VOGONS


First post, by appiah4

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Back when I started this hobby I was quite enthusiastic and I got my hands literally dirty with everything.. I'm usually a scrapyard buyer, I get things that got neglected in storages, garages and attics, when they are sold by people who just want them gone for cheap.

I've found out that these things tend to have all kinds of stuff inside, from rat piss/hair to cockroaches, nastier bugs, scorpions and a shitload of grime that I can't even begin to fathom what it is.

Over the years I've started to get more and more concerned about catching something - you do end up cutting yourself on these shitty cases a lot, tetanus, plague, you name it.

I'm just wondering if anyone here ever caught something from their encounter with old dirty hardware or not..

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 1 of 26, by bjwil1991

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Not really. I wear gloves when I handle anything with rust and the systems I bought are from thrift stores. My Socket 7 case has dog piss and rust on there.

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Reply 2 of 26, by Unknown_K

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Most of my stuff came from homes, ebay, or recyclers who got stuff in on skids and were kept inside buildings. A couple of the last system parts I snagged were left in a house that was a few days away from getting torn down so who know what was living in there (I didn't directly snag the stuff a guy I know did).

I might have sneezed a few times from dust blasted into the air when I opened a case or got a small cut from metal but that is about it.

I do have to say quite a few machines that were kept in garages,sheds, or attics do tend to get dirty over time plus spiders and whatnot like to live in them. And you do sometimes get something a dog or cat might have peed on (not good for circuit boards) or it came from a smoker. What really freaks me out are keyboards. You have skin cells, hair, food and drink spilled on them which attract bugs plus people bodily fluids like snot and blood to name a few end up on the keyboards. You really should take keyboards apart as much as possible and clean them out with soap and water before you actually use them for anything. Pretty sure a nasty keyboard I snagged but wanted to keep early on in collecting got me into the habit of just stripping everything I snag to pieces and clean them while also looking for missing or extra parts and anything out of place or in need of fixing.

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Reply 3 of 26, by Vynix

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Probably weird to some of you but the nastiest thing I ever caught from a old PC, was a litteral spider nest. And to add insult to injury I am deathly afraid of spiders (arachnophobia).

So yeah ever since that incident, if I ever spot a PC that seems suspicious, I'm not even touching it with a 40-foot long pole in fear of rudely waking up whatever horrors lies inside.

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Reply 4 of 26, by appiah4

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Vynix wrote:

Probably weird to some of you but the nastiest thing I ever caught from a old PC, was a litteral spider nest. And to add insult to injury I am deathly afraid of spiders (arachnophobia).

So yeah ever since that incident, if I ever spot a PC that seems suspicious, I'm not even touching it with a 40-foot long pole in fear of rudely waking up whatever horrors lies inside.

It's not weird at all, I actually brought in a scorpion to my storage in a crusty old AT case once. True story. I crushed it under my foot as soon as I noticed it (I didn't know I had that kind of courage in me 😲 ) but ever since, I open them up carefully and check the insides before I take them with me, every time.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 5 of 26, by HanJammer

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Nastiest so far was this PC full of cocoons and dead specimens of some kind of moth. Stuff was literally anywhere, floppies were stuffed with it, motherboard was dirty. On the other hand cards looked pristine - almost brand new.

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For sale (2019.12.01 - new items!!!): 8088, 286 stuff | 386, 486 stuff | Socket 5-8 stuff | Old HDDs and 5.25" FDDs

Reply 6 of 26, by wiretap

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A sinus infection / sore throat is the worst I've caught -- from some mildew/moldy OEM motherboard boxes that had been sitting in someone's basement for 2 decades. I had to throw the boxes out. I can't imagine how bad of health is of the person who lives in that house. Motherboards all worked great after they were cleaned up though. 😊

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Reply 8 of 26, by dionb

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1001 cuts and slashes on ~2000 era razorblade cases...

As for biohazards, not many exotic critters in this part of the woods, a dessicated mouse mummy was about as bad as I've seen.

Reply 9 of 26, by appiah4

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dionb wrote:

1001 cuts and slashes on ~2000 era razorblade cases...

As for biohazards, not many exotic critters in this part of the woods, a dessicated mouse mummy was about as bad as I've seen.

How much worse can it get though? 😵

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 10 of 26, by alvaro84

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dionb wrote:

As for biohazards, not many exotic critters in this part of the woods, a dessicated mouse mummy was about as bad as I've seen.

Same here! And I occasionally find wasp nests too. They're usually deserted, though. Sometimes they aren't but they haven't yet stung me.

And I often see stinkbugs, especially at winter.

Mouse nests stinking with their urine and excrement too, but no live mice, only that mummy once.

No illness/infection so far.

Shame on us, doomed from the start
May God have mercy on our dirty little hearts

Reply 11 of 26, by Rawit

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Didn't catch anything but had my share of cuts and bleeds when fixing and going through machines/parts. Some dirty encounters:
- Those iMac keyboards from the Apple plexiglass era. A company I worked for had a few in storage... Snot and hairs were visible from the underside;
- Cleared out a basement of an old library. There was a dead mouse in a box with a computer mouse;
- Same basement: LCD screens with fungus growing on it.

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Reply 12 of 26, by brostenen

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The worst that I have gotten in the past, was an inflamed cut. It was my own fault, as I did not clean the cut in time. Regarding tetanus, then you did get a new vaccine every time you got bitten by an animal or cut your self? I mean. It is cheap and if you do not have it, then you are gambling with your life. Plaque? Say what? You have a bigger chance of getting black death from eating Marmot in Tibet, than from touching computers or cutting yourself on old cases. The worst scenario is still tetanus, and you can avoid it by getting vaccinated. Just remember to renew the vaccine once every 10 year and getting a new one, if a dog or a cat bites you.

Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

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Reply 13 of 26, by torindkflt

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I went to get an old printer out of storage many years ago, and when I picked it up a bunch of bird seed started falling out. Best I could figure is a mouse had been using it as a pantry. 🤣 The bird seed part is more weird than nasty, but if a mouse had been crawling around inside there, I imagine there was likely also mouse poop and whatnot. 😵

Reply 14 of 26, by retardware

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When I worked in a computer repair shop in the 1980s, we once got a Commonsore 64 for repair.
When opening it, we found the board spilled with some rotten dinner residues.
Obvious attempt of self-repair by a layman who splashed the board while consuming his crap fast food.
We refused to touch that stuff and returned the thing untouched.

Reply 15 of 26, by cyclone3d

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Worst thing I have caught is an insatiable desire to buy more retro gear.

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Reply 16 of 26, by SirNickity

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I've had my share of parts owned by smokers, lots and lots of dust and grime, one PC had been used in a machining business and had machine oil residue all over inside and out. The worst effect I've had so far is that some of this stuff has managed to wear a hole in my bank account.