back to article Register readers mostly too ashamed to cop to hideous hoard horrors

We're very, very disappointed that Reg readers did not answer our call for the hoardiest human to come forward and present photographic evidence of their obsession with hanging onto every last bit of crap. Despite many horror stories - including tales of small children buried under defunct computer kit landslides, and fire …

COMMENTS

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  1. Silverburn
    Meh

    So...strictly speaking "pop" hasn't actually admitted he has a problem. His - probably now disowned - offspring has tried to shame him into action.

    I think she's going a bit overboard. Afterall, you can still see there's daylight between his stash and the garage roof...

    1. anti-addick
      Thumb Up

      She could of course just talk to her dad about the issue, hire a skip and get stuck in. That's what I did when I wanted to use one of my dad's spare rooms which was being used to hoard total crap. Result for me is a usable room kept reasonably tidy for free.

  2. Piro
    Unhappy

    Times like this make me feel a twinge of sadness for the various heaps of often working techno-trash I've disposed of, because I am planning to move at some point.

    Parallel port scanners, ancient motherboards, piles of computer magazines, and countless cards and cables that will never find a use again.

  3. Alister Silver badge

    Trade Waste

    Unfortunately, if I were to try and offload all the IT related crap that's filling my cellar, they would probably refuse it on the basis that I must be trade - 7 CTR monitors, at least 20 rotting carcases of PCs from IBM PC-AT onwards, innumerable keyboards and mice, and the shells of two 2U HP servers, not to mention the hard drives, CD-ROM drives (2x speed, anyone?), modems, motherboards and graphic cards.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trade Waste@Alister

      One or two big items a week in the bottom of the wheely bin, brim fill with regular household rubbish, and you'll be free of the burden by next Easter.

    2. MrT

      I had...

      ... a habit of building all my PCs in full tower floor-standing cases. They just don't fit the wheelie bins.

      One has a 1x CD ROM drive that required the discs to be loaded into a caddy - had installed that one just before Computer Shopper started CD cover mounts. It doesn't even use a normal interface - ran directly from the sound card. That and the Logitech handheld scanner (own interface), the huge flatbed scanner that replaced it (own interface) and all the crazy gear that plugged into the 15-pin game port is just waiting for someone to sort out a USB-to-??? converter...

      Not chucking any of it away though, because it might happen that I can use them again... in the face of cheaper, more reliable modern alternatives that are fully supported in Win7 - there's no challenge in just going shopping.

  4. K
    Pint

    Well somebody has too..

    How else will be fill museums in the next 15-20 years!

    ...

    And charge the mugs for looking at looking at our rubbish..

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nicola - your picture is more than good enough for...

    ...an eBay listing. See what offers you get.

  6. a_mu
    Thumb Up

    ah well

    so:

    a few Km of ehtenet cable, thats the 50 ohm coax stuff, and quite a few BNC connectors / T pieces.

    A pile of ISA and such boards.

    A stack of old memory, some in DIL packages....

    Leads of all types. in a pile so big that I don't know what there is, so just get another one from the stores.

    if I want a twisted pair ethernet I can only find USB. If I want usb, I can only find Firewire, and don't get me started on the pile oif 'usefull' D connectors in various forms and configuration, null modem, loop back, loop back with control, cross over, etc etc. all carefully labeled up, with sticky labels that are now falling off into the boxs.

    then we old mother boards, PSU's of various vintages,

    cases that only accept BTX boards,

    but why would I want any of it

    a raspery pi is more powerfull than any machine I could make out of this lot,

    but I can' t chuck it, they might be useful, one day,

    so on third house move they go again from one attic to the next, box's un oppened.

    I think I need a coffee now, and may be a trip down the local computer flee market at lunch time to see what else there is I NEED.

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: ah well

      Flee market? Is it called that because they run away whenever they see you coming?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: ah well

      Hmmm, BNC connectors, I was glad to see thin ethernet go but RJ45's just don't compare to a bayonet fitting.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ah well

      > but I can' t chuck it, they might be useful, one day.

      ...and there you have it.

      I am a (reasonably) rational person person but "I can't chuck it, it might be useful" means that my house is full of crap. Crap that really should be recycled so it might *actually* be useful.

