I generally accumulate hardware by means of picking up stuff that people think are dead, and they aren't.
My dad works for HoneyWell International, and he occasionally get's called to work on computer systems like servers that get corrupt data and such sort. Their policy is, if it messes up once, it will do it again. I have acquired 7 drives this way (2x 200GB SATA 300 drive [10krpm], 3x 80GB EIDE Drives, 1x 40GB IDE Drive (laptop) and a 120GB IDE [more on that down below])
I am saying this, because i probably get about $12k stuff free off of people that think a system is dead and doesn't want it anymore, or doesn't plain want to deal with it. So i usually end up getting it. 85% of the time, there is nothing wrong with it.
I got a 120GB (mentioned above) that was pulled from a server after they had problems with it. It looked pretty new (and it is), so i got it, and it spools up, clicks, spins down. Repeat ~7x then it stops. The Logic board on the Hard drive then heats up TREMENDOUSLY.
I just plugged in the SN on Western Digitals page, and guess what! it's in warranty! I get to send it in (even though i got it dead) and i get a brand...new...hard drive! How cool is that?! huh?
I have acquired a LOT of stuff over the years, including Network and RAID Cards, computers and CPU's, and Monitors (Including some high rez monitors) and even some Really expensive software that is maybe one generation old, but they decide to replace it because they want the *one* little feature that came out on the new version. This means CAD, 3D Electronics graphing systems, Operating Systems (such as windows 2k, and even unopened Windows XP Pro Software), and among other stuff, proprietary controller systems that they pull from a customer when the customer upgrades and HoneyWell has no idea what to do with them. So it's either I get them, or they trash them.
I like the micro controllers, because they were mostly used to control various motors, and input from sensors, including card read panel. This is nice... I can work with electronics and get ahead, for basically nothing...
I also just acquired 2 Pentium 3's, one which i trades for a laptop, the other which is going to be shipped to another fritter member real quick. Nice machine, but i get a laptop for school ( i need a windows laptop) and I am trading for a blue & White tower (i also need a Mac Desktop).
So, what other cool stuff have YOU gotten for free? And legacy really isn't part of what i am talking about. I mean like NEW stuff, stuff that has been bought, and has barely been touched (even the monitors i am talking about are on the brink of being new)