Scrapping and re-use (was Re: Talking of old IBM systems)
ethan.dicks at gmail.com
Wed Mar 24 11:05:48 CDT 2010
On Wed, Mar 24, 2010 at 11:30 AM, Chuck Guzis <cclist at sydex.com> wrote:
> On 24 Mar 2010 at 9:16, blstuart at bellsouth.net wrote:
>> I don't know about the ocean, but they did send them off to
>> scrap yards and stuff to be demolished...
> There's another aspect to the problem, that CDC ran into during the
> 70's--that of used parts finding their way into the mainstream.
> Apparently, this was enough of a problem that CDC ordered that any
> decommissioned system be reduced to unusable junk...
DEC had a problem in the 1980s with parts and machines that had been
scrapped ending back in the sales stream. The big problems for them
were maintaining the perception of quality (much of what got scrapped
had failed some aspect of the testing process) and the tax issue of
claiming that an item was scrapped but still out in the world. I was
told one source of this was the recyclers picking through the bins of
scrap coming from DEC and reselling things that were deemed
resellable. They were paying by the pound for precious and ferrous
metal scrap but making much more from the occasional gem. As the
story goes, DEC bought a large shredder (large enough to accept 19"
racks!), ensuring that re-use would not be feasible.
We had a similar issue at Software Results - obsolete (prototypes and
Rev 0 boards) and unrepairable boards were lying around after they'd
been scrapped - we couldn't repair them since they'd been written off,
so since they were large and green (because of the solder mask), one
of our student employees nailed a bunch of them to a wooden frame in
an irregular isosceles triangle pattern and made a "COMBOARD Christmas
Tree" (using 9-track write rings as ornaments and tractor-feed
tearoffs as garlands). Because the boards were rendered more unusable
(as computer peripherals) by drilling nail holes in them, it was
considered an acceptable re-use. I wish I had a picture of it still.
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