WHERE THERE'S WOOD,
It's certainly not going to be the most hotly contested piece of Speccy memorabilia ever to appear on eBay, but it may well be one of the most unusual to go under the hammer (you'll see in the next paragraph how witty and clever that last comment really was).
Yes folks, we give you item #2087160063; a 'ZX80 & ZX81 Nailed to Pieces of Wood'. (Boom, boom! Geddit? Hammer, nailed, wood? Oh, forget it).
According to the Sheffield-based seller's description, "These are a ZX80 and a ZX81 which I used as test rigs when I was repairing them for a living. They are fastened to pieces of wood to facilitate swapping chips. They have been stored for quite a while and are a bit dusty."
Ah, now that makes a little more sense. We did think it rather bizarre that someone had just woken up one morning and thought 'I know, I'll get a hammer and batter some nails through these vintage 8-bit computers'. Sadly, there's no picture included with the item, so you'll just have to use your imagination.
Anyhow, it turns out the ZX81 has no CPU or ROM, while the ZX80 has "the CPU and 3 TTL missing", whatever that means. It's also "connected to a reed switch keyboard and an external board with ZX80 & ZX81 switchable ROMS on it," according to the seller. "There is another ciruit built on Veroboard containing TTL and connected in place of IC12. Haven't a clue what it does. There is another PCB (Commercially made) which I think is an EPROM programmer, and a wire-wrap prototype circuit which may be a parallel port." No, we haven't got the foggiest idea what he's on about, either. Answers on a postcard please...
The bizarre nature of the auction continues when 'rtbcomp' generously declares: "I'll throw in an empty ZX Spectrum box, which is a bit dogeared." You're just too kind, sir.
He continues: "Also included is a ZX81 Basic Programming manual in very good condition, a ZX80 manual which is a bit scruffy and circuit diagrams for ZX80 & ZX81. Any queries, please ask! This item is a bit fragile so buyer to collect from Sheffield. If I come accross any other bits I'll throw them in FOC."
At the time of writing some suckers, sorry, erstwhile Speccy enthusiasts have pushed the bidding up from the starting price of £5 to a whole £8, with just over three days to go. Over 200 people have viewed the item. Can you bear the tension????
Good luck to all those involved, but the questions that beg to be answered are a) 'what the bloody hell are they going to do with it if you win?' and b) 'what will your missus say when you return home one evening with two dusty old knackered computers attached to bits of tree?'.