With great sorrow

Tony Duell ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Thu May 21 12:35:08 CDT 2009


> >Are you seriously suggesting it would be a Good Thing if we all gave up
> >playing with our (classic computer) toys?
> 
> Maybe...  I've said in the past that I view this as an unhealthy hobby.

I have  to wonder why you carry on with it :-). Is it like smoking, you 
know it's unhealthy, but you get addicted to it?

> 
> We're moving into our new house this week, and once we get moved in 
> we'll be emptying the 10x25' storage unit that houses the bulk of my 
> remaining "computer junk".  It will be interesting to see in the long 
> run how much of it I get rid of.  I definitely want to trim down the 
> collection, the problem being that some of the stuff is spares for 
> systems that I want to keep.  I honestly have no clue as to how much 
> stuff falls into the "no interest/use" category, and how much into 
> the keep category.  In any case a lot of what I get rid of will be 
> going to the library for the one project I have for them.


I know that problem all too well. Several times I've had things which I 
don't feel are particularly useful, but I keep them. And then one day 
they turn out to be just the thing I need.

Examples ; Years ago I was given an HP9866A printer, it was being thrown 
out, and the chap doing the clearout knew I liked HP stuff. So I accepted 
it with thanks, not knowing what it was used with, what the interface 
was, etc. And then perhaps 10 years later I was given an HP9830, which 
has a built-in interface for just this printer. So of course, after 
repairing the HP9830, I got the 9866 going too.

Or the time I was given and HP5055 'digital recorder' -- a numeric-only 
strip printer. It sat in the cupboard for 15 years until I bought an 
HP59301 HPIB-parallel interface on E-bay and relaised (after figuring out 
connections, etc) that one of the devices it could directly drive was the 
5055. S, again, the 5055 came out of said cupboard and got cleaned up, 
repaired, etc

And an old Amstrad 'laptop' [1] (PPC640 IIRC) got pressed into service to 
run the 'microtest' floppy disk test/alignment system. Another machine I 
didn't know what I was going to use it for before I found that use.

[1] For people with big laps. It's actually wider than a PDP11 front panel!

-tony



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