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I do tend to keep it until it is quite outdated, however.
I used to do this long ago, but after years of dusting off the same ole shitty ISA cards that no longer existed I started to simply clean up every time I upgrade. Maybe some poor guy picking through the trash every morning can find a use for the 8X CD-Rom drive that I will never use because I have the capability (money and machine) very nice DVD-RW.
Media on the other hand is something I still hoard to some degree. I still have the install drivers for my Voodoo2 on CD for example. I should really pitch that stuff as well.
For some reason I always feel guilty when I trash stuff that still works. I would really love to give it away to somebody who needs it, but looking for this person is too much of a trouble, so I just hoard it.
As an electronics hobbyist I try to reuse some parts, but mostly that boils down to just hoarding smaller parts.
I think if there were a service that would allow me to get rid of the old hardware *before* it gets terribly outdated and stops being useful to anybody except me, I would really upgrade more often, knowing that no resources gets wasted.
We have a service like in the Bay Area, it's called Weird Stuff Warehouse [weirdstuff.com]. I'm not sure I have had anything they wouldn't take and either recycle or fix up and resell...
Hey, that's actually pretty close to my place! Will give it a try definitely
For computer equipment, after going through the list of friends of the family and such, I suggest Craigslist and a local independent computer store. Last store I was at we turned corporate, biz, and personal computers that were made redundant or discarded into entry-level machines for poor folks and those who'd never had a computer (often the same people.)
Any machine coming in had the drives wiped with Darek's Boot and Nukem.
I've never been able to afford to upgrade near as often as I'd like yet find that most of my old stuff finds a ready home. Energy hogs, thoroughly obsolescent rig or things that can't be reasonably upgraded by the new owners gets recycled.
I understand there are some potential annoyances what with dealing with newbies and old electronics that up and dies. Every machine goes out with two text files and two printed sheets, one for disclaimer, one for basic how-to and security along with a list of readily available on- and off-line help and instruction resources, as well as verbal statements and agreements at time of transfer. Doesn't always completely work, of course, but it helps keep things simple and clear.
I still end up hoarding a fair bit. "For spares," I tell myself. When I build my next system I'll likely keep the current one "just in case."
To me..outdated in the poll, to me means broken or useless....in which case, I throw it out in the trash for the garbagemen to haul off.
I find, however, 9 times out of ten, in the New Orleans area, anything thrown out that even 'looks' useful, like some old big 21" Sun monitors I had once...get taken before the trash guys come the next morning. Lots of scavengers around here I guess.
I used to have a problem hoarding stuff I was "always going to get to"...and am trying to change that. I just got sick and tired of looking at all the clutter and said "Fuck it".
So, I think long and hard before I pick up anything that isn't working or immediately useful. I'm shedding old shit left and right. After I get my stuff out post-Katrina, stuff that I'd paid storage on for years...I found most of it was in the 'useless' category, and promptly put it out for the trash pickup, or if it was useful but not really to me, like clothes, etc...I had the local veteran's assoc. come pick it up, and wrote that stuff off my taxes. I figure this kills two birds with one stone....they get help they need, and I recoup a few bucks.
But I found old CRT monitors...useless IDE cards...phone modems...even 385 laptops, etc....and out in the trash they go.
I now can get into my office...see the good stuff I have left, the one or two projects I'll realistically get to and enjoy and most importantly finish. That last one is the kicker for my new frame of thought. Only get 2-3 things tops for projects...so that I'll actually finish them, get things working and in use...
I have so many friends, that get this and that....and it all just piles up to where there is no way in 3x lifetimes they'll ever get to any of the projects and actually finish them.
But I found old CRT monitors.......and out in the trash they go.
Why? I'm sitting in front of a 17" black IBM CRT I bought about 12 years ago. I'm planning on upgrading when I get my next PC, but this is running along just fine. It still has better picture quality than most of the flatscreens that were available 2-3 years ago, and dumping it would be a bigger hit to the environment in processing than the energy saved by a new screen.
Just put up an ad on a specialized website: "free old IT stuff, come and get it from my house, I'm not gonna mail it or carry it to a rally point".The downside is that all sorts of shady resellers would gather to get it.What I do: I look for NGOs which help the elderly, poor or orphans and donate the hardware to them. Some such NGOs are pretty serious and get the job done. It's a win-win for everyone.
