My Computer Chop Shop

I helped my friend Steve get his new PC set up. The job is (mostly) done. The computer is working fine. So, it came as no surprise when he told me he was going to throw away the old PC.

It’s outmoded and slow. He wasn’t even the first owner! Someone else had deemed it ‘surplus’ earlier.

I took the computer and threw it in my trunk. No way it would go directly to the scrap heap while there were parts to be plucked first.

With an older computer, I am like a vulture. I pick at it and dismantle it until there’s nothing left but the shell.

He has kept the original hard drive to make sure he can get at his old documents and photos. I pulled the memory sticks, CDRW and CD (I have 5 of those on a shelf now), a modem, network and AGP video card (old enough that I can’t find any documentation for it online). The audio and IDE disk drive cables go into a bin with many more I have saved over time. I even keep a plastic bag full of comuter case screws.

Hey, you never know.

I used to save the motherboards, but those are so inexpensive and new processors so much faster, that it doesn’t make sense. I left it and the 250 watt power supply in the case and moved them to the attic.

My attic has become a graveyard of computers with 4 or 5 cases, their sides off, any cables left inside dangling freely. At some point a small percentage of what I’ve scavenged will find its way back into a sick or dying or refurbished machine. Most will just sit in the attic until Helaine convinces me to throw them out.

Until then, it would just be too painful dispose of them. I suppose it’s a guy thing… a geeky guy thing.

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