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I've lost more computers to ...

Displaying poll results.
Old age (the computer's)
  23566 votes / 74%
264 votes / 0%
A change in jobs, school, marital status, etc.
  826 votes / 2%
Natural disaster
265 votes / 0%
Online malice (powerful-juju malware)
226 votes / 0%
Some other cause
  1098 votes / 3%
I have never given up on a computer.
  5500 votes / 17%
31745 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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I've lost more computers to ...

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  • Yippie
  • by SoCalChris (573049) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @06:24PM (#37236836) Journal

    I've probably got a dozen old computers packed away that work, but are just waaay outdated. My last desktop that I built for myself is about 11 years old at this point, it's still chugging away as a file server and streaming video to my WDTV Live box. I can't bring myself to pitch a still working computer, even if it's so old as to be obsolete. I'll find some use for it, and will keep it running.

    • by Anrego (830717) *

      Can relate to this.

      I tend to build a new box every few years. Not so much out of necessity, but because it's my hobby and something I enjoy.. and as far as money goes compared to what you get, it's not that bad.

      The problem is you end up with several boxes that are perfectly usable .. but you can only re-purpose so many (how many internal servers and media boxes does one need...). Can't sell them either. That pretty much leaves giving them away or letting them collect dust in the basement.

      I feel like I need

    • by antdude (79039)

      Same here, but some computers just seriously die from a PSU blow up or something. :(

      What's the oldest computer you have and what does it do now? I wished I could do the same like my Apple //c. :P

      • What's the oldest computer you have and what does it do now?

        My oldest machine currently in service is a 14 year old Gateway 2000 E-3110 Pentium II, 300 MHz, 256MB RAM, 3 120GB IDE hard drives, stripped down version of Win-XP Pro with all un-needed services shut off.

        I keep it in the basement running 24/7 with the monitor shut off. I use it as a NAS box, printer server for my home network, (serving an HP Laser-jet, and a Lexmark color ink-jet) and also as a "Magic Jack" server for my home phone service.

        It still works great for those purposes, and I only have to reboo

        • by antdude (79039)

          Why XP? Why not use W2K SP4 or stripped down Linux or some other OS? XP is too slow on that old PC. I have a P2 450 Mhz machine, with 256 MB of RAM, for old Windows 9x and 2K SP4 for testing purposes and old softwares.

          • by afidel (530433)
            XP with the win2k theme runs just fine on that era machine, I ran it on a similar machine with 192MB of ram for years, my biggest memory usage was Mozilla Suite/Firefox. Just don't run a bloated AV program and use Office 200(0|3) and you're golden.
            • by antdude (79039)

              Is XP, with W2K theme, still slower than W2K?

              Office 2003 ran well? Wow. I used 2000 on a P2 before. It ran decently especially with its 2007 converter pack.

      • by Yaztromo (655250)

        What's the oldest computer you have and what does it do now?

        I have a working, 23 year old 8088 based machine with 384K of RAM.

        It sits on a shelf. On occasion, I bring it out and fire it up for kicks. It is a portable (with a built-in monochrome LCD display), but there really isn't anything useful that can be done with it. It won't run Linux, has no network interface, and has a really outdated version of DOS burnt into ROM.

        Sometimes old is just old. You do get to a point where the power consumed used by an old machine isn't worth the minuscule number of MIPS you'

    • Old computers do die if you take them out back and put a few ounces of flash powder in them.

      As do you if you don't stand far enough back. I had to dodge a side panel once - damn high-quality Asus steel.

    • by INT_QRK (1043164)
      I still have my first 8088, 640k RAM, 10Mhz (in "turbo" mode), 20MB hard drive, with PC-Geos over DOS. Still boots and is easy on the eyes with its orange screen. Also have two other not-quite as old machines that operate quite well on Gnu/Linux (both now Ubuntu, but had various other distros at various times). Old computers need not die yet as long as hardware runs and Gnu/Linux still an option.
  • My old Bondi iMac is in deep storage (in its original box) above a garage. My IBM Thinkpad (not that Lenovo crap) finally succumbed to the dreaded logic board cracking (due to over heating ATI graphic chip) and decided not to turn on one day.

