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On 10/25/2015 07:29 PM, Don Y wrote:

I had a huge obsolete computer collection and have never seen one of those!
Still have a few obsolete machines in my collection but gave away about half of them.

I usually get my stuff free when my friends upgrade.
Though I build new machines for my wife and friends, I've never had one myself... all build from oter's discards.
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On 10/26/2015 3:14 AM, philo wrote:

I was particularly fond of Telebit modems, back in the day, and probably owned every model they produced. Different signalling conventions -- sort of like Beta vs VHS -- but widely used on UN*X systems. Back when we used UUCP to deliver mail, etc. :>
The 8840 is good for leased line applications. It can also be "programmed" to autodial a number and negotiate a connection in the event the leased line fails.

I've kept: - a Compaq Portable 386 w/ expansion chassis (lunchbox, plasma screen) as my sole ISA machine (I have a coprocessor that requires an ISA bus) <http://www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c 65&st=1> - a Compaq Portable III as spare parts for the 386, esp the display and odd form factor 5" floppies <http://www.oldcomputers.net/compaqiii.html - a Sun Blade 2000 for Solaris/SPARC development (heavy beast! I think it is like 75 pounds!) <
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sun_Blade_2000.jpg
- and a Sun Voyager cuz its cute! <https://www.flickr.com/photos/peterl/6319660621/
For the most part, I only hang onto things that I need to support some old project, past client, etc.

Ditto. Or, "broken" but repairable with a little time and effort.
But, for (IDE) DVD writers, its easier to just grab a machine on its way to the "recycle" pile and pay for its "scrap" value. *Waiting* for an IDE DVD to "show up" might leave me with just SATA discards from friends who tend to be more "current" in their purchases!

I paid $8K/ea for a pair of 386/25's back in the mid 80's. Since then, most of my purchases have been for software, peripherals, diagnostic tools, test equipment, etc. The "computers" always seem to show up for free (or close to it!).
And, as this is what I do for a *living*, damn near all of them are "faster than I can think" so I'm not obsessed with having the latest/greatest, fastest, etc. 99.9999999% of the time, the machines are sitting waiting for me to decide which *key* to strike, next!
Rescued an HP TX1120us last night that I will either turn into a "respectable" portable DVD player *or*, perhaps, take advantage of the pen input and use it as an ebook reader. <http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834147414
Next, I'll tackle the 24" monitors.
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On 10/26/2015 01:06 PM, Don Y wrote: Xem.

Wow, now that is a keeper

Had a SPARC but gave it away
some of the machines aI have left though are the
Compaq "sewing machine"
A Kaypro
a Zenith Data Systems 286 that I put an ISA RAM expansion card just so I could say I have a 286 with 16 megs of RAM
an IBM PS/2
and some Apple SE's
so I still have a decent colletion

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On 10/26/2015 11:23 AM, philo wrote:

It's not particularly fast. And, I had to modify the BIOS ROMs to get it to accept a 600MB (that's *MB* not *GB*) hard disk. But, it gives me the ISA slots and "stores" a keyboard and display in the same box -- so, when I need it, I don't have to find an external keyboard, external display, etc.
I also have a carrying case for it. The case is expandable to account for configurations WITH and WITHOUT the expansion chassis hanging off the side!
Battery is perpetually dead, regardless of how often I repair it (it's a proprietary battery module soldered onto the main board so you can't just drop in new batteries!)

I have probably had every model SPARCstation, in the past. I was very fond of an LX (nice, small form factor, quiet, reasonably low power) that I'd upgraded to 128MB of RAM. It was a nice little HTTP/FTP server for many years (it was quiet enough that I could leave it running in my bedroom, 24/7, and not be disturbed by it)
By comparison, the SB2000 is more like a server in terms of noise level. The power supply itself is ~15# and the size of three or four widescreen laptops, stacked atop each other.

I had one, years ago. Very heavy. The Portable 386 is *almost* as heavy (esp with the expansion chassis) but much denser; marginally easier to lug around than the original "portable". But, you still "lean to one side" when carrying it!

My 386/25's had 13MB of RAM. And a 60MB disk! And, I was *enamored* with "all that memory"! How quickly times change! :<

I don't "collect" anything (stamps, baseball caps, computers, antiques, etc.) but, rather, stockpile things for which I have a current or future use. As these sorts of things take up lots of space, there's little room for "things that need to be dusted" (collections).
I've been methodically moving all of my paper records, books, etc. to electronic media in an attempt to "recover" the space that they consume (when I moved here, I had *80* "Xerox boxes" full of paperback novels; I've trimmed that to *two* boxes of "must keeps").
There are 10 computers in my little office but 6 of them "share" the 7 displays (each display has an A/B selector switch so I put one computer on the A input and another on the B input; push a button to toggle between computers instead of having to add displays or move cables). The other 4 machines are run headless and accessed via telnet or via X servers. Less hassle than trying to cram all of the functionality embodied in those 10 machines onto a fewer number of machines (and less hassle when time comes to update one of them and move all that software!)
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On 10/26/2015 02:13 PM, Don Y wrote: X that to *two* boxes of "must keeps").
<snipped but read>

I really did have to get a lot of the stuff out of the house.
I had it stashed in the basement and attic. As long as it was not in the house proper, my wife did not complain...but it was getting too cluttered even for me.
Also got rid of a few console radios...but still have plenty left.
One of the machines I had at one time in addition to the Zenith Data Systems 286 I had a Z.D.S 386 with a 150 meg MFM hard drive.
I bet it cost a fortune
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On 10/26/2015 3:42 PM, philo wrote:

We have no basement and no attic. And, storing things in the garage subjects them to pretty severe temperature extremes (e.g., most mechanisms "dry out" when stored there).
So, anything "stored" has to be stored *in* the house. This naturally suggests only "storing" things that you are actually *using*. :>

I've been moving to get rid of all the "electronics kit" around the house (DVD players, "stereos", speakers, doorbells, etc.) to further reduce "clutter". E.g., I have installed speakers in the ceiling, "up high" in the kitchen, back porch, etc. and deliver audio content to them via network connections -- which also supply power to the amplifiers in the speakers.
So, we can listen to music *or* the audio from the "TV/movie" that we are watching *or* an "annunciator" that informs us when someone is at the front door (i.e., "doorbell"). Without having "matte black" boxes with lots of cables lying around on "entertainment centers".