I don't much care if someone resells it once they come and take it away. It's theirs, they can roll it up and smoke it for all I care. Just so long as I'm not tripping over it tomorrow.
I usually hang onto stuff for years. I never cease to be surprised by how my definition of "old" is other people's definition of "bleeding edge." The other day, I was talking about an "old" motherboard, Core 2 Duo processor, and 4 GB memory I had laying around. He asked if that was better than his Pentium 4 with 1.5 GB memory.
Hard drives are especially apt to be repurposed to friends (after wiping, of course). That "old" 500 GB drive is like heaven to a friend who is still on an even older 100 GB drive.
You mean it spins slower because of the weight of all the 1s on it?
I have five categories of equipment:
"Vintage" -- stuff that is unique enough to keep around, such as a fingerprint scanner from UareU, CDs of Windows 98 and XP, an Adaptec 2942UW card, various HDDs and floppy drives, and an occasional parallel port based tape drive or ZIP drive. Stuff that is interesting enough to keep, such as a Syquest 44 or 88MB drive which was decently fast at the time.
"Junk" -- stuff that is not going to be interesting to anyone, takes up space, and won't be useful for much. Broken IDE HDDs for example.
"Pointless" -- stuff I keep around because it does work, but the low-end Pentium and its OS is far better running in a virtual machine than discrete hardware just due to electricity usage.
"Backlevel" -- older equipment which might be useful such as a CRT monitor, functioning IDE hard disks, and so on.
"Servicable" -- any USB or SATA hard disk, USB flash drives, removable hard disks, and other stuff made in the past couple years. No, that old AGP card might not be fast, but it might still allow a computer to have video that is several years old and has data so it can be P2V-ed.
I donate old hardware to my local PC Recycler. They supposedly re-purpose the decent hardware and give that to local charities, then recycle the rest.
But recycling usually means loading up a few shipping containers to send somewhere [time.com] without many environmental controls.
Find a more responsible electronic waste recycler here: http://e-stewards.org/ [e-stewards.org]
I fix up my old pc's just a bit and then they are always donated to the local Boys and Girls club. At least then I know it gets used as all of their equipment is donated or bought on the cheap via donations when needed.
I hate to just throw things away, and in the past there was no good way to find people that could use the majority of the hardware I had. So I used to hoard it on the rare chance I could find a use for it later, and eventually take it to the electronics recycling after it was 15+ years old. Now I can use Craigslist to get rid of it, so I have gotten into the habit of selling things as soon as I don't have a use for them, while they are still useful to other people.
I've stopped posting things for free, since the people who responded to those tended to be a much bigger hassle. They would say they were picking it up at a certain time, and I would never hear from them again. They would would insist on sending detailed questions on the condition of the equipment through text messages even though my posting stated in caps not to text me. And I got the impression that most of them were just getting the stuff to hoard it as well, since you can't beat free. I have found that just setting a $5 price weeds out most of those folks.
In my area, Freecycle operates entirely through a mailing list, which naturally has extremely high volume. Even with filtering, it is a pain to deal with that many emails year-round when I just use it every couple of months. Worse, I would get tons of inquiries from people who saw the OFFER email, but not the TAKEN email long after the item is gone. I found it to be a much bigger hassle than Craigslist.
Have a procmail recipe filter out the freecycle stuff and dump it in a separate folder. Helps a lot. Read by subject, then select all and delete all in one go (unless something interesting pops up of course). But then in my area it's a few mails a day so quite manageable.
This Mac I'm typing on was probably $5,000-$6,000 when it was new, six years ago. I got it "for free" - I was doing an unpaid internship (not one of my better ideas, in retrospect), and they felt so guilty about not paying me that they basically paid me in stuff (also got a Droid phone and a few other little goodies).
I checked eBay to see about how much it's worth, as I was considering some upgrades. I expected maybe $1,000 - Moore's Law would claim it would be only $400 (6000 / 2^(72 / 18) = 375), but I don't think that applies to full computer systems. I know you can easily build a similarly-powerful computer for maybe $800.
