Blog entries tagged with "organisation"

Really decimating the collection

Monday, July 12th, 2010 at 11:17pm

Over the weekend I made what I had thought would be some hard decisions, but they turned out to be pretty easy.

The decision was to let go of my Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh and the SGI O2. While I was at it I also let go of two Macintosh Pluses, a Macintosh Classic, some speakers, and some other bits and pieces. I haven’t actualy let go of them, but they are now listed on eBay and I will be selling them, even for a pittance.

I made this an easier decision than I thought it would be by re-reading what I said when I first announced that I would decimate the collection: the only item that I have a real emotional attachment to is the computer I grew up with, the Apple IIgs.

The first Macintosh that I actually used on a regular basis was my 12″ PowerBook. I never used any Macintosh computers, let alone any PowerMacs. I also never used any SGI machines, so why did I need the O2?

However, I will still keep some old computers with the centrepiece being the Apple IIgs, followed by other Apple II computers. This means that the Apple IIc computers will also stay. My cousins had a IIc, and at primary school and the first few years of high school we used Apple IIe computers (but I don’t have any of those, and probably won’t).

None of this is saying I will not have any Macintosh computers. I will keep one or two around in a supporting role for the Apple II computers. In fact I have an Apple IIe Card that puts a IIe inside an LC. I will probably keep an LC 475 or Quadra 605 for that purpose.

I will also be reducing the spare parts and peripherals down to those that can be used with or can support the Apple II computers. I have no need for a peripheral from the Power Macintosh era.

But what about the few remaining non Apple items in the collection?

While the Dauphin DTR-1 is quite unusual (it runs Windows 3.11 for Pen), I think it is time for it to go. The same can be said about the IBM PC Convertible, it is a piece of history, but I need someone else to take on the responsibility. These will all be listed on eBay in the coming weeks.

Lastly I come to the IBM JX. Unlike SGI, the Dauphin or the IBM PC Convertible, this is a computer that I did use. But not much, and that was only at school for word processing type activities. I don’t need it.

That actually sums up a lot of stuff that I have: “I don’t need it”. So coupled with my attempts to find a house

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Applying default deny to real life

Friday, June 25th, 2010 at 07:49pm

Default deny is the security stance where anything that is not explicitly permitted, is forbidden. I use it all the time when writing code: extra form fields, ignore them, input doesn’t match, reject it, etc. It also fits in very nicely with defensive programming.

The opposite stance is default permit, number one of the six dumbest ideas in computer security.

In many aspects of my life I have been applying default permit. For example I used to buy up any vintage apple parts that were listed on ebay and I couldn’t walk past a secondhand book sale without buying a big handful of books.

Almost a year ago when I decided to downsize my computer collection I switched from default permit to default deny. I did this by starting to think about which items I wanted to keep, not about which items I could discard. The downsizing has continued in fits and starts, in some areas further than I had intended last year as I no longer have any PowerBooks or Newtons.

My other example above was books. I have a lot of books, specifically paperback novels, a mixture of fantasy, science fiction and action. But I have too many. Specifically too many to fit on the shelves so that they are doubled up.

A few weeks ago while listing some Apple parts on eBay I found that I was able to list items for free, so I grabbed quite a few books, photographed them and listed them. The books I selected first were mostly action and included a lot of spin-offs that were being mostly written by a secondary author, because of this I couldn’t see myself reading these books for a second time. Example of these include The Dreamers by David Eddings, the Dale Brown Dreamland collaborations, and Tom Clancy’s Net Force,

In hindsight this was default permit. I am going to get rid of a lot more books, but this time I will apply default deny. This means I will start by making a list of the books that I will read multiple times. This is a much smaller selective group that could contain everything by an author (Terry Pratchett is a clear candidate), or selected works from an author (early David Eddings, short story collections from Frederick Forsyth, Jeffrey Archer and Philip K. Dick).

Of course I will attempt to apply default deny to everything, not just computers and books, but I expect it will take time…

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Want an Apple Newton?

Monday, June 14th, 2010 at 01:42pm

Following on from listing all of my PowerBook Duos on eBay, I have listed my Apple Newtons:

Also interested in a camera?

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The decimation resumes, with the Duos

Saturday, May 29th, 2010 at 10:24pm

Back in April I decided to decimate my computer collection, but after the initial flurry of activity, I haven’t done much since.

Tonight that changed and right now all of my PowerBook Duo bits, two PowerBooks and a variety of accessories, are now up on eBay:

I also listed the Macintosh Portable, because I have no interest to get it working, as well as a Lego Technic Hauler.

I may list the Power Macintosh 6100 next, including the Audiovision display.

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One week into the decimation

Sunday, April 11th, 2010 at 08:35pm

A week ago I decided to decimate my computer collection. What have I achieved so far?

