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Welcome to the Goodwill Computer Museum (Video)

Roblimo posted about 9 months ago | from the don't-be-scared-they're-just-old-computers-like-grandpa-used-to-use dept.

Hardware 72

Goodwill Industries rehabs computers and sells computer parts, at least in Austin, Texas. The Goodwill Computer Museum is a natural outgrowth of that effort. In this video, museum curator Lisa Worley takes Slashdot's Timothy Lord on a tour of the museum. Remember that TRS-80 you threw away in 1982? Well, they saved several of them to stimulate your nostalgia-based pleasure nodules. Ditto many other devices both common and rare, including a pre-Dell computer made and signed by Texas computer celebrity Michael Dell. So sit back and enjoy the ride, as Timothy does the walking and Lisa does the talking, kind of like Night at the Museum -- but without CGI dinosaurs and other life forms getting between you and the classic computers.

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Free Admission (1)

Steve_Ussler (2941703) | about 9 months ago | (#45272597)

http://www.goodwillcomputermuseum.org/ [goodwillco...museum.org] Hours Monday – Saturday: 10am to 8pm Sunday: 11am to 6pm Free Admission 1015 Norwood Park Blvd Austin TX 78753 Contact the Museum: P: 512-637-7539 E: museum@austingoodwill.org How about a Slashdot group field trip/meetup there?

Re:Free Admission (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 9 months ago | (#45276335)

If I can figure out a way to get to Austin without having to be in Texas, I'm in.

Re:Free Admission (1)

timothy (36799) | about 9 months ago | (#45282035)

Would love to meet up there -- I've been there a few times before shooting this video (incl. years ago when it was at another location, basically just a few shelves of cool old stuff), and it's always fun.

Museum? Looks more like... (2)

TWX (665546) | about 9 months ago | (#45272615)

...my living room, years ago, though with more space between artifacts...

Anyone need a peek/poke ISA card for bit-wise operations?

Re:Museum? Looks more like... (2)

lord_mike (567148) | about 9 months ago | (#45272761)

No, but I could use an 8-bit ISA CGA video card and a CGA monitor if you have one. :-)

Re:Museum? Looks more like... (1)

TWX (665546) | about 9 months ago | (#45273549)

Had them, but not anymore. Actually I had a weird ATI video card that could do the full color palette at the same time in text-mode, and could also do a full color palette in a CGA-type resolution, but could only do a four-color palette in an EGA resolution. It was odd...

Re:Museum? Looks more like... (2)

arthurpaliden (939626) | about 9 months ago | (#45273597)

My basement until my wife finally won the argument.

Re:Museum? Looks more like... (2)

Wintermute__ (22920) | about 9 months ago | (#45274653)

My basement until my wife finally won the argument.

My basement today. I'll sure miss my wife.

Re:Museum? Looks more like... (1)

TWX (665546) | about 9 months ago | (#45277187)

Heh. Yeah, I had hoarded computer stuff and already gotten rid of a fair amount of it before I met my wife. As we consolidated households I got rid of quite a bit more, and now I get rid of stuff as it enters the, "not useful to me anymore" phase. So, most SCSI and firewire cables, most flat-ribbon IDE cables, that sort of thing, gone. Most serial and parallel, gone. No reason to keep that stuff anymore, if I need it I can find plenty of it for a few cents at the thrift stores.

And you know what? I'm happier for it. I have more room for current projects, when I do need something it doesn't take me very long to find it, and I am not constantly rearranging junk.

Re:Museum? Looks more like... (2)

arthurpaliden (939626) | about 9 months ago | (#45278693)

But rearranging the junk was half the fun ....

Gave up (2, Informative)

mypalmike (454265) | about 9 months ago | (#45272655)

The pre-video ad was like 3 hours long so I gave up.

Re:Gave up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45272779)

the pre advertisment was 2min 30sec... The video stream has dropped out 2 times so far on the actual video. Content wise it is interesting to see some of the old hardware have how we have progressed (or regressed).

Re:Gave up (0)

Tumbleweed (3706) | about 9 months ago | (#45272871)

Too dumb to use AdBlock Plus, also too dumb to hide that fact. #epicfail

Re:Gave up (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45273097)

#epicfail

I can't tell, is it Twitter or 4chan that you think you are posting on?

Re:Gave up (2)

Megane (129182) | about 9 months ago | (#45273455)

4chan would have flayed him alive for being hipster enough to use a hashtag. He probably even read it while saying "hashtag" out loud.

