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Reply 20 of 49, by davidrg

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Grabbed a pretty generic looking custom PC out of the pile a few weeks back to play around with network booting Windows 95. Specs were weird - 133MHz Pentium, 64MB RAM, Matrox video card, 100Mbps PCI NIC, no sound card. Booting it up it became pretty clear why the weird specs and which company previously owned it. I've no idea how I ended up with the machine or how long I've had it - 10+ years probably but this is almost certainly the first time I ever had a close look or powered it up.

On the hard disk was... A registered copy of WinZip! Pretty sure I've never seen that before. There was also a pile of design stuff for some airplane but most of the files were pointers to a network location - only a few documents were saved locally. There was also Office 97, AutoCad and a bunch of software to do with aerospace regulations. All untouched since the late 90s. It looks like when the machine got too slow for CAD work it was repurposed as a remote desktop terminal but the hard disk was never wiped so still had stuff left over from its original role.

Reply 21 of 49, by libby

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I've stripped and scrapped thousands of PCs over my career and in the past used to sometimes futz around with the drives to see what was on them here and there. over about a 25 year period of doing this I've encountered pornographic things I wish I could unsee and had to report to law enforcement twice. just gave them the whole system.

one time a long while back I got a laptop which contained a bunch of video files, the laptop had belonged to a mental health professional who had been recording her sessions with clients using a hidden camera. this was particularly disturbing to me as someone who is (now long since recovered) schizophrenic, and it made it more difficult for me to get treatment. since then I have a policy of wiping all PC / mac fixed disks and destroying any removable media without looking at any of it, if it was made after roughly 2000, unless it's a system which was obviously used for development or engineering.

I have a whole leading edge 486 system here which I bought a while back off a local classified listing, the fellow who was selling it said it belonged to a friend of his who had taken his own life in the 1990s, and he just didn't have the heart to throw it out, but didn't know how to access the drive or do anything with it. the system's still in my storage and I haven't gotten to it yet either, but that one I'll probably image the drive from to give to him anyway. therein is a sort of ethical question of whether the contents of such a system should be preserved or not. to me personal systems are somewhat like a diary and I generally don't think people's personal writings or whatnot should be preserved in such a manner if they don't wish it, unless there's some obvious societal or historical value to the contents.

Reply 22 of 49, by Jo22

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Tetrium wrote on 2022-05-19, 20:50:
gerry wrote on 2022-05-19, 14:54:

the older a computer gets the more interesting the mundane business stuff seems to become, a peek into history. a few letters and a spreadsheet from 2010 seems a bit dull, but from 1995 and it suddenly feels like digital archaeology!

I have actually thought about this and I wouldn't be surprised if at some point in the future untouched old harddrive data could actually be seen as an archeological treasuretrove 😋

That made me think of an equally ancient 1980's episode of ST:TNG, in which Mr. Data retrieved data from an ancient HDD of a 21th century orbital station that drifted away.

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Th ... _(episode)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8OKpFMVSEw

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 23 of 49, by appiah4

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I've found porn that scarred me for life on some hard drives. Other than that, there was never anything that made me lose my shit. One of these days I hope to buy a cheap AT box and find a GUS or LAPC-I or something like that inside, but never happened.

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

Reply 24 of 49, by Jo22

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appiah4 wrote on 2022-05-20, 17:20:

I've found porn that scarred me for life on some hard drives. Other than that, there was never anything that made me lose my shit. One of these days I hope to buy a cheap AT box and find a GUS or LAPC-I or something like that inside, but never happened.

Here in Germany, I've never found p0rn on old 386/486 era HDDs.
Rather, Norton Commander 3 to 5.x, Prince of Persia (very often!), akward machine control software, and some left over documents.
Mainly business stuff, doctoral thesises or some letters in Works 2 format.
Things like that. One XT HDD had a virus-infested copy of DOS 3, I remember.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 25 of 49, by Tetrium

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Jo22 wrote on 2022-05-20, 17:02:
That made me think of an equally ancient 1980's episode of ST:TNG, in which Mr. Data retrieved data from an ancient HDD of a 21t […]
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Tetrium wrote on 2022-05-19, 20:50:
gerry wrote on 2022-05-19, 14:54:

the older a computer gets the more interesting the mundane business stuff seems to become, a peek into history. a few letters and a spreadsheet from 2010 seems a bit dull, but from 1995 and it suddenly feels like digital archaeology!

I have actually thought about this and I wouldn't be surprised if at some point in the future untouched old harddrive data could actually be seen as an archeological treasuretrove 😋

That made me think of an equally ancient 1980's episode of ST:TNG, in which Mr. Data retrieved data from an ancient HDD of a 21th century orbital station that drifted away.

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Th ... _(episode)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8OKpFMVSEw

It's too bad the actual harddrive isn't in the footage though. I always find it fun to see if I can figure out exact model numbers and such 😜

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Reply 26 of 49, by Jo22

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Tetrium wrote on 2022-05-20, 19:03:

It's too bad the actual harddrive isn't in the footage though. I always find it fun to see if I can figure out exact model numbers and such 😜

Hi, I think the same! 😁
The script was from circa '87, when ST506 era fixed-disk drives were still around.

Btw, Data talks about the HDD in the scene when they were waking up the three people from the long sleep.
At least in the German dub, the old HDD was explicitly mentioned ("Festplatte").

