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True Tales of Tech Hoarding

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the hands-outta-my-closet dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 268

Recently some member of my household forced me to watch several episodes of A&E's Hoarders. This led to several *ahem* discussions about hoarding tendencies and the closet of cables, wires, boxes and parts in my basement. But I'm not doing bad compared to some of these tech hoarders. My favorite is the guy using a stack of 9 VA rack machines as an end table.

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268 comments

You call that hoarding? (5, Insightful)

ComputerGeek01 (1182793) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923446)

Only one closet full? Pfft, lightweight. Come back when you have a real collection!

Re:You call that hoarding? (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923804)

I've got one box of cables, neatly organized in gallon freezer bags by type. I've got another box with a few spare parts I might actually need. I used to have many, many more boxes of parts and wires I never used, but now I have a wife, and she is the opposite of a hoarder: she's a compulsive thrower-outer. If you can't justify its existence, it's gone.

Re:You call that hoarding? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923954)

I have a wife, and she is the opposite of a hoarder: she's a compulsive thrower-outer. If you can't justify its existence, it's gone.

Possible replies:

1. Make a list of all her clothes and shoes and when she wears any of them. If she ever wants to throw something away, tell her she hasn't used clothes/shoes x in y days and that therefore she should throw those out.

2. How long before you're thrown away? /duck

3. Don't ever tell her you don't want kids!!!

Re:You call that hoarding? (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924430)

I have a wife, and she is the opposite of a hoarder: she's a compulsive thrower-outer. If you can't justify its existence, it's gone.

Possible replies:

1. Make a list of all her clothes and shoes and when she wears any of them. If she ever wants to throw something away, tell her she hasn't used clothes/shoes x in y days and that therefore she should throw those out.

2. How long before you're thrown away? /duck

3. Don't ever tell her you don't want kids!!!

1. She already does this. If she hasn't worn it in a year, it goes to Goodwill. You thought she was power-tripping with the clutter removal? Nope, it's damn near a compulsion.

2. Ah, but I continue to be useful. ;)

3.) She hates clutter, remember? Kids are clutter to her. Neither of us want kids.

Re:You call that hoarding? (3, Interesting)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924010)

My 'tech closet' is very similar, although not so neatly organized. I have a big box of random video/audio cables, and another box of PC parts, ranging from expansion cards for things like SATA when SATA wasn't integrated, and video capture cards. The rest consists of old optical drives, old IDE/SATA drives, Motherboards, old video cards, etc. Every few years I go through and throw out items that I'm not likely to need anymore (simm's, ISA cards, 10MB NIC's, etc). Although I can see things getting very messy, I do have a sig other to keep things in perspective. I would only hope that others who keep a similar stash have someone else to keep them in line from time to time.

I do occasionally have to defend the value of my tech closet. I have saved friends and family some significant cash over the years just by recycling parts from there. I probably re-use maybe 30-40 percent and the rest gets tossed, but better some reuse/value than none at all.

Re:You call that hoarding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31924390)

I've got one box of cables, neatly organized in gallon freezer bags by type. I've got another box with a few spare parts I might actually need. I used to have many, many more boxes of parts and wires I never used, but now I have a wife, and she is the opposite of a hoarder: she's a compulsive thrower-outer. If you can't justify its existence, it's gone.

Sounds like we have a lot in common! :-)

Re:You call that hoarding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31924446)

If you can't justify its existence, it's gone.

Watch out. Be always nice to her.

Re:You call that hoarding? (4, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924210)

I didn't even know this was a thing until now. My room mate came up to me the other day and casually told me "My cousin thinks we have a very geeky house" and I replied, "How come?", to which he responded, "Well, we've got 4 desktops here in our living room/kitchen, only 2 of which actually get any use. This doesn't include the laptops you and I normally use, and Mike has HIS own desktop in his bedroom. Not to mention the pile of 10 or so Programming books stacked on the coffee table here, and the remaining pieces of that printer we took apart for fun last weekend. We've got posters on the walls with cheeky jokes about what you've learned from video games."