Re:Gave up (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45278825)

youtube-dl -o - "http://player.ooyala.com/player.js?deepLinkEmbedCode=45azRqZzpicDvnQHtZajoR9u48oarpKq&embedCode=45azRqZzpicDvnQHtZajoR9u48oarpKq" | mplayer -

I didn't notice

Remember that TRS-80 you threw away in 1982? (2)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 9 months ago | (#45272689)

Yes, but I think it was closer to 2002 when I finally did. I usually try to purge accumulated computer stuff every 10 years, give or take. With the exception of a Pentium Pro, I don't have anything older than a P2. But it's going to be time to clean house again soon. Every time I throw something away that isn't at least 10 years old, I end up needing it two weeks after it's gone. Then I have to pay a stupid amount of money to replace something that I had all along.

Re:Remember that TRS-80 you threw away in 1982? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 9 months ago | (#45272801)

With the exception of a Pentium Pro, I don't have anything older than a P2

Is it just me or is this statement identical to "I don't have anything older than a Pentium Pro"?

Re:Remember that TRS-80 you threw away in 1982? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 9 months ago | (#45272911)

According to Wikipedia, the first Pentium Pro [wikipedia.org] was produced in 1995, while the Pentium II [wikipedia.org] didn't hit the market until 1997. Also, when you think about it, 10 years isn't even that old for computer equipment. I still have hardware that's close to 10 years old, and it's completely functional.Computers from 2003, while not top of the line anymore, are certainly good enough for a lot of tasks.

Re:Remember that TRS-80 you threw away in 1982? (3, Informative)

n1ywb (555767) | about 9 months ago | (#45273441)

The problem with old computers is power consumption. A newer Atom or ARM will do the same job at 2 watts that a clunky old PC would consume 200 for. $0.15/kwh * 200 watts * 24 hours * 365 days = $262.8. That'll buy a lot of RaspberryPIs and their power consumption is practically negligable. The other problem is they're big. If you only run it infrequently and real estate is not an issue then whatever, might as well keep the old one.

Re:Remember that TRS-80 you threw away in 1982? (1)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | about 9 months ago | (#45273859)

I'm curious as to exactly what 2 watt processors can compare to a 3.2 GHz P4 from 2003 [intel.com] .

Re:Remember that TRS-80 you threw away in 1982? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 9 months ago | (#45277437)

I'm curious as to exactly what 2 watt processors can compare to a 3.2 GHz P4 from 2003

It's not easy to compare, and I had to jump around benchmarks a bit, but some of the recent SoCs look to be ballpark with the P4.

x86 Atom Z2760 Vs ARM
http://www.notebookcheck.net/SoC-Shootout-x86-vs-ARM.99496.0.html [notebookcheck.net]

Atom D510 Vs P4
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/atom-d510-pentium-4-nettop,2649-10.html [tomshardware.com]

Atom D510 Vs Atom Z2760
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/midlow_range_cpus.html [cpubenchmark.net]

Re:Remember that TRS-80 you threw away in 1982? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 9 months ago | (#45285203)

I'm curious as to exactly what 2 watt processors can compare to a 3.2 GHz P4 from 2003 [intel.com] .

Have you even seen the benchmarks for the new Intel Atom Z3770?

Re:Remember that TRS-80 you threw away in 1982? (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 9 months ago | (#45273175)

It's just you.

Re:Remember that TRS-80 you threw away in 1982? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 9 months ago | (#45285005)

No, I'm pretty sure that if x and y belong to the set A, x<y, and the set of elements of A smaller than y is {x}, then x is the infimum of A.

Re:Remember that TRS-80 you threw away in 1982? (1)

Steve_Ussler (2941703) | about 9 months ago | (#45272867)

Go thru your attic...a lot of junk is worth $$$$

Re:Remember that TRS-80 you threw away in 1982? (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 9 months ago | (#45273661)

Yes, but I think it was closer to 2002 when I finally did. I usually try to purge accumulated computer stuff every 10 years, give or take. With the exception of a Pentium Pro, I don't have anything older than a P2. But it's going to be time to clean house again soon. Every time I throw something away that isn't at least 10 years old, I end up needing it two weeks after it's gone. Then I have to pay a stupid amount of money to replace something that I had all along.

Ya, I'm thinking back to 1982, the Model IV wasn't even out, and no one would throw a Model 1 out unless it was broken beyond repair.

Though big score about 2006 when I got a TRS-80 Model IV Portable for $25, working.

Re:Remember that TRS-80 you threw away in 1982? (2)

sootman (158191) | about 9 months ago | (#45274121)

I used to have a dual-PPro. I wish I still had it, but for a different reason. [ozcopper.com]

You know what's sad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45272707)

We were arguing the relative merits of the various computer platforms back in the day (Apple, TRS-80, Commodore, etc) and it struck me we're still doing it today. Why do we get married to these platforms and defend them so vigorously.