      What possible reason do I have for keeping that bag of Playstation 2 accessories? The PS2 itself is *long* gone. Do I really need that set of speakers from a long defunct stereo system? Or that box full of random sticks of EDO memory? What about those nasty plastic 5 1/4" blanking plates from a previous house-mate's tower?

      Still, it could be worse, my father is now up to four sheds and a garage to store his "useful" crap....

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: ah well

        The problem is that they might be proprietary devices, but the industry standard and generic connecting leads could possibly be reused or otherwise come in handy someday.

        I'm such a hoarder...

        But there is light on the horizon...

        THANK YOU APPLE, THANK YOU!

      2. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: ah well

        "What possible reason do I have for keeping that bag of Playstation 2 accessories? The PS2 itself is *long* gone."

        Funny thing is, I just got myself a second-hand PS2 for €10 earlier in the year, and have amassed a small collection of games - various GTA3s, some Sims, some racing car types, cute-chick-with-katana-and-lots-of-enemies. I'm not really a hardcore gamer so it sucks to find a game that doesn't have a pile of useful cheats (Lara Croft, I'm looking at you) because I like to explore, beat up the bad guys, and not worry too much about them fighting back. I have a Resident Evil (the one where she starts in a basement) and sans-cheat I made it about as far as the gloomy daylight before I got wasted. Pleasingly gory, but "YOU DIED" after three minutes sucks.

        What also sucks is the stupid memory cards don't appear to be able to be reformatted in the PS2. A game came with a 16MiB card that would have been welcome, had it worked... Oh, and what's the point of a LAN socket if nothing seems able to use it?

        In short - one person's junk may be another person's "oh, I needed that!".

        1. Shades

          Re: ah well

          The clever bit of (PC) software you might be interested in is XLink Kai. It allows you to play LAN enabled games (such as Gran Turismo for instance) over the internet. The software itself runs on a PC, connected to a router via ethernet, and with some wizardry redirects the PS2s LAN traffic (connected to the same router as the PC) via the internet! Very clever indeed.

          It also works with XBox 360, XBox, Playstation 3, Playstation 2, Gamecube and PSP!

  7. bettername

    Is it still a problem if I trade?

    As long as the missues sees me take it down to the post office (and is out when postie comes round), I'd swap Gaius' lovely Cub monitor for approx 200m of 10Base2 cable (you never know when you, ahem, might need it)!

    1. David Pollard

      Re: Is it still a problem if I trade?

      Maybe there's scope for an IT swap-shop on the Reg forum.

      1. MrT
        Thumb Up

        Swap Shop....

        ... only if it's fronted by Lester in a bad jumper and stick-on beard, Posh Paws replaced by Optimus Prime, and the wall of swaps staffed by Playmobil figures.

        What about a swap meet? Or are there international conventions preventing a gathering of that many commentards in one place...?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hoard files

    and while I embark on an extermination mission every couple of (months), I usually give up after 10 - 20 deletes. And while I haven't counted all my files, they might easily be in excess of a couple of millions, combined. A billion perhaps? I'd be a bit surprised, but not staggered.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I hoard files

      well, if you are deleting, clearly you don't. I've still got files I wrote for the Dragon 32 which I transferred to MSDOS 5.25 floppies to run under GW basic that need slight tweaking for the new screen size, and different joystick inputs....a rainy day job of low priority, but when I retire....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I hoard files

      Me too ... backl in the days of 56k (or even 28k) modems when downloading a new version of netscape etc was a matter a many minutes then I used to have a "download" directory into which all downloads went and I never rarely deleted anything in it (only in extremis when disk got full and I hadn't got round to getting a bigger one!) so that if I'd uninstalled something that I decided I needed again then I could probably find the download file rather than having to re-download it .... and now some of those files dating back to the later 90s are almost certainly still sitting on my NAS!

      Meanwhile, here at work had a quick look and have some files dating back to 1989!

    3. CatoTheCat
      Childcatcher

      Re: I hoard files

      root@dcore64:/storage# find . -print | wc -l

      1207135

      ahem.

      1. Alister Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: I hoard files

        You're running as root!