And I told him, "Yeah, I guess its a bit messy, but I mean, I don't know if its all that geeky. I mean, what do other people have lying around?"

To which he replied, "Well my cousin has posters of girls in bikini's along his wall, and many many more empty pizza boxes. His X-box has Modern Warfare 2 in the tray, ours has the movie cube2:hypercube. Where we have our router, he keeps his stereo. There is no computer in visible sight, they are all tucked away into each others bedrooms. His coffee table is littered with empty beer bottles and plastic cups, one of which has a sticky ping pong ball in it. When people come over to play Age of Empires 2, he has chicks over, and probably bones them all."

So I retorted, "Your cousin sounds like a douche"

Anyways. Anecdotes aside, my house has about as much junk as that entire article shows, except for the last 2 pictures (which are of course the most impressive, I can't keep stuff that organized)

Re:You call that hoarding? (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924538)

Oh and the photo of the lamp on the stack--sure made my day--and if he had a girlfriend/wife, I'm sure SHE won the argument, See? THAT'S what this table is for! but as soon as she turned away, the guy put it back and adamantly proclaimed: 'and THAT'S what this stack is for!!' (spoken in a whisper though).

Re:You call that hoarding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31924404)

I'm not big on throwing old tech into a closet. I've got a room reserved for all my old 20th century tech and I keep it running. Atari 2600, got it! Super Nintendo, got it! Commodore 64, got it! Win 3.1, G3-400 iMac, Win95 and Win98 w/3DFx support, got it! My old 25" TV is going south on it's vertical deflection but if I need to, I can still pick up something like that from Walmart. Attention to detail MATTERS!

I painfully threw away three P.C.s just this week. (3, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923456)

Took out the hard drives... maybe... maybe... I'll mount them and extract them.

Took out the memory (???? who is going to use the old memory- why did I do that?)

Threw two away- put the other on the curb (it felt like a super high quality case someone might want).

Entire box of random cables (sorted through it and kept 5 "special" cables but tossed the rest.

When in doubt, watch an episode of Hoarders.

Trying to get my house in decent shape for a party this weekend.

Re:I painfully threw away three P.C.s just this we (4, Informative)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923590)

You can take your old computers to Best Buy and they will recycle them for you. No need to put them in a landfill. That is where I take all my old tech.

Here are some links:
news article [bby.com]
recycle information [bestbuy.com]

Also note that if it has a screen they will charge you $10 to recycle it; however they give you a $10 gift card to use in the store as well - so it is a wash.

Re:I painfully threw away three P.C.s just this we (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31924126)

Do you have civic amenity sites/household waste recycling centre or whatever they are called where you live? Around here they take old computer junk free of charge. Only "downside" is you have to take it to them and throw it in the right container or they'll start screaming :D

Re:I painfully threw away three P.C.s just this we (1)

tixxit (1107127) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924174)

At many of the garbage dumps here they have a section for computers that they will sort through and donate to schools/kids.

Re:I painfully threw away three P.C.s just this we (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924512)

they give you a $10 gift card to use in the store as well - so it is a wash.

No, it sounds to me like you're still out $10.

Re:I painfully threw away three P.C.s just this we (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924180)

Took out the hard drives... maybe... maybe... I'll mount them and extract them.

Took out the memory (???? who is going to use the old memory- why did I do that?)

A good Ask Slashdot... how does one quickly and securely wipe a pile of hard drives? As for the old memory, one can make money on it if their timing is right. Good old Rambus RAM sold for a pretty penny when the 5 people still using those machines wanted more RAM.

Re:I painfully threw away three P.C.s just this we (1)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924510)

how does one quickly and securely wipe a pile of hard drives?

In my area that's a 'fun trip to the rifle range' A few holes through the platter and you're good.

Guilty (1)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923466)

I realised I had a problem with hoarding when I realised how many ISA boards I had... I threw them out. Then the 386 motherboards too.

Re:Guilty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31923510)

In 100 years they will be worth thousands to private collectors...
Assuming they cost between 10 and 100 dollars, that's not a terrible ROI, IMHO...

