The problems of organizing a computer collection

From: SP <>
Date: Sun Aug 31 13:21:01 2003

By now, my experience consist in concentrate all the items in one garage
with no special order. I have it almost sold, and I must search one new
place from now to three months in a future. But this concentration give me
some idea about the field needed to put the items organized. Actually,
I use 17 m2 with a tall of 2,25 meters. I should need 50 m2 with the same
tall to organize all the items in accesible form, and allow to add more
items in an easy way. I recommend to get some cabinet with no wheels but
capable to support a great weight. Actually, I have five of these with
a capacity of 250 Kg by table (and every cabinet has five tables).
And over the same quantity of cabinets with wheels, with less weight
capacity but capable to be moved from one part to another. I have
actually three of them, and they permit to use one EIA adapter to rack
some items on it.

Of course, the cables, boards, peripherals and other devices must be
keep in boxes (I use plastic completely closed boxes) and classified.
I recommend do the same with manuals and software, even when
it can grow the costs a little. With Books is most usual to have them
accesibles, but all depends of your interest to keep them safe.



----- Original Message -----
From: "Ian Primus" <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2003 6:37 PM
Subject: The problems of organizing a computer collection

> I have been striveing to organize both my physical and digital space as
> of
> late, and hsve been trying to reorganize the basement. I have come up
> with
> solutions for many of my storage problems, but I would like to hear
> what other
> people have come up with. I am currently also working on my website
> (not yet
> online) and hope to have pictures and explanations of storage
> solutions, as
> well as my collection. I have broken down the basic problems the
> computer
> collector generally faces when dealing with space. Any input and
> solutions for
> storage problems would be appreciated.
> As a collection progresses, it grows and expands, both in the mind of
> collector and the physical space it occupies. The latter is perhaps the
> biggest
> concern, especially when it comes to a collection of computers.
> Computers have
> a lot of properties that make them a problem to collect, store and
> organize:
> - Computers are large. This isn't always true, but they do take up a
> great deal more space than say, stamps.
> - There are lots of peripherals. The computer itself isn't normally
> very
> useful without the associated peripherals, such as monitors, keyboards,
> disk drives, terminals, printers, modems, etc. These peripherals are
> also rather large and hard to store.
> - There are lots of manuals. Computers, especially old ones, have a lot
> of associated documentation. These manuals generally take the form of
> three ring binders... lots of them. The documentation for all the
> software on an older minicomputer can easily take up two or three
> shelves. Manuals are also heavy, most cheap bookshelves can't handle
> it.
> - And don't forget the media. Allmost all computers use some form of
> removeable media, which comes in the form of floppy disks, tapes, disk
> packs, cartridges, optical disks, and more. These too must be stored
> and
> organized, and can present problems because improper storeage can
> damage
> some types of media, and some media is pretty unweildy and likes to
> roll
> off shelves, like nine track tapes.
> - And, last but not least, the spare parts. As the machines get older,
> spare parts become difficult to find, and the only source of
> replacement
> components tends to be other machines of the same or similar model.
> Therefore, spare parts must be accumulated *just in case*, since the
> chances of finding a part when you need it are slim. This presents the
> additional storeage nightmare of keeping all the spare parts organized.
> Disk drives, circuit boards, power supplies, broken/damaged machines,
> duplicate machines, and assorted parts pose an interesting
> organizational dillemma. Most parts stack poorly, or can be easily
> damaged. They normally need to be kept in some sort of anti-static bag,
> and are much more delicate than the complete machines, which have
> protective cases and can be stacked. Also, inevitably you will end up
> with forty duplicate spare parts, just in case.
> - Oh, I can't forget cables. Almost all computer equipment requires a
> large number of easily tangled, serpent-like items known as cables.
> Some
> of these are pretty standard, and can go with almost anything, like
> power cables or RS232 cables. Others are proprietary and make their
> associated device an electronic paperweight if they become lost or
> damaged. Cables are also notoriously hard to store. Anyone that has put
> up Christmas lights can vouch for this one. Even the most neatly
> stacked
> and coiled box of cables will turn into a hopeless tangle if left
> unattended. All theories of 'cable gnomes' aside, cables provide a
> difficult storeage problem, as they must remain untangled, yet easy to
> access if you are in the middle of working on something and realize
> that
> you need a SCSI cable *now*.
> So, what have other people's experiences with organization been?
> Ian Primus
Received on Sun Aug 31 2003 - 13:21:01 BST

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