Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 43

Thread: Salvaging people's "throw-away" stuff

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    /dev/belgium
    Posts
    1,946

    Default Salvaging people's "throw-away" stuff

    I got a story to tell, one which always at the same time amuses me and wonders me too...

    So, I live close to a container park (a dumpster) which is located in a small village near me only a few kilometers away from my home. I accidentally discovered this place some years ago and been going to it virtually every Sunday. Throughout the years, it keeps amazing me what people throw away these days. I went yesterday again to see if I could salvage some "old stuff" from there and here are my findings..

    1) 120 GB SATA Maxtor disk with 8MB cache - status: perfectly in order
    2) 60 GB PATA WD disk with 2MB cache - status: perfectly in order
    3) ATi Radeon 9600XT AGP8x with 128MB - status: perfectly in order
    4) ATi Radeon 9800 AGP8x with 256MB - status: perfectly in order
    5) P4 @ 3 GHz - status: perfectly in order
    6) P4 @ 2.4 GHz - status: perfectly in order
    7) 2x 256MB DDR400 modules - status: perfectly in order
    8) 128MB DDR333 module - status: faulty at 120MB address


    In the past I also have found another 120GB disk from Maxtor, same as above except a PATA one and I currently use it as my main disk on my desktop, a 80GB PATA Maxtor, 6x 80GB WD PATA disks, a Geforce 7900GT PCI-E card, a Geforce 6600 PCI-E card, various ATi cards, mostly from previous generation and countless other disks too which I won't put in this list or it'll make it pretty extensive, memory modules, working LCD monitors (latest a 22" one which works just fine), various soundcards, from older Creative AWE to X-FI ones, etc, etc

    So I was thinking a bit and it really amazes me that people exist who throw away stuff that could be used for probably many years, especially the disks and CPUs. I got so much stuff lying around here that if I wanted to, I could probably build a small server farm at home. Granted, it's not the latest greatest of technology, but all of the above is "good enough" for such things. I especially value the disks since I got a lot of video's and having more storage is always a good thing for me. When I bring "new stuff" at home, I usually do extensive testing on it and throw away those that are not working or faulty

    Moral of the story? I probably don't have to spend $$$ on stuff as I can get it for free pretty easily. Yes, it's not the newest tech but still can be used for many things. Even some of the GPUs (f.ex the GF7900GT) is powerful enough for most games today (not that I play many) and even the older ATi 9600XT/9800 ones will do for a lot of games...

    We really live in a "throw-away" society these days and there's so much thrown away despite of still being in perfect working state... It's on one side sad to see such things happen but on the other side I'm sometimes happy it exists since I won't have to spend $$$ much, especially on storage and CPUs

  2. #2

    Default Re: Salvaging people's "throw-away" stuff

    Madness.

    I've been to computer auctions and seen functional systems sold for 5 quid. Monitors for a pound.

    Often, I suppose, it's just cheaper for an IT department to throw out *everything* and buy all new stuff, so they only have to train their low level IT minions and general staff on one system at a time. Perfectly serviceable equipment, which may be a few years old, becomes 'a cost'.

    If you know where to look, you can lead quite a decent life on the scraps of civilisation. Civilisation's loss, I say.

    Wombles of the World, Unite!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    /dev/belgium
    Posts
    1,946

    Default Re: Salvaging people's "throw-away" stuff

    Well, this container park I go to is only for consumers, ie it is not allowed for firms to dump their disposed stuff there so everything I find there comes from normal people throwing it away. F.ex, the 120GB SATA disk apparently belonged to a guy who was into body building and had lots of pics and videos on it. He also studied on the KU Leuven as I saw his teaching documents and work assignments... Of course, it had a few pr0ns too and those are a nice addition to my collection

    The other 60GB WD disk came from a PC which apparently belonged to a girl student, also studying at KU Leuven. She had lots of pics of her friends (some of them smoking hot ) and most of the other stuff was filled with music and some vids. It also contained saved MSN conversations she had with her friends. Since I'm not interested in their private data, except if there's good music on it or a movie, I just reformat these disks so they be ready for when I need to put something on them.... Oh, the guy that throw away the 120GB SATA disk had "The Ali G Movie - In Da House" on this disk so I took it since I don't have it yet (and haven't seen it also).

