One from the 'believe it or not' file...

From: John R. Keys Jr. <>
Date: Sun Nov 16 12:48:39 1997

I would vote to leave it alone, as this is a real classic untouched. John
At 08:40 AM 11/16/97 -0800, you wrote:
>You know, I always hate these moral dilemmas...
>In the last few days the collection received an AT&T UNIX PC (aka 7300,
>3b1) in extremely good condition. It arrived with all of the original
>docs, software, and mouse. The docs were unwrapped , and the mouse was in
>its original foam packing. "Kind of nice when someone packs things away
>properly" I thought.
>Well, its been a bit busy around the garage the last couple of weeks, so I
>put the unit and its associated stuff on the shelf and covered it up for a
>Last night, while I was working on a notebook (yes, one of those 'modern'
>things) for one of my wife's friends, I decided to have another look at the
>UNIX PC while I was waiting for a disk scan to finish...
>Found a spot for it on the bench, made a cursory check of the unit (nothing
>loose, nothing rattling...) and powered it up. It hummed and beeped
>happily and started drawing little boxes on the screen as I recalled it
>doing when it was starting up...
>However, about 3-4 minutes and 4-5 lines of little boxes later, it starts
>to dawn on me that it should not be taking quite this long to get a prompt
>of some kind. So, I move the keyboard to have a look at the floppy drive
>(it hides behind the keyboard you see) and sure enough the machine is
>looking for a floppy.
>Fine... so, I grab the binder containing the software distribution, open it
>All of the disks are still sealed! At this point it starts to dawn on me,
>that this machine has never been run! A comment flashes back to mind; made
>by the person who gave me the machine... "My father bought it for his
>company, read the manuals and realized that he had no idea what he was
>I find myself wondering... Back around 1985 when this thing was released
>(and about $10k+), who could have afforded to buy one of these things, open
>the manuals, decide that they were in over their heads, and just put it on
>the shelf without even loading the software??? EEK!
>And so, the dilemma... do I open the disks and crank this critter up? Or
>just pack it all away as another classic 'artifact'? (or leave it until I
>have a fair amount of time to spend with it)
>No flame wars please, just the random philosophical question...
>The Computer Garage -
>Computer Garage Fax - (503) 646-0174
Received on Sun Nov 16 1997 - 12:48:39 GMT

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