Crays, SB1105, Texas state law (was: Re: Hardest to Find Classic Computers ....)

From: Tothwolf <>
Date: Sun Dec 16 16:03:20 2001

On Sat, 15 Dec 2001, Doc wrote:

> Actually, I just heard that University of Texas is replacing their
> Cray(s) with a set of IBM Regattas.

Which division of UT is this?

> If somebody with contacts there made the right moves at the right
> time, the Crays could probably be had. Maybe for next to nothing.

UT can't legally sell any old/surplus equipment via a private sale. I've
talked to people about this in the past. There are laws that force all
agencies that get funding from the state of Texas to sell old/surplus
stuff via an auction only. Prior to 9/1/99, all old/surplus computer stuff
was sold to dealers and the public via an auction.

> UT sends a HUGE volume of hardware to the Texas Department of
> Corrections, who sorts out the PC & Mac hardware & refines the rest.

Since 9/1/99, UT sends anything that fits the definition "Data Processing
Equipment" to TDC. Most divisions of UT I'm familiar with include old
Sun/VAX/Mainframe gear in the lots they send to TDC. Based on what I've
heard from various warehouse personnel, they generally tend to interpret
'Data Processing Equipment' to mean the monitor and cpu/computer. They
don't send TDC any keyboards, mice, or cables. I always wondered what TDC
can actually do with this many (10s of 1000s+) incomplete/gutted

> It always broke my heart watching the guys at surplus get that stuff
> ready to ship.

UT is required to remove all data from the machines they send TDC. Most
warehouses wipe the drives in the PC machines (only drives with
fat16/fat32 format), and remove and scrap any drives that don't fit that
profile. Some warehouses simply remove all drives and scrap them.
Scrapping always means rendering the drive completely useless. Some
warehouses drill holes in the drives, and some run them thru an industrial
chipper. Even worse, they never remove the mounting brackets from the
drives before scrapping them.

What I would really like to know is how TDC is supposed to reuse/resell
these machines with no keyboards, no mice, and no hds/mounting brackets?

Here is a little information on the bill that forces all computer stuff to
go to TDC instead of auction, the text of the bill has an explicit list of
who can get surplus 'Data Processing Equipment' from a state agency.
Section 6 seems a little funny to me, but since I don't have a background
in law, I don't know what to make of it.

Bill: SB 1105
Legislative Session: 76(R)
Enrolled 06/18/1999 E Effective on 9/1/99
Relating to repair and resale of certain data processing equipment.

URL for bill history:

URL to bill text:

Received on Sun Dec 16 2001 - 16:03:20 GMT

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