[TUHS] BSTJ 1978 UNIX Issue Price Appreciation

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Fri May 12 03:37:52 AEST 2023

On Thu, May 11, 2023 at 11:26 AM segaloco via TUHS <tuhs at tuhs.org> wrote:

> Howdy folks, I was perusing old copies of ;login: and came across a note
> about the BSTJ UNIX issue in the August 1978 newsletter:
> https://archive.org/details/login_august-1978
> What I find particularly amusing is that all UNIX licensees at the time of
> that publication allegedly were provided a copy free of charge.  The text
> goes on to indicate additional copies can be purchased for a measly $1.50.
> Fast forward to today and I typically don't see this copy pop up on
> auction for less than $100.  Still, amazing how something was being just
> tossed out to anyone who wanted one and now here 45 years later, it's a mad
> scramble to find the same.  Then there's this listing:
> https://www.ebay.com/itm/134212722284?hash=item1f3fb39e6c:g:9VEAAOSw8HtjCp2H&amdata=enc%3AAQAIAAAA4IPDo14%2B7%2BCT30D5MvU1f9BJm77l1XWLxt2ojhau503DpckIGbEgDyGAtPFQgj8m5y9CebRCho1Y9INzCsMX72UaQy96ent8gqtgFWH5MY3kpSNzkYBKgrjnVDMiom2HOuqHiy5H%2FzRjvpdv0BE7tKJ7tJv4BRuCeSEPoqd2U%2FdfuKVuvOTdG%2B28JSWuPcN764AWcg3EbpeU7LUiGEELwjxL0FTsCQ%2F2wK5AuuwK8E9E7WFVuZzsm07jesQcjq75A7t5fM0ggrRX2Mn9cO9%2BHRAP7KcOYhGJ1BqIYz1P1FzL%7Ctkp%3ABk9SR_bFmL2BYg
> $3000 dollars...quite shocking, although perhaps they're banking on the
> uniqueness of that little sleeve, I've never seen one of those with a BSTJ
> issue before.  Was that some sort of packaging the issues were delivered
> in?  It has the Bell Logo in the little window on either side, so I want to
> believe it's original and not something someone threw together after the
> fact.
> In any case, I suspect part of the low pricing is due to Bell anti-trust
> stuff, as they really moved on nickle and diming on documentation once they
> were legally able to.  In any case, I'm always shocked to see how much I
> paid for something in my archival efforts and then I find a price sheet
> only to find out someone bought a book back in the day for the cost of a
> burger and fries.  While I'm pursuing documents for research purposes...I
> may be inadvertently building myself quite the value store without even
> meaning to...

I bought mine in the couple of years for like $20. I think $3k is
delusional.  They range from $25-$250 in the last year for 'offered' price,
mostly in the < $100 range for the ones that sell...

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