EDIT: Captcha was 'compute'

Re:Guilty (1)

Jhon (241832) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923790)

I usually pry off the CPUs of any processor I don't have in my collection. I've got everything from 8088 to present. A few flavors of 6800x, 650x, to name a frew. I even have an 8186 pulled from an old palmtop.

Everything else goes in a pile which twice a year goes to the e-dump which rotates around our city collecting toxic chemicals and e-waste.

Re:Guilty (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923932)

Same here. The only stuff I bother to keep is CPUs and HD platters. Oooooh, shiny!

Re:Guilty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31924238)

I used to have a large collection of old CPU's I pulled out of old machines. Instead of tossing them, I chose a few examples of every generation (8086 up to P4) and mounted them in a shadowbox that now hangs above my desk. It really does look good, and puts that old junk to the only use it really can be.

Re:Guilty (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924270)

No! Not the old motherboards!!!

I've got a HUGE stash ... Including some nice stuff like 4 (1 fully functional) commodores, 1 Talent MSX, or an Apple Powerbook 140 from 1992.

Dozens of HDs, from 10 MB 5 1/4 models from my old XTs and 286, all the way to 4 GB Quantum BigFoot. {2,3,4,5}86 and Pentium{I,II,III,IIII} mobos. I've got a box full with dead processors from all times. I've even got a few Hercules displays. Shitloads of ISA, EISA, PCI, and other cards. Several boxes full of cables. A motherfucking GeekPort together with a box full of crap I did with it. Shitloads of software, including one opened OS/2 Box, and one unopened OS/2 Disk+Licenses+Manual in it's original envelope, several DOS boxes, all from IBM, including IBM DOS 5.0 + DOSShell. A few cubic meters of 5 1/4 in Floppies with soft and games. Another box with just GNU/Linux distros in 3 1/2 Floppies.

Yes, I Hoard technology. I love it. And I'm not throwing it away anytime soon.

At least the new tech is small (4, Interesting)

qwerty8ytrewq (1726472) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923504)

Not that many years ago my dad got an air-spun harddrive the size of a washing machine, and an electron microscope the size of a kitchenette stashed in our back shed. To be fair, he did remake it into some cool shit, but really, it was all about love of last years tech. I still think about diving into any dumpster I go past that I see wires poking out of. Recycling is such a good crutch for the hoarder.

Re:At least the new tech is small (1)

Jhon (241832) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923872)

I do stuff like that on a much smaller scale. I have an old acoustic modem sitting next to a 1960s phone in my office. Both the phone and the modem are busted -- but it looks just too damn cool.

At home, I have an Atari 1030 sitting under my bedroom phone. I also turned an old dual mobo server case in to a small chilled wine cellar (it's about the size of a small fridge anyway).

Re:At least the new tech is small (2, Interesting)

markass530 (870112) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923944)

I was intrigued by your mention of that "Air Spun Hard Drive" but didn't come up with anything on wikipedia, did it go by other names?

Re:At least the new tech is small (1)

qwerty8ytrewq (1726472) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924206)

Quoting from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_disk_drive [wikipedia.org] HD heads are kept from contacting the platter surface by the air that is extremely close to the platter; that air moves at, or close to, the platter speed.[citation needed] The record and playback head are mounted on a block called a slider, and the surface next to the platter is shaped to keep it just barely out of contact. It's a type of air bearing. So the removeable 20MB discs were not spun using compressed air (I think) but rather the whole thing was (and still is) stopped from destroying itself by an air film. Can any old skool tech hoard nerds help me out here?

bah, so many amateurs (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923540)

The pictures sent in weren't worth their price in bits. I've got three crates of cables (those clear 12-gallon ones) in my room, and probably four computers that aren't turned on. And this is my light load. At one point I had four IBM RT/PC model 135s at work, and about 11 Apollo workstations in my apartment. *shudder* DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU. At least I sold my 4/260 and my Cat 5k when they were still worth some money.

