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Day May 11, 2006

Confessions of a Packrat

Those who have been to my place won’t be surprised at how many boxes it’s taking me to pack my books: 26 total for the main floor of the house, not including the 3 foot stack of obsolete computer books I’m throwing out and the largish stack of “immediate access” stuff that I’ll pack at the last minute. That leaves the spare room upstairs, which has four full shelves and an assortment of still-packed boxes, so I’m guessing the total is doubled. Plus, there’s about 10 boxes down in the basement of academic-related stuff that has never been unpacked in this house.

But I knew the books were going to be bad, and display my packrat tendencies. The real surprise was the number of obsolete or dead computers lying around in nooks and crannies. Yesterday I had a junk hauler come and help get useless stuff out of the house, in prep for further packing and staging. Nowadays, of course, computers and monitors are tough to get rid of, because of recycling fees. So I had to estimate ahead of time for them how many of each I wanted them to haul away. Boy, was I wrong….the total turned out to be 9 dead computers and 4 monitors. Who knew? Well, I knew about the dead monitor and computer somebody dumped on the parking strip opposite my house (which is near a busy street) rather than recycling it themselves. And I knew about the dead 14″ monitor we had from the old days at Emergent Media/Allrecipes, that came with the dead server boxes from those days (including our first audio server, “Weismann” for those of my colleagues who may remember it).

But I’d completely forgotten about the Mac Centris 660AV and Applevision 14″ AV monitor in boxes in the basement, which hasn’t been out of the boxes since 1997. And I’d forgotten the old IBM Thinkpad 560X which died quite awhile back but was in a box. And the Sony Picturebook ultra-portable, which stopped reliably booting Windows ME a few years ago, and for which Sony wanted outrageous money to service.

They’re all gone now…and I feel good about that. Now if I can just find somebody who’s interested in used computer books from the late 1990’s, I’m set….

(We’ll get back to our regularly scheduled programming soon, I promise. Just have to get a few domestic things done fairly quickly!)