    Maybe I'm just nostalgic, but I find its much more fulfilling to upgrade one's computer and get as much life out of it as possible and then invest in a new system only when necessary. My goal when upgrading is to buy something with at least triple the performance while

  • Well, not me but a nephew had a mouse that chewed through a cable, shorting his dishwasher and blowing up his PC. (Mine I just junk or "e-waste" them after some security work on the hard drives with a nail and a hammer).
  • Sure, they get too old and slow for me, but after a few years they find their ways into the hands of grandparents, nephews and cousins. Maybe my old 386 DX66 is still lurking around somewhere performing intense visual basic!
  • If you have a computer made of obviously crap components (say a cheap Dell or Averatec laptop), and it dies after a couple of years - is that considered "old age"?

    I've got a 10-year-old Dell desktop that's still running just fine... or was, last time I plugged it in maybe a year ago. I've also got a 2003 G4 Powerbook that's going strong - my mom uses it for presentations. Really the only computers I've had truly die on me were non-Apple laptops, and I'm guessing that's because I bought lower-end machines in

    • by jd (1658)

      Yes, that would be "old age" since "aging" isn't so much chronological time as much as it is degeneration of components primarily due to usage. Unless you live in a nuclear reactor, in which case the degeneration of components would be due to radiation damage.

      If you liken it to biological systems, for any given class of organism there is DNA that will fail of "old age" after a time that would be considered absurdly young for other DNA.

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @08:21PM (#37237554)

    As "old age," or "some other cause? Hey, just asking.

  • I still have a Tandy Model II that is flawless.

    I have thrown away several PC's and laptops from the past 10 years simply because th e parts used in the past decade are utter garbage comparedto what was used in the 1980's and 1990's
    Caps puking, defective boards, BGA is a bad idea for longevity, overheating parts because engineers today are morons, or the managers are morons. I'm thinking a combination of both.

    Computers today will fail from a quality failure within 3 years. Yet I have stuff from the 386 da

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Computers today will fail from a quality failure within 3 years. Yet I have stuff from the 386 days that I know will still work in 15 years.

      I've got a computer from 2004 that's still going. It's had 2 new video cards but the AMD 64 3600 is still going strong. It all depends on buying quality components. 5 years ago I gave it to my housemate who bought a crappy Gainward video card for it, 13 months later the heat sink simply fell off. The original a leadtek card that came out of it is still going.


  • I still have a commodore 64. Two of them, actually.

    I still have the original hard drive with Win 3.11 WFWG from my first PC (still works too.)

    If I look around in the nooks and crannies, I might even have the chassis to it.

    I still have my desktop from my first professional sysadmin job. A 486DX4-100, and all 5 of the OS's that it would boot still work. (If Brennan reads this, yes, spoonman still lives in its final form.)

    I did, however, trash the Sun 4/690, 4/390, the AS400 and the SGI Crimson. Just too large

  • My Southwest Tech 6800 box is a museum piece, but my Osborne/1 [serial number 864] boots up nicely for its annual trial
    • by binkzz (779594)
      I still have two Bondwell-14 portables. They could be museum pieces as well. Still, I'm really attached to them, I learned to program on them. :')

      Do you know of any places that still sell 5.25" cp/m floppies/software?
  • I just realized that the first computer I worked on is older than my girlfriend (well, presuming that it still exists!).
    • I just realized that the first computer I worked on is older than my girlfriend (well, presuming that it still exists!).

      We'd all probably appreciate you clearing up the ambiguity in that sentence.

    • I just realized that the first computer I worked on is older than my girlfriend (well, presuming that it still exists!).

      Same here! It's amazing that at 14 years old, it still works so well.

  • I've continually upgraded my PC since my first 386SX. As time and age killed parts they would be replaced with newer ones. At one point only the CD remained to keep continuity.