I have a friend... (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923556)

When his soon to be wife and kid moved in to his trailer, she made him throw out 4 full computer systems and a dozen CRT monitors. Why? because there was no room in the kitchen cupboards for trivial things like food and dishes.

AtariAge (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923560)

You think that's bad, you should check out some of the collections [atariage.com] at AtariAge. People who have a dozen spare 800XLs "just in case". I've got to say this [atariage.com] shit is impressive. This [atariage.com] too.

Re:AtariAge (1)

ItsJustAPseudonym (1259172) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923984)

"I've got to say this [atariage.com] shit is impressive."

You got that right!

I would not call that example "hoarding", because it is extremely organized and accessible. I visualize hoarding as "keeping stuff with little chance of finding it again when you need it". Also not having much of a chance of needing it.

In that example, I could easily imagine the guy (I assume it's a guy, because it's got "guy" written all over it) coming home and gaming on anything he chooses. He's certainly be able to find and run whatever he owns.

Strangely, I don't imagine any chicks hanging around.

Re:AtariAge (2, Insightful)

Tempest_2084 (605915) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924160)

Thank you, I try and keep my collection neat and organized. I like to keep as many systems as I can out so I can play around with then when the mood takes me. What computers and systems I keep out tends to be in a constant state of flux, but it's always organized. I do indeed know where everything is at all times.

I also don't keep extras of anything, just one of each. I simply don't have the room for backups and spares. Eventually my goal is to have everything setup like a museum of sorts.


>>Strangely, I don't imagine any chicks hanging around.

I think my wife would disagree with that statement. :)

Re:AtariAge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31924176)

Strangely, I don't imagine any chicks hanging around.

Strangely????

Re:AtariAge (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924200)

That reminds of the time I was still 'collecting' msx-homecomputers. In the end I had 27 of them. Sometimes I still think about that collection, but to be honest... it's better now it's gone. Was just collecting dust and when I wanted to play a game, I would just fire an emulator. Still did hurt a bit saying goodbye to them. Then again, in return I got a walking voicebook with titties. If only she had come with a mute option.

G5 PowerMac tower - Hot (1)

Manip (656104) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923562)

I'm sorry but that G5 PowerMac tower is still one of the most attractive towers ever built. I still find it amazing looking and I wouldn't bin it either.

I too hoard wires, but they often come in handy. I just recently needed an old-style pre-USB printer cable ... Which I had... Four of...

Re:G5 PowerMac tower - Hot (2, Funny)

Yamata no Orochi (1626135) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923630)

old-style pre-USB printer cable

And you don't even know what they're called?

Re:G5 PowerMac tower - Hot (1)

Manip (656104) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924060)

Which name would you like me to use? And would anyone else know what I was talking about?
  - "Printer Cable"
  - "Parallel cable" (which could be one of dozens of things!)
  - 25 pin D-SUB
  - 36-Cen cable
  - "serial cable" (very vague - and inaccurate)

Pre-USB Printer cable makes sense, everyone knows what I mean, and it doesn't allow people to think I don't know what a USB cable is...
 

Re:G5 PowerMac tower - Hot (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924150)

"Parallel printer cable", because it plugs into a PC's parallel port on one end and a printer on the other.

PowerMac G5 towers (1)

Weedhopper (168515) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924198)

Still sell for quite a bit on eBay/Craigslist.

I've taken a couple old PM cases, gutted them, hacked in modern components and had some funny reactions from Apple guys.

I think I'm going to try it again, only this time, I want to change the finish from alu to gold or bronze to fit in more with Art Nouveau/Deco style of projects I've been going with. Anyone got any ideas how to do that?

Never fails (1)

ItsJustAPseudonym (1259172) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923604)

I've definitely got some stuff gathering dust in places in my house. The thing is, every damn time I dump or recycle an item, it turns out I need it shortly thereafter. It's never the stuff that I'm keeping. Only the stuff that I get rid of. Grrr.

What I need is a real-life OS X trash can or the Windows Recycle Bin, so I can recover things right after I trash them.