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 27 of 49, by libby

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appiah4 wrote on 2022-05-20, 17:20:

I've found porn that scarred me for life on some hard drives. Other than that, there was never anything that made me lose my shit. One of these days I hope to buy a cheap AT box and find a GUS or LAPC-I or something like that inside, but never happened.

bought some random systems and junk off someone locally a year back for something like 125 bucks, among them was a crappy 486 33mhz with 4MB RAM, no hard drive, and two identical GUS MAX 2.1 cards in it. find of the year haha

Reply 29 of 49, by appiah4

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RaiderOfLostVoodoo wrote on 2022-05-25, 15:19:
libby wrote on 2022-05-20, 22:23:

two identical GUS MAX 2.1 cards in it.

GUS in SLI?

GUS 4.1 more like..

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

Reply 31 of 49, by Intel486dx33

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Spiders, Insects, Human Hair and Animal hair.

DISGUSTING.

I like to clean and blow out old computers with Shop vac and Air compressor before I take them in the house or garage.

Last edited by Intel486dx33 on 2022-05-26, 12:43. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 33 of 49, by chrismeyer6

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gerry wrote on 2022-05-26, 10:19:
chrismeyer6 wrote on 2022-05-25, 20:03:

I once opened a computer I had found and it had 3 sizable black widow spiders inside of it.

insects and spiders are occasional finds but that's getting dangerous!

Where I live is basically the woods so Black Widow and Brown Recluse spiders are quite common here. I generally ware heavy leather gloves when moving stuff in the garage and shed. Even with quarterly pest treatments we still occasionally find them inside.

Reply 34 of 49, by TrashPanda

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chrismeyer6 wrote on 2022-05-26, 12:02:
gerry wrote on 2022-05-26, 10:19:
chrismeyer6 wrote on 2022-05-25, 20:03:

I once opened a computer I had found and it had 3 sizable black widow spiders inside of it.

insects and spiders are occasional finds but that's getting dangerous!

Where I live is basically the woods so Black Widow and Brown Recluse spiders are quite common here. I generally ware heavy leather gloves when moving stuff in the garage and shed. Even with quarterly pest treatments we still occasionally find them inside.

*Laughs in Australian

Spiders ...sure why not, now finding a brown snake in the PC case . .that is something else, and trust me .. brown snakes are angry fuckers that dont like having their dark, warm, comfortable hiding spot intruded upon. (The truly dangerous spiders here dont tend to hide in PC cases, Huntsmans do tho but they are not that dangerous just annoying)

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 35 of 49, by chrismeyer6

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TrashPanda wrote on 2022-05-26, 12:57:
chrismeyer6 wrote on 2022-05-26, 12:02:
gerry wrote on 2022-05-26, 10:19:

insects and spiders are occasional finds but that's getting dangerous!

Where I live is basically the woods so Black Widow and Brown Recluse spiders are quite common here. I generally ware heavy leather gloves when moving stuff in the garage and shed. Even with quarterly pest treatments we still occasionally find them inside.

*Laughs in Australian

Spiders ...sure why not, now finding a brown snake in the PC case . .that is something else, and trust me .. brown snakes are angry fuckers that dont like having their dark, warm, comfortable hiding spot intruded upon. (The truly dangerous spiders here dont tend to hide in PC cases, Huntsmans do tho but they are not that dangerous just annoying)

Never had a snake in a PC case but my back lot is filled with Eastern Diamond Rattle snakes but I'm fine with them as they keep the small rodent population in check.

Reply 36 of 49, by TrashPanda

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chrismeyer6 wrote on 2022-05-26, 13:00:
TrashPanda wrote on 2022-05-26, 12:57:
chrismeyer6 wrote on 2022-05-26, 12:02:

Where I live is basically the woods so Black Widow and Brown Recluse spiders are quite common here. I generally ware heavy leather gloves when moving stuff in the garage and shed. Even with quarterly pest treatments we still occasionally find them inside.

*Laughs in Australian

Spiders ...sure why not, now finding a brown snake in the PC case . .that is something else, and trust me .. brown snakes are angry fuckers that dont like having their dark, warm, comfortable hiding spot intruded upon. (The truly dangerous spiders here dont tend to hide in PC cases, Huntsmans do tho but they are not that dangerous just annoying)

Never had a snake in a PC case but my back lot is filled with Eastern Diamond Rattle snakes but I'm fine with them as they keep the small rodent population in check.

The shed out back is usually where I store all my retro stuff that isn't in use, these days its in plastic storage containers but at one point I had a stack of PC cases in the corner of the shed which hadn't been disturbed in a long while ...being an Aussie I was fully aware that brown snakes would find a little metal box in the corner of a warm shed to be the perfect hiding spot.

I wasn't wrong and had worn thick gloves because of the possibility, it wasn't a huge snake likely only a year old or so but it wasn't happy about being disturbed so I found the nearest snake killing device and dispatched the snek. Thankfully all I usually find is spiders and the occasional rodent. (I cant rehome the snek where I am since the nearest bushland is over an hour away and due to the risk to others I cant simply let it go either, otherwise I would have caught it and released it).

And yeah finding snakes even here in the city is a pretty common occurrence, they are like flies.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁

Reply 37 of 49, by chrismeyer6

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We have friends that moved to the Beerwah area about 10 years ago and they've said the same thing about the brown snakes are always getting into their garage and shed.

Reply 38 of 49, by TrashPanda

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chrismeyer6 wrote on 2022-05-26, 13:18:

We have friends that moved to the Beerwah area about 10 years ago and they've said the same thing about the brown snakes are always getting into their garage and shed.

Brown snakes are the worst, they are like the mice of the snake world and just as annoying and difficult to get rid of.

They also like eating mice so if you have brown snakes about there is a good chance you also have rodents around.

Oh noes, the cap let the shmooo out 😁