Nope. Someone was selling the same model, and bidding had gotten up to $3,000. Another, slightly-lower-end one had a Buy It Now price of $4,000.
Mac fans are morons.
False analogy - the primary factor in a car devaluating is mechanical wear and failure, while the primary factor in a computer devaluating is advancement of the industry. You buy a 2011 Mustang, it will be pretty much the same as a 2010 Mustang, which was nearly identical to the 2009 Mustang, and so on. The rate of improvement is minimal, compared to the rate of breakage. With computers, it's the opposite - a computer I buy for $700 this year will be about 70% as powerful as a computer I buy for $700 next year.
I recently ordered a new laptop. It *stomps* the Mac into the ground - better CPU, over twice as much RAM, triple the hard drive space, a GPU that renders antialiased circles around this one, a secondary SSD for storage, and an integrated 1080p screen.
It cost half what this Mac is "worth" *now*, and a quarter what it retailed for at release. And also weighs a mere fraction compared to it, and uses far less power.
The only way your metaphor would work is if, three years from now, Mercedes released a new model that had literally four times the performance, in every meaningful measure, except costing the same amount. Or, alternatively, if a computer from the mid-nineties had essentially identical end-user performance to today's. Neither are the case.
Then buy it back later in the form of new hardware.
I also missed this option.
I'd like to focus on the PCs that I've given away...but my closet at home says that I'm hoarding more than I let go.
Speaking of which, would anyone like an IBM 'Portable' 8088 PC? It weight about 30 pounds, but if you can lug that around it works fine. Looks like this. [vintage-computer.com] Free to a good home, or to any landfill that will take it away without charge.
I'm pretty sure it's too late for me to give that one away. Even my girlfriend's sons won't want it. Maybe if I can get it to boot Linux...
IBM 'Portable' 8088 PC? [...] Maybe if I can get it to boot Linux...
Now that would be interesting! Linux on an 8-bit system :-)
Maybe you should have a look at NetBSD which reportedly can even run on a toaster. So an IBM 8088 will be a no-brainer. Just stick in a bootable USB and... euhm... oh wait... well... the CD maybe?
Maybe we should start by asking if any Linux distro is available on a 5" floppy...
When any cheap portable comes with at least 256MB, why do you think an installed needing more than 4MB is such a bad idea?
The installer runs on top of the same system it installs. That makes the installer easier to do and maintain, what is worth much more than being able to install with 4MB of RAM.
Linux has been around for more than a few years, you know... he said "I remember when."
I remember installing Linux on a 486 with 4MB RAM when 4MB RAM cost about $150 (I remember because I eventually upgraded to 8MB so DOOM would run better ;) Seems just as bad an idea back then to make the installation requirements higher than the runtime requirements...
I installed Slackware on a 486 with a stack of floppy disks. I was in elementary and had 0 on site help. It took me about a week, but I got it done.
I know that there are people who collect vintage hardware who would buy that PC. There are some people who want just the keyboards, so that would be easier to sell.Vintage clicky keyboards from IBM are highly sought after right now. It would have been better if it had talked the PS/2 protocol, though.
Many old things are collectibles these days. Getting money out of it is a matter of finding the right buyer.
Ebay. That's the way to reach everyone who wants old computers and parts.
Even stuff like 386/486 era PCs generally get claimed within a day or so. About the only thing that nobody seems to want anymore are CRT monitors.
I've also picked up quite a few pieces of gear from other freecyclers over the years. One man's junk and all that...
It's not just for the US anymore...
Freecycle is the perfect matchmaker between folks who are getting rid of stuff and folks who are looking for stuff. You think nobody in their right mind would want this old piece of junk? Think again!
Disclaimer: I am not in any way affiliated with The Freecycle Network®; I just participate frequently.
Please somebody mod this up. Thank you, I didn't know about that in Montreal...
Seriously, I've done all that. Can you even do just 1?
Personally, my 250Gb and 300Gb harddrives from the 90's (SATA I) just died this year after being re-purposed a couple times :(
I'm too depressed to take them out of my chassis(also from the 90's) so I just unplugged them so my BIOS doesn't hang for 5 minutes every boot while it tries to identify dead drives. Thank *diety* that I got a 1TB external drive 2 days before that so I saved almost all my data.
great /. is suggesting ways to die now.