        The Horror!

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

          Re: I hoard files

          MANLY!

  9. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Too lazy, more like it

    I should really get around to taking a picture of the 15 or so late 1980's early 1990's macs (along with all of the assorted junk that goes with it), but I keep forgetting when I get home.

    There's no problem with my continual collection of it. I can quit anytime I want...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what interface

    links a 386 to a canoe?

    and do you need the maths co-processor?

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Joke

      Re: what interface

      You need an old soundblaster card.

      Then you can plug the paddle[1] into the joystick interface port.....

      [1] If you don't get it, you're not old enough.

      1. Elmer Phud

        Re: what interface

        how many do you want?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You know you have a problem...

    ...when your garage is messier than mine after a Category 5 cyclone/flood combination.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: You know you have a problem...

      Pile it all in the canoe, just in case of flood.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Re: You know you have a problem...

        Pile it all in the canoe, just in case of flood.

        I see where you're coming from but I'm not sure that would work for me. The two largest items in my main garage are two 20' ISO shipping containers so I'd need one hell of a canoe. The other garage isn't quite so excessive.

    2. Prof Denzil Dexter

      Re: You know you have a problem...

      would any of my category 5 ethernet help to fix it?

  12. frank ly

    Nicola's Dad ...

    ... exists in the same 'plane of reality' that my Dad did. His garden shed was so full of 'useful stuff' that it was dangerous to go in there and he had to get a second shed to keep his gardening tools in. I wish I'd taken a picture when I had the chance.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Re: Nicola's Dad ...

      Arthur 'Two-Sheds' Jackson?

      I've got almost three sheds - two are fine but the oldest is now an art installation entitled 'entropy'

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "if you don't resist the almost overwhelming urge to accumulate junk."

    Only the feeble minded get overwhelming urges to accumulate junk.

    Clean house/clean mind.

    1. Pete B

      @Obviously!

      If a clean house is a sign of a clean mine, what is an empty house a sign of?

      1. TRT Silver badge

        what is an empty house a sign of?

        Burglars.

        Or an impending divorce. Mine even took the garden shed whilst I was at work.

        1. Pete B
          Joke

          Re: what is an empty house a sign of?

          "Or an impending divorce. Mine even took the garden shed whilst I was at work."

          That was the first hint you got?

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: what is an empty house a sign of?

            No. The shed was in the back garden. First clue was when I went to put my key in at the front door and noticed the door knocker was missing.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Obviously!

        re "If a clean house is a sign of a clean mine, what is an empty house a sign of?"

        I can think of :-

        1) repossession

        2) moving out

        3) psychiatric wife

        (the thought of MY psychiatric wife has just stopped me in my tracks of thinking of anything more on this subject)

        1. TRT Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: @Obviously!

          (the thought of MY psychiatric wife has just stopped me in my tracks of thinking of anything more on this subject)

          You'll get over her. I did. ;-)

          I was sad that one and half pairs of high quality knockers disappeared that day, but I like to think of it as an acrimonious separation, after all, she left the hinges.

      3. TeeCee Gold badge
        Headmaster

        Re: @Obviously!

        If a clean house is a sign of a clean mine, what is an empty house a sign of?

        Miners with OCD?

  14. David Knapman

    Gaius Hammond, who noted: "Unfortunately my camera lens isn't wide enough to include the other half."

    What does Gaius's missus have to do with this?

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Well, if she's anything like my missus...

      she's why the car moves gradually backwards until the garage door won't shut...

      "Can I throw this away?"

      "No."

      "Ok."

      <tempus fugit>

      "Where's the thingie?"

      "In the back of the garage..."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Gaius's missus

      Downvoted because I managed to avoid posting that.

  15. Allan George Dyer
    Pint

    I don't have an overwhelming urge to accumulate junk...

    It accumulates quite effortlessly.

    Anyone need a drawer-full of mice, trackballs and other pointing devices? Almost all nearly working?

    What I don't understand is where all the power strips go. I've bought enough to circle the globe, but can never find one when I need it.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Re: I don't have an overwhelming urge to accumulate junk... power strips

      They are in my shed - somewhere

    2. TheRealRoland
      Thumb Up

      Re: I don't have an overwhelming urge to accumulate junk...

