A cheap hobby is sometimes cheaper

I wandered into my local recycling shop today, which is a bad thing for me to do. My real reason — I swear — was to see if there were any high(er)-end Thinkpads on the shelves (which there weren’t), but there were two interesting machines in the “antiques” aisle, if I can call it that.

One was a Thinkpad 560E, with the maximum 80Mb of memory and a 2.1Gb hard drive. Knowing my affection for Thinkpads, it was difficult to walk past that one at the ridiculous price of roughly US$20. It looked mostly complete, with AC adapter, intact keyboard, no major damage to the frame, and a CDROM.

I don’t know if I need another Pentium though. The one I have is head-and-shoulders above this, in terms of physical condition. And even if it has its share of eccentricities — like no proper framebuffer extensions, and lack of an internal CDROM — I think it is still challenging enough for me to side with it, over the possibility of picking up a 150Mhz Pentium MMX.

I’m still thinking about it though. At a price like that, I can afford to stack up another one in the closet.

The other was a little more unusual, and probably not in as good a condition (none of these machines are plugged in while on display, I have to ask the attendant to turn them on if I want to make sure they’re working). This was a Fujitsu FMV5200, which was written up as a 200Mhz Pentium (which would make it somewhat rare, if I remember my chip sequences right) with 96Mb of memory.

This one came with a docking station, which is why I considered it at all, since that meant the laptop itself could be pulled away from the external drive mounts, and used solo if the CD wasn’t a consideration. It also had USB ports on the docking station, as well as a few other now-pointless connections at the back. Provided it was working, it probably would have been useful to a degree.

But I say that about everything. In the end I bought nothing, partly because today is a holiday in Japan and I didn’t have enough cash on me to buy much more than a box of Pocky, and I didn’t feel like running down the road to an ATM just to buy another leftover computer. I may be lazy, but at least I don’t impulse buy.

Walking out of the store I considered that I’m rather lucky, to have a hobby that takes up so little money. Short of electricity and an occasional hardware upgrade, there’s little that I require to keep myself entertained than an occasional 1000-yen note and a 10-year-old piece of electronic junk. :roll:

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3 Responses to “A cheap hobby is sometimes cheaper”

  1. 1 johnraff 2009/11/25 at 1:46 PM

    Hmm, so my recent semi-junk purchase was a bit upmarket. A 2004 IBM IntelliStation desktop with 2.8GHz Pentium4, 512MB RAM, 80Gb HDD, 6 USB ports and a DVD r/w drive so I can burn CDs at last :)

    I thought it was a bargain for 7300yen.

  1. 1 Suddenly having doubts « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2009/11/25 at 10:14 PM
  2. 2 Two new wireless cards « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2010/10/08 at 8:27 AM

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Some recent desktops

May 6, 2011
Musca 0.9.24 on Crux Linux
150Mhz Pentium 96Mb 8Gb CF

May 14, 2011
IceWM 1.2.37 and Arch Linux
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

Some recent games

Apr. 21, 2011
Oolite on Xubuntu 11.04
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

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