Great Place to Volunteer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45272735)

As a work-related volunteer event, we went and tore apart computers behind this shop. It's a decent operation, pairing a history of computing with (ostensibly) discount computer part shopping. The volunteer event was deconstructing the donated machines into component parts, and it was a hell of a fun day.

It's amazing how much crap ends up in computers, over time. I think, at one point, a live dog jumped out of one, spontaneously born from the quantity of dog hair.

Remember it? (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 9 months ago | (#45272765)

Lol funny you would ask that. I don't just remember it, my wife actually just found it while cleaning out the storage area in the crawlspace by the roof. First she saw the cartirdiges and thought it was an old Atari, then she saw the "Atari" and got very confused that it had a keyboard built in... and a tape deck..... :)

This god damn site showing full screen ads now?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45272787)

Fuck you, Dice.

My co worker that doesn't block your shit ads says he got a full page ad requiring him to click through it to get to the site. Is this true?! WTF?

Re:This god damn site showing full screen ads now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45273033)

Correction: Required him to wait 30 seconds and not a click-through. Took him right to the slashdot main page after waiting. Malware wouldn't have done this.

Re:This god damn site showing full screen ads now? (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 9 months ago | (#45273163)

I sure as hell am not going to turn off my ad-blocker to check.

It's ironic somehow that the web we want has no advertisements, yet the major source of revenue of most sites is advertisements.

Although I don't really see how me not seeing an advertisement for a product I don't want helps the advertisers. Am I just saving them page loads and therefor not wasting any of their resources? If the end result of an advertisement that I do see is me just ignoring it because it is an advertisement, why should it matter so much that I saw said advertisement?

I do have a little check box up near the top of my screen though that asks if I want ads disabled, that is a privilege /. has given me it says for positive contributions, I have no idea if that is common or not, but I like it. It's a nice little admission that without our comments this site would not exist, but still without advertisements a lot of sites many of us use would not be able to keep their lights on.

I do wonder why advertisers haven't learned from the most successful advertising company in the world to keep their ads nice and simple and out of the way. People are not there to look at your advertisement, they are there to look at the content, keep advertisements and content separate, at no point should your advertisement interfere with accessing content. If advertisers would just follow those simple basic rules I might someday turn off my ad blocker, till then I like the way I'm seeing the web right now.

Oh and just an FYI, if you have not created an account one reason to is that you can view /. in classic mode, I really dislike the default UI.

Throw down. (1)

lasermike026 (528051) | about 9 months ago | (#45272793)

I have a:
TRS-80 model III
2 Commodore 64s
Mac SE/30

I'm proud of my little collection. I wish I could find a PET.

Re:Throw down. (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | about 9 months ago | (#45272915)

I have a:
TRS-80 model III
2 Commodore 64s
Mac SE/30

I'm proud of my little collection. I wish I could find a PET.

I've got:

Tandy Model 102 (new in box!)
Tandy CoCo 3 (new in box!)
2 Commodore 64s
Commodore 64C
Commodore Amiga 1000
Apple //gs (ROM3, with TransWarp accelerator)

I have a TI PEB waiting for a TI 99/4a to connect it to.

Still haven't decided on which old Atari I want. Probably an 800.

I'd *love* to get a working IMSAI 8080, but I can't justify the kind of money that purchase would require.

Re:Throw down. (1)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | about 9 months ago | (#45273209)

Before you ask, none of my Ohio Scientifics are for sale.

Re:Throw down. (1)

the_skywise (189793) | about 9 months ago | (#45274015)

Challenger 1P - Babeeeee!!!

Re:Throw down. (2)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | about 9 months ago | (#45276505)

Glad there's someone else out there who can relate! I actually had a Superboard II, which was the Challenger 1P without a case, as you may recall. Years later, I bought a C4P for cheap at a hamfest. Also, I may have the most complete set of Ohio Scientific documentation still in existence. (It's nice to have something to brag about, even if nobody cares.)

Re:Throw down. (1)

the_skywise (189793) | about 9 months ago | (#45280983)

I got mine second hand through my dad's coworker because he offered it to me cheaper than the Atari 400 I was saving for... At the time I thought I had gotten shafted because the graphics sucked but I think I learned more about computers and programming from it then I would have through the 400. (Also learned how to do my first hardware fix because the coworker had misinstalled the ram... leaving me with 6k instead of 8!)
(I eventually upgraded to a Commodore 64)

I swear though, for the longest time I thought I was the only owner of one too! (To date in my programming career, and I've been employed in 3 states, in about a dozen companies) I've met a grand total of 3 people who knew what I was talking about!

