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21st Century rag pickers

Huh. I should’ve known. You can go onto eBay and buy a flipping IBM AT if you have a mind to, so I can surely find a motherboard and CPU to match the six-year-old machine that died on me. Or match as near as dammit.

Yeah. I decided now is probably not the time to splash out on a specialist Photoshop rig.

It’s amazing how much old tech is out there for sale — some of it new in the original boxes! Mostly scavenged, though.

It’s a market that eBay has made huge, but there was always a grubby dumpster-diving ethos to personal computing. At least down at my end of the market.

When we were in London, there was a regular computer fair at Crystal Palace, with some very dodgy characters selling very dodgy gear. I loved that.

But I’ll never forget my very first computer fair. Must have been 1985 or so. The smell of several hundreds of geeks in a conference room was indescribable.

And there was a cluster of nuns waiting in line to go in.

I thought, “Nuns! Computing! That is so awesome!”

Anyhow. Excuse me. Somewhere out there, there’s an MSI MS-6788 with my name on it.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 7, 2010, 11:30 pm

I got my first big-screen monitor out of a dumpsters, circa 1987. It had been dropped from waist height and the case shattered. Somebody from the computer graphics company called and told me when it was going to be endumpstered. They actually had to throw it away for tax or insurance purposes or something, but it was okay if I fished it out.

It was a 21″ tube monitor — which was a HUGE and expensive piece of gear in those days — and it was the first peripheral I ever saw in a black case.

I epoxied that sucker back together and it worked fine, but the green gun was out of alignment. Until one day, a power surge came down the line and fixed it.

Oh, the hours of Doom I played on that thing…

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: September 8, 2010, 12:17 am

Have fun shopping!

Comment from Monotone (The Elderish)
Time: September 8, 2010, 10:27 am

computing nuns… in 1985…. lol.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: September 8, 2010, 2:36 pm

Jeez, I paid about £2000 in today’s money for my Mitsubishi Diamondtron 21″ monitor. But I was the first kid on the block that could do 1600x1200x32 bpp @ 75Hz. That thing weighed about 65 lbs, but it was gorgeous.

Comment from Ric Locke
Time: September 8, 2010, 8:22 pm

I have an MS8127C which you may have if you want it. It has a processor on board; don’t know what, as there are no numbers on the heat sink. Working? Quien sabe?

Getting it from Texas to Blighty is your problem, unfortunately. I’m too broke to be generous with stuff that involves cash outlay.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 8, 2010, 9:26 pm

Awwww…that’s sweet of you, Ric. It probably would be more than it’s worth, trying to get it through Her Majesty’s customs. But thanks for thinking of a weasel.

Comment from Mark
Time: September 9, 2010, 2:36 am

Think before ya turns him down, Stoaty. That thang might be worth sumthin’ as an antique!

Comment from Ric Locke
Time: September 9, 2010, 1:44 pm

It’s a genuine offer, if somewhat ironic. Delving through my place is a bit like electronic archaeology. Perhaps I should borrow a backhoe and bury it all, layered by date, for the benefit of future investigators: “Dammit, Zorg, here is definite proof that 68000-based systems with AC cooling fans preceded the Pentium II!” –or, perhaps, better to layer them inversely, just to support the competitive aspect of True Scientific Inquiry.


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