Raion-Fox wrote:As for your statements, Dodoid, SGIs are in a weird middle ground right now - too old to be useful for everyday stuff and too new and advanced for most vintage collectors - but I suspect as Amigas slowly disappear and die they'll move to Alphas, PA-RISC, SGI-MIPS and VAX gear.
There are a lot of SGIs are certainly not too new for most collectors. While it's true that not everyone will want to own a Tezro or Octane2, The Indigo and the Amiga 3000 are from around the same time period, as is the Macintosh Classic, some early-ish 486 boxes, and, within the realm of gaming, the Super Nintendo. All of those are decidedly vintage hardware with a popular collecting scene right now. Step up to 1993, with the Indy, Indigo2, and Onyx/Challenge and you are talking about "peak 486" in PC land, the release of Doom, and Apple is still selling the IIe, along with their very first PowerBooks. While you are right that 1980s hardware is popular, there is no shortage of demand for early 90s hardware either. Have you seen what decent condition 486 computers are going for lately?
This era is definitely collectible, and has been for quite a while.
Also, I honestly don't see this happening. I would argue that while Amigas fall into the "mainstream collectible" category, the other systems you named are more "niche collectibles". People usually want to collect systems they remember (either they owned them, or they used them, or they knew someone who owned them). Now, those who used SGIs in the 90s may want them now because of it, and I think that holds true. Quite a few people on this forum used to use SGIs at work. However, there's a reason the most commonly collected computers are usually home machines. They are the machines that the most people remember.
I think you may be forgetting a fundamental difference between the Amiga and something like an SGI or PA-RISC box. They are both non-x86, non-PC-compatible computers from the 90s, but the Amiga is a home system. Think about it. Why are people collecting Amigas to begin with? If they are likely to transition to SGI, DEC, HP, and VAX hardware, how come there are not an equal number of Amiga, SGI, DEC, HP, and VAX hobbyists right now? Something clearly makes the Amiga more desirable to collectors, otherwise they wouldn't be overwhelmingly favoring them right now. That factor is that, simply put, it's a home machine, and it's a machine people remember. My dad had a bunch of Amiga machines back in the late 80s and early 90s, and he used his Amiga every day, but the most he ever knew about SGI was that he was pretty sure there was a lab at his university with "some kind of IRIS". Clearly, if he is going to get into vintage computer collecting, he would probably want to go for the machine he remembers using every day, rather than the machine he remembers possibly existing... somewhere, maybe...?
Now, there are outliers. I wasn't alive during any of this, and certainly never used an SGI in the early 90s, and yet I have chosen SGI. This is the case for some other members of this forum, as well. However, that's sort of an uncommon occurrence. While you could possibly argue that the number of outliers will increase as the population as a whole does (as more people get into vintage computing), and that is true, this change is gradual, small, and tied inherently to the rate of growth of vintage computing as a whole.
Of course, there's also the element of games to consider. I am not a gamer myself, but you have to admit, SGIs (and especially the other UNIX hardware you mentioned) don't have that many games (even if they are technically fully capable of running them). Now, of course, not every retro computing hobbyist is a gamer, but a good portion, very likely a majority, are. That portion is probably interested in the Amiga, as the Amiga has a large library of good games, but would probably not care all that much about an SGI, or especially a VAX. Again, I am not saying that the lack of games makes SGI systems as a whole unappealing, but it certainly makes them unappealing to the chunk of retro computing hobbyists who are in it for the games.
Finally, UNIX boxes are just not that close of a "match" to the Amiga. If your argument is that present Amiga collectors will diversify once Amigas become too expensive, then I think I agree, but to UNIX systems? Wouldn't it make more sense for them to opt for another, more similar computer like an Atari ST or an Apple IIGS instead? Saying that they will jump ship to Unix just doesn't make sense.
I am not saying this is impossible. I am just saying I think it is highly unlikely. In the end, who knows. Like I said, maybe it'll be Sun.