Last year we were asked to import some data to a SQL database for one of our local govenrment clients. They sent us the data on a CDRom - the sort that came as a caddy or cartridge, rather than a bare CD.
We had no hardware that was able to accept this media, and the client didn't either.
So we managed to find an old caddy drive on ebay - it was a SCSI interface, so we had to find a compatible SCSI interface card.
The only one we could find was a full length ISA card, and we hadn't got a machine anywhere with a full length ISA slot, so we had to buy an old server (I think it was a Dell PE400 or something) for it to fit into.
We could only find drivers for the SCSI card for Windows NT 3.51, so we had to dig out an old set of floppies (two sets, as it turned out, as some of the floppies were corrupt), and install the O/S.
We needed to be able to transfer the data off the machine, but we couldn't find a network card which would work with NT 3.51, until digging about in the scrap box we found an old 3Com 10Base-T card with both BNC and RJ45 connections.
Getting that to work on our gigabit LAN was umm... interesting... but we finally got everything talking - very slowly...
Then, we found the data on the CDROM was a backup from a Microsoft SQL 7 installation, which wasn't readable by any current version we owned...
We managed to find the install disks, and service packs, which would allow SQL Server to be installed on NT 3.51 (I think it was upped to SP 6 before we could do it), and finally, we were able to open the backup, export the data, and re-import it into our current database.
The whole thing took us two weeks of faffing about, just to read some data from roughly ten years ago.