      Maybe in the same place where that other sock ends up?

  16. jake Silver badge

    One of these days ...

    ... I'll out myself, and submit an article to ElReg about my 28x60 foot machineroom/museum/mausoleum/morgue. Old kit that still works, and does exactly what it was designed to do, is still actually useful! For a couple examples, see:

    http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/370244

    --and---

    http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/373033

    Those boxen are still doing their jobs, four years later. And they were ancient then. Constantly upgrading is throwing money away, no matter how you look at it ...

  17. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Gaius's room looks quite well organized

    The storeroom in our lab looks works than that, and we'll not talk about the sysadmin's office...

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Gaius's room looks quite well organized

      s/works/worse/

      Doesn't this bronze badge come with a "show what I meant, not what I typed" function yet?

  18. nematoad Silver badge

    But it's like selling your children

    I do remember selling a computer once.

    An Amstrad 6128.

    Other than that I still have all the computers I have bought or built starting from a Sinclair Spectrum from 1984.

    As I live on my own there is no-one to nag me about clearing them out and as I haven't moved house in over 30 years that spur to disposal is missing as well.

    I do actually use some of the older stuff from time to time. Getting some software to run is a lot easier when everything is of the same vintage i.e. getting stuff from the 1990s going is easier on an AMD K6 with a 3dfx Voodoo 2 card and so on.

    So keep hold of that stash, it MAY well come in handy one day.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wanted to participate

    but everything I have is essential. I could not bear to part with my 8 inch floppy disks with CP/M and MS Fortran, my RCA vacuum tube manual, my original copy of "The C Programming Language" by K&R (the one without function prototypes), my complete collection of first year university lecture notes or the wall I made out of BYTE magazines.

  20. Colin Miller

    retro-computing

    Gaius's 4 Beebs and A1200 might fetch a bob or two on the retro-computing market.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: retro-computing

      Company I work for had a Beeb to flog. Now, despite being born in 1985, I saw what looked like a SCSI cable hanging out of it and thought "Domesday Project". I was right, and said Beeb went for over £200.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wishing Shed

    I have a shed just like that garage, occasionally I need something and think "I've got one of those in the shed".

    I open the door, take one look and wish I could find (or even get to if it is visible at the back) what it is I'm looking for.

    Then I close the door and find something else to do.

    I must get another shed and this one I promise I will keep tidy :)

  22. Petr0lhead

    The problem with garages..

    Is what to do with them when they're full.

    I have a single garage (and 2 garden sheds) filled with several Volkswagens, in component form, in cardboard boxes - tenuous IT angle, but there is a custom ECU in there somewhere that I built. After several wet summers and less than effective damp-proofing, the boxes are reverting to pulp, and their contents slowly re-arranging themselves.

    To combat this I 'acquired' about 60metres of freestanding shelving which, in it's disassembled form filled the remaining free space in the garage. I now have no space to assemble the shelves.

    1. Tank boy
      Pint

      Re: The problem with garages..

      You're not too bad yet. My stepfather has 2 MG's in various states of disrepair in his garage, and... An airplane. Not to mention a trailer in the backyard (used to haul the airplane) that is packed full of things that HE CAN'T PART WITH, and the kicker: he built a basement to hold all of his model train (and other) stuff.

      Bought the house next door, demolished it, and built an extension with a basement that could house a bowling alley. And the basement is nearly full. That's my yardstick for hoarding. Oh, and there's a museum of ramshackle computer equipment around the compound.

      So if you need a dot matrix printer... He has 2. And reams of paper.

    2. Crisp

      Re: What to do with them when they're full

      Move house?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The problem with garages..

      Petr0lhead

      The problem with garages..

      Is what to do with them when they're full.

      Oh bro, your not thinking big enough. It's simple, Forget the Garage, go to the lumber yard, buy 2 * 6's and 4 * 12 Flooring sheets J79's? I forget the term, I know it when I see it, a compressed product used for roofing. Then don't forget the metal joist holders, tape measure, hammer, nails, skilsaw, maybe some big SPIKE NAILS 12 " and some bolts (for structure) Now get up in the rafters, measure 16" - 24" on center, and get busy, inspect first-don't nail a 12" nail through a wiring bundle!! Oh yeah you need a ladder Sorry add it to the list. Maybe add beer and pizza to the list too for rounding the whole thing out. It will COST LESS than storage.