    I imagine that if I go to another one, where firms dump their "old" electronics, I could find much more stuff I can still use, but atm I don't know such a dumpster near me...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Phuket, Thailand
    Posts
    27,108
    Blog Entries
    40

    Default Re: Salvaging people's "throw-away" stuff

    Some organizations, when the hardware gets "relatively" old (per the organization/corporate standard) will rather "throw out" hardware to some undisclosed location, rather than sell it or auction it off. The reason being the possibility of corruption/insider knowledge in the sell off or auction is too much of a pain for corporate IT management to deal with. So they simply wipe their hands of any old equipment, doing their best to ensure no one in the organization can possibly lay their hands on the old equipment.

    That can some times explain the almost silly throw aways that can be found, IF one knows where to look.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    /dev/belgium
    Posts
    1,946

    Default Re: Salvaging people's "throw-away" stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu View Post
    Some organizations, when the hardware gets "relatively" old (per the organization/corporate standard) will rather "throw out" hardware to some undisclosed location, rather than sell it or auction it off. The reason being the possibility of corruption/insider knowledge in the sell off or auction is too much of a pain for corporate IT management to deal with. So they simply wipe their hands of any old equipment, doing their best to ensure no one in the organization can possibly lay their hands on the old equipment.

    That can some times explain the almost silly throw aways that can be found, IF one knows where to look.
    Corporations, well a lot of them but not all, usually do disk scrubbing before throwing away unneeded disks in order to minimize possibility of recovering sensitive data. The container park I go to is only for consumers and you won't find there batches of systems or disks thrown away, like in the 20-50 at a time or so. That's why I always get disks with data on them and lots of private stuff. F.ex the 60GB disk I got came from an older Dell PC that when I opened it, still had everything in it (disk, DVD drive, memory modules, mobo, GPU card, etc). I've seen in the past a firm throw away many identical systems at a time in this park. Looking at those, it very fast became clear to me that the firm is/was involved in video surveillance and had a lot of video capture cards in these systems, each one with 8 channels input/output plugs. All these systems lacked disks so I guess the firm just kept them and threw away the rest of the systems. That's the only firm I've seen throw away something in this particular park - I forgot the firm's name though but recall all systems had it on them

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    5,500

    Default Re: Salvaging people's "throw-away" stuff

    Companies worry about "Health & Safety" regs, and being held accountable for what they pass on. So the easiest solution is to throw away or have crushed, rather than sell or give away.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Salvaging people's "throw-away" stuff

    Wish some dumpster like that existed near my home also.. That would surely save me a lot of $$$$ and I could then test a lot of things I am afraid of doing on my system (which I got after shelling out my hard earned money )...
    --
    Vivek Bhat
    Linux User #496540
    Dell 620 S Desktop, 8GB, Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2310 CPU @ 2.90GHz, openSuSE Leap 42.1
    +Plasma 5, Kernel 4.1.20-11-default x86_64

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    /dev/belgium
    Posts
    1,946

    Default Re: Salvaging people's "throw-away" stuff

    Quote Originally Posted by vendetta18 View Post
    Wish some dumpster like that existed near my home also.. That would surely save me a lot of $$$$ and I could then test a lot of things I am afraid of doing on my system (which I got after shelling out my hard earned money )...
    Yep, I don't just do it for taking stuff that works which I could use. The pleasure also comes from testing and fixing stuff. A year ago I found a Gigabyte mobo that was thrown away due to one single faulty capacitor so I took it home, replaced the capacitor and used the mobo for some time

    Also, it's not really a dumpster but a whole container park and the electronics area consists of big wooden craters where all is thrown in. Sometimes, I have to remove stuff on top to get to something that's more deeper.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    1,376

    Default Re: Salvaging people's "throw-away" stuff

    I live with a bunch of pack rats. People here have been threatened with eviction for hoarding so much junk that it's led to safety and sanitary problems. The stuff on the list above would never reach the dumpster here.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Salvaging people's "throw-away" stuff

    I've only 'dumpster dived' the once, and came back with a fully working Athlon XP / 512Mb DDR box with 60Gb disk.

    It's not cutting edge, but it's fine for Linux .. !

    Paul.

Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •