[rescue] Electronics Recycling Day

der Mouse mouse at Rodents-Montreal.ORG
Sun Nov 15 16:54:50 CST 2009

> What would be your 'no question, scrap' cut-off?

Depends.  Mine is not just about computrons; it's also about
interestingness (an admittedly subjective measurement).

When it comes to peecees, I use what others are throwing out.  It's
reached the point where the machines I get for free are more powerful
than I really have any need for.  (They typically have some annoying
issues I would not put up with in machines I were paying for, but
that's no surprise.)  As for where the low end is, the edge things fall
off of and stop getting used by me, well, I have a P133 still in
service which I think I'll probably replace because its CPU fan is
getting noisy and thus is likely to fail soon.  (I'll probably replace
it with a PII or PIII of some stripe.)

For non-peecees, it's more a question of (a) how well-documented the
hardware is and (b) how different it is from the other stuff I've got.
Most of the non-peecees I have are SPARCs, largely because that's what
I first got into personal computing with and what I know best, but I
have a reasonable variety of other things: an IBM WorkPad z50
(MIPS-based), a few PowerPC machines (Macs and such), a MicroVAX I
really should dig out again, some 68k machines (Macs, NeXTs, Suns), a
couple of Alphas, a Mesa single-board machine (ARM)....  The fastest of
them are probably the DEC PWS600au (Alpha) and the Sun E200R (SPARC64),
neither of which can push computrons to match the peecees I've been
picking up for free because they're being thrown out.  My cutoff is
much lower for those; that MicroVAX, for example, is probably between 1
and 2 VUPS (a VUP is about 1 MIP for very CISC values of "I"[%]).  Not
fast enough to be computationally important these days, when machine
speeds are measured in GIPS.  But I still keep them, largely because
they're different.  I really dislike monocultures.

[%] Yes, I know that makes no grammatical sense if you expand the terms
    which were originally acronyms; I think of them as backformed words
    rather than acronyms.

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