atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#2610: Ah, the end of an age.

I spent about half an hour going through stuff in the basement, and accumulated a small pile of junk that's going out with the trash next week. (Pity I couldn't have done that 24 hours ago; oh well.)

One of the things that's going out is the 80386-33 motherboard with the Cyrix 486 processor on it. The Cyrix processor was made to plug into a 386DX socket and it provided about 50% of the performance of an Intel 80486 for about 40% of the cost. Considering how much better a 486 was than a 386, it was a freakin' bargain.

A 386 had perhaps 30% of the power of a 486 of the same clock speed; the Cyrix processor ran at 40 MHz and had about 150% of the processing power of the 386DX-33, so it was a good upgrade.

Anyway, this motherboard would still be usable if it hadn't had a NiCd battery permanently soldered to it. The battery died and leaked (the way they do) and it ruined the keyboard socket and associated circuitry. The thing will pass POST and stop at the keyboard error ("press F1 to continue") but since the keyboard interface circuitry is damaged it can't detect a keyboard at all.

Trash. *sigh* I did take all the 30-pin 1 MB SIMMS off it, though. Heh. Yeah, that machine was good; it had a whopping eight megabytes of RAM!

My dear boy, this was 1993.

I got rid of a pile of other old computer parts. Okay, the Maynard tape backup drive uses 8mm tapes and it's sat in my basement for seventeen years. I connected it to a power supply once and I never tried patching it into my system's SCSI bus. (My PC had a SCSI card because that was the only way to get a CD-ROM in 1993. One year later, the IDE CD-ROM drives had come out, and they even cost less to boot. *sigh*) In its day it was a very high-end tape drive that I'd salvaged from the dumpster, intending to see if I could fix it; but it's so old that if it can store as much as two gigabytes on a tape it would be miraculous and I was never sure it was functional to begin with. Out!

The stack of Jaton video cards-- This company cropped up around 1995 that made some inexpensive PCI video cards with really nifty features based on some Trident chipset. I had one in my Pentium system; and after I upgraded it to a Celeron motherboard I discovered that the new motherboard didn't like Jaton video cards; somehow I ended up with three kinds, one of which had a TV tuner daughterboard. One of them worked, though I can't recall which, and in any case I retired that one after I got the VooDoo video card in 1998 in order to play Ultima IX. The Jaton cards were good for most things, but they only had 1 MB of video RAM. (These days, I think you could display monochrome with that....) The VooDoo card remains in the Celeron system, which is down in the basement, collecting dust...and that video card has a whopping 16 MB of video RAM on it. (I think the Celeron has 32 MB of RAM, all told, but don't quote me. It might be as much as 64.) So the Jaton cards went on the "discard" pile.

There's a box of electronic gewgaws I also dumped. It's sat on the basement floor, undisturbed, for five years. I will never use any of it, so why keep it?

...I did keep the old analog pager that I had back in my on-site computer tech days. The last company I did on-site service for gave it to me so they could let me know when they needed me to call in to HQ. I don't know how or why I still have the thing, but my overly sentimental nature wouldn't let me chuck it even though it's built to listen to an analog cellular phone system that no longer exists. Well, it's pretty small, and doesn't take up much room, so F it.

Two external modems, one 1200 baud and the other 2400 baud. WTF am I ever going to need those for? I'm not going to bother figuring out how long it would take to torrent a single episode of anime through a 2400 baud modem, because I know the time would be on the order of decades. (A 200 MB file at 2400 bits per second? When actual data throughput is only 1750 bits per second due to all the protocol overhead? Please.)

(Seventeen and a half years. I got curious, okay??)

There is still a shit-ton of...well, shit to go through down there, but at least I made a little scratch on the side of the mountain.
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