The Ikea shelves (like GORM, but older) that I have for the collection gives six main spaces, plus the top of the unit. It is in the six main spaces that will contain the focus of the collection.

After reoganisation, the spaces contain:

Yes, that is only five spaces. I have yet to decide what occupies the sixth space, and then I still have the top of the unit.

One question that has been bouncing around in my mind is whether or not I keep any Macintosh computers. In 1988 the Apple IIgs was our first family computer and I used Apple IIs at school, so there is a connection there. But until I bought a Powerbook in 2004 I didn’t have a Macintosh. The only reason I have so many is because there were so many and at one point my goal was to have one of each type. We know what becase of that goal.

In order to allocate these five spaces, I needed to first remove what had previously been there. At the same time I also made an initial pass at what was on the wall shelves, mostly manuals, old software and peripherals such as external hard drives.

So what happened to what got removed? Some went into the rubbish bin, others went into the paper recycling bin, a few are in a pile downstairs because they are now listed on eBay, while the remainder is in another pile at the top of the stairs.

Items in that last pile include the PowerMac 6100s and the PowerBook Duos. I have yet to decide whether to keep these.

Before I started I took some photos that will be able to be stiched into a panorama. Once I have done some more cleanup I will take another set and post two panoramas for comparision.

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“Decimate”, not “downsize”

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010 at 05:30pm

Recently the Daily Writing Tips blog had a post about using the word “decimate” appropriately. So while the modern usage no longer means to remove one tenth, it should only be used to mean the removal of a large proportion of something, not use to refer to the total destruction of something.

In the past I have used the words cull and downsize in regard to the future of my computer collection.

They are not strong enough.

It has been years since I begain to cull and six months since I last downsized. So now I am going to decimate the collection in order to make space for lego and camera gear.

By the end of the current long weekend I must make headway. This will include any item that has sat in the cupboard for too long or that I don’t have any emotional attachment to. In reality that second criteria only covers the Apple IIgs, my first computer.

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The downsizing commences

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 at 11:36pm

I announced a few weeks ago that I was going to downsize my computer collection. Over the past few days I made a start and tonight the first items are on eBay.

I haven’t yet listed the Indys, but I have started with the bulkiest Apple items, each for $0.99:

I was also going to list the black PowerMac 5500, but that one is completely dead. It might have something to do with the evidence of water damage on the back of the logic board (a buildup of rust…), but I’m not going to bother finding out. This is a definite for the hard rubbish, but I will list the black keyboard and mouse combo.

Speaking of hard rubbish

This weekend is BarCampMelbourne, so I will be busy. The following weekend is when I have to have the items out for the hard rubbish collection. So the bulk of what I am going to list on eBay will be listed prior to the weekend. If it comes to it I could list items for five days next Tuesday, three days on the Thursday or even one day on the Saturday, but the chance of someone seeing those listings gets lower and lower.

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The collection will be downsized

Monday, August 17th, 2009 at 10:24pm

I have been neglecting my computer collection. The last time anything changed was when I acquired the Apple IIc with LCD, and apart from booting it up once and taking a photo it has sat idle for almost 9 months.

Two years ago I handed off my IBM PCs and IBM PS/2s. One year ago I eliminated the Sun items.

This time I am going to be ruthless, and most of the collection must go as the space could be better used for other things. For example camera related gear.

But what few items will I keep? I have thought about this before and from a glance around the shelves here is a list, ranked by likelihood of keeping:

I have a lot more, both systems and peripherals. My priority will be in downsizing (via ebay) the systems as they take up the most space. First to go will be the SGI Indys and then I will start on the variety of Macintosh and Power Macintosh systems.

Although this has been on my todo list for a while, I only realised today that the Annual Hard Rubbish Collection is just over a month away (for the area I am in). This means I don’t have much time and while I will start with the more signifigant items, if I don’t get organised a number of systems will be thrown out.

Not necessarily the best outcome, but unless I set myself a deadline, nothing will change for another year…

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No longer any Suns, but now have a Flip

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008 at 09:00pm

As of tonight I no longer have any Sun (or clone) hardware in my computer collection. It was a bit dissapointing that the eBay listings didn’t go beyond their opening price, but it is a lot better that they go to someone instead of being recycled.

Now I need to continue the sorting process…

With all of the Sun hardware leaving the house something did arrive, a Flip Video Ultra Camcorder.

I bought this (from the US through eBay of course) on (sort of) impulse last week with the intention of mounting it to my bike. 60 minutes is more than enough for my commute, but not enough for a longer ride. The next step with this is to work out how to mount it…

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The Suns have been listed

Sunday, May 18th, 2008 at 10:09pm

As I stated last week, all of my Sun hardware is now listed on eBay. One big listing for all of the actual hardware from Sun and another listing just for the SPARCplug.

