Out with the old…

I apologize for the dearth of new blog posts. Springtime brought the usual crush of yard work and the double whammy of spring cleaning. We hope to move to Seattle sometime in the next few years and we need to scrape off decades of old stuff.

I’ve gotten to the point where it’s a no-brainer to recycle or toss items that I will never use again. I’m beyond emotional attachment or sentimentality. However, I recently did disposed of two kinds of things that are near and dear to my heart. I couldn’t bear to see either go into the town incinerator or landfill, and it took a fair bit of time, thought and effort to find them a new home.

First, I cleared out my old vinyl records. I’m not one of those guys with thousands of records, mind you, but I did have some decent albums. I used to be obsessive about record care, so I knew that someone, somewhere would enjoy them just as much as I did. This job took a while to complete thanks to my aching back!

I want to give a shout out to two local vinyl shops: Vinyl Vault in Littleton, MA and Vinyl Destination in Lowell, MA. The best part of this job was meeting the proprietors of both stores and having a wonderful time talking vinyl and music. If you’re in the Merrimack Valley region of Massachusetts, please visit them and give them your business. You might even come across one of my old favorites!

Next to go were two old Macintosh computers: a Performa 6400 Video Editing Edition (VEE) and a Mac SE. Both machines are still up and running although there are a few creaky parts. The same can be said for my aging body. 🙂

This is where my visit to the Living Computers Museum in Seattle paid off. (Please see my trip report about the museum.) I’m happy to say that the machines are on their way to the Museum in Seattle. It took a while to catalog all of the pieces and parts, including a fairly extensive collection of vintage Mac software. The Museum staff are friendly, easy to work with, and very helpful.

A big part of prepping these old machines was scrubbing personal data. Neither Mac OS 6 and OS 9 (!) provide native facilities for securely deleting files. Fortunately, I found an old version of Norton Utilities on the Web and used its “file wipe” feature.

I know that the Museum will put the machines to good use. As C3PO once said, “You must repair him! Sir, if any of my circuits or gears will help, I’ll gladly donate them.” Please visit Living Computers + Labs in Seattle and maybe you’ll have a chance to use two of my old favorites.

Public service announcement: Good grief, people, let’s keep computers out of landfills. There are many folks who need machines. I want to mention one other organization: Computer Technology Assistance Corps (CTAC) in Manchester, NH. CTAC not only provides computers, they run training programs to teach computer-based employment skills. They’re a great outfit! Please support them.