Re:Throw down. (1)

Nethead (1563) | about 9 months ago | (#45274865)

I have Turbo Pascal for CP/M on an 8" floppy if you need it.

Re:Throw down. (1)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | about 9 months ago | (#45276551)

That's a nice offer but my floppy drive never grew beyond 5-1/4". Anyhow, pretty much all of my floppy drive is gone by now...

Re:Throw down. (1)

Nethead (1563) | about 9 months ago | (#45277095)

Yeah, mine's mostly floppy these days, too.

Re:Throw down. (1)

kalpol (714519) | about 9 months ago | (#45273513)

I've got a TI 99/4a system if you're interested. I think it is missing the video cable. PEB with drive, interface cards, rubber-cup modem, lots of software.

Re:Throw down. (1)

sootman (158191) | about 9 months ago | (#45274197)

All I have is an Apple IIc, with tiny matching CRT -- but the video out is plain-old composite, so it works fine on a multi-input 20" Dell LCD, which is kinda neat. :-) As much as I like it, I have no real use for it, and even less room. Been meaning to get around to finding a good home for it. The only reason I still have it is that it's tucked away nicely at the moment.

Very interesting (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#45272799)

I'd love to take a walk through that warehouse they have.

Re:Very interesting (1)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | about 9 months ago | (#45275013)

You kinda can. Get sentenced to public service in an Austin court and they will let you "volunteer" for this "non-profit". You quickly come to understand that Goodwill is a for profit business operating under a false tax documents by making a pittance of over publicized donations each year.

Re:Very interesting (1)

Omestes (471991) | about 9 months ago | (#45276245)

You quickly come to understand that Goodwill is a for profit business operating under a false tax documents by making a pittance of over publicized donations each year.

Awhile back one of my mom's friends said this when I was looking for a place to dumb left-over stuff from moving, so I did a bit of research. This is true, sometimes. Each region is run seperately and independently, so this might be true where you live, but not where I live. Some regions are horribly corrupt, with the executives basically getting rich off of the the mentally disabled and the court systems... While some regions are actually trying to help people.

I personally prefer the Mormon run Deseret Industries... Their stores are very clean, everything is washed, and they don't try to sell all the actually good items at online auctions, meaning you can still discover some good items. Once the one near me had a ton of awesome vintage camera gear, cheap; where Goodwill sells absolute crap since all the good stuff has been long-since syphoned off by staff, or stuck on their circa 1995 auction website.

WHAT THE FUCK (1, Offtopic)

darrellg1 (969068) | about 9 months ago | (#45272811)

was that 30 sec. full page ad I just got?!?

I've been there many times... (1)

Red_Chaos1 (95148) | about 9 months ago | (#45272817)

They re-arrange it, add info and machines all the time. For awhile they had a Famicom and some games under glass and such. It's pretty neat. It's attached to the Computer Store, which I visit often to buy cheap classic xboxes to soft mod, and cheap game software, etc. Always a good time sink.

Don't crap in a Goodwill box (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#45272841)

I'm pretty sure they don't want to encourage us to dump all our old computer garbage off at Goodwill. While some of this stuff may have some historical value, I seriously doubt they would appreciate me dumping about 30 old 486's and Pentiums (and associated old videocards) in the nearest Goodwill box.

Re:Don't crap in a Goodwill box (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about 9 months ago | (#45273107)

I don't know if it's nationwide, but my local Goodwill outlet is in cahoots with a major computer manufacturer in a recycling program. They specifically state that unlike other donated items, they'll take any computer equipment in any condition, working or not.

Re:Don't crap in a Goodwill box (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 9 months ago | (#45273365)

I seriously doubt they would appreciate me dumping about 30 old 486's and Pentiums (and associated old videocards) in the nearest Goodwill box

Call them and find out, there might be a Goodwill computer store in your area you can get rid of those at.

I know at my previous employment old computers were donated to Goodwill.

Re:Don't crap in a Goodwill box (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 9 months ago | (#45273693)

I'm pretty sure they don't want to encourage us to dump all our old computer garbage off at Goodwill. While some of this stuff may have some historical value, I seriously doubt they would appreciate me dumping about 30 old 486's and Pentiums (and associated old videocards) in the nearest Goodwill box.

I don't know about anyone one else, but I would kill (lawyers) to find a 386 these days.

Even better would be a XT compatable, or the real IBM XT

Not like i have room anyways...