      Alternatively, if you have someone who's a military dorm clean freak, add some carpet and a few electrical outlets (mains) , a flatscreen, a futon style mattress (forget frames, box springs, and headboards), and they can live up there.

      Or they can live up there and you slowly add more dusty plastic stuff until they logically must leave.

      If you can't do the house, expand the ROOF or Rafters of the garage. If you got big money, cut the roof off and build a second floor. Look up and find where the space is. Always stack things straight and level and to the roof, they use less space that way. I know a guy ran a CB shop out of a bedroom, from floor to ceiling wall after wall of CB radios, one table in the middle of the room.

    4. Corinne

      Re: The problem with garages..

      I would quite like to stuff my garage full of "might be useful one day" bits & pieces. Unfortunately my garage is already full of my mate's kit car.

      He has a lovely double garage of his own, stuffed with 2 more kit cars & large numbers of assorted parts. He also has 2 more in his garden, plus one on his driveway - the only one that actually runs, so I am storing the overflow. My garage is quire large, which is good because another mate moved away & I have a load of HER stuff filling in the gaps round the car; anyone want an old 32 inch CRT TV?

      At my last house I had 2 of the things in my single garage; as those were 2 seater sporty things so low slung, he rigged up a giant stand so they were sort of double decked.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's stressful to keep that much junk

    I had a garage as bad as that, and it was a constant background worry knowing that l'd have to deal with it some day (or my loved ones if I'd perished first). It took several weekends of trips to the local tip before I finally ended up with a single row of boxes at the back of a now useful space. Mainly Christmas decos and some childhood stuff to hang onto for the pleasure of nostalgia, and stuff that really is useful once in a while but not often enough to be worth bringing into the house.

    I finally realised that the stuff that 'might be useful one day' hadn't been used for years, and is the kind of stuff that can be bought for peanuts in a poundland. And the stuff that 'might be worth something one day' really won't be. Take a look on eBay for what it's really worth.

    It's worth far more to have the space and tidyness, and knowing that if you ever need to move house, it won't be anywhere near as stressful as it would have been. And I'd hate to leave that mess behind for my beloveds to deal with, if I get run over by a bus, virus, mutation, or vein blockage.

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: It's stressful to keep that much junk

      i admire your courage, i agree with the sentiment but don't have it in my to follow your example.

      I believe its the buddhists that say that possessions weigh down the soul.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just take photos

    Take some pics of the junk you can't bear to part with, because most of the pleasure you get from it is just seeing it and having it remind you of bygone days. These days a 'photo' costs nothing but a MegaByte or two of diskspace, so it's almost free. You don't really need the physical item in your hand half the time. You can still tell the grandchildren "this is what gramps used to use when I was your age" by showing them the photo - as if they'd really care :)

  25. Winkypop Silver badge
    Windows

    I have a no junk policy

    well. maybe a bit of old hardware, oh and some redundant software, and then there's those iOmega zip disks.....

  26. Pookietoo
    WTF?

    I was expecting someone would have a selection of 1980's minicomputers

    so didn't bother to submit my collection of 1990-onward PC junk. It would make a good pile, if it wasn't scattered all over the house. I think perhaps this weekend's mission should be to sort out just what there is that might still get used, which probably shouldn't include things like ISDN modems and SparQ drives. eBay? Or maybe I should just build a shed.

  27. gerryg
    Gimp

    Another El Reg opportunity - a clearing house

    I'm sure we've all got piles of shit that in the right circumstances could be useful to someone else for the price of collection or postage.

    I've got a pile of AGP graphics cards, a couple of PCI-E, a box full of old memory 128K to 1G, several sound cards plus a load of other stuff.

    In my minds-eye there's a school somewhere that could upgrade their old computers, more memory, better graphics, sound. Then there's all those leads, ethernet cables...

    Of course it might just be better to grow up and throw it away.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Just admit it Reg...

