Garbage find

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iantm's picture
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Garbage find

On my way to work this morning, I spotted something unusual in someone's driveway next to a couple of garbage bags and their garbage cans - a blueberry slot load iMac. Being the kind of person I am, I couldn't let it go to waste - that machine would be a perfect parts unit for some of the slot loaders I support at work - those slot load drives are almost impossible to come by, and apple has already discontinued support for these machines, so any slot load iMac parts are always welcome - especially when they are free. Naturally, I assumed that this machine was a victim of a botched OS X install or the dreaded PAV failure that has struck so many of these machines down. So I grabbed it, put it in the trunk and went to work. I should also add that the computer had a super thick layer of dust on it.

I got home, and out of morbid curiosity tried to fire it up. Sure enough - it chimed and works perfectly. Oh, and the machine appears to be a time capsule - OS 9.0.4 installed, build date from the second week of 2000 from the California plant. It's a 350 mhz blueberry with 64mb of ram and the original 7gb hard drive in it. No documents on the drive and all the stock applications are gone, and that's ok with me. This is the first time I've seen one of these machines in original form since the summer 2000. My current plans are to keep it all original, as it isn't an ideal os x platform - lack of firewire limits the machine's utility to me.

Oh, and I'm no stranger to trashpicking.

Anyone else have good accidental finds in the trash.

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Joined: Oct 7 2005 - 09:23
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Me and a buddy of mine found

Me and a buddy of mine found several 486 PCs in the trash a while ago. One even had a Pentium overdrive chip on it, but i broke the pins when lifting it out of the socket (wasnt a ZIF socket)

Couldnt get any of them to work 100%, but I got windows on one of them.

It was a good day.

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such a waste

especially when nothing was wrong with it. Instead of making landfill contaminants, they could have donated it to a school or something congrats on getting it and thanks for taking it off the hands of the landfill. I am sure you, and your newly acquired find will be pretty happy. However, I would say to upgrade it within reasonable limits. Maybe like a 128MB Extra Stick, or replace it with 2x 128MB to make it 256. Then get some classic games and work with that. I don't know what speed they run at, but do you know what the FSB runs at? also, can they take High-Density ram? I got 2x 128MB that are yours for $20 shipped if I don't get any other offers. They are 128MB high-density PC-133 CL3 SoDIMMS. Not sure if they work with the machines or not.

drop me a PM if you are interested. I am basically selling them for cheaper than it cost me on eBay. Tried to get it for a laptop I have been trying to get up, but the laptop takes low-density Sad

Jon
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Being a slot loader it'll tak

Being a slot loader it'll take full size 168-pin SD-RAM. I don't recall if the ones I have will take high density RAM anyway. It's a pretty big toss up at that vintage.

iantm's picture
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Yeah, it'll take the standard

Yeah, it'll take the standard pc100/pc133 ram. Frankly, I'm not too concerned about memory for it - have a beige g3 that I've been slowly cannibalizing for bits here and there that has a bunch of 128 mb sticks in it.

With this 350, it's not a bad little machine. As a time capsule with period software - it's not bad. To be frank, I love these old slot loading iMacs - they are the machines I started my "official on the books" career on back in the summer of 2000. Despite their faults, I'm still very fond of them. After all, it's hard not to be fond of a machine that you can easily troubleshoot and completely strip down to components within 10 minutes. (I can do this with 12" iBook G4's too!)

I recently found that the 400 mhz Ruby I had laying around has a bad logic board (constantly freezes), so that machine will end up being torn apart for pieces (the hard drive and ram in it has already been repurposed) that will likely be needed at work.

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Garbage in, garbage out

Accidental finds? I don't think accidental is the right word. But I am a shameless scavenger for discarded computers, with my peripheral vision normally primed for those chance finds on the side of the road. I've picked up so many over the years I couldn't even estimate how many. I guess most ended up, in some part, back on the side of the road.

I used to find lots of old legacy Macs: Performas, LC's, and early Powermacs. Not many of those anymore. There was one time years ago when the University art department's design classes threw away all their old Mac II's and old big Mac monitors. There they were all in a big pile by the sculpture department's trashbin in the sand pile the sculptors kept around to scoop out of for firings, etc. First time I saw them, I wasn't sure what was going on, so I didn't touch them. A week later they were all still there. All those students passing by everyday and night and none disappeared, but they were definitely trash. I decided to scavenge. I picked up three IIfx's--whole--video cards, RAM, ROM. Those were the only one's I thought were of value. I think there were some IIsi's in there too, but at that time I wasn't aware of the value of the si's also "clean" ROM's, and I left them along with other various Mac II's and all the monitors. Made some good money with the fx parts, though.

These days it's CRT iMacs that I find on the side of the road. They just pop up occasionally. In the past year I have found six iMac DV's. Five were DOA with the dreaded PAV problem, so I just pilfered the motherboards and RAM and harddrives. I've never found an iMac--or hardly any other Mac that I can recall--with a still-good battery. The sixth iMac DV simply had a bad system installation and was stalling at boot. I wiped the harddrive, installed a new OS, and it worked fine--a 500mhz special edition. I didn't have any use for it so it just sat around the past couple of months. I thought I should spend some time with it to make sure it was working properly before I tried to sell it, so when we went to spend a week at the wife's uncle's Sunset Beach beachhouse last week, I decided to stick a bunch of music on it and take it along with some portable powered speakers. It worked great the first three days. I kept a small fan balanced above it and pointed down at the handle openings on the top to help keep it cool, and I kept an eye on the CPU temperature which averaged around 40C with that fan going. Then on the third night I was in the middle of watching a DVD movie on it when it hit--the dreaded PAV malfunction. In a blink, the crystal clear movie went very dark--still there, but very dark--and the resolution was off, with the desktop outgrowing the viewable area. I shut down the machine and hoped it would be back to normal in the morning. I realized I hadn't had the fan on, but it wasn't a hot night. It was almost midnight when it crapped out. The next morning I got the chime and the picture came on, but dark still and resolution off. I was able to bring up the display preference pane and tried some different resolutions, restarted once, but still no change for the better--brought up the display pane again, and then it happened--a spark and the computer went dead completely and has never recovered--dead, dead, very dead. I got home yesterday and tried another motherboard this morning, but that of course, did nothing, so I stripped the machine and put the leftovers on the side of the road. Yet another victim of the slot-loading CRT iMac congenital PAV disease.

Once a month I actually go searching for discarded computers in my valley here. Once a month, on different Wednesdays for different communities, the city garbage collectors have a "bulky item" pickup day when people put out appliances and furniture, and big stuff, and sometimes computers for refuse collection. I drive around all the streets in the vicinity of my home on that day--the collectors usually don't show up until days after the designated Wednesday. This month, besides other stuff, I had a few fairly good computer scores. I picked up a working Compaq 5000. I removed it's fully functioning 40GB harddrive and RAM and put it back on the street (I have a large collection of SDRAM).

I also found a Toshiba 1755 laptop which had bad cracks around the hinges, but when I got it home it fired up just fine--Windows ME. It played a DVD movie very clear. I thought maybe I could turn it into a photo frame computer or something since the cracked hinges made it impractical as a regular laptop. I had actually planned to take it to the beachhouse and was transferring Mp3's to it. I noticed that it only had 64mb of RAM, so I shut it down and stuck a 128mb SODIMM in it to pump it up. It did the opposite. It killed the machine--or something did. Powers up, but no video, no boot. So..easy come, easy go. Now I get to learn what the insides of a laptop are like. After it crashed, that's when I decided to take the iMac to the North Shore.

I did find an iMac too--a Rev. A Blueberry. I spotted it beneath some other trash, and stared at it. It looked like it probably had been rained on. One little guy sitting on my shoulder said, "drive away, leave it alone, you know better, it's worthless, it'll be a waste of your time." The tray loaders are of little, if any, value. But the other guy sitting on the other shoulder said, "maybe it's been upgraded, maybe there's an 80GB harddrive, and a 256mb RAM stick, and maybe there's something really interesting on the harddrive." That little guy won out, as he usually does, but he was wrong. It was dead. The only upgrade was a corroded 64mb RAM stick and there was nothing interesting on the little 4GB harddrive. But it's still hard to walk away from any Mac ten years or less old.

