VOGONS


Retro Hardware Collecting rants

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Reply 200 of 928, by imi

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Miphee wrote on 2020-06-19, 08:49:

I agree with you but also think that proper handling would prevent most of the damages. Fedex workers already admitted that they throw and kick boxes around all the time so yes, that became the norm. It's not the bumpy road. They let them do it so why wouldn't they? It's faster and it's not their concern. They shifted the blame to the customer.

I really can't fault 99% of postal workers seeing as how chronically overworked and underpaid they are.

also we all know this anyways, so if someone does not pack something taking this into account, it is pretty much their fault imho, especially on high priced items.

but even then that might not be enough.
I had once ordered 2 vintage CRTs from the UK and asked the seller to please pack them well, they were shipped via the ebay global shipping program.
you may have seen some youtube videos about them destroying stuff before, but it seems like they often repackage items without any regard (well I've learned that now).

so... they arrived at my door in two crumpled thin cardboard boxes with just a few small pieces of foam under them, I took pictures of me unpacking them because I feared the worst.
miraculously one of them actually worked, but they had a bent housing (metal) and one did not work at all, and also had the hinged door over the controls missing.
I contacted the seller and they assured me they were both intact, the door was originally not missing and they were packed well covered in foam all around.
...turned out ebay's shipping partner had taken them out of the box, somehow managed to lose one of the door covers and threw them in woefully inadequate packaging to probably save on shipping costs on their side due to size/weight.
eventually I got reimbursed by paypal, and I was communicating with the seller the whole time to make sure they got reimbursed as well, because ebay even admitted it was their fault.

Reply 201 of 928, by bestemor

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Had a rather similar experience when the ebay GSP programme at Erlanger(KY) sliced open my package(presumably to check the contents?), and cut deep into the collectable large game box as well... Not so much transport damage per se though, but still.

We both (incl seller) got refunds from them when I complained.

(not sure if it helped, but I noticed the strange brown packing tape they had used to cover up their butchery, already while picking up the package at
the post office, and made a formal complaint to the clerk there asap/for the record etc...they sent me an email with the complaint's register number)

Reply 202 of 928, by SodaSuccubus

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bestemor wrote on 2020-06-19, 15:18:
Had a rather similar experience when the ebay GSP programme at Erlanger(KY) sliced open my package(presumably to check the conte […]
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Had a rather similar experience when the ebay GSP programme at Erlanger(KY) sliced open my package(presumably to check the contents?), and cut deep into the collectable large game box as well... Not so much transport damage per se though, but still.

We both (incl seller) got refunds from them when I complained.

(not sure if it helped, but I noticed the strange brown packing tape they had used to cover up their butchery, already while picking up the package at
the post office, and made a formal complaint to the clerk there asap/for the record etc...they sent me an email with the complaint's register number)

GSP can be very hit or miss. Iv never had something sliced by them but iv heard plenty of horror stories to avoid them if possible. They add to the cost too!

Reply 203 of 928, by imi

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SodaSuccubus wrote on 2020-06-19, 15:49:

GSP can be very hit or miss. Iv never had something sliced by them but iv heard plenty of horror stories to avoid them if possible. They add to the cost too!

well, it's hard to avoid if you want to buy something from other countries or overseas.
a lot of sellers do not offer international shipping, but the GSP makes it pretty easy as they only have to send to an adress in their country, so I appreciate that some have this option.
and it's usually way cheaper than what most sellers that do ship internationally ask for shipping by themselves in my experience.

Reply 204 of 928, by Tetrium

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Intel486dx33 wrote on 2020-06-17, 09:02:

This use to be a poor mans hobby.

devius wrote on 2020-06-17, 10:27:
Intel486dx33 wrote on 2020-06-17, 09:02:

This use to be a poor mans hobby.

Indeed. Between 2001 to 2008 all hardware collecting I did was through donations. And I got some cool stuff that way.

Mine was through dumpster diving at first. This is also how I got most of my AT cases and (mostly lower end) Pentiums and earlier stuff.
I also got some donations throughout the years but ended up getting items from all kinds of ways.

Arguably it is still relatively cheap to get much more modern stuff, like perhaps earlier PCI-E stuff. This stuff might become the new expensive stuff in, say, 15 years time. But who knows?

Personally I hope it won't. But at least there's still ways to build computers cheaply. You just have to not be very picky. Worked for me when I wasn't very picky 15 years ago 😜

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
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Reply 205 of 928, by cyclone3d

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On the listings I make where I have multiples of the same item, I will make separate listings, one with the GSP and one with standard int'l shipping.

Almost everybody picks the GSP option when shipping overseas.

I don't add any handling charges so whatever the shipping comes out to is the real shipping charge.

