I think I'm going to be sick

From: Doug Spence <ds_spenc_at_alcor.concordia.ca>
Date: Fri Jul 3 07:07:36 1998

I went back to the Salvation Army store where I picked up the Wang PC last
week, and was shocked to find that ALL of the computer junk had been
replaced by shelves full of lamp shades!

I am NOT joking, they actually had shelves full of lamp shades where only
one week earlier they had too much cool old electronic junk for me to
carry, or even to look at properly. I was really happy a couple of months
ago when the place 'reawakened' and started filling up with interesting
stuff again. But now I know that the SOURCE of the computer stuff has
probably always been there, it's just that the Salvation Army store has
been keeping it from me!

I asked the employees what had happened to all that 'old computer junk',
and was told that it had all been THROWN OUT LAST WEEK. :( I was assured
that it was already gone, not just sitting in a dumpster outside.

I now feel really badly that I didn't go back on Friday morning to
rescue that IBM-PC that was full of cards, that Tandy 1000TX, those
magnetic strip card readers, the VIC 1541, and that cool-looking grey
and rounded Olivetti screen.

In my defense all I can say is that I assumed I'd have another chance at
them this week, and that I expected the biggest threat to be someone else
buying them before I got back.

But my competition is my friend, not my enemy. Unfortunately, my
competition seems only to be interested in the VIC-20s, Commodore 64s,
Atari 800s, and Apple //s, which all tended to disappear from the shelves
fairly quickly.

Now I'm hoping someone else DID pick up some of that stuff before it was
thrown in the dumpster.

I guess that Wang came to within two days of the end of its electronic
life, and I am grateful that at least I was able to rescue it. But I
would have liked to have had a good look at all of the monitors and
terminals before they were turfed, because the one that was used with the
Wang may have been among them.

I'm feeling really depressed about this.

And one thing that pisses me off is that they've still got a large shelf
full of speakers, turntables, 8-track decks, old stereos etc. Why the
hell would they keep that stuff, but toss the computers? There's a
funky-looking 8-track + stereo receiver thing that has been in the store
for YEARS, yet they won't hold onto old computers for more than a couple
of months before the whole lot gets tossed into the trash?

Well DAMN THEM TO HELL, and damn ME for not being more vigilant.

I went back for the PC yesterday, despite the fact that I hadn't had ANY
sleep the night before, and the fact that I'd have to carry it with me to
work and then to class afterward. I thought I was going a little crazy
for even considering it (I'm built like Stick Man), but now I wish I had
attempted to rescue MORE stuff last week.

Dammit, I wish I had dragged ALL the stuff I wanted to the desk and paid
for it, and had them sit it in a back room until I could come back for it.

Dammit, I wish there had been some sort of warning.

Anyway, the total lack of anything interesting on the junk shelves did get
me to look through the books. And I did find a few interesting things
there (but nothing that'll make me any happier about those trashed

I guess I'm going to have to find out where those trashed computers GO.

Anyway, the books I picked up were:

Programmer's Guide to GEM (Balma & Filter, SYBEX 1986)
Programming in Assembly Language: MACRO-11 (Edward F. Sowell,
                                             Addison-Wesley 1984)
PC to VAX: A Communications Guide (Sandler & Badgett, Scott, Foresman and
                                    Company, 1990)
Getting Started With Color BASIC (1981 Tandy Corporation)

I think I may have to have a garage sale to sell some of the non-computer
books I have, so that I can do something better with the computer books I
keep buying than stacking them on the floor.

Doug Spence
Received on Fri Jul 03 1998 - 07:07:36 BST

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