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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Is there a Spring Cleaning for the mind?

    Since I'm now retired, I've resigned myself to accepting the reality that I'll never actually find a use for any of the 486 motherboards that have multiplied on my storage shelves over the years ... or the mountains of zip drives, AT power supplies, 10base2 coaxial network cards, 24K modems, memory modules in a dozen bygone form factors, and so on.

    It's taken me the better part of a month, but I've finally cleaned out three decades of stuff and hauled about 150 cubic feet of now-useless technology to the local e-waste depository.

    One thing I couldn't part with, though, was my first PC, a genuine IBM 5150, plus a box of spare parts for it. (Okay, I kept my Commodore 64, too, but that wasn't actually a PC-class computer.) That 5150 is a collector's item--and was the source for a lot of memories.

    I hauled the IBM out of storage, hooked everything up, turned on the power, and ...

    PARITY CHECK 1
    2040 201

    Drat.

    I grabbed a screwdriver, some extra chips from the spare parts box, and proceeded to troubleshoot. In 10 minutes I had it up and running again--and all without referring to any notes or reference books.

    For those of you too young to remember when memory consisted of discrete chips on the motherboard:


    Now, I don't know whether to be impressed I remembered how to do that, or alarmed at how much useless and obsolete knowledge my brain must be holding onto.

    Maybe there should be a way to do a Spring Cleaning of the mind.
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    Last edited by dg1261; 2016-05-16 at 03:42. Reason: corrected punctuation

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    I wonder what those of us who used PCs like that would have thought if we had been told that we would have PCs with many Gb of Ram, Tb of disk space, umpteen Mbits of internet downloads, large colour screens to show the full colour Gui - etc. etc.

    The problem with spring cleaning is that useful things can disappear at that time. I don't like throwing anything away because I'm sure I will need it after I have done so. But what I keep I never use... ho hum.
    Talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand

  3. #3
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I'm paying about $90 per month to store a bunch of old stuff which I will never use, with a little bit of useful stuff mixed in. I need to do what you did, in order to save that money!

    Most of it is not old junk computer parts -- I threw that out about two years ago. Among the junk parts was a never-used, still brand new in the box external 3-1/2" floppy drive which plugged into the parallel port. Even though I had a parallel port on my computer, it wouldn't work. It was one of those things which at some point became incompatible, and I didn't feel it was worth the time to figure out how to make it work.

    But I did keep a few 3-1/2 and 5-1/4 inch floppy drives. You never know when you might need them!

    Years ago I gave away my original IBM PC -- model B. 20 meg hard drive, 640 K of RAM -- along with my daisy wheel printer and Word Perfect 5.0 for DOS.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2016-05-16 at 08:42.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by access-mdb View Post
    I wonder what those of us who used PCs like that would have thought if we had been told that we would have PCs with many Gb of Ram, Tb of disk space, umpteen Mbits of internet downloads, large colour screens to show the full colour Gui - etc. etc.
    And that would just be your PHONE!
    ROTFLOL.gif
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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  5. #5
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by access-mdb View Post

    The problem with spring cleaning is that useful things can disappear at that time. I don't like throwing anything away because I'm sure I will need it after I have done so. But what I keep I never use... ho hum.
    I find throwing away an item of possible future utility ( often termed 'crap' by GF), is often a way to ensure I soon find a use for it. What I REALLY need is a big barn!

    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wavy View Post
    often termed 'crap' by GF
    Seems obvious to me what you need to get rid of!
    HeadBang.gif
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    Most of it is not old junk computer parts -- I threw that out about two years ago. Among the junk parts was a never-used, still brand new in the box external 3-1/2" floppy drive which plugged into the parallel port. Even though I had a parallel port on my computer, it wouldn't work. It was one of those things which at some point became incompatible, and I didn't feel it was worth the time to figure out how to make it work.

    But I did keep a few 3-1/2 and 5-1/4 inch floppy drives. You never know when you might need them!

    Years ago I gave away my original IBM PC -- model B. 20 meg hard drive, 640 K of RAM -- along with my daisy wheel printer and Word Perfect 5.0 for DOS.
    I was recently bestowed with an 80386-40MHz computer with 516MB HDD and 4MB RAM running MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows for Workgroups 3.11, does work although the CMOS battery is bad and it's one of the soldered-on barrel type, have to reset after having unplugged its power. It has both floppy drives. It's actually a year newer at 1993 than my first computer with the same CPU.

    I also have kept a Custom WinXP computer with a combination 5.25"/3.5" floppy drive and an Iomega 250MB Zip drive, can be handy when retrieving files clients sometimes need from the disks.

    The biggest problem with computers of the last several or multi years is lack of the BIOS having support for the floppy drives, if lucky will have for A: and B: but may have only A: or no selection/support at all.

  8. #8
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    All I do remember was having to use floppy Disks (well, they could have been 3.5" disks) to boot into DOS 2.1 (no hard-drive on that computer) at AUM (1986). lolol

    Oh yeah; remember the green screen too. Those were the days.

  9. #9
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    I know this all too well. My home is filled with old electronics, computers, and other things that I've fixed and kept on using over the years. I've got a 1979 RCA XL-100 19" TV that I'm still using as a second TV, a 1980 Pioneer Stereo receiver and Cassette Deck that both work great and I still use along with a Girrard record changer that dates back to 1968 when I built my first fully transistorized stereo amp from a Allied Radio Knight Kit (which by the way I still have and don't use, but can't part with). Still have my Atari 2600 and games that still works. The older stuff just lasts longer and is easier to fix provided you can get the parts. Computers go obsolete so much quicker.

  10. #10
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    Seems obvious to me what you need to get rid of!
    HeadBang.gif
    oooh oh good thing she does not read this forum or a few hundred miles would not save you
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

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