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Reply 206 of 928, by bestemor

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cyclone3d wrote on 2020-06-19, 17:19:

On the listings I make where I have multiples of the same item, I will make separate listings, one with the GSP and one with standard int'l shipping.

Almost everybody picks the GSP option when shipping overseas.

I don't add any handling charges so whatever the shipping comes out to is the real shipping charge.

Reason for us picking the GSP option, is that it usually is significantly cheaper for some reason - USPS/FedEx/UPS or whatever, is normally much costlier, in particular for items that are of some bulk and/or weight. I'm guessing GSP/PitneyBowes get enormous discounts due to volume or something. So yes, even just the real basic shipping charge would quite often then end up as higher with any of those others, at least if from the US to overseas. GSP within Europe (usually from the UK) is a totally different matter (often 3 times higher than cheapest regular postage).

The occational damage aside, it IS great to at least have 1 (often reasonable) US option for us overseas dwellers... 😃
The alternative would quite frequently be no items at all these days, so...
(was much easier to convince sellers to ship abroad in the earlier years... )

Reply 207 of 928, by imi

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well GSP can probably always offer cheaper shipping, they collect stuff in their warehouses via local ground shipping and then ship in bulk.
I've made the experience that GSP from UK to mainland europe is definitely cheaper for big bulky items.

it's not a bad idea at all in principle, it's just a pity that so much stuff gets damaged there due to repackaging 😒

I've almost damaged something opening a package with a knife before myself, it's kind of a good idea to not put anything valuable under where the tape is, or at least put a layer of cardboard over whatever is below.

Reply 208 of 928, by Tetrium

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Marentis wrote on 2020-06-17, 16:46:

You guys do really have some great points there. I won't deny that I ended up hoarding way more than I originally intended (I just wanted to rebuild the old 486 I had before, the P90 system and the Duron 750 system) because from there on I had kept my old hardware. But I ended up getting interested in various items and ended up with a huge stockpile of various cards, mainboards, cpus, etc...
My wife was not really amused so I'll probably have to sell some things, too.

Because if I'm honest to myself, I don't even have a look at most of the hardware anymore because you can only use so many systems at the same time.

I'd usually buy multiple of the same item for use as spare parts mostly.
No wife here so there's nobody here to complain about it 😜

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!

Reply 210 of 928, by Tetrium

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Miphee wrote on 2020-06-17, 17:02:
It was merely an analysis, I often feel the same way. I like to follow biddings and people are crazy unpredictable. Sometimes th […]
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imi wrote on 2020-06-17, 14:35:

my reasoning is pretty easy, I'd rather get what I can now than not be able to get it ever again, or not be able to afford it in the future.

It was merely an analysis, I often feel the same way.
I like to follow biddings and people are crazy unpredictable. Sometimes they don't want to bid on a complete IBM 300GL with a monitor + printer at $15 but go crazy and start a bidding war for a generic untested 386 clone for $120. It's scary. I stopped using auction sites for this very reason, you just can't win when people with money are around. It doesn't mean that it's a rich man's hobby, it means that auction sites are filled with people who can afford to spend a $1000 on hardware / month, typically resellers. My budget is about $100 at max when I really want something. Ebay is out of the question because wage differences are huge. The average annual wage is $6000 here so Ebay is more of a platform for wealthier countries.
Solution? I visit smaller sites where resellers are non-existent and find sellers who want to make an honest bargain and don't overprice everything whenever the word "retro" gets thrown around. There are millions of people who stored their old computers in the attic and it's waiting for retro enthusiasts to find them without having to break the bank.
The original statement was: "it used to be a poor man's hobby" and it's true and false. It's true when you only buy from resellers, false when you look elsewhere.
Hoarding hardware is smart if you have the space for it, that is the biggest problem people face. I only started collecting again since last year and I already filled 2 average sized rooms. I don't want to sell a thing but don't want to store them in the living spaces either. Half-jokingly told my wife that it's time to move to a bigger house!

To be fair, it used to be a cheaper hobby mostly because at the time it wasn't even that retro anyway. It was just old and obsolete with few people interested in it.
And these people would sometimes save what they could (and sometimes got more then they could carry).

There was also no real consensus of what would become really wanted later on. Some expectations never really materialized because of events that most people did not foresee (like Pentium 3 1.4GHz being relatively cheap despite it being the fastest, because it was apparently used in servers quite extensively. So supply of brand new parts kept going for years and prices stayed relatively low).

But it's not as cheap as it used to be. Sure it can be cheaper but you'd need to invest a LOT more effort in order to reach the same results, which in practice means that it is actually not cheaper at all nowadays.

2 medium sized rooms full of parts, how many parts does this mean in estimated numbers?

