What's in your home's basement? Bet it's not a mainframe.

Collecting vintage computing gear should have its limits ... but not in this case

Gordon Mah Ung

Over the years I've been tempted to buy all sorts of ridiculous things from sites such as Recycled Goods and eBay and, for various reasons such as lacking enough room (and spousal approval) to get a rotovap setup going in the kitchen, I've managed to restrict myself to a few small, reasonably sane acquisitions. Other people, for example, Connor Krukosky, not only laugh at temerity such as mine but go big with hardly a second thought.

A couple of years ago, at the age of 18, Krukosky who has what we'll call "a passion" for collecting and restoring vintage computers, spotted a posting on a mailing list announcing that an decade-old IBM Z890 mainframe was being sold by Rutgers University and the bidding was at a measly $100. Krukosky was immediately interested and bid, winning the beast for the handsome sum of $237.39.

The story of how he moved a 2,300 pound behemoth into his parents' basement and got it working for a few hundred dollars is outstanding; check out his Share presentation from last year titled "I Just Bought an IBM z890 – Now What?"

Krukosky is now finishing an internship with IBM and he may be just the engineer you need … particularly if it involves heavy metal.

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