    It is in essence immortal though with some amnesia.

    • by RevWaldo (1186281)
      I always wondered how many people out there have "grandfather's axe" [] PCs.

      • by mrmeval (662166)

        Oh sweet a guitar case mod THANKS!

        I wonder if I can make the strings work and play through the sound card....or maybe just a guitar hero case mod....

    • by afidel (530433)
      How did you upgrade from AT to ATX? One of those weird cases and PSU's that supported both?
      • by mrmeval (662166)

        Actually it was a weird motherboard if my feeble brain (needs upgrades) is of any use it took either AT or ATX as it was intended and advertised as a repair part. It had PCI, 8 bit ISA, 16 bit ISA and I think some video slot like EISA or VLB. That board was amazingly stable for all the crap on it.

        It would replace at least a dozen motherboards without a hitch and it was faster than many of it's peers. This was the period when 386/486/586 were still in use and 6x86 was on the rise. The board would work with

  • Contrary to popular belief in the geek community, not everyone owns a computer. Whenever I have a computer (or sufficient components) past my own standard, I wipe the computer and give it to someone else. Sure it's 5 years out of its prime, but windows xp and a bunch of freeware can be a world of difference to someone who can't bring themselves to justify the expense.


    • by mjwx (966435)

      Contrary to popular belief in the geek community, not everyone owns a computer. Whenever I have a computer (or sufficient components) past my own standard, I wipe the computer and give it to someone else. Sure it's 5 years out of its prime, but windows xp and a bunch of freeware can be a world of difference to someone who can't bring themselves to justify the expense.


      Freecycling FTW.

      I've given all my old gaming boxen to my housemates, family, friends, ect... 2-3 yrs old but it's more then powerful enough for their uses. I've just bought an new Asus laptop and the parents have put their hands up for my 2 yr old Lenovo. So wiping and re-imaging that is on my to do list.

      As for actual causes of death, the only computer I've had in the last 8 years that's died was due to the mighty boot... I trod on a Benq laptop breaking the screen. apart from that it still works and

    • by jd (1658)

      I'd argue that if you include all analog, hardwired and digital computer systems including embedded ones, it's actually very hard to find anyone in the western world that hasn't got a computer.

  • What's "a computer"?
    The mother board?
    The CPU?
    Everything in the case combined?
    I've never had a computer get struck by lightening and the entire thing be melted to the point that nothing was salvagable. I haven't bought an entirely new comuter in about 15 years. Each time I have hardware failure (almost always the motherboard or GPU, which are both usually make by the same set of companies) I take what remains of the computer to build it's next incarnation. Usually it seems to be the motherboard that goes fir
  • by sup4hleet (444456) on Sunday August 28, 2011 @11:37PM (#37238492) Homepage

    I had an Apple Network Server that I got for $75 from a company that lost the AIX disks for it. I pimped the processor and RAM and stuffed the drive bays full of scsi goodness. I ran it until about 2005 when I switched to RAQ2 which was actually more powerful, had more hd space, and used less power. I used the ANS as a print stand until about a year ago when I needed more space and replaced it with a tool chest cabinet.

    It saddens my that there is this tipping point where it becomes more wasteful because of power consumption to keep using old technology. It would be completely against tech companies' bottom lines, but the earth would love it if we could create an upgradable platform with a multi-decade usable lifespan while still being efficient.