Re:Never fails (5, Funny)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923870)

What I need is a real-life OS X trash can or the Windows Recycle Bin, so I can recover things right after I trash them.

I have one of those, only the other half prefers to refer to it as a "garage". Mind you, when it fills up the seek times are horrendous.

Whatever. (0, Redundant)

tarsi210 (70325) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923606)

These people have clearly not visited my house. Or any of the houses of the other geeks I hang with. Come back when you have 100+ machines in a single basement and we'll talk.

If it helps, it's really funny to see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31923612)

... your garbage man scratch his head looking at a ~100lb server the sive of a mini-fridge next to the trash can before he throws it in the truck. And then it's even funnier to see him try to pick up the heavy duty contractor cleanup bag that he didn't know was full of old 3GB SCSI drives. It's totally worth it, just be sure to hide while you watch him so he doesn't see you laughing.

I used to do this (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923618)

Until I realized how much of a pain in the ass it was to move everything. At this point, I'm 26, and likely will only move a couple more times, but when I was younger moving was a fairly normal occurrence...and I definitely didn't want to deal with all that stuff.

Re:I used to do this (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923876)

I read somewhere that the avg. 'Merican (I am assuming you are one) moves about every 2-3 years. So consider that. Moving a couple of times is prob. a low estimate. I lived so that all I needed fitted into my van until I was in my early 30's, following tech jobs across the country. The bad part was I had *ahem* 3 bicycles (commuter, road, and mountain) and 2 sets of skis.

I used to "rent" furniture from the Salvation Army. I would buy some cheap, but nice looking and serviceable furniture from them. When I moved again I would return them as a donation. The cost was in the range of 100-200 USD.

HTH. Seriously, I hope it does help you.

So very guilty and not sure why (1)

Sabalon (1684) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923626)

I have so much junk around and in the attic. My old gateway from 1992 is up there. The PC we got back in 86 is up there. Part of it is sentimental value. Part of it is "hey...I may get bored and fire that up" someday. It has of course yet to happen, but you never know when a VLB video card will be needed. Or I may need to get data off that old MFM drive.

Part of it is the initial cost of the stuff makes it hard to get rid of. Part of it is knowing that it's not good for the landfill. But my wife says most of it is my nature, given you can also find toys from when I worked at Burger King in the 80's up there as well. Sigh.

Re:So very guilty and not sure why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31924048)

Now that, Sir, is a ID # to be proud of.

value (5, Insightful)

leomekenkamp (566309) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923632)

It would be interesting to find out if the reason why some of us are so attached to old hardware just might be that it was not long ago that that hardware was mind boggingly expensive. My brother sometimes took a IBM model 5155 [oldcomputers.net] home and let me play nethack on it. At that time you could buy a nice car for that money instead of such a beast.

More than 10 years later I got my hands on one of these, but sadly parted with it under the influence of my wife at the time. (Yup, we divorced.). Seeing a picture of it still fills me with awe thinking how expensive this machine once was. Maybe that awe combined with a but-it-still-works attitude makes us think twice about throwing such stuff away?

I don't hoard, I repurpose (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923642)

Old busted CRT monitor? Toss out the innards, use it as a stylish bookshelf.

Box of PCI slot covers? Bookmarks. Busted PC speaker? Rip out the electronics, flip it upside down, use it as a coin bank.

I do this all the time. You'd be surprised what you can do.

Re:I don't hoard, I repurpose (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923796)

...if you like the look of industrial plastic.

It is nice to know that I am not losing the battle to throw things away as badly as some others.

Re:I don't hoard, I repurpose (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923818)

Old busted CRT monitor? Toss out the innards, use it as a stylish bookshelf.
Box of PCI slot covers? Bookmarks. Busted PC speaker? Rip out the electronics, flip it upside down, use it as a coin bank.

Behold. The prototypical Slashdotter. The only contact he has with women is when mom tells him that dinner is ready.

Rejoice in your tiny, warm world. It will get lots more complicated.

