Other People's Dead Tech

A photo of dead circuit boards

One side-effect of my part-time vocation as a computer technician is that people often give me their dead gadgets and old software. Actually they don’t give it to me. What really happens is that I see they are about to throw it out and that compels me to mention that there are dozens of places around King County that would take it off their hands to recycle it. They defer to me as the technician and just assume that I know what I’m talking about. They say, “Oh what a relief! I hate throwing out old printers. Here Pace! You know what to do!”

The problem is I don’t have a car to haul all this stuff away. So after three years of people giving me their dead tech, I had a lot of boxes of junk.

  • Software I wouldn’t want even if were brand new (One of the ways you tell a power user apart from a greenhorn is how little software the first buys in comparison to the second.)
  • Peripherals I wouldn’t want even they were brand new. I really don’t understand the use of some peripherals. Web cameras have never made sense to me for example./li>
  • broken hardware that I can’t use or hardware that is so old fashioned you can’t do anything useful with it.

But yesterday I got a friend and his truck to haul all this junk down to RE-PC. Ah! I feel so purified. I got some floorspace back! I was virtuous! The nerd version of spring cleaning.

The thing is, now that I’m gainfully employed again after 7 years in the wilderness of a slow economy and my own laziness, I’m thinking of buying some new stuff myself.

With a few exceptions all of my machinery is at least 8 years old! I’ve been running XP and Ubuntu on some positively antediluvian hardware. I’ve got these giant CRTs sitting like gargoyles on my desk. These CRTs have bad gamma correction too so I have to keep running xgamma -gamma 2.4 in a command prompt or, if I’m stuck in XP, I have to find obscure drivers that will let me correct color so it’s not all muddy and dark.

So I gotta scrap these CRTs and move to flat panels. I think I’ll buy a few used ones from RE-PC.

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3 Responses to Other People's Dead Tech

  1. Bakafish says:

    New LCD’s are so cheap these days that buying used is senseless. The Dell displays are notoriously inexpensive and quite good. Also, keep in mind that the new Mac’s run Intel hardware and run Windows natively and as full speed virtual machines inside the OS using VMware Fusion. It runs Linux, BSD and others just as easily, this may be your chance to be a real man and drive a Macintosh. Seriously, a mini starts at $479 for a refurb, $599 for a full blown dual core…

  2. Pace Arko says:

    Just had to drag macs into it didn’t ya?
    Seriously, the only reason I’d need a Mac is to do the Ecto hand-holding with Fred. If I had more Mac people to support, I’d consider it. There are lots of free sites that will screenshot my sites in Safari so, that angle is covered too. Not really the most compelling reasons to buy a 600 dollar dongle.
    And I say “dongle” because Boot Camp really isn’t that impressive. I can run XP and BSD inside Linux or Linux and BSD inside XP just as easily on new hardware too. But nooooo–in order to do that legally with OSX I got to buy a dongle from Apple first.
    I’ll spend my money on other things first, thanx!
    Anyway, I’ll look over what Dell offers. Do you think I should look at what panels they offer on NewEgg? Or maybe other sources?

  3. Odin says:

    all techie stuff aside I have to agree that if you are going to buy new hardware then you should buy NEW hardware.

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