By far, the biggest and most important part of being a vintage computer enthusiast is the joy of being part of a community of other vintage/retro computer enthusiasts. Despite being what feels like a relatively obscure hobby, there are many hundreds of other old computer geeks that cluster around web sites, forums, social media, podcasts, and computer shows.
One of (if not the) biggest communities of Tandy 100 enthusiasts is the M100 mailing list, hosted at bitchin100.com. In order to gauge possible interest in a new run of REXes, I set up a Google form with a basic “sign-up” sheet. Less than a week after posting this form to the mailing list with a quick explanation of my goal, I had interests in over 60 REX units!
I allowed respondents to enter the number of units they were interested in. The majority just wanted a single unit, but clearly there are some who need a REX for a larger fleet, or maybe just wanted a spare. I should have probably restricted the number of requests in an effort to make sure that people only request enough for their own personal use and not for re-selling. When I open up an actual (pre)order I’ll have to remember to do that.
So, clearly there’s still a big interest. This is part of what’s driving me to want to actually do a production run. I’m going to take it as an omen that I saw this quote on Twitter recently:
Don't build something because you want to sell it. Build something because you want to buy it, but can't.
— Matt Ettus (@matt_rambling) October 5, 2017