[SunRescue] a sad, sad day

Chris & Amy Petersen havoc at apk.net
Wed Dec 15 20:18:30 CST 1999

"Sheldon T. Hall" wrote:
> On Wednesday, December 15, 1999 11:17 AM, ward at zilla.nu wrote:
> > Some places, like the University of Mississippi, have strange
> depreciation
> > tables, or rather, a lack thereof.
> >
> > An 8086 that cost $5k in 1986 is worth $5k today.  However, if you
> upgraded with
> > a $500 386 board, it is now worth $5500.  You can slate it for auction if
> you
> > want, but that's troublesome red tape, so folks just hand 'em over to
> property
> > control for storage, who then clean it out later with no concept of the
> value
> > of the equipment.  They just know that these old 8086s are worthless, so
> most of
> > the eqipment they touch is classified as "worthless obsolete junk."  The
> UofM
> > auctions are often fun, as you can find old Vax eq and pentiums at times,
> but
> > the folks I know mostly go fo rcars and furniture.
> >
> > It may even be a State of MS thing, rather than a Univ thing.
> Nah, must be a University thing.  They all seem to do it.
> Here, Ohio State U. has a "surplus department" whose specialty seems to be
> losing computer parts.  They don't know that a, say, DEC 3100 keyboard
> isn't the same as a PC keyboard (or a Mac keyboard) so when the DEC
> workstation hits the department, they toss the keyboard in the keyboard
> box, put the monitor on the monitor shelf, and put the base unit on the
> computer shelf.
> When they get too many of something, they just take 'em all to the
> landfill.
> The result is that you can find an HP X-terminal base, but not the special
> keyboard or monitor for it .... or a Sun type 3 mouse, but no Sun
> computers.
> Ghod only knows what sort of obscure bookkeeping nonsense they go through
> with this stuff.
> -Shel

Good to hear old OSU keeps up with the rest of the campuses I've been at

U of Michigan Disposition was the same way.  Of course, when you could
all the pieces that originally went together (when you were lucky, they
had the same asset tag), you had to haggle to get them to believe that
actually went together instead of being some random assortment of parts 
that you obviously should pay 3x the price for since they were random...

Even better was their policy on the valuation of hardware to be
This apparently changed mid-stream while I used to stop there.  The 
departments had to get a certain $$ amount out of the equipment, and
they needed to get the max $$ to look good, they'd over-inflate the
initially.  As I recall, the engineering department was the worst at
The only way to dispute the value was to request that the disposition
check the market value, by calling resellers in town and determining an 
average $$.  Now, we all know that the old-school resellers want far
for a machine then the average newsgroup posting, and in this case there 
was no exception.  Furthermore, if the equipment you were interested in 
was particularly intersesting or had residual value, the resellers would 
merely drive up their price and after you dropped out, swing by and 
pick it up :)

Of course, what typically ended up happening was that stuff sat forever, 
until they needed to free up space, in which case the prices were
or the stuff hit the dumpster (where the locals were waiting...)

I've heard that Michigan State U's disp is very similar, although stuff 
tended to go real cheap if it wasn't a PeeCee (I've heard rumours from a 
friend that a bare 4/6xx system board went for $10 back in 1995...).

Chris Petersen

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