    • by afidel (530433)
      Not sure about multi-decade but the HP c-class enclosures we bought over 5 years ago can have the newest blades and switches installed. In fact they have enough backplane bandwidth to probably be usable for at least another 5 years if not 10. Cisco 6500 series chassis are similar, a decade in and they are just starting to run out of steam as the need for 10Gb Ethernet in the datacenter is beyond what their fabric can handle.
  • All my previous laptops/desktops had some thing or the other fail - like cd drive, hard drive, motherboard , cpu fan etc and at some point the cost to replace the parts, became more than the cost to buy a new one entirely. How old is old age for computers?
  • I've lost more computers to not changing my marital status than anything else, i.e. get rid of the computers, or get a divorce.
    Gone are a couple of microvaxes, rs/6000 (8 CPU - boy, could that heat a room), hp 900, multiple Sun systems (LX, 4 x SS20, plus external disks), a couple of Tadpole Solaris laptops, a DEC Alpha 1000, a DEC VAXStation 4000. Also a couple of full tower PCs (I don't think they make cases as large as those any more - I haven't seen any around).

    I traded my lovely computer room for a wif

  • The first desktop I built myself ca 2003 serves today as mothers computer. The second desktop I built myself serves as fathers computer. The used computer I bought knowing it had faults ca 2005 still serves, clocked down, as a home router at my parents place. Has had a hard-drive failure and power supply failure, but after a few spares from the heap of parts with minor faults it still works. My monster of a Dell laptop is still live and well as far as I know. My cousin got it. And that machine was declared
  • I still possess almost all of my old computers, except three...

    I sold my first Apple //e to a coworker of my mother, so I could buy my first PC compatible.

    My first Macintosh, a PowerBook 1400cs was in my backpack, on my back when I got struck from behind by a Jeep, on a sidewalk. It partially worked, but the LCD screen was cracked and weird looking, while the hard drive had lots and lots of bad sectors, both of which degenerated over the next few months. Not a mark on the outside of the PowerBook, though,

  • Anyone know where to get a replacement hard drive for an old DEC/Digital laptop circa 1990?
    • Ebay.

      Now with that out of the way, my main home desktop is the result of an unbroken upgrade chain beginning with a retail Packard Bell in 1993. Still has the 5.25" floppy drive. Unfortunately, the motherboard lacks a floppy controller and the cable for that drive is long gone. The case dates to about 2002, and the mouse is probably the oldest active working component from around 2005. Prior to that, I'd used the same Logitech 3-button mouse for 11 years and only upgraded to get an optical mouse (also h

  • I only lose old components, never the whole computer at once.
  • with CPM80 adapted floppydriver for 10 sector 5 1/4 FD?
  • What I don't see is 'Threat of Divorce' listed. All jokes aside, most of my gear liquidation is due to my wife being very uncomfortable about the large spaces of storage it takes up. I've lost more computers by taking them down to the electronics recycling place by spousal assertiveness than anything.
  • by Moof123 (1292134)

    128k - Age
    IIsi - Age
    Duo 210 - Age
    Centris 610 - Age
    PPC 7300 - Age
    PC Jalopy - Age
    PC Laptop - Theft
    PC - Age
    PC - Age
    PC - Age

    I don't count work machines, as I've always been smart enough to use them as tools and nothing more.

  • I usually have the current and last generation machines, then my parents inherit the 2nd and 3rd last generation. Sometimes their machines fail before I have a replacement, sometimes not. However, thanks to the crappy quality of the Shuttle SFFs I've lost two generations.

  • My current system is over 8 years old.

    At the time, you had to pay for Windows from the big dealers whether you wanted it on your PC or not. I decided to go to a local computer shop and have my own custom built with really good parts. LOL, part of me wishes I didn't as I can't justify getting a new system as the old one still works great.
    I had to replace the DVD drive a few years, but that has been my only hardware failure.

    I have between a 2 - 3 gig htz processor and I don't do video games so I have all of t

    • by instagib (879544)

      Until December last year, my main system was a PIII-600 with 768 MB RAM on an seemingly undestroyable Asus P2B-S from 1999. Which means I used the same system for 11 years, only upgrading drives and video card. Although this system was "officially" outdated over half a decade ago, it did everything I needed (which doesn't include Flash and HD video or modern games, of course). People in Q3A I fragged called me a liar when I told them my specs. The old thing streamed my music, and even served the home cinema

      • Good story.

