23 April 2010


Geek office cleanout redux

Almost five years ago, I cleaned out a bunch of old electronics and cardboard from my office/studio downstairs. Yesterday, Earth Day, I got started on it again, this time shipping out four old CRT monitors, two printers, two desktop Macs, an old PowerBook, a couple of keyboards, a scanner, an external CD-ROM drive, a broken camcorder, and a whole mess of wires:

Goodbye, 20th century tech

I had an incentive to do it today because, on her way to work, my wife Air noticed a one-day Earth Day electronics recycling event at Killarney Secondary School, which is where I took the heap. It was gone in less than five minutes.

My happiest discard was a drawer full of particularly beige SCSI cables, adapters, and terminators. If you've grown up connecting things to computers with USB or FireWire or Ethernet cables, or using Wi-Fi, be thankful you didn't have to deal with SCSI and its predecessors, which often required flipping tiny switches, swapping cables around, adding thick cable terminators to devices in apparently random combinations, and fiddling with software—and still often didn't work right. Good riddance, SCSI cables:

A fistful of SCSI

I felt like Perseus with the head of Medusa there. And yes, I reformatted my hard disks before donating them.

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Wow, look at those adapters. That's awesome!!
Vunn, Two, Tree, Four, Five! Five SCSI Terminators! Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah!
I never did understand why some of them were single-ended (i.e. actually terminators that ended something) and why some of them were pass-through (not really terminal). Glad I never had to figure it out for real.