Re:I don't hoard, I repurpose (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923894)

Did you really use "stylish" in there?... O_o (also, you probably wanted to write "blood-stained bookmarks")

Now who will save the world? (5, Insightful)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923648)

NO! I can't throw away my old Token Ring cards and cables! What happens when the world goes post apocalyptic and I have to connect to a legacy system to save the world from Skynet? I need all my old devices it is our only hope!

Re:Now who will save the world? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31923806)

Skynet will plug a single 4Mb/s card in, the whole ring will slow down from 16Mb/s to accommodate it, and you'll spend all fucking day running around the building trying to find it.

(Wow, I'm old.)

first sign of trouble (5, Insightful)

jp102235 (923963) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923650)

The first sign of trouble is when you said/thought, at least I am not as bad as X. oh goodness.
The second sign: an intervention by way of watching a tv show devoted to your disease.
Take it from a former hoarder: just throw everything away (donate, trash, etc). There are way
more important things in life than, well, "things". Once you start spending as much time, energy,
and care for the people in and around your life, I doubt you will ever hoard again.

-sent from my cray-

I think I'll recycle some stuff when I get home (1)

Peter Simpson (112887) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923654)

Thanks for the inspiration.

- trying not to leave my kids with the bill for a 30 cu yd dumpster

Murphy's Law (5, Insightful)

symes (835608) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923696)

applies in this case. It states that an item's usefullness increases ten-fold as soon as it is thrown away. Hoarding is only natural.

Re:Murphy's Law (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31923990)

Has anyone else noticed accusations of hoarding coming from their other half, the same one who has a wardrobe full of clothes and shoes she's worn maybe once or twice but can't throw out, y'know, just in case?

Re:Murphy's Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31923996)

But if you don't throw it away you'll never need it.

Re:Murphy's Law (1)

doogledog (1758670) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924240)

Maybe you have to make a big show of pretending to throw stuff away. Maybe in front of some other, more modern hardware. That'll trick 'em!

Re:Murphy's Law (1)

stacybro (757940) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924234)

Problem is that it only increases AFTER it is thrown away. Until you do that it is an almost useless piece of junk.

I do the opposite of hoarding (1)

vikingpower (768921) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923700)

Every two years, I throw all my computer stuff away - or sell or recycle it, having shrubbed the hdds, then buy the latest stuff. Keeps the house tidy.

Re:I do the opposite of hoarding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31923968)

Every two years, I throw all my computer stuff away - or sell or recycle it, having shrubbed the hdds, then buy the latest stuff.

Keeps the house tidy.

Do you shrub your drives in your front or back yard? Do they require much maintenance to keep them looking nice?

I needed that... (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923730)

Whew! You know when I think about all the boxes full of crapola I've hoarded over the years it reminds me that I should just send that stuff to the electronics recycling centre instead of having it take up my precious living space.

The small stuff (2, Insightful)

hessian (467078) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923736)

In my electronics box I found:

* Disk labels for an Apple ][e
* PC/XT to PS/2 keyboard converters
* PS/2 to USB keyboard converters
* A 14.4k modem
* A chip extractor tool
* A laplink cable

Archaic, but small enough to overlook for another decade. I put it all back of course.

That's not hoarding... (4, Funny)

Chelloveck (14643) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923746)

Bah. Pikers! Look at those photos, you can clearly see the floor in some of them! No tech hoarder worthy of the title still has a visible floor.

Re:That's not hoarding... (1)

alan_dershowitz (586542) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924184)

No kidding, that collection is for babby. I've got old SGIs laying around, stacks of ZIP drives, spare scanners (3) in case I need them, about eight laptops, eight different kinds of Macs, including a working SE with SCSI network adapter(!) I've got two RS-6000's that are too expensive to run. About ten towers of various builds. I've got a Windows NT4-Alpha machine for kicks.

