From: William Donzelli <>
Date: Thu Jan 15 21:54:32 1998

The day started out with no suprises. I arrived at the MCI building
intending to finish up an installation. Walking down the halls, I peeked
in some of the rooms, packed with all manner of telco equipment. It is 10
AM, and I start working.

By noon my work is done. I walked down the stairs, looking for the MCI
contact I deal with, and am confronted by a rather beat up looking IBM
Series/1 minicomputer, left in the hallway. It is fairly stripped out -
all of the processor boards have been removed, many cables have been cut,
and some of the front panels of the 6 foot rack are gone. It seems that
this beast is headed for the recyclers. I have wanted a Series/1 for some
time, and I had been eyeing a few at the Chicago site. Unfortunately, I do
not have a way to move the thing. That shot down my idea of grabbing it.

Anyway, just down the hallway is the room that had quite a large number of
Series/1 racks. They were part of some project that is still running in
some parts of the country. I looked around and saw that most of the racks
have been raped. Then, one of the racks starts rolling towards me. Behind
it is a man, pushing it along. I asked about the fate of the boxes, and he
replies that they are indeed scrap, and that he is the scrapper. I told
him that I collect computers, and that I have wanted a Series/1 for a
while. His expression immediately changed to that of pleasant suprise. He
replies that he collects chips. We reached common ground quickly, swapping
stories about some of the old beasts. Although he is not very old, it
seems that we has seen and scrapped just about every type of big iron ever

He then motions me over to a few racks off to the side. They had not yet
been raped! For 25 dollars each, I could have them, as they were no longer
MCI property. Hmmmmm...

I made a quick call to my storage locker company, as they rent vans. The
quote is quite reasonable, but they are 25 miles away. Time is very short,
as I have a plane to catch in the morning. I decided to go for it - for
100 dollars, I could have two big Series/1 machines to play with,
shipping included.

By 1:30 PM, it is quite clear that I needed to find a local rental
companies. A few stops later, I parked my car and drove off in a big van.
Now the fun started.

It dawned on me that my storage locker may close up after 6 PM, so I
switched into hyper mode. I picked out the two best machines, then started
to remove the disk drives, two each at 64 meg, and two each at 200 meg.
The things are very heavy, but proved to lighten up the racks remarkably.
I then decided to take only one whole rack, and all the bits of another
rack for spares. By 4:30 PM, the stuff is all loaded in the van. Now I had
to race to the storage locker.

By 5:45 PM I arrived at the locker. The place was still open, but time is
short. By the time everything is unloaded, the place was closing up. It
was 6:50 PM. Greatly relieved, I headed back to retrieve my car. By 8 PM I
am finally done, still amazed at what had just happened.

And all of this without a plan.

William Donzelli
Received on Thu Jan 15 1998 - 21:54:32 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:30:57 BST