computer archaeology

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A few months ago, we split the boys out of their large, shared bedroom into smaller rooms of their own--that meant consolidating everything from our office/study and our guest bedroom/library into their former room. We took the easy path then, and simply piled everything in the larger room so that we could expedite the boys' moving process. This week I started tackling the boxes and piles and drawers of stuff that stand between us and a combined office/guest room.

My husband and I are both computer geeks, and have been since before we mett. We're celebrating our eleventh anniversary this week, and I think we've saved every disk, device, and cable that we've purchased in those eleven years.

I should have take some pictures as I cleaned yesterday--I'll try to get some today. There's an entire dresser drawer full of phones--most corded, a couple of cordless. There's a file drawer full of telephone cords and accessories. There are bags full of cable adapters--9-to-25-pin, 25-to-50pin, male-to-female, yada yada yada. There are parallel cables, SCSI cables, and serial cables. There are oldstyle AppleTalk network adapters. There's a staggering array of power adapters and cords. There's also another entire drawer of AV cables and accessories, which I left for Gerald to sort out.

And disks? You don't want to know. Cartons of not just 3.5" floppies (400K, 800K, and 1.44MB) but also of ancient 5.25" disks. Zip disks, Jaz disks, old internal hard disks. I got lost in nostalgia for a while, looking at the old floppy disks. Original system disks for my 1984 128K Mac (and MacPaint and MacWrite, as well). Early versions of classic software programs, from games (Zork, Hitchhiker's Guide, Wizardry) to utilities (Suitcase 1.0, DeBabelizer, and EndNote 2.0). Backup disks from consulting projects I worked on back in the early 1990s. Piles of font disks...I was a fontaholic for a long time. Clip art and stock photos (I'm going to try to recover some of that).

I've thrown away bags of clearly broken or unusable stuff, but I'm left with so much more that we need. It kills me to throw away cables that I spent $50 for years ago, or perfectly functional two-line telephones. So I'm going to call around and find out if there's anyplace that would like these as a donation.

Today I start on the books. Visual Quickstart books on Fireworks 2 and Flash 4, early versions of O'Reilly internet-related books, ASP 3.0 tutorials, and ColdFusion manuals (from back in the Allaire days). Oy.

Thursday morning we leave for a long weekend in New Orleans--we'll celebrate our eleventh anniversary with dinner at one of my favorite restaurants (Alex Patout's), and then attend the wedding of friends on Saturday. We're staying at Grenoble House, which looks quite lovely. Don't know how much blogging I'll be doing, but you never know...

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Poaching from scribblingwoman on June 3, 2004 1:55 PM

culture, poaching links... Hand knit superhero costumes that look like grandpa's longjohns, embroidery samplers featuring comic book vignettes, beaded... Read More


Were you in the 'burgh (as I currently am for the summer), I'd suggest that you donate the equipment to the largest Goodwill Computer Store in the world. The place is really quite impressive, and rather busy on most days. A lot of art projects and low-cost machines come out of that place.

I also remember there being an AskSlashdot article about computer donation centers, but /.'s search engine is so horrendous that I can't quite find it at the moment.

you can also try to freecycle some of the stuff--check out for a local group. best of luck with the cleaning (and congrats on your anniversary)!

Congratulations on the anniversary, the clearing out, and the soon-to-be uncluttered office.

I've been in the midst of an office re-do, and I can tell you, it feels WONDERFUL once things are sorted out.




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This page contains a single entry by Liz Lawley published on June 1, 2004 11:38 AM.

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