I looked back through my eBay emails and worked out a rough total for what I paid to collect all of the items and used that for the buy it now price. So if I am lucky there is someone out there who wants it all right now and I can make my money back, otherwise it would be good for it all to go to someone who can use it.

One side note is that the amount I paid for the SPARCplug is the same as I paid for all the Sun hardware combined…

As for updating the photos for my site? I didn’t get around to that as I was unusually busy this week as there was both a Perl Mongers meeting and a Web Standards Group meeting, both of which I need to sort through the photos from and post about the lenses that I used. Hopefully I get around to that tomorrow which still leaves me the remainder of the week until the listings end to update the photos.

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The Suns are going to go

Sunday, May 11th, 2008 at 07:14pm

This afternoon I decided to resume uncluttering my computer collection, starting with the systems I have from Sun. The last time I did this was for the IBM PCs and the IBM PS/2s quite some time ago.

So what Sun items do I have?

  • Two SPARCstation 5 units
  • One SPARCclassic unit
  • One SPARCstation IPC unit
  • A 17″ display
  • An external speaker for a SPARCstation 10
  • Four 411 series external cases; two CD-ROMs, one hard drive and one tape drive
  • a mix of keyboards and mice

Although it isn’t an actual Sun machine, the SPARCplug is in the same boat and will be culled as I have yet to do anything with it.

By this time next week I should be finished taking any updated photos and it will all be listed on eBay. As a single big listing or over a number of listing is yet to be determined.

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Photos of Lego and Dinky

Monday, January 28th, 2008 at 07:25pm

Yesterday, two weeks after assembling them, I got around to taking photographs of the Lego sets that had been stored in the roof. They are available for all to see in a Flickr set.

Legoland Tanker Truck (6695)

The technique I used for the photos was near a window with sheer curtains drawn and on top of some off-white paper. I ended up using the flash as there wasn’t quite enough light. I’m thinking about getting (probably make one) a lightbox to make it a lot easier to take photos like this. And a tripod. I tried to take all of the photos from the same angle and a tripod would really have been appreciated.

What I have photographed so far is only the discrete sets that we had. There is a lot of older mixed bricks that could be used for anything, and don’t forget my Technic sets that have been (most of them) on display (of sorts) since I last played with them.

While I was taking photos continued on and photographed all of my father’s die-case Dinky Toys that had been brought down from the roof. They are also available in a Flickr set with (usually) three shots per toy.

Dinky Supertoys 972 - 20-ton Lorry-mounted Crane (1)

The challenge with these ones was identifying what each one was. was a huge help with most of the toys. For others a google image search with various keywords eventually turned up a reasonably confident answer.

As these will all be packed back up and returned to the roof (for the time being at least), the photos will help us know what is actually up there. And by making them available it should help others identify their own toys, in addition to existing resources of course.

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Playing with LEGO

Sunday, January 13th, 2008 at 10:57pm

As part of a larger cleanup, many of my old toys have been brought down from the roof where they have sat untouched for many years. (Except for the Transformers that is…)

In order to sort out the LEGO (excluding the Technic sets that were never packed away) it was decided that the best way would be to assemble as many sets as possible. So that was what I spent some of last night, this afternoon and much of this evening doing.

One big problem that I found early on was that the instructions for the castle was not with the other instructions. Fortunately the internet comes to the rescue and the first site I found was Brickset, a guide to all of the LEGO sets.

By browsing through the Castle themed sets I found the Knight’s Castle set. From that page I was able to get the instructions which enabled me to assemble the set. With only two pieces missing! While browsing through Brickset I came across the King’s Castle, a bigger more elaborate castle, that I remember wishing I had.

I was also able to assemble the Blacksmith Shop, Black Knight’s Treasure, and Prisoner Convoy sets. However, I couldn’t find enough pieces for the Supply Wagon. Specifically the horse hitch piece.

I also had a number of small Town sets and managed to assemble Highway Patrol, Tactical Patrol Truck, Road Repair, Road Rebel, RV with Speedboat, Tanker Truck, Fire Copter, and Snack Bar sets.

I still have more to sort through. Not to mention all of my Technic. Which I think I will reassemble some of them into their alternate designs.

Something else of mine that was brought down is all my old computer magazines. Nine boxes worth. Paper boxes, the ones that hold 5×500 sheets. All of which are worthless and will be going out in the recycling.

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Lessons in procrastination

Thursday, October 11th, 2007 at 07:19pm

Last night’s perl mongers meeting (actually an OSDClub meeting) featured two examples of less than ideal organisation.

Paul was up first with a walkthrough of how an online todo list (specifically Hiveminder, but also Remember The Milk). It was then ironic that Paul had not actually finished preparing his presentation. A while ago I had looked at Hiveminder (when Paul sent me a task) and I didn’t get far. Now that I have seen more of what it can do I should give it another look.