        I chuckled about the accusation of lying. Fanboys/geeks can be children sometimes. Before this box I had a PII ( Gateway....never again ) that had Windows 95/98 on one side and linux on another. I was able to play DVDs on the windows side, but not on the linux. When I tried troubleshooting that the linux group told me that PII wasn't powerful enough. They called me a liar when I told them that windows did it.

        • by instagib (879544)

          Yeah, that kind of behaviour is annyoing. BTW, I'm pretty sure your problem on the Linux side was a hardware issue, i.e. Windows being able to use some sort of video acceleration to play DVDs, and the Linux driver couldn't. Using XvMC on a Nvidia card my old PIII was at around 35% load with DVD material. Torrenting at the same time was no problem. ;-)
          (Just for the record, I use Slackware.)

          • That was ancient history....around 2000. I think that was the prevailing theory at the time, windows used video acceleration. Things are a bit more balanced in the FOSS world today. Back then it was tenet of religious faith that FOSS *always* did things better. I can't remember what distro I used. I think SUSE. I've used Ubuntu since it came out, but I've gone through Red Hat, Suse, Knoppix, and Mephis ( knoppix knock off ). If/when my current box dies or becomes incapable of being upgraded to do what I wan

  • I've kept one desktop case for about 12 years now, and another for 4 years. But the components in each have changed completely at least 10 times (full CPU, motherboard, RAM, GPU swaps). It's funny when I tell friends I got a new computer and they take a look at the case and say "But it's the same one."

    Laptops are a completely different story though. I've owned about 30 of them over the past 10 years. I never lost a laptop due to anything except getting bored with it and buying another one.

  • It seems to me that most of mine have been lost to obsolescence, not old age exactly. That is, they still "work." It's just that they don't do what I'd expect computers to do these days. If it can still do what I need it to do, it keeps doing it. For example, I was using a PDP 11 robot controller up until about 6 years ago. Finally, some teeth in the robot's gears wore out, making the precision unacceptable. I would have to erase the oxidization off the gold contacts every once in a while in the controller
  • by dohnut (189348)

    Lost one CPU in a system I assembled due to ESD (assumed). After a month or so the system just started crashing randomly. Turned out the CPU was the culprit (an early P4). Been assembling PCs since the early 90's, I've had a lot of DOA equipment but just that one premature death. I have had some HD issues, but I always caught them before I lost data (knock on wood).

    Um, I did have one regrettable moment though. I had a noisy, non-essential, fan in a computer once and I took the side of the case off in a

  • My oldest machines are an Amiga 3000 and a logic analayzer hosted on an 8Mhz XT. They have both been stuck in storage for the last 10 years due to the extreme limitations of my housing arrangements. I hope they still boot.

    I've tossed out newer machines and components that did not have a nich that wasn't better served by more modern gear. But the Amiga is special and, surprizingly, replacing the logic analyzer with equivlient modern gear would be expensive. I shudder to think the 96 channel, 100Mhz log

  • I almost lost a laptop to spilling vodka on it when I was a student. It still worked, although I had to use an external keyboard as not all the keys worked. A few years later, it did pack in (something to do with the power cable I think, it wasn't charging), but by then I had a new computer so wasn't using it that much anyway.
  • Most of my computers reach their end of life when I decide to raid them for parts to build new machines. The parts left over after the new machine is built get turned into bookends (hard drives) keychains (RAM sticks), or desk decorations (CPU's).

    Good machines never die... they just turn into something else.
  • Remoddeling [].
  • Still have my Apple II and a string of old computers. I recreated my 486 box from 1993 recently. Lots of old hardware around and backups since 1992. Still like to play some of the old games like Rescue Raiders and Wing Commander.

    I recycled and used my first PC case (XT clone) and had everything from a 4.77MHz 8088 to a 166MHz Pentium in it. Had to go to a new case for the next machine because to motherboard would not fit. I retro'd the machine back to it's 1993 configuration (100MHz 486, 560Meg HD).

2000 pounds of chinese soup = 1 Won Ton


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