back to article Live, die, copy-paste, repeat: Everything is recycled now, including ideas

My house has gone missing. Where it used to be, there is just an absence, a nothing. I guess you could call it a gap in the housing market. Like yourself, I was intrigued after reading about FourKingsMap last week to see what four rude words might describe the location of my old front doorstep back in Blighty*. Unfortunately, …

  1. b0llchit Silver badge

    Under cover

    Your house has gone undercover and is enjoying the anonymity of that state.

    The same can be said for most of the old electronic gadgets. When the modern world advances, then the old world goes undercover. Quite literally, most of the time under the cover of sand and other stuff. You remember the local landfill of the time? While under the cover, all of the systems will attain an anonymous state until the archeological society, sponsored by the tech industry searching for new old ideas, will partially de-anonymize and brand it with a new wave of modern.

    So, it may take a generation or so, but your house will resurface. It will then be valued triple that what you got and you feel like a fool to have parted with it in the first place. All perfectly normal. Cheers!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Under cover

      Naah, it's simpler than that: Dabbsy used to live in a Trap Street. That's why it only appears on certain maps.

      1. Outski

        Re: Under cover

        his old address:


        23 Leinster Gardens


        W2 3AN

        **Note to Mods: this address is notable for a reason

        --->why not, it's Friday

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

          Re: Under cover

          Once stayed just up the road from there Henry 8th Hotel (Icon), there was also a very good Turkish restaurant (Also icon) we frequently made a habit of re-visiting on trade show trips (Also also icon).

      2. NoneSuch Silver badge

        Re: Under cover

        Hmmm, I saw this exact article on Reddit two years ago.

        (Yes, joke icon for the less imaginative)

    2. Chris G

      Re: Under cover

      Aside from the second house I ever lived in, all of the others have disappeared and the sites redeveloped. My personal belief is that the Langoliers are eating my past, that might explain why I have such a bad memory at times.

      The French chap murdering the Buggles song can't play the guitar in addition to his other lacks of talent. Couldn't decide if he was wearing a wig helmet or had a deal for industrial sized containers of hair spray.

      1. Sam not the Viking Silver badge

        Re: Under cover

        I can only think Alistair's old abode is either being prepared for a Blue Plaque or having one removed after that awful video.

        You can imagine the 'French chap murdering the Biggles song' not wanting his home to be recognised. You might wonder if 'Ringo' and Alistair have ever been observed together in the same room? Deduce what you like.

        Temporary solution -> see icon

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Under cover

          French chap murdering the Biggles song

          The Biggles song? Wasn't that "Tally Ho Ginger I've got the Hun in my sights"?

      2. Falmari Silver badge

        Re: Under cover

        @Chris G "The French chap murdering the Buggles song can't play the guitar"

        Perhaps he did air guitar because he found it too difficult to air base a 5 string base. ;)

  2. Dave Pickles

    Better to light a single candle than curse the darkness

    I'm sure OpenStreetMap and their users would be delighted if your were to add your former house to the map, after having so thoroughly assured yourself of it's continued existence. Actually most buildings on OSM are traced (legally) from Bing, so maybe it's a dastardly plot by Microsoft to remove you from history.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Better to light a single candle than curse the darkness

      "... so maybe it's a dastardly plot by Microsoft to remove you from history."

      Can someone with an Apple device check on this address...

      315 Montgomery Street

      San Francisco

      CA 94104


      1. Agamemnon

        Re: Better to light a single candle than curse the darkness

        Why does this address sound familiar?

        Oh! It's my old BofA. If stop there on the way to O'Reilly's pub on (Beach Blanket Blvd) Green St.

        (I'd get cash on the way to the pub because the two times I threw down my credit card ended either really well or really poorly, depending on one's point of view.)

        It's still there. I promise.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

          Re: Better to light a single candle than curse the darkness

          As you approach the building, look up to the 9th and 10th floors - you may spot some roosting Vultures. Else, continue on to O'Reilly's - probably their second roost. --->

  3. Flightmode


    >It's not like it can't rewind or goes too far.

    >I put the blame on DVR.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How to get rid of old stuff...

    Sneak out in the dead of night when everyone else is still asleep & leave it on their doorstep. Don't leave a note, don't ring the bell, just leave it on the step & run away. There, you've just gotten rid of old stuff...

    It even works for grampa computers! *Cough*

    1. Warm Braw

      Re: How to get rid of old stuff...

      Sneak out in the dead of night... & leave it on their doorstep

      Can't do that if their house has gone missing. Have the new owners of the former Dabbs abode perhaps heard of your methods?