Those disks have got to been newer than from the 90s. That nitpick aside, don't worry too much about them dying. You could think it just as a refreshing thing to throw away some old disks and data to make more space for new ideas.
Hardware trickles down from my gaming PC to many other computers.
True, this is why I sell the most power-guzzling gaming parts and concentrate many tasks onto a little hardware, that means less idle power waste.
", then you have to dispose of the big, "bah,. just blend them and dump the dust in the trash~
I just chucked an old 2004 motherboard, and metal case. The 32mb graphics card, an 80gb ide disk, dvd rw, power unit, memory, and network cards where saved. Most of this is being used in an even older pc, or as replacement items
However the pci spec of the network cards means i have spares, and the memory (of the 1gb size) looks a lost cause.
I've got an old Compaq desktop that most of my *really* old stuff's ended up in. It's quadrupled it's RAM from stock (a whopping 512MB now!), upgraded to a GeForce 2, added a DVD burner and second floppy drive, and is the final resting place of all my functional IDE drives (two identical 20GB drives I'll set up in RAID as soon as I remember to, and one 120GB drive).
It serves several purposes. It's a good "disposable" server - I can test stuff, fiddle around with new programs, and not worry about breaking anything or losing any important data. It's also my secondary backup desktop - if my main machine is broken (as it is now) and my primary backup desktop (an old Mac Pro I got from an internship a while back) *also* breaks, I still have a machine with a basic window manager, Firefox, and Abiword+OpenOffice. And I've needed that much redundancy before.
The young geek me used to hoard. It was scary. At one point I had more than a dozen large CRT monitors at the house.
Then I realized it was just a bunch of junk. I identified two or three complete computers and adequate networking gear to support them that I wanted to keep and anytime someone came over I let them take anything that wasn't turned on. After a couple months of that I loaded up what I thought was still useful and donated it. What was left I trashed.
Since then I only acquire what I need, and use it until it no longer functions, at which point I trash it.
The hoarding stage is all about learning about electronics. Once you think you've got a good understanding of the gambit of electronics that can be had for cheap or free there's little reason to keep any of it around.
It took me several years to realize I was hording. I had a "REASON" to keep everything. It was going to be used for this, that , or whatever. Then I realized I needed to get rid of this stuff when I walked into my office and was ashamed to allow my best friend (best friend for more than 10 years) see inside and closed the door before he arrived.
I had a 6 ft tall bookshelf that contained more misc parts than books and there was no room for anything else.
My large walk-in closet was so full, I couldn't see anything behind the first 3 feet. A nice wood futon became storage for stuff I didn't want on the ground. And then the floor had a path roughly 18 inches wide from the door to my chair and there was no room to move.
After seeing this I told him about the embarrassment and he got a couple of people from work to come over and load everything up. I had HDD's as small as 2GB and 256MB sticks of RAM. Cases I had retained for 12 years. CD drives, floppy drives, VGA cards, Graphics cards that had 2D daughter cards ie. Voodoo 1, And so many nic cards from server pulls and desktop replacements.
So we took everything to a company he had done some programming for that resold parts to the public as working replacement parts or recycled what was useless or unsaleable. They gave me $200 bucks for 2 truckloads and I didnt look back.
All that remained was my desk, a bookshelf with a few books on it, a clean futon, 2 printers, my dual Xeon Server, a small newegg box of sever NIC cards, and A larger Amazon box of cables and last but not least my PC.
I really didnt see how bad it was until it was gone. Now I hate seeing any extra parts laying around.
Not entirely convinced....
I keep old machines around because I have quite a farm of peripherals and moving them all forward each generation isn't likely to happen. So to keep some of the old peripherals available (I still have uses for them), I need the older hardware.
But beyond that, and older PC can make a decent firewall or a half decent embedded web browsing platform with a bit of work, etc. because you can generally run a decent version of Linux on one. You can use one as the basis for a NAS array. And those are the obvious projects. If you are a hacker, there are lots of other excellent projects you can get up to with old PC motherboards and memory at least.
