The problems of organizing a computer collection

From: Fred N. van Kempen <>
Date: Tue Sep 2 08:00:00 2003

On Sun, 31 Aug 2003, Ian Primus wrote:

> I have been striveing to organize both my physical and digital space as
> of late, and hsve been trying to reorganize the basement.
It's a war we can't win, lieutenant :)

It gets worse if you assume that there are various kinds of
collectors, based on how they collect. I myself like to
get stuff, clean it up (yes, I have a steady supply of
lab-quality alcohol, straight from the hospital lab) and
restore it to its glory. And then set it up nicely, with
periphs attached, networked if possible, and loaded with
at least an OS.

All my PDP-11's (6), VAXen (19), DECstations (8), Alphas
(2), (DEC) PC's (2) and terminals/Xterminals, network gear
et al are in this shape, connected, and ready to roll.

Worse, they are usually always running, except for the PDP-11's,
as I am wary of their power supplies blowing up on me... yes, it
can be quite warm in here with all that stuff running..

As you said... these beasties usually don't come small, nor do
they come alone. We're talking manuals (my whole wall is DEC
manual-covered), keyboards, mice, cables, media, the works. And
that is good.. I strive to get systems as "complete" as I can
possibly get them...

Regarding storing cables: I did find a fix for that... On the
wall in the machine room, I have a curtain slide (basically a
round, .75" diameter aluminium rod) with distance brackets,
at about 3.5ft from the floor, and my cables are usually draped
over it.... this cleanly stores cables of up to 6 feet. There
are several sections (AC, AC-UPS, UTP, UTP-X, serial, special,
fiber SM, fiber MM, SCSI, DSSI, ...) which makes for an easy
"grab" if I need a cable *now* (which happens quite often ;-)

The (paper) manuals are all stored in regular DEC-style 3-ring
binders (I found a source for these, yayy!) so this actually
looks quite neat now.

Media are magtapes (downstairs, in basement... still need one
or two original magtape "hanging racks" ...), TK's (TK50, TK70,
TK85, DLT) (neatly on shelves, soon to be barcoded) and the
truckload of diskettes (diskette binder) and CD's (CDROM binder).

Spare parts... one can NEVER have enough of them, and I will ALWAYS
take an offer of systems, or parts of systems, or even dead systems,
simply for spares. These are not quite organized yet, although I
recently moved from cardboard boxes to neat PVC see-through crates
which can be stacked- this already helps.

Received on Tue Sep 02 2003 - 08:00:00 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:36:25 BST