    You guys are just jealous that you don't have a huge collection of old awesomeness to boast with ;-)

  29. 404
    Facepalm

    It's all fun and games until....

    ...you find yourself in a position with a two year old Dell Precision tower, running Windows 7 64bit, and the on-board video gets zapped due to an electrical storm from hell that blew up the solar panels on the roof, killed a router, UPS, and printer. Just buy another PCI-e video card and move on right? Oh Noooes! Dell neglected to solder in the PCI-e slot, you can see where it *should* have been, but Dell saved 10 cents. Two PCI slots only.

    Do you realize how difficult it is to find a PCI video card that works with Win7Pro? I finally found an old Trident in a box I haven't looked in ages at.

    Moral of the story is that sometimes it's not a bad thing to keep your parts around.

    ;)

    1. Aldous

      Re: It's all fun and games until....

      if thats not a sign from above about buying a Dell then i don't know what is....

      Just junked a load of old pc's and associated kit felt weird but then reliased that even the oldest of my (3-5 year old) laptops would out power it so why keep them "just in case". same with old CRT tv's if our (only) tv went i could easily survive on the other digital kit so why am i hanging on to those two hulking monsters

      1. 404

        Re: It's all fun and games until....

        Sometimes the client knows best, no matter how many times he bashes his head into the wall with Dell Support. Maybe he likes the sound, I don't know. I just get paid to correct the shortcomings.

        Sigh....

  30. Crisp
    Terminator

    This is just a Rise of the Machines waiting to happen

    These hordes are like stockpiles of raw terminator materials.

  31. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

    clean house, boring life more like

    after spending most of the day in corporate IT, I've got better things to do than spend all my time tidying

  32. heyrick Silver badge

    No pictures, but...

    My stash includes two Electrons I've never used (got a Beeb), an 8" drive that nothing interfaces to, an Apple-branded Miniscribe 20MiB SCSI harddisc that is the slowest thing ever built. Somewhere I have a Umatic tape that I have no idea what to play it on or what's on it (maybe a lost episode of Dr Who?). BBC micro printer cables? Got plenty. There's a big box full of "obsolete stuff" in the corner of the room, with other things scattered around - like a Beeb with half its ICs missing. I can't get rid of the board because the day I do will be the day the 74LS1234 blows up in the main Beeb and this part just won't exist any longer. Or some obscure PAL or ULA will need to be unsoldered and transferred across, so it is useful (even though I've not powered up the actual Beeb in years because it's so much simpler to run an emulator...).

    All of this, and can I find a USB lead with the right sort of connection when I need to? Can I heck... <sigh>

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clearly a fellow old-school electronic musician

    You can never have too many old Atari STs. You know, just incase.

    It may have been a decade since I last felt the need to turn one on and create a vast spider web of midi cables, but one of these days....

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    auction!

    I see some good stuff there, BBC Micro, a new-case C64, is that a MicroVitec monitor I spy?

    All highly collectable and selling on auction sites quite well.

  35. Lord Elpuss Silver badge
    Joke

    You know you have a problem when...

    For me the tipping point was reached when I started looking at my stuff and thinking "Even if I'm never going to use that keyboard/power supply/battery pack/STB/monitor ever again, I might be able to disassemble it and use the bits". Equally, "It's broken beyond repair, but I could probably fish a working capacitor out of it. And that backplane support bracket looks useful".

    That's when I knew it'd gone too far.

    1. Gavin King

      Re: You know you have a problem when...

      That's not too far at all: it sounds about right to me!

      i mean, capacitors are expensive things, and sometimes you need a piece of metal of just the size of a backplane support.

  36. Alan Edwards

    I resemble that remark...

    In the last two house moves I've taken van loads of collected crap to the tip. Including random power supplies that I had no idea what they powered, an ISDN router - I've never had an ISDN line, at least 6 dead or semi-dead PCs, and ancient graphics and other cards.

    I'm down to one crate of random junk now, but I do have a box full of old mobile phones. I keep telling myself they are classics and will be worth money one day...