Re:Don't crap in a Goodwill box (1)

sootman (158191) | about 9 months ago | (#45274159)

If you have that many old machines, I have another option for you... [ozcopper.com]

Re:Don't crap in a Goodwill box (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#45278983)

Yeah, I hear cooking crystal meth will make you money too--and would probably be a lot safer and easier than extracting gold out of a PC. Just ask those poor bastards [discovery.com] in India.

Weird Location (3, Informative)

dodgerfan (994874) | about 9 months ago | (#45272851)

I visited there last year when I was in Austin for Formula 1. We happened to stumble upon the location as it's located in a strip mall right next to a Wal-Mart. The museum is pretty cool and has some neat stuff. If you are in the area it's definitely worth a look. There is also a great Goodwill computer store right next door with parts for older stuff (Mostly Dell, of course).

Re:Weird Location (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45273261)

Yep the museum grew out of the computer store.

Picked up a hard drive from there that I put in a Compaq Presario 1010. Still haven't found a use for that ancient laptop, but I do have it running Windows 98se with Office 95. I guess I should probably donate it to Goodwill.

Great little video until flash crashed (1)

caseih (160668) | about 9 months ago | (#45272855)

Would be nice to have html5 video as well as flash. Sadly I could not download the ooyala video stream either.

Random (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45272961)

Randomly, I was just there yesterday on a trip to Austin. Glad you're getting the word out, no one knows about this place. It was a cute little display with a few surprising pieces.

A computer museum without a proper web-page (1)

jopet (538074) | about 9 months ago | (#45274329)

Somebody should tell them about computers.

Re:A computer museum without a proper web-page (1)

The RoboNerd (551256) | about 9 months ago | (#45275139)

Yeah, online exhibits would be nice.

Timothy Lord (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45274359)

....has [what looks like] a really fun job.

I remember some of this stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45274397)

I used some of this stuff years ago. I noticed that most of this stuff is PC based hardware (as you would expect). Too bad some other stuff (old Atari/Amiga/Timex) hardware isn't there, or any larger scale stuff (I remember old 24 processor Silicon Graphics Hardware, DEC hardware (except for the PDP8 which the video showed), and multicore machines running OS/2). I also remember HP3000 and HP8000 based systems. I realise that people don't normally give that kind of thing to Goodwill, but they mentioned people donating old computer hardware directly to the museum.

Re:I remember some of this stuff (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 9 months ago | (#45274455)

And also that only a small sampling of it can really be displayed, they have a lot of donations in their warehouse.

pre-"Dell" Dell (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about 9 months ago | (#45274513)

I've got a "PCs Limited" Turbo XT in my storage room, that I bought the same year Michael Dell and I finished college. But it was upgraded and overhauled so much by the time I replaced it* that little more than the case and the power supply could possibly bear Michael Dell's finger prints.

*It was a 16MHz 386 with an 8-bit ISA VGA card and a 60MB hard drive.

See also Living Computer Museum in Seattle (2)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | about 9 months ago | (#45275401)

They keep old classic minis in working order. Want to see a DEC 20 in operation?

Goodwill sucks (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 9 months ago | (#45277039)

While spending tons of money on national commercials they have the balls to charge you 35lb shipping on their auction website, but when you go to a store all they have is miles of out of date ragged clothing, 50 George Forman grills, and some shitty ass alarm clocks

they go out of their way to seperate products from accessories, charging near ebay prices for near garbage all tossed in a cement mixer with the trademark goodwill brown funk.

If there is a deal to be had in there, its a god damed rarity, and I used to visit 3 of them once a week, its not even worth bothering to show up.

And who do you help? the 19 year old asshat wearing 200$ shoes and sporting a 100$ haircut that treats your donations like garbage, infact seeing them toss it in the garbage on more than one occasion. Goodwill? fuck that noise

Re:Goodwill sucks (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 8 months ago | (#45291793)

Lots of people serve their "community service" sentence at Goodwill stores. So many of the people working there are doing it because they are required to by a court.

Old museum was better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45277155)

The old museum at the old location on Ohlen was better since none of the machines were under glass. And the prices were better too. Now it's same old stock that's been there for 6-12 months.

Hang911 (1)

Lê Hằng (3415129) | about 9 months ago | (#45278127)

Yeah, mine's mostly floppy these days, too. - tai game ban ga [taigamebanga.mobi]

Kill the ad (1)

Vrtigo1 (1303147) | about 9 months ago | (#45340581)

Seriously, Slashdot? A 2+ minute IBM commercial that can't be skipped to watch this video?
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