What do you do with obsolete technology?

  • Posted In: Technology Market

  • Keymaster

    Just wonder what other people do to handle the sentimental-value-but-useless decisions. I am attacking my attic this summer, one box at a time.

    A lot of those boxes are little time capsules, some of them going back years, when some surface or room or other was cleaned off by dumping a bunch of stuff in a box “to sort later”. It’s kind of embarrassing how many years “later” became, but at least I’m doing it.

    So in the latest box, I found a couple items which I’m kind of stuck on: two iOmega Zip drives (one of which has a cartridge stuck in it), and a set of student French curves. Most likely nobody anywhere is going to want a Zip drive unless somebody’s running a museum of magnetic media.

    And yet it’s a little hard to part with, and I hate to just trash them if there’s somebody somewhere who actually wants one. As for the French curves, that’s a remnant of a time when you did plotting by hand on graph paper, which I’m not sure anybody ever does anymore. I certainly have no plans to. Yet again, maybe somebody would find them useful. When I googled “French curve” I got the impression that they still have uses here and there, in drawing patterns on cloth for instance.

    Then there are the obsolete technological books, like Peter Norton’s book that goes into the guts of PC-DOS and books on assembly language programming. I did some pretty cool stuff with those books, taking over the clock interrupt of a first generation IBM-PC and getting some pretty decent real-time signal-processing performance out of the thing. A skill set and application that is completely useless. Unless it’s not for somebody. I know if I donate these things to the thrift store or donate the books to the library book sale, they’ll go in the trash. Even relatively recent textbooks tend to end up in the trash. Maybe I should just put it all up on eBay and accept any bid. Anybody else deal with these issues?


    SOURCE: Physics Forum

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