    I have only needed one thing (can't remember what it was now) that I kept "just in case" for years and binned, and I could now do with the KVM switch I threw out. I am finally using the media centre remote control I bought on a whim about 5 years go though.

  37. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

    I can give up any time I want..

    Actually things aren't too bad. I'm considering chucking the 5.25 inch drives and stopped buying anything that's old, slow, noisy and power hungry. I was tempted by some Sun Blade systems, but unless you buy a PGX card their graphics card isn't supported by anything useful including later versions of Solaris! The old sparcstation is up in the loft and the O2 boxes might join them if I can't find a way to quiten them down..

    emulation is also great, and stops me buying original kit when the performance is good enough

    1. Anonymous C0ward

      Re: I can give up any time I want..

      You think your O2 is loud? I own an Octane.

  38. Simon Round
    Unhappy

    Must not throw old computer kit away...

    ... at least that's what I keep telling myself.

    I occasionally have to have a clear out and get rid of the old kit that hasn't been used in years. Either that or the wife get's all upperty.

    Trouble is I have been given an Amstrad PC 1512 with a shed loads of 5.25" Public Domain discs. I decided to archive the lot of them to zip files to preserve the software. I can't interface the Amstrad to the network (it would probably be more trouble doing than it's worth) and I can't find my stash of 1.2mb 5.25" floppy drives. I kept a computer to hook them upto that could connect to the network but after turning the house, loft and garage upside down I can only guess that they went in one of the periodic clearouts. Damn!

    It's getting harder and harder to preserve old data these days as storage systems become defunct. This is what I keep explaining to the missus.

    So if anybody out there has any old 1.2mb 5.25" floppy drives that they can bare to part with then let me know...

    1. spodula

      Re: Must not throw old computer kit away...

      if you can find one that old, you may be able to connect an old 3.5" Fdd, (the 720K ones, NOT the 1.44Mb ones as the interface changed slightly)

      Alternatively, you may want to try a null modem cable to another PC (Although serial ports are starting to become an extinct species) (I remember laplink years ago, do they still make that?)

      I seem to remember i managed to get Minix on to a 1640 not too many years ago, Cant remember how i did it though. I suspect i may have put the hard drive card into a 486 that was obsolete enough to still have 16 bit slots and with a bios still able to understand 8 bit hard drive controllers.

      1. Simon Round
        Pint

        Re: Must not throw old computer kit away...

        Now there's a thought. I still have a laplink cable and the softwarre should be easy to find if I dont have it. I could rig up an old laptop that I have and copy the data over that way. It would just be a bit slower than I would like and thereare about 300-400 discs to go thorugh.

        I'll still keep my eyes open for an old 1.2mb floppy drive. May take a trip down the tip and talk to the guys who run it to see if I can have any drive I find in the electronics/electrical bins.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Must not throw old computer kit away...

      "So if anybody out there has any old 1.2mb 5.25" floppy drives that they can bare to part with then let me know..."

      Hmm - think I have a spare one ...but will a modern PC bios recognise a 5.25 floppy?

      1. Simon Round
        Thumb Up

        Re: Must not throw old computer kit away...

        I have kept an older PC that has a bios that can use the old 1.2mb drives.

    3. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

      Re: Must not throw old computer kit away...

      I do have one here - Chinon FZ-506 Rev A.. Will have to see if it still works. Realistically I'll never use it again - I have lots of 3.5" disks but practically no 5.25". I also have one of these lovely pieces of kit : http://www.lotharek.pl/product.php?pid=42 - never have a floppy fail again..

      I suppose I should think of junking the 486DX2-66 with 20MB RAM too. It made a decent uTorrent box with NT4 and large IDE drivers, but the check time when transfers went wrong were excruciatingly long..

      1. Simon Round
        Thumb Up

        Re: Must not throw old computer kit away...

        @BinkyTheMagicPaperclip - If the drive does work then let me know on 'thedysk at gmail dot com'

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A spreading european problem perhaps?

    In San Francisco they are just signed off to start building 20' * 20' (5 meters) "sustainable" (puke/vomit) homes, I see the problem is you don't build big enough homes to hold your property. If all you want is an empty home with flower vase and shaving bowl on the dresser, and a netbook stuffed behind the toilet.

