Zane H. Healy
healyzh at aracnet.com
Tue Jun 23 12:57:46 CDT 2009
On Tue, 23 Jun 2009, Richard wrote:
> Has anyone else noticed that there are "waves" of certain kinds of
> equipment being surplussed all at once?
> Its most readily apparent when monitoring govliquidation.com because
> the military tends to surplus an item across and entire force (Navy,
> Air Force, Army, etc.) and scads of the stuff shows up all at once.
> However, I see it as well in commercial circles. A new generation of
> technology is deployed and an entire wave of the old technology is
> surplussed all at once. After that big wave subsides, those items
> will be hard to find.
> I think these surplus waves are what people are remembering when they say
> "VT100s are all over the place, dirt cheap" because they remember the
> VT100 surplus wave when you could barely walk through a surplus house
> without tripping over one. Nowadays they are few and far between.
> I seem to recall some discussions of "ownership humps" over the
> lifetime of equipment. Initially noone, or few, owns it. Then lots
> of people own it. Then some people own it because lots of people surplus
> it and there's a glut in the secondary market. Then noone, or few,
> owns it again and the secondary market is pricey for spares. Then
> noone owns it anymore and the secondary market is overpriced, still
> thinking people need spares. Eventually the secondary market crashes
> and they dump their holdings and collectors might be able to
> experience a slight secondary surplus wave. After that, its hen's
> teeth time.
I suspect you're definitely on to something, at least with regards to modern
equipment. I know that now days where I work, once it's off warrenty, it's
time to start thinking about replacing it. Of course everything runs on
EM64T based servers now as well, except for a few legacy applications.
Reliability seems to have gone down a lot as well. We often see stuff dying
in waves once it reaches a certain age.
You did fail to mention one *KEY* factor, and that is Geography. As near as
I can tell around here PDT-11's have always been rare as hens teeth, the
same is not true for around what was DEC country (the Mill, etc.).
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