My friends bring their friends over to stare in awe at the fruits of a life wasted on old junk, and that's not even to speak of the video game collection :-)

Re:That's not hoarding... (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924530)

Well, some of us make sure to "forget" large chunks of our collections in our parents' garage every time we move (just make sure there's a gap of a few days between moving out from your old place and moving in to your new place, your parents will happily let you put your stuff in the garage "over the weekend"). And despite this sneaky move I still have a 10 m^2 storage room connected to my apartment that's a deathtrap due to all the stuff I've piled in there.

The only problem with my storage method is that I occasionally spend a few hours going through the pile I have at home only to realize that I left the Indigo^2 workstations in my parents' garage and I'll have to ask them to ship one to me.

Just mention "shoes" (4, Informative)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923862)

and the conversation will magically change direction, though you'll be even deeper in the doghouse

IBM System/36 (4, Funny)

Foxxxy (217437) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923930)

I recently was forced to part with my old IBM System 36 and corresponding hard drive that was 350lbs and the size of a dishwasher. The system 36 was the original 700lb model 5630. They were used as end tables but didn't fit with my wife's tastes. I am proud to say that I was able to get the box up, with connected terminal and actually pulled data off of it (printed) in 2005. I was challenged by some friends to make it work to show it could still be put to use and damn it, the yellow paged manuals I still had made it easy.

My tech hoarding earned me some extra income as I won the bet making it work. So don't throw it out, your tech buddies will pay good money to watch you fight with 20 year old tech.

Toxic waste (4, Insightful)

plopez (54068) | more than 3 years ago | (#31923946)

Considering that much of tech gadgets contain toxic waste, usually in the form of heavy metals, reusing them as furniture isn't a bad idea. It beats dumping them into a landfill or paying for recycling.

The tech industry is a filthy industry. Esp. when you factor in the planned obsolescence.

Re:Toxic waste (1)

Sqweegee (968985) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924414)

The problem with the hoarder I work with is half of the reason he keeps most of his junk is to reclaim the rare metals through half baked schemes. Any chance to get mercury from smashing old thermometers and any circuit board with gold or silver plated contacts and he's all over that.

It doesn't help that the hoarding is partially enabled through work in the guise of keeping spare items to maintain some of our out dated equipment. Last year while he was on vacation we cleaned out a "storage room" and disposed of about 3500 cubic feet of electronics. We still regularly come across old PCs hidden behind lab bench panels, circuit boards above ceiling tiles.

He should retire soon, but what's going to happen to the tons (litereally!) of junk he has stashed at home or at the cottage when he eventually passes on. At least the stuff at work we have the ability to dispose of properly.

Re:Toxic waste (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924552)

Some old processors have a lot of copper in the heat sinks. On the London Metal Exchange looks to be about 3.5 dollars a pound.

You can usually get a good price for those, and the rare earth magnets in hard drives also sell for a pretty penny.

This has nothing on the soft arts. (1)

bregmata (1749266) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924038)

Try googling for "yarn stash" or "fabric stash." These people have had centuries of established practice. There is an entire industry dedicated to catering to the guilt these people have.

The clever entrepreneur will look at tech stash hoarders and see opportunitie$.

If anyone is going through their stack right now (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924102)

Please be on the lookout for this old soundcard (Innovation SSI 2001) [yvan256.net], as well as AdLib Gold (or its echo/reverb modules), anything by Covox (especially Sound Master 1, Speech Thing), Roland (MT-32, CM-32L, CM-64, LAPC-1), and the old Creative Game Blaster.

I'd buy the SSI 2001 and AdLib Gold modules, the rest should still be a pretty easy sell on eBay.

If you have anything that can be classified as "Sound Blaster or compatible", it's not worth anything unless of course you want to use it yourself in an old system to play old games.

I try not to hoard... (1)

spammacus (805242) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924124)

... but I don't actually know how to dispose of the equipment properly. So it lingers in my closet.

Partial Reinforcement (5, Interesting)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924136)

Any psych-turned-CS person will tell you that the hardest behaviors to break are partial reinforcement.

Behaviors that don't pay off all the time, but sometimes do.

