Sunday, March 22, 2015

From Call Center, to Me, to the Recycler

In 2013, my neighbor asked me if I wanted any computers for free.  Of course, being a computer guy, I said yes.  He said he put aside five or six cases.  Sounded like a good number. I could stick them aside, use the ones I wanted and give away or the sell the rest.

He called me a couple weeks later asking me to come down to the call center and get them. I grabbed the car, a sedan, and drove down.  I was greeting by two piles six feet tall of computers and servers, boxes of keyboards and mice, boxes of power cords, bags of RAM (they turned out to be all DDR2-256MB sticks), a few HDs and some other stuff.

Said I had to take it all if I wanted any of it.  That required a call to my Brother-in-Law who at the time owned a Ford F-150 Crew Cab 4X4.  We loaded the truck from the tailgate to the bulkhead, the whole back seat to the roof, and the passenger seat.  Then we did the same thing to the Impala.

Left to right-ish: Dell Dimension 1100 / 2400 / 3000's
HP/Compaq dx220's
more Dells
stack of OptiPlex GX260's
HP/Compaq D510 Evos
Dell Dimension 3100's.

Compaq servers whose type I can't remember off hand. They ran Xeon socket 370 CPUs of the PIII type.  I kept those just because. Had room for like five SCSI hard drives and CDrom drives. I did get one to run Ubuntu... once. Then it stopped booting up.  Had swappable PSUs and a bunch of fans.  Almost wish I had the room to keep one that was running.

Here's some of the SCSI hard drives, 10K and 15K RPM, sizes from 36 to 146GB.

A close up view of the Dell 1100/2400/3000's.  All were Pentium 4 2800, socket 478, non-HT CPUs. Some had 2GB of DDR memory installed, I kept those sticks.

These are Dimension 3100's. These are also Pentium 4 2800, but in socket 775 model and used DDR2 memory.  They gave me a bag full of memory, they I looked and found 150+ sticks of 256MBs.  Not even Windows XP runs well on 512MBs.  And they would -not- run anything else.  I couldn't get any form of Linux to boot on them.  And they were so crippled inside they were best off going to the recyclers.  They didn't even have PCI-e slots.  Most had DVDrws, so I kept those.  A couple had large-ish hard drives, kept those too.

These are HP/Compaq dx220's, running Celeron 2000 or Pentium 4 2000 CPUs.  They ran DDR memory, and most of them had 2GB installed, I did keep all those sticks of RAM.  

Dell OptiPlex GX 260's, I got over two dozen of these.  They open clamshell style, and ran Pentium4 2000 in socket 478.  Two slots of RAM, and they had AGP slots of low profile video cards.  I did upgrade one to a P4-2800, 2GB of RAM, and an FX5200 video card.  It still runs XP, but since it's a spare computer that doesn't matter.  Runs great when I boot it up every couple of months or so.  They all had floppy drives, good reason to keep one around for pulling data off old floppies.

Close up of the GX260's.  The lighter grey panel opens to reveal a couple of USB ports!  rather nice machines for their time.

Overall, I ended up with about 130 computers from that phone call.  I sent the vast majority of them to a local place that will refurbish the ones they can get working, part out the ones they can't for projects (they go to the local Maker Fair and have an art project setup) and then what they can't use goes to a recycler where they get a couple bucks out of it.

Got a lot of parts out of it too.  Hard drives, DVD drives, memory (I even found a couple of sticks of DDR2 that were useful), cables and more.

Would I say yes to this pile of junk again?  Yeah, I probably would.  Because.....


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