|Here be geeks.|
Through the 1990s the warehouse, unfortunately, succumbed to homogenization. Gradually desktop computing took over from custom hardware and what was once a bizarre assortment of obscure telecom gear morphed into just another bunch of superannuated desktops.
I'm incredibly lucky to have had the chance to take some of that old gear home during that pivotal period of change in the world of computing. Growing up, my suburban basement was filled with pieces of these relics -- teletypes, an enormous WANG word processor, daisy-wheel printers, relay banks, electronic charting devices, stereo equipment, and more.
Free Geek of course deals almost exclusively in computer gear and most of what comes in is middle-of-the-road -- neither new nor old enough to be exciting. But occasionally something pretty strange comes in. When that happens, a volunteer will fall in love with a piece of old gear at Receiving only to have his or her heart broken when it's generally scrapped, functional or not, for being unsaleable. For a long time, there was a museum collection but it grew to fill whatever space it had -- first a corner of the warehouse, then an outside storage locker -- and nobody quite knew what to do with it.
Of necessity, FGV is currently pretty ruthless -- the mandate doesn't extend to a museum and there is simply no room for the stuff to collect. (Incidentally, if anyone wants to spearhead a better policy, please bring it to the fg-general mailing list! We're all ears.)
On Thursday an old industrial computer came in. Interesting, yes. Unusual, yes. Valuable, no.
|Pentium-class industrial computer|