  5. Dr. G. Freeman

    Know, how you feel, went back to the ancestral hometown last weekend for a look around, and introduce the youngling to family there.

    The house I was born in, knocked down so they could widen the road to the 14th century abbey.

    The one I grew up in (after moving) is now the site of said Abbey's car park.

    Luckily, the house my parents had when I was at high school (third council house) is still there, so as my brother said "At least there's somewhere to put [my brother's] blue plaque".

    That many changes to the old place, including renaming of school, you'd think I never lived there.

    1. Stoneshop

      Previous housing

      The house I was born in, knocked down so they could widen the road to the 14th century abbey.

      Every house I lived in prior to 2005 still stands, just the school I attended at age 7-8 is gone (and good riddance). It's just that three of them are rather out of the way (although I currently happen to be quite near one house/school set)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Previous housing

        Old housing with big garden originally I suggest with the idea that people would grow their own food.

        Now there are more people and less having time for food production so buy an old house knock it down and build at least 2 on the old plot.

        Hardly surprising that the resulting removal of drainage is causing increased flooding but still people do not see.

        For my part I see the continuing housing bubble/ uncontrolled immigration for sale and the hidden GBP inflation as being yet more evidence that the UK population are stupidly short sighted and naive.

        Add COVID hysteria and the move out of cities and then stand aghast at the claims that the outcome was unexpected.

        No, not unexpected just ignored in the rush to cash in when the fact is it is all just as destructive and ruining for the UK as the ponzi scams were in eastern Europe. When the bubble finally bursts then another surprise, those that actually profited from this scam are all found not to be living in the UK anymore and hence go unpunished.

        Who'd a thunkit

        1. veti Silver badge

          Re: Previous housing

          Two? Bah. Around here, the developers feel cheated if they can't put at least four new houses on an old lot.

          In I'm sure unrelated news, both the water and power companies are whining about the need to upgrade their infrastructure, which is apparently why they still can't give me an actual read every month even after changing the meter.

    2. druck Silver badge

      Everywhere I lived as a student in London has now been demolished and redeveloped, which saddened me greatly. Except, ironically, a place just off Gray's Inn Road, which they told me I could only have for a term as it was due to be knocked down, if it didn't fall down first - still there 31 years later according to google earth.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Any office move which is officially termed "temporary" will last much, much longer than anticipated. Especially if it is a wooden hut in the main building's car park.

        1. lglethal Silver badge

          At an old site I used to work at, they had a large number of container offices installed for a "temporary" project. Container City, as it became known, outlasted a number of the main buildings on site.

  6. Dr_N

    Ditching Kit In France

    I've said it before: The déchetterie or the "recycle" collection boxes at supermarkets and other stores. We paid the éco-taxe. (And Taxe d'habitation.) It's someone else's problem now.

    So long as they aren't burning it round here it's fine and dandy.

  7. picturethis

    Another title might be "Tech hoardings"

    "I never disposed of anything ever since"

    - I was chuckling to myself before I read the following line: "Oh, yes, I've had all the beardies chuckling"


    Re: "512 kilobyte Compact Flash cards" - I have a bunch of 512MB CF cards because I use them in an older (very expensive Canon 1DsMII) camera that doesn't recognize cards > 2GB. At 16MB imager - the camera is still in service and takes awesome images. I just used it last month to take pictures of my niece's junior prom.

    Re: Old 80GB (40-120GB) SATA SSD drives - I have just recently started using this pile to add SSD USB 3.0 boot drives to my Pi 4b's. They make a great pair - performance is 10x over any SD card I've tried.

    I just inventoried my "card" drawer and the smallest CF card I could find is 4MB and the smallest SD card I found is 16MB along with numerous CF->PCMCIA adapters - remember those? Cards aren't worth much (now-a-days), but they're small and don't take up much room, so I keep them...

    1. TomPhan

      Re: Another title might be "Tech hoardings"

      Somewhere I've got a 2mb card, used to expand the memory of my digital camera in 1997.

  8. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

    "Mobile" home?

    My first residence was in a "mobile" home, made in Minneapolis and towed out to a patch of former farmland (as opposed to the usual "trailer park") that my parents bought directly from the farmer -- no banks involved.

    It has not been moved in 50 years (I don't know the exact date, but this is the year).

    I think its "mobile" status should be officially revoked as a misnomer, but "manufactured home" is usually reserved for newer affairs of higher quality than this, so I don't know what to call it anymore.