    There's nothing wrong with hording this stuff. I have boxes and boxes of MFM, and other vertical rack server sheet after sheet of golden memory chips. I'm not recycling, I'm SELLING them. Especially with the monetary systems so corrupt, you may be LIVING on that stuff, or bartering, soon enough. And look the first picture has a canoe, I have a RAFT! I live in a flood zone, coincidence? There's nothing abnormal here for an inventor, hacker, electronics tech. Sure those keyboards are big but hey you might need an i8048 one day! whip out the propane torch tap tap on the floor and boom instant steaming hot electronics parts delivery.

    (note to the young: If your doing more than one board, be sure to ventilate the lead solder and green circuit board to black charred remains smoke, I don't care about safety glasses and hot solder, you need to get some in your eye at least once)

  40. jwerner
    Unhappy

    Somewhere in there..

    Somewhere in the collection of PC parts and bits from the years, including 1MB simms, I know there is a VGA cable just like the one I just had to buy. If only I could find it...

  41. david 12

    "Give yourself permission to throw things away"

    "Kind and resourceful people see potential value in every cracked and crazy thing.

    "Throwing it out may be a waste, but if you can't find and use things in the mess, they are already lost to you.

    "On top of that is buildings and space you cannot use, clarity and beauty lost, wasted.

    "Its already wasted. You are only gaining by letting it go.

    [Cecilia Macaulay, "How to create beauty - lessons from a Japanese Farmhouse makeover"]

  42. Jez Burns
    Unhappy

    Cable hell

    Each time I dispose of an old SCSI or Parallel cable, another two spring into existence to take its place. I've just given up now and made them a home.

    1. MrT

      That's what happens...

      ...when you try to use magic to make the cables tidy themselves up. You are the apprentice, the sorcerer is the Unix guru in the basement office (no windows of any sort, obviously).

      Mind you, whilst the cables magically replicate, SCSI termination blocks disappear into dust without any help whatsoever.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Same problem here with flat panels

    Specifically, keeping them "just in case" the panels can one day be used for something, the lack of a working inverter/controller board being a major headache and most of the time they have serious damage/bad lines/etc.

    Make a video wall with them and Raspberry Pi Model A's maybe?

    Same with old power supply boards, most of the time the optos can be reused but the capacitors are usually worthless and wound components aren't worth much these days unless you are making voltage converters.

    The only exception was the >50 ferrite toroids rescued from a box of wiring which along with the 34063 based phone charger carcass pile are being repurposed into power supplies for bicycle lights.

  44. John H Woods Silver badge

    Update of old joke...

    Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess and a handsome prince. The prince asked the princess for her hand in marriage, and she said no. So instead of wasting his time on a quest to change her mind, he spent the rest of his life riding motorcycles; dating girls half his age; drinking as much whisky as he liked; [accumulating all the technological junk that he liked]; and generally having a great time --- and he lived happily ever after.

  45. This post has been deleted by its author

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sisyphus

    Nuf sed

  47. Milo Tsukroff
    FAIL

    Can NOT throw it away, it's ILLEGAL to throw it away!

    I have a garage full of clutter, and half of it is old computer equipment which is clearly out of date, needs to be thrown away, and ... it's ILLEGAL to throw it away! It can only be disposed of at certain licensed locations, with pre-registration, a few times a year. Next date coming up is in June. Probably it'll be on a weekend like this past year, when I'm busy with another project and can't make it.

    So actually, here in the United States, this is a problem created by regulation.

  48. 2Fat2Bald

    Total bugbear of mine - keeping endless piles of crap. Ending up with 99percent of it totally useless, but robbing you of so much space. Is it really worth not having a backbedroom and having a living room that looks like the set of "steptoe and son" so that just ONCE in 20 years you might have that piece of kit you really need in a box somewhere... that you just can't find... so you go out and buy a new one. Then find the old one a week later... When you REALLY don't need it since you now have a newer one, but now you know where it is you keep it as a "spare".... Usually you waste so much time looking for the one you know you've got somewhere (and pray still works!) it would have been quicker just to go out and buy a new one that you KNOW still works!

    All that said. Yup. I do it, too.

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