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!

Reply 211 of 928, by Miphee

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Tetrium wrote on 2020-06-19, 20:12:

To be fair, it used to be a cheaper hobby mostly because at the time it wasn't even that retro anyway. It was just old and obsolete with few people interested in it.
And these people would sometimes save what they could (and sometimes got more then they could carry).

2 medium sized rooms full of parts, how many parts does this mean in estimated numbers?

The same thing happened to obsolete terminals. Without the mainframe these were big, heavy paperweights and most of them were dumped. People didn't care, they didn't want to take a useless computer home. Personal computers were still useful even if they were obsolete so people kept them (and forgot about them).
I still use my s775 system as my main computer because I don't game. It's 11 years old, already retro. 😁
I keep my parts and boxes on metal shelves so it's not a bunch of boxes stacked up to the ceiling. According to my records I have exactly 1104 items including cables. I keep records to avoid unnecessary duplicates. Faulty items are stored separately in the basement.
I take my hobby seriously.

Reply 213 of 928, by Miphee

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kolderman wrote on 2020-06-20, 06:13:
Miphee wrote on 2020-06-20, 06:08:

I still use my s775 system as my main computer because I don't game. It's 11 years old, already retro. 😁

Can u use the latest version of Chrome on it?

Yes, but 4K videos are out of the question. I just don't want to spend on new hardware.

Reply 214 of 928, by Tetrium

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Miphee wrote on 2020-06-20, 06:08:
The same thing happened to obsolete terminals. Without the mainframe these were big, heavy paperweights and most of them were du […]
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Tetrium wrote on 2020-06-19, 20:12:

To be fair, it used to be a cheaper hobby mostly because at the time it wasn't even that retro anyway. It was just old and obsolete with few people interested in it.
And these people would sometimes save what they could (and sometimes got more then they could carry).

2 medium sized rooms full of parts, how many parts does this mean in estimated numbers?

The same thing happened to obsolete terminals. Without the mainframe these were big, heavy paperweights and most of them were dumped. People didn't care, they didn't want to take a useless computer home. Personal computers were still useful even if they were obsolete so people kept them (and forgot about them).
I still use my s775 system as my main computer because I don't game. It's 11 years old, already retro. 😁
I keep my parts and boxes on metal shelves so it's not a bunch of boxes stacked up to the ceiling. According to my records I have exactly 1104 items including cables. I keep records to avoid unnecessary duplicates. Faulty items are stored separately in the basement.
I take my hobby seriously.

I can certainly see the resemblance with people basically wanting to gift me their old 386 back then, especially since I showed enthusiastic interest in them xD
Many people tend to hang onto their old stuff and basically do a big cleanup every x years or so. Also a computer case is relatively easy to store and then forget about, just like that box of old school books 😜

With great collections comes the need for great storage organisation 😁
I don't have exact numbers of my collection of spare parts, though I did do some counts every x years.

Personally I wouldn't btw call a s775 retro unless it has AGP instead of PCI-E, but that is a whole other debate 😜

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
Report spammers here!

Reply 215 of 928, by imi

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well there was a period of time where I had to sell old parts if I wanted an upgrade, and all the stuff I did acquire for basically free got thrown out by my parents at some point, so I had to start from scratch more or less.

Reply 216 of 928, by Mister Xiado

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imi wrote on 2020-06-19, 14:17:

I really can't fault 99% of postal workers seeing as how chronically overworked and underpaid they are.

I wouldn't forgive such a gross lack of work ethic. If your job is horrible, get out of it any way you can, but at least don't screw people over for jollies. I mean, I did a decade in a call center for a major telecom, so I know from utterily horrible jobs that kill you inside and pay you peanuts.

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Reply 217 of 928, by imi

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yeah, I don't mean people that deliberately take out their aggressions on packages, but rather that they simply can't handle every package with care, and often "throw" around stuff simply out of necessity to be able to finish their work on time.

also it'd be far easier developing a healthy work ethic when you get paid a fair living wage :p

Reply 218 of 928, by tannerstevo

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As far as FEDEX goes, where I work we get daily deliveries and if anyone is to blame, it is the a**holes that load the trucks.
They just pile packages in and do not ever take any steps to secure the load.
We get more broken stuff from them than anyone and reporting damages is terrible. You will be lucky if you get someone that knows what to do and even then when sending a package back they just leave it on the truck and give it back to us the next day.

Reply 219 of 928, by devius

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Tetrium wrote on 2020-06-20, 18:28:

Personally I wouldn't btw call a s775 retro unless it has AGP instead of PCI-E, but that is a whole other debate 😜

I wonder if we should start another "What is retro?" thread, but that one I would be scared of devolving into madness and chaos 😆