Feeds

The hoarder's dilemma, or 'Why can't I throw anything away?'

The dangers of hanging on to very old kit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Hoard of the things

It might explain why I still have our old PlayStation 3 under my desk despite it having suffered irreparable YLOD - the hairdryer treatment failed - at the beginning of this year and despite its shiny brand-new replacement happily operational next to the TV in the lounge.

It also explains why I keep several large boxes of old gear and components “just in case”.

Dabbsy's box

Dabbsy's cable container

This particular box contains assorted mains leads, monitor cables, Ethernet cables, old mice, a spare internal Blu-ray drive and other shit that I don’t need at the moment but I might do in the future. This junk came with stuff I bought or stuff I threw away.

For example, when a monitor breaks down, I dispose of it… but why should I send the still-fully-functional VGA cable and mains lead to accompany it to landfill? When my old floor-standing PC has died one last time and can no longer be upgraded or resuscitated, why should I dump a perfectly good Blu-ray drive along with the burnt-out motherboard?

Incidentally, I disposed of half a dozen low-capacity - by today’s standards - hard drives recently. I dismantled them first and we’re using the platters around the house as mug mats.

Palm Tungsten and Acer... something

Seriously, what am I ever going to do with a Palm Tungsten and an Acer what-the-f**k these days?

Very occasionally - very, very occasionally, in fact - I am able to offload some of these things on desperate people. I practically live for the day when someone asks: “Got a spare CAT5?” One small company I work for is pretty much kitted out with my old mice, keyboards, mains cables and routers. And mug mats.

However, it gets depressing to keep finding outmoded and obsolete kit in these boxes such as pre-Bluetooth wireless mice whose drivers, obtainable only from obscure FTP sites and zipped up with Readmes written in Korean, no longer work anyway.

Much of the attic space is taken up by the boxes that my computer kit was delivered in – handy when you have to send things back for replacement under warranty, I suppose, although I’ve only ever had to do this once in my adult life. Oh, and there was that old eMac I packed up and sent to my brother. Hey, that make it all worth while!

I have just now tripped over some boxes in the office. Why have I never noticed them before? Ah, it’s because they weren’t there before: half-life wife has dragged them out for my consideration and judgement. Another clear-out is overdue. ®

Alistair DabbsAlistair Dabbs is a freelance technology tart, juggling IT journalism, editorial training and digital publishing. Possibly the most annoying thing about hoarding electronic kit is that the only time you’re certain to find any use for it is two weeks after having been persuaded to dispose of it.

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD TO DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get parts for HDD models
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Microsoft fitness bands slapped on wrists: All YOUR HEALTH DATA are BELONG TO US
Wearable will deliver 'actionable insights for healthier living'
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes
Buzzing board (and some future apps) leave a lot to be desired
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.