Then I found "la piece de resistance." The best place to find discarded computers are on the dead end roads, probably because of less traffic, and probably because the owners down those cul de sacs think they're too-personal possession is less likely to be snatched up before the garbage collectors. I found the Compaq and the iMac on dead ends, and then down another dead end I found the Sony Vaio PCV-RX850--2.4Ghz Pentium IV, 533mhz frontside bus, 16x DVD, 32x CDRW, 6 USB2.O ports, 2 IEEE 1394 ports, 10/100-TX ethernet, a 4x AGP slot, and one stick of 512mb DDR PC2100 CL2.

Unfortunately, it didn't have a harddrive or floppy drive. All I had to put in it is an old harddrive from another Compaq with Windows 98. In the past, I had mostly passed by the PC's--since mostly I didn't know what I was looking at--but the past couple of years I've decided to start learning about Microsoftland and have been putting some PC's together for myself. I now realize I probably passed by a few good finds. The inability to swap XP drives between machines, and the common occurrence of password protection puts limitations on scavenged PC drives. I almost always end up wiping PC harddrives, which I had already done with the other Compaq's 40GB since it was completely password protected--words to the wise. Better words to the wise: remove the harddrive before you throw away that computer.

The Vaio starts up, but in BIOS setup I get a "Hardware Monitor found an Error... Enter Power Setup menu for details" --which I do but don't see any problems, but tinker with "ignores" anyway which don't solve the "error." Now I hit F1 instead to continue the boot process and the computer boots up to the W98, but only in Safe Mode--it won't boot normally, so I need to get hold of a Windows installation, et voila, decent computer--I hope. Dealing with problems is how I learned about Macs--how I arrived at 'Fritter--and how I'm now also learning about PC's--sometimes to my disgust, but it's almost always interesting all the same.

Yes, I scavenge, unabashedly. For fun, education, and a little profit. I just don't try to look up and see who's seeing me scavenge. Just grab it, put it in my van, drive away home--even laugh a little.

My wife tells her friends, "Oh, there's two things that distract his attention while he's driving--pretty girls, and stuff put out on the side of the road."

Hey, free is free.

Blessed Cheesemaker's picture
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My only complaint...

...is that there isn't any good garbage where I live.

Sigh...living in apartment complexes, there used to be some great finds as people dumped stuff right before moving.

Sadly, where I live now, there is no joy...

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hardly no one here where i li

hardly no one here where i live uses a Mac (the only places that does is school's and that gives Mac's a bad rep cause they are not configured properly to run well) so most of the people here use windows PC's. and you cant run across anything like that in garbage here.

it would seem that i am the only one in my town that uses a Mac. i got 2 Beige G3 AIO's from a friend that bought 6 of them from a school auction and i made all but 1 run cause it had a bad HDD and she gave that to me and one that worked. the one that worked is in my sig and both are pretty much in flawless condition sept for the sharpie pen marks on the sides of them stating what school they came from. but i took care of that. got to love those mr clean magic eraser's ( orignal with no chemicals ) a little bit of light rubbing and they are no more. if you rub to hard it will scar the case.

i love finding computers in the garbage that still work and only need the OS blowed up and reinstalled to fix the problem or a HDD replacement. its a good way to make money. find them fix them and sell them. or if they are worth anything keep them. very rarly will you run across anyhting rare but it does happen it depends where you look. the rich part of the city where i live throw out stuff and buy new and the stuff they throw out is still in 100% working order.

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I've never come across Macs o

I've never come across Macs or any type of computer in the trash here. I don't think our trash services would take them. I do keep an eye out when I drive past the computer recycling place to see if there is anything in their bin outside that people have dropped off. I wouldn't pick up anything unless its got a G4 or better processor though. That bin will prolly be filled with my old Macs before long. I did get 2 free Powerbook G3 Wallstreets that were in pristine condition with bags, manuals, software, and cables for free from an old school teacher that taught yearbook. Gave one to my brother.

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i wish i could find a G4 like

i wish i could find a G4 like a sawtooth or higher but that will probably never happen, i would love to stumble across a Yikes G4 case PSU and front board for my YIkes mobo and cpu i have. i would pick up any Mac if i could find one.

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