Not all 'keeping' is 'hoarding'. Sometimes it is just a repurposing waiting to happen.
" (I still have uses for them)"well the n they don't apply to the parents comment then do they?
Assumes 'have uses' means you are actually sing them and not some hypothetical possible future use when the zombie appear.IN that case, get rid of them and get help.
"Sometimes it is just a repurposing waiting to happen."and sometime that's an excises used by hoarders.
I'm curious what these old peripherals are that you need old PCs to support.
A friend of mine claims his PC based firewall does something superior to my Linksys router with alternative firmware. Sure it's more powerful but it also uses more power, generates more heat, and takes up more space and time managing it. My router is small, silent, and I never have to touch it. It routes my packets and protects my network. And I don't see the point of having and old PC for web browsing if you have a better computer at your disposal. It's either the primary computer for some user in the house, provides a specific purpose that can not be provided by the primary computer of some user in the house, or it's trash.
Using a PC as a NAS is definitely preferable, in my opinion, to a consumer NAS. Those things are invariably featureless and fail if you look at them funny. But if there's less than a handful of PCs on the network you might as well just throw a huge f'ing hard drive in one of the workstations and share it to the network. That's all your "PC NAS" is anyway.
In my house:
Primary workstation shared by my wife and I, and an occasional overnight guestAlso serves as file server, print server, and gaming PCPrinter/Scanner attached by USBRoughly 2TB of storage
TV PC for video playback and rare gaming sessions, attached to TVLoads files from workstation
Old laptop on a custom shelf in front of the treadmill for video playbackLoads files from workstation
Router/Access point with DDWRT (need to look into other options, but it works so why bother)
We each have a smart phone that talks on our wireless network.
I have a work laptop that I bring home for gaming and general surfing (and occasional work, hate to admit).
What do you do on your home network that I can't do? Honestly - I want to know. I have three computers and a router for two people.
I've got rid of a load of old gear recently... because I found that it had rotted on the shelf. Out has gone, this past week, three dozen hard drives between 850MB-8GB (though not before attempts made to migrate whatever data off them - generally successful but boy, did it take some time!), probably 10GB worth of old SDRAM and DDR, couple motherboards, several processors, two printer/scanners, and four laptop carcasses (less panels which are going on ebay - little known fact that a 12.1" panel from one laptop WILL WORK in another laptop with a 12.1" bezel; all you have to do is keep the connecting ribbon from the old one).
Slightly unconnected with PC hardware, I still have my tape collection in two large footlockers, they're being transferred to the media server via a walkman that I bought two weeks ago (though not before chucking every single other deck in the house, that was the deal with the missus plus the fact that I don't like the bother of filtering mains hum from the captures). Once the transfers are done the trunks'll be going in the loft (with the walkman in a dry-sealed box), but we're talking about two months' work there.
God only knows what I'm going to do with over 2,000 library video tapes. I might just keep the inlays (as proof) and download DVD transfers (thank you TPB!) and pitch the tapes, since I can't find a 6-head player ANYWHERE. In fact, that sounds like a plan, but it's going to involve sorting through an 8-foot wide walk in wardrobe stacked to the gills with them and boxing the ones I can't find online *just in case* I actually come across a player that works...I'm not making excuses, the Star Trek ones can go since I already have the transfers just waiting for archiving. That's nearly 300 tapes gone right there. Thank you Slashdot, you've been very therapeutic.
I might find a use for it later!
When they advertise about "No Fee", I'm thinking that they aren't really going to recycle it. With the proper equipment and techniques for getting the gold and rare earth elements out of a junked computer, they should be making $15 - $35 per machine. So they should pay about $5 for a user computer.
If it's for free, they are probably just going to sneak it into the dump, or are part of a scam organization that is only there to get the data off drives that people will inevitably 'donate' without wiping them first. (Probably 99% of the people.)
user == used
Only cars that have turbo!