    (Also, Dabbsy's footnote that Blighty = UK -- anyone reading El Reg should be right quick to pick that up; he shouldn't have to explain it. It seemed so natural to me I that ignored the asterisk until I saw it at the end.)

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Re: "Mobile" home?

      They're called "static caravans" on this side of the water.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Mobile" home?

        Water would generally imply a lake.

        The wet stuff that separates the UK and the US is the pond.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Mobile" home?

        "They're called "static caravans" on this side of the water."

        A friend has one of those - or rather he has his second one. The site management enforces a Logan's Run age limit for such static caravans. When new they descend off a low-loader on their own wheels - which never rotate again. When the death knell sounds they have to be brutally dragged onto a low-loader for scrapping. To continue using your plot you must then buy a new one to the site's specifications.

        1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          Re: "Mobile" home?

          That sounds a bit naff.

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: "Mobile" home?

            That is the problem with static caravans, I would not touch one!

        2. MJI Silver badge

          Re: "Mobile" home?

          I also know someonewho got caught out by this

      3. MJI Silver badge

        Re: "Mobile" home?

        Caravans in UK

        Touring Caravans - usually found behind large cars with families going on holiday.

        Static Caravans - usually found in huge parks near the seaside, mix of rental and owned. Not designed for permanent use. Often aluminium sheet sided. Often shoddy and flimsy.

        Mobile Homes - permanent homes of high construction standards. Often timber built. *

        I grew up in a mobile home, much better made than a static caravan. At the time also by law better insulation standards than brick houses.

        I also owned a tourer.

        Like a bungalow with steps up to the porch.

        * Mobile as in artic from factory to park, then LR from artic to plot, leave for many many years then get scrapped or sold on.

  9. Aleph0

    "Madonna's bra cups" on his shoulders is a charitable way of putting it... All I can see is two poop emojis.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If they were brown they would be Walnut Whirls.

  10. Daedalus

    Open sourcery

    Dabbsy's note about the perils of open source referencing remind me of my dealings with a certain word-puzzle iGame. This game lets you look up the definitions of the (occasionally strange) words it thinks you should have found in the solution. Sometimes these definitions are simply weird, or garbled, and sometimes downright unhelpful.

    For instance, the frequently encountered word (FEW) "TEDS" (no lower case in this case) is simply defined as the plural of "TED". What is "TED", you may ask? Well it's never been a "solution" word so you can't look up its definition, though it does qualify for bonus points as "yes its a word but not one we're looking for". There's a lot of that. This iPuzzle is fond of Greek letter names, except when it isn't, and also dabbles in foreign currencies. It's oddly fond of names from Chemistry, too. Who would know of "ILMENITE"? Well, me, because I did a lot of Chem before realizing where the real money was.

    Anyway, the answer to the mystery within the enigma turns out to be --- Wiktionary! Yes, these iMerchants grabbed a copy of said collaboration, without attribution, and have been peddling its wares ever since. Boringly, "TED" is a contraction of "Teddy Boy" according to Wiktionary, and you can look that one up for yourself. All it took was plugging one of the odder "definitions" into Google.

    In the department of missing houses, I was born into one that appears on Street View as a magnificent warehouse facility, and the subsequent residence was visible as so much green grass before the street itself was expunged from existence. A later one of similar Victorian vintage has been saved by the time honored method of turning it into student flats. Pity about the crack house a few doors down....

    1. Daedalus

      Re: Open sourcery - synchronicity!

      As if to demonstrate the point, the iPuzzle just now came up with "ETHYLENE", and "ETHYL". However neither "ETHENE" nor "ETHYNE" was acceptable, except as bonus. Clearly the iWorld is still decades behind on IUPAC nomenclature. As expected, the definition matched the Wiktionary entry.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    my gps says that there is a 3 star hotel in the middle of this cornfield it has put me in. I asked the farmer with the shotgun if I'd gone to heaven, and he said no, I was in Iowa - but unless I moved my car and paid for the corn the gps said was the valet parking area, he'd help me on my way to the pearly gates.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "It's like every John Waters movie you ever saw rolled into three minutes. A masterpiece."

    What kind of drugs are you on, this time?

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      What kind of drugs are you on, this time?

      Mme D must have been baking cakes following the recipes of a well-known author on the genre...

  13. Terry 6 Silver badge


    HDDs from inside them make useful backup drives. Stick em in a spare bay or USB HDD enclosure.