The second talk was supposed to have been from Rick about integrating with Jaiku. However, since he was planning an online walkthrough of what he has done instead of an actual presentation he neglected a crucial step: checking ahead of time that he would have an internet connection. Fortunately he did give a brief overview of how he is using microblogging, including as a means of documenting projects, which was then a topic of discussion at the pub.

Speaking of the pub… Last month they messed up our orders so this time we went down the street to a different one, the Redback Brewery Hotel. Overall it was good, not as crowded, not as loud, and not as dark. They did mess up one of the orders, the brought out a pie instead of a steak sandwich, but they noticed it straight away. More importantly they apologised and brought the correct meal out as soon as they could. Approved.

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Scavengers are efficient

Monday, August 20th, 2007 at 09:06pm

Although I had itentions to cull my collection, I didn’t get very far. However, last night I did put a couple of items out for the hard rubbish collection.

Around 8PM I put out two old desktops (proprietary HP and Compaq units) that I had scavenged a couple of years ago. An hour or so later when I put out another two systems (the Pentium 233 that used to be Gromit and the Pentium II 266 that ran the network, served the intranet and played MP3s at our LANs) I noticed that the cases of the first two had been opened.

Then when I passed them on way way out this morning I saw that all four of them had been opened: people were checking out what components they had. The the later two they didn’t have much luck as I removed the drives (in case there was any identifying data), the RAM (might be usable in a Macintosh) and the CPUs (a friend collects them) before putting them out.

I am considering a bit of scavenging myself. I spotted a Powermac 7200 series system on my way home. If it is still there tomorrow morning I’ll have a look to see it it has an intact foot thing that is used when unfolding the case…

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The PS/2s are gone (almost)

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007 at 07:20pm

On Sunday night the auction for my PS/2s ended and they are due to be picked up tomorrow.

While I still have a couple of items on their way inward, I really need to get a move on in culling the other bulky items in my collection. I need to have them sorted and appropriate items listed on eBay by the end of the coming weekend in order to be able to put them out in the hard rubbish if (for some reason) they do not sell.

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The PS/2s have been listed

Sunday, July 29th, 2007 at 07:43pm

Despite spending the day picking up a Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh I also got around to listing my IBM PS/2 50z and IBM PS/2 65sx systems and parts on eBay.

Contrary to what I said earlier in the week, I decided that I couldn’t be bothered listing the parts individually. You have to remember that my main goal here is to reduce the number of actual items in my collection down to a manageable level, not to make a profit.

If there are no takers I only have to hold on to these items for two weeks after the end of the auction. That is when my area is up for the Annual Hard Rubbish Collection.

That also means that I have only three weeks to perform the culling of other bulky items. Nothing like a deadline to make things move.

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I can see the floor!

Monday, July 16th, 2007 at 10:56pm

The eBay auction for my IBM PC, IBM PC XT and related parts ended last night for AU$200 more than I had even considered.

Even though the auction has only just ended I did move them out of my computer room as part of the listing process. This allowed me (when I finally got around to it) to rearrange a couple of the items in my collection into the vacated space.

My Indys, SPARCstations, the Plus and the Portable have been blocking my access to the shelves and the cupboard for so long that it was a bit surreal with them out of the way. I still have a JX display and an Apple display in the middle of the floor, but that is nothing compared to before.

Now to follow through with the PS/2 items which would free up space so I could start sorting through the Apple items that are in the cupboard…

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Two IBMs are on the way out

Sunday, July 8th, 2007 at 10:27pm

I have just finished following through on my resolution to get rid of my IBM PC, IBM PC XT and related parts.

This time next week I will either have someone to take them off my hands (eBay auction) or I will be finding somewhere to store them until the upcoming hard rubbish collection.

Right now I am considering doing the same thing with more of my IBM items; the IBM PS/2 50z and IBM PS/2 65sx.

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Uncluttering the collection

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007 at 08:21pm

Last night led me to My War on Clutter on 43 Folders. This in turn led me to Unclutterer and a number of other sites about organising your stuff.

I have been inspired.

Earlier in the year I asked “Why do I collect computers?“, but I have yet to really do anything about thinning out the collection.

Today I made a resolution:

By the end of this weekend (July 7/8 2007) I will have:

  1. taken new photos of my IBM PC, IBM PC XT and related parts;
  2. added the photos and descriptions to the collection; and
  3. listed it all on eBay.

These two items are big and bulky and by getting rid of them I can free up a significant amount of space. Furthermore, I don’t know if these items even work. Since I don’t really have an interest in them I hope someone else does. This isn’t without precedent as I did the same thing with the Personal Iris, DECstation 2100 and DECstation 5000.

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