PreOwned machine privacy - Was: Acclaim Entertainment Indy (with data, emails, etc) on eBay

TeoZ teoz at
Tue Mar 28 17:51:22 CDT 2017

How do you feel about reading dead presidents personal letters? At some 
point personal information ends up being historic information.

If there is money (or more money) to be made associating a Computer to a 
company or specific somewhat famous people then sellers will play this angle 
for all it is worth. Anything done on company machines is not private to 
begin with. What exactly are we going to learn other then people asking for 
vacation days, so and so is a shitty boss, the company probably used some 
pirated software, and early artwork or code for games might have been pretty 

I get computers all the time with hard drive intact full of company data 
(some defunct, others not) and peoples personal files, music, videos, and 
photos. I don't bother looking at any of it, only backing up hard to find 
drivers or software keys then wiping the drive. If I did come across a user 
that was famous (or infamous) I would probably preserve it (remove the drive 
and store it somewhere) while going about my hobby interest with the 

Everything we do today is digital, sooner or later there will be no written 
records at all. In the distant future historians will want to know what we 
were doing in 2017 and they will have nothing to go by since all the 
websites will be long gone and all our files will have been erased or saved 
using backup methods nobody can make heads or tales of let alone find the 
programs that can read the files and computers that the programs can run on. 
So I think a small random fraction of users lives should be around to learn 
from. If for some reason we nuke ourselves into oblivion (or more likely 
just keep destroying the environment until we can no long function as a 
society) then maybe people down the road should look over out private files, 
posts, emails, blogs, etc. to see how people could allow it to happen. You 
won't be able to see government files because everything will be stamped Top 
Secret (or more likely deleted) including your own data they illegally 

-----Original Message----- 
From: JP Hindin via cctalk
Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 5:36 PM
To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
Subject: PreOwned machine privacy - Was: Acclaim Entertainment Indy (with 
data, emails, etc) on eBay

This guy is on Reddit and has been posting lots of stuff from these
machines and I can't help but feel a bit suspect about all of this. While
they're old machines, the information is presumably no longer of any
commercial value and the company no longer exists... I can't help but feel
that this is an invasion of someone's privacy. The commercial content is
one thing - although whether it's truly "abandoned" runs down into all of
those arguments we see flare up in cctalk about once every two years, so
let's not go there again...

But... eMails? I dunno. I've been pulling a lot of data off a Cray J90 and
I've had a lot of people ask me to release it to the public and I just
can't bring myself to do so. I'm _pretty sure_ that it belonged to NASA,
which might mean some/all of the information may even be Public Domain -
but this has people's usernames, and lord knows what kind of effort they
put into the work. (And that's ignoring how not-qualified I am to make the
PD assertion)

It just feels _wrong_ to me, personally.

While I'm not specifically crapping on the guy selling this Indy - I'm
kind of curious how others feel about this sort of thing as it's something
I've been confronted with personally lately.


  - JP 

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