Anyone who has saved hours of time by pulling out an obscure manual from the bottom of a pile, or recovered data with the help of a rare connector type from the junk closet, is getting partially reinforced.

And therefore, will continue to collect.

Hans Reiser . . . is that you . . . ? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924140)

Isn't that what sunk Hans Reiser's excuse for chucking out the back seat of his car?

I saw some guy on the TV who said, "What a lie! Everyone knows that geeks *never* throw anything away. Even if it is broken and useless!"

He should have followed that up with, "Tip the veal! Try the waitress . . . etc."

I am not a hoarder (1)

rossz (67331) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924186)

I don't have all that much computer equipment. Just five 1U servers, a 2U server, my old machine that was replaced by by new machine, my laptop, a few switches and routers, a butt-load of network cables, a bunch of spare power cables, a couple of UPSes, and 170 SCSI drives (73G, 15K RPM).

University Labs (1)

seven of five (578993) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924298)

For true tales of tech-hoarding horror, look to your local university.

I spent the past year clearing two physics spaces out. Forty years worth of leaky vacuum pumps, x-ray transformers, copper, stainless steel, botched and long-forgotten projects, a Heathkit PDP-8 rack, Hercules graphics cards....

more than a roomful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31924318)

My 10x12 office is like a shrine to lost tech, or rather several shrines, piled on top of or next to each other. (~300 cu ft.) In my wife's "area", more tech takes up a whole wall, floor to ceiling, plus an entire 5-shelf unit on another wall filled with empty boxes and packing material, gathered back when I was thinking of selling some of this stuff.. (~150 cu ft.) In the workshop, more tech is piled floor to ceiling, 3' deep, next to the furnace (~100 cu ft.). I probably could fit all the extra stuff in my office, but then I would have to lose about 150 lbs. so I could squeeze through to my desk. (I would then weigh about 50 lbs.)

Running machines: ~4
Runable machines: ~10
Parts machines: ~4

Oldest: Timex Sinclair 1000 (ready to ship! bo)
Newest: EFIKA running MorphOS

My solution against hoarding (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924346)

I just give away/sell/trow away everything I have not used in two years. Clothes, computer parts, all the same. I have given away my C64 and made somebody else happy. My old openSUSE boxed sets go in the bin as soon as I get another. I this get rid of about 95% of the stuff I have. The other 5% are things I mostly keep for decoration. CDs, DVDs and books are among that.
And yes, there will be some other exceptions. But all in all, I just get rid of stuff I do not need anymore.

Once a year I do a serious clean up and see what I can get rid of. The thing that was hard to learn was what to do when you are not sure. I have learned that the best thing is to get rid of it. I rather go and try to buy a new coax end then having all that stuff still around.

Retrocomputing! (1)

RedMage (136286) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924442)

I agree that throwing old hardware all over the room is excessive, but some of us "collect" these old machines. I collect them for a mixture of history and as a way to remind myself "Don't do THAT again!" I even write about them and their history: http://codeslave9000.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] for anyone interested in following along at home. Parts is parts, but keeping old machines in running order is much more challenging and rewarding.

Amateurs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31924454)

I've got half a basement full of Apple II's and pre-PowerPC Macs. Why? Because at one point I wanted each and every machine and was too poor to be able to afford to buy them. So when I had the money ($5) I skipped lunch and bought the machine I wanted.

I love Silicon Valley... especially Weird Stuff.. ;)

It gets better... (4, Funny)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924462)

My favorite is the guy using a stack of 9 VA rack machines as an end table.

The best part is that if you look past the stack of machines he's using as an end table, you'll see the original wooden end table shoved ignominiously into the corner.

recursive junk storage (1)

captbob2002 (411323) | more than 3 years ago | (#31924540)

I've been hanging onto an AT&T 9-track tape drive (and a few 3B2/600s) for more than a decade now. At least the 9-track cabinet is big enough to store all the other crap inside.

If nothing else it is fun to mount a 9-track tape and scare the kiddies with the spinning wheels and whoosh of the blowers.

I might use the tape enclosure as a garden shed someday.

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