If it works or partially works, I sell or give away/donate. If it is broken for sure, then I toss it UNLESS someone can fix it to take. Also, I do keep some working parts just in case until it is totally not usable like my Apple //c stuff I gave away back in 2008. ;)
I will absolutely sell my most recent graphics cards, they're still worth some dough and it really helps to offset the cost of upgrading all the time. I call it "trading up", and usually I can get away with buying a $200 video card and make $100 back from the old card. (Simple math: new cards only cost me $100 that way!)
But I just gave away my old K6/2 400 Windows 98-era retro-gaming box. It's so old that I couldn't even donate it anywhere, and one of my co-workers wanted one just like it. No more Mechwarrior 2 or Rogue Spear for me.
Why give it up? I junked almost all my machines when I discovered the wonderful world of virtualization.
Most of my hardware is someone else's old hardware... usually corporate hand-me-downs... err, ex-lease. Auctions rock!
My employer keeps buying me the new toys, but my personal data centre is 2nd-hand everything. Thin clients are a fave - a bit of extra RAM and a USB stick becomes a firewall, VoIP PABX, or silent lounge PC. Even the rack is approaching 20 years old, from a corporate donor.
Old hard drives aren't worth keeping. Gigs-per-Watt heads North each year or so, so the oldest ones get a drill through them, then off to the recyclers.
wifes computer eventually becomes mine, mine eventually becomes the extra computer for the electronics bench, the electronics bench at that point is usually old enough where its not worth me bothering to sell it, so I typically give it to someone who has one slower... though that has been a bit harder with the last 2 blowing caps (thanks china) and off to the recyclers
I give my old but still useable equipment that I no longer want to others who need it. I don't cry, but I do tend to tell it what a good piece of hardware its been while I pack it up, and ask it to not be mad at me for giving it away.
And sadly, no, this isn't a joke. And it probably is why I don't have a girlfriend.
I find that writing $20 on junk makes it go away even faster.
I had two old computers - a 386SX, 16MHz, and a 486DX2/66 not so long ago. I actually booted them up occasionally - for the express purpose of running old games on them (DOS-based).
However, when I moved last summer to a new apartment, I was able to dump them for good. DOSBox pretty much has removed the need to keep real hardware around for nostalgia. Only thing I wish is that they'd get the Roland MT-32 support to work *completely* - especially the sound effects still could use some work.
I used to have a bunch of stuff. Then I had to move to a smaller place and I had to get rid of a lot. That Compaq Portable that I was going to turn into a linux box that my coworker had bought *new* and then hoarded for over 20 years? Trash. Several other hobby items that were otherwise junk? Trash.
Recently I found a great deal on an older XP laptop on Craigslist. I bought it, set it up, and.... never used it. Sold it 2 months later and even doubled my money on it. I've decided that I don't have room in my life for junk just hanging around that I'll use "eventually". If I'm not using it NOW or don't have an immediate need for it, it goes away.
For the first time in my life, the only computer I own is the one I'm using to type this.
As opposed to going to Africa so small children can burn the elctronics while breathing the plastic and other toxic fumes then sift through the toxic burnt mess for copper and other metals? I suppose those children need a job so they can get food for the day, but it doesn't seem any mroe environmentally friendly if that's your argument.
Once you give something to someone else you have ZERO assurance that they will do something with it that you actually approve of.
The OP's remarks reflect that.
Or, you know, recycling.
Yea - like OP said. How did you think they 'recycle' that stuff, anyway? Feed it to unicorns?
The stuff I get rid of is usually still pretty useful for normals. I usually pass it on to my brothers and friends. They in turn give me their really old stuff that isn't much use to anybody, and I repurpose that to make routers, servers, toys, etc.
Actually, that's not a bad idea. I've spent way too much time trying to get old games running in DOSBox, when I probably should have just built a PC to run them in DOS.
That's the reason I'm keeping a DOS 6.22/98SE computer around.
It's still repurposing if you just use it as footstool.
Granted, more recent tin boxes are terrible at that.
yea I have an apple II, mac se, 386, powermac 9600, couple pentiums, though all the PC's are laptops to not suck too much space for my retro collection. All my desktops are long gone being upgraded bit by bit till they no longer exist
is it one of those that clicks and buzzes through POST, where you can tell the difference between it testing PC25 and PC33 RAM?
That is apt in so many ways...
novelty coffee coasters.
ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.
ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.