As I said, my 386/25's with 13M RAM and a 60M disk (and a *tiny* color monitor) cost me $8K/each. People take for granted how inexpensive things have become! Each of my workstations has 1T of disk and the slowest one is 3GHz dual processor.
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On Mon, 26 Oct 2015 18:37:53 -0700, Don Y

I've always had plenty of disk space. Put a 30mb hard drive in my original IBM PC soon after I bought it. Cost about $500, the price of a decent used car in '84. I had just started working on contract at McDonald's corporate in '95 and allocated about 500mb for some testing. Can't remember how many cylinders, but it wasn't excessive in my experience. They were probably still using 3380's. Soon Data Management phoned me and told me I needed pre-approval to allocate that much space. Okay. I was already done testing and had freed the space. Later I went for a smoke and was introduced to another smoker, who was the head of the data management department. He said "You the Vic that grabbed all my space?" I laughed and said I had 3 times that space on my hard drives at home. He said, "Bring 'em in here."
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On 10/26/2015 8:10 PM, Vic Smith wrote:

"Plenty" is a relative term! :> I have 1T in each of my machines and find that "just comfortable" for the work that I *do* on each of those. A big problem is software nowadays drags in lots of other cruft. E.g., when preparing a multimedia presentation, I may have 250GB of "sound library" online just to sort out what sort of "background music" should underly the presentation.

Early on, it was relatively easy for me to work-around disk space issues with "offline" storage. As most of the apps were running under DOS or UN*X, it was trivial to just move entire filesystems (or portions thereof) off to 9T tape when not in use; then, move them *back* when needed!
So, I would design a circuit and get the schematic finished. Save the schematic (netlist) and discard all of the tools that I used to create it (because they existed on a tape hanging in the closet!). Then, load the PCB layout software from the "PCB" tape so I could create the circuit board. Save that board, discarding the tools, and load the software development tools so I could write the software to *run* on that board. Etc.
At one point, I got a good price ($1006) on some 4G disks. So, I bought 10 of them, copied the appropriate tools onto individual disks and put 9 on the shelf. When I needed the tools on another disk, I just swapped the "current" disk with the appropriate "shelved" disk -- same as loading files from tape but without the effort of actually reading tapes! :>
Presently, I have taken that to its logical conclusion: set up individual *machines* for individual (types of) tasks. Then, just swivel my chair from Machine A to Machine B to Machine C, etc.
For older "system images", I have a VM server so I can "leave my chair in one place" and just swap VM's! :-/
The biggest problem is keeping things sorted out in my *head*! (I've learned to put printed labels on machines, disks, etc. so I can sort out what I will need without having to power something up just to see what it "has available"...)
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On Mon, 26 Oct 2015 11:06:37 -0700, Don Y

The company I started in the computer business with built and sold thousands of "lunchbox" clones, from XPs to 486's with both plasma and LCD screens

After 20 years using computers made from scavenged parts, or "trade-ins" I broke down and bought myself a new computer last year, as a treat.
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On 10/26/2015 4:28 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Usually, I can't move to the latest and greatest. E.g., I still need *real* serial and parallel ports for some of the more unusual peripherals that I have (space ball, Phaser solid ink printer, Summa B-size digitizing tablet, etc.) -- unless I decided to replace them *just* to move away from those interfaces. My Unisite (PROM programmer) boots from 3.5 inch floppies so I need to be able to make/read those. My SCSI peripherals (film scanner, B size scanner, MO drive, assorted tape transports, etc.) all rely on a SCSI HBA's to connect to the various machines -- these HBA are all PCI.
Video cards are a mess as it seems like every machine has a different "standard".
I treat my laptops as the closest thing to "generic" machines; they don't have any software that relies on particular hardware peripherals (except built in fingerprint readers or touch panels).
OTOH, there is very little "mainstream" software that I run (other than a browser) as my needs/uses tend to be far more "specialty"
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On Sunday, October 25, 2015 at 8:29:27 PM UTC-4, Don Y wrote:

While some old PCs might still retain "functionality", having 20 of them sitting around from a practical standpoint seems about the same as having an old modem. Both are for all practical purposes, all but useless. I can see maybe keeping one 7 year old PC, in case you suddenly decide you want some kind of experimental monitoring machine, etc. But since my first PC, I never put a single one back to use. When I was done with it, that was it.
With a DSL modem, if it's functioning and you no longer need it, first thing I'd do is see what they are selling for on Ebay.
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You don't even have to go used. You can get a new DOCSIS 3 modem for about that price. My observation is that cable modems last a long time. My TWC-supplied Motorola lasted for more than ten years, until they started charging rent and I bought my own.
ISPs do indeed recover their costs in less than a year of modem rental fees. After that, the modem generates pure gravy for them until a system technology upgrade or something else other than hardware failure forces a replacement.
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