I’m collecting old computers to scavenge for parts. As my parents can verify, this is something that I have been doing since elementary school, when I used to take the old Apple IIs from my school’s trash and bring them home to take apart (and get yelled at for cluttering up my playroom). But hey, I like seeing how things work!
So now that a) my entire apartment is my playroom and b) no one is going to yell at me for cluttering it up, I can bring all the computer trash I want up in here. The ultimate goal is to build my own working computer.
But wait! When most people build their own computers, it’s because they want some super-customized ultra-powerful thing. But I already have some super-customized ultra-powerful thing, my ungodly powerful mac pro. While I could maybe, in theory, upgrade the RAM a little, it’s already head and shoulders above anything my friends and my college computer labs ever had. And I’m not a gamer, so I don’t need a gaming machine, either. What’s the point for me, then?
Really, I just want to learn. I want the experience of putting together my own machine from the parts up. It’s silly that so many of us use computers without any understanding of what’s going on inside, and I want to fix that, at least on a personal level. I also hear there’s a great deal of satisfaction involved when you boot it up for the first time and it works.
Also… well, I want a machine that’s compatible with everything. Everything, I tell you! I want it to be able to take USB storage devices, CDs, various sizes of memory cards, cable TV, firewire, 3.5” ‘floppy’ diskettes, 5.25” actual floppy disks, maybe even 8” floppies. Oh, and I remember I saw a computer that could take tapes once, like, cassette tapes. Sure, I could just buy a USB floppy diskette connector for my mac… but where’s the fun in that?
So, while ultimately pointless, I am looking forward to learning a lot about the inner workings of computers from this project. Uh… anybody got an old computer?