  14. Jeffrey Nonken

    House I grew up in is still there. They added a second master bedroom, replaced the asbestos siding and repainted, various repairs done (including a new roof) and the street's been renumbered. Some ailing trees have been chopped down. But by and large it's not that different from when we left it, considering it's been over three decades.

    The town itself, however, has seen considerable growth. There are places I do not recognize. I weep.

  15. Gene Cash Silver badge

    I see your Syquest drive

    And raise you a Stringy Floppy for my TRS-80

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I see your Syquest drive

      Sinclair Microdrive!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Swap Shop

    Years before the internet, one way to recycle things (albeit in a very limited way) was to tune in to Swap Shop with Noel and the gang on a Saturday morning - may be, just may be there could be something you could swap with an other viewer, of the couple of dozen or so items listed during the show.

    I remember Trevor Horn was on the show around the time Video Killed The Radio Star was in the charts, and took part in the phone-in

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Swap Shop

      just remembered...


  17. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    That was brilliant

    "I must remember to post more messages to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit and TikTok to tell the sheeple how governments are tracking my personal life."

    Love it.

  18. Andytug

    Finally, someone else who liked the Game Gear!!

    Mine is in a box in the attic, with all the games, the big magnifier thingy for the front and the TV tuner (sadly defunct now due to TV going digital, but might work abroad somewhere maybe). Waiting for the day when it becomes a collectors item.......

    Great machine, even got Lemmings for it. Biggest drawback a rapacious appetite for batteries, 6 AAs at a time, 45 mins a set if you were lucky. Though it did introduce me to the idea of having a load of rechargeables and a charger that can do 8 of them at a time, still a boon for cameras and the Xbox controllers..........

  19. Dan 55 Silver badge

    A500 Mini

    Does it include the brick-sized modulator hanging off the back of the computer for the full experience?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "[...] the life journey of toilet paper is a one-way trip."

    Western intelligence took advantage of Eastern Bloc soldiers using pages out of (IIRC) military manuals in lieu of any official toilet paper.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      So, did the spies get the poop on Soviet movements?

  21. Celeste Reinard


    ... your map app hates you. Maybe you touched it in the wrong place? Say, anywhere in France? ... As a work around I suggest you go to Canada, where they also speak french, however still have the queen. ... Or, yet another thought, go look for it at your current location, and you'll find your house there.

    Was this answer useless? Y / N ...

  22. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Will this column be recycled?

    Ah, Ringo... old memories come to mind. His most famous moment was a small fist fight with an unexpected anarchist during a TV show. Another great moment of playback singing.

    Here's a great idea to save the planet: use toilet paper both sides.

  23. ForthIsNotDead
    Thumb Up


    Is my old childhood home. Makes me want to buy the house just for the awesome sweary location data.

    I'm just imagining getting pulled over by the cops:

    "Can you give me your address sir?"

    "shitastrophy facefuck wazzock nincompoop"

    "You're nicked."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: shitastrophy.facefuck.wazzock.nincompoop

      "You're nicked."

      About 50 years ago - a colleague in Scotland had a typically Scottish name. One night he was pulled over by the police for no apparent reason and asked his name. Which he duly gave. The next question was - where was he coming from and going to.

      At that point he became nervous - as the two Scottish towns' names happened to be the reverse combination of his name. IIRC one was "Hamilton" - can't remember the other one. Fortunately the police didn't think he was taking the proverbial out of them.

  24. Blackjack Silver badge

    [It's the only way I can explain the rise, fall, rise, fall and rise again of handheld gaming consoles]

    Nintendo never ever had a fall with them.

    Since the Game & Watch to the Switch and Switch Lite; they have been making a lot of money out of them. Sure sometimes their sales slowed but then something, be it Pokemon for the original Gameboy, a price drop for the 3DS, make them rise like the Phoenix and make a lot of money.

    In fact handheld gaming consoles is the one thing that Nintendo always good at and keeps giving them money.

    The losers are the companies not named Nintendo.

  25. John 62

    Guess Virgin Media's charge for keeping their TiVo box...

    I left Virgin and they wanted their kit back on threat of charging me extra: £40 for the router and £0 for the TiVo box (latest v6 version, too). Since they sent me a big bag and cardboard boxes and said a man would come to collect it all I thought I wouldn't bother keeping any of the stuff they sent me. I even gave them the HDMI cable back.

    The v6 TiVo was fairly fast, much more responsive than the ancient streaming-only Huawei TalkTalk YouView box we had before. I bought an Amazon FireTV Stick 2021 to replace the TiVo box and it is much faster again and I'm guessing much lower power consumption.

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