: United States

Condition: Very Good

Witnessing the very few copies of Windows 1.0 on eBay usually for sale overseas and in excess of $1,000 US at the end of auction, I never had success obtaining a copy. Due to that, Windows 2.11 marketed as Windows/286 and Windows/386 are the earliest copies I have in a box.

win386-1

“New” copies of Windows/286 and Windows/386 side by side.

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eBay Purchase #5 – Microsoft Windows NT 3.1

nt31-1eBay Purchase Price: Approx. $60 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Very Good

I guess as a follow-up to my previous post about running Windows NT 3.1 under Oracle VirtualBox, I thought to share how this OS looks in the physical sense as it was a challenge to obtain a copy.

This particular retail box was still in shrink wrap for 20-odd years, and therefore the contents was intact. The sticker on the box in regards to a special offer, was aimed at existing Windows or OS/2 users to purchase at a reduced price. Continue reading

eBay Purchase #4 – Microsoft Office Value Pack for Windows 95

eBay Purchase Price: $80 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Used

I won the auction for this one some time ago and while the box is rather tatty, it’s been the only one on eBay I’ve seen. I guess most people dumped the large box and kept it all separate.

office95vp-1

For a couple of hundred extra then buying Office Professional on its own, the Office Value Pack was a collection of software specifically orientated towards Windows 95. It was clearly targeting the SOHO and small business segment. Nevertheless as a 10 year old at the time of release, it was a “I’d like to get that but no chance in hell I could afford that” package.

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eBay Purchase #3 – Mastering Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0

masteringvb40-1eBay Purchase Price: $10 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Like New

Today I picked up in the mail a shrink-wrapped copy of Mastering Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 made by Microsoft Press. Being a Microsoft Press title and not seen one closely I was expecting more printed material, though instead the contents was no different from picking up an early multimedia software title (i.e. very little in the box).

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eBay Purchase #2 – Windows Resource Kit for Windows 3.1

wrkwin31-1eBay Purchase Price: Approx. $10 AUD

Country of Origin: Australia

Condition: Very Good

A book I bought on eBay cheaply, this was Microsoft’s official technical guide for IT professionals concerning Windows 3.1. Unfortunately the original disk was not included, but nevertheless is in really good condition for a soft cover.

For those who haven’t browsed a copy, at over 500 pages this book contains plenty of reference material that is not documented with your traditional user guides or help files. It gets into the nitty gritty of how the operating system works, and how it can be manipulated. An example would be how to create a customised setup installer with your own device drivers and remove non-critical files to create a lean Windows installation.

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eBay Purchase #1 – Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1

nt31as-1eBay Purchase Price: Approx. $300 AUD

Country of Origin: United States

Condition: Very Good

An eBay find from about two years ago, finding copies of Windows NT 3.1 is generally difficult, so I was pleased to grab a copy admittedly paying more than I would have hoped.

Unfortunately falling over in a cupboard the box hasn’t fared as well, though for the most part is in good condition.

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