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Old 12-14-2017, 01:01 PM   #2521
Curious.George
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Default Re: Your Best Dumpster Finds

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Originally Posted by tmcw View Post
In the trash at work today were the following...

- a nice looking 22" or 24" Sun Microsystems monitor, WDZF model number, with a funny stand
It's a decent monitor. But, you'll really want to use it at its native resolution (1920x1200 IIRC) as it doesn't autoscale well. Verify that it has DVI connectors (it should as it is "reasonably" new) as you don't want to have to screw around with 13W3 adapters.

Quote:
There was also a Sun keyboard, similar style/colour to the monitor, I might go back for it.
Most likely a type 6 keyboard. Note that it won't have the same sort of "magic buttons" that you'd encounter on a PC (e.g., to call up a calculator, multimedia controls, browser actions, etc.). Instead, the buttons (left side of keyboard) are Sun-specific (Compose, Cut, etc.). If its an older keyboard, it will have a special "serial" interface (not USB). Note that the feel is less than ideal -- they tend to be mushy.

Also note the positions of Control, Shift and Caps Lock keys! This can be a real nuisance if you're not used to it (or don't remap them).
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Old 12-14-2017, 01:20 PM   #2522
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Default Re: Your Best Dumpster Finds

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Originally Posted by Curious.George View Post
Most folks seem to want to position their machines on the desktop, nowadays -- perhaps for ease of access to USB connections, optical drive, etc.
Well, no doubt that's the reason why. But still, there are large $10 USB hubs that can bring out a USB connection anywhere on your desktop without the need for the computer to be there at all. Personally, I think that's a better idea than getting a mini desktop computer.

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- 10 (yes, ten!) GTX 480 graphics cards, 8 still sealed in the anti-static bags, and in the box they were shipped in from Hong Kong in 2012 (are these any good?)
Yes, these are still respectably-performing video cards. About on par with the GTX 560 TI, maybe even slightly better (but also quite a bit more power-hungry and only DX11, IIRC). I can tell you for a fact that the 560 TI easily sells for $30-50 used on eBay in the USA. With yours being new, I'm pretty sure you would be able to sell them for at least $30-40 per card... so that's at least $300-400 right there in your hands.

The rest of the stuff is pretty good too. I never pass on old keyboards, if I can find one anymore. I love the beige PS/2 Dell QuietKeys (the ones that look a bit like IBM Model M).
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Old 12-14-2017, 01:42 PM   #2523
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Default Re: Your Best Dumpster Finds

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Well, no doubt that's the reason why. But still, there are large $10 USB hubs that can bring out a USB connection anywhere on your desktop without the need for the computer to be there at all. Personally, I think that's a better idea than getting a mini desktop computer.
Yes, but it's yet another thing to clutter your desk, more cables to address (monitor, USB hub, etc.), another thing that can go wrong, etc. I frequently "eject" the memory card reader when I mean to eject a memory card.

And, it still doesn't address the optical drive's accessibility.

I want the desktop to be available for me to clutter with things that are more interesting -- than a silly piece of machinery! (and the space under the desk can't be used for anything other than my feet, anyway!)

I increasingly see businesses using AOI's and SFF/USFF boxes hiding behind monitors. There is some appeal to this -- pick "it" up and you've got everything -- instead of having to crawl under the bench to unplug cables.

It can also be cheaper (I see lots of 12-18 inch video cables, nowadays, replacing the 6 ft cables from the past as they no longer have to worry about the monitor being so far away from the "CPU").
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Old 12-14-2017, 02:24 PM   #2524
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Default Re: Your Best Dumpster Finds

Yeah it's great, just failing so much more and with close to none upgradability. I'll pass, thanks.
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Old 12-14-2017, 02:41 PM   #2525
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Default Re: Your Best Dumpster Finds

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Yeah it's great, just failing so much more and with close to none upgradability. I'll pass, thanks.
Most businesses (the source of those sorts of machines) aren't concerned with upgrades or failures; they'll dump the machines in 18 months in favor of a new crop of equally bad boxes!

If you want a machine (or components thereof) that have a chance of surviving longer than a single upgrade cycle, you have to go looking for the company's servers and not their crop of workstations that they put out there for their generic employees!
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Old 12-15-2017, 12:11 AM   #2526
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Default Re: Your Best Dumpster Finds

I know that corporations are bunch of morons filled with pricks, no need to remind me, and they waste still OK HW instead of paying people better. There is nothing good about that though.

Fren' of mine works in a company acquired by T-M. They too decided some shit like thin clients instead of upgrading generation old i5 machines with more memory and SSD, so now it is even worse than it was (and in case of some internal network problem, whole company can go home sooner as nobody could do anything). The machines are so "bad" that when they decided to sell them on internal trade system to the employees, they've been sold out in like 60 seconds.
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Old 12-15-2017, 02:42 AM   #2527
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Default Re: Your Best Dumpster Finds

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Originally Posted by Curious.George View Post
It's a decent monitor. But, you'll really want to use it at its native resolution (1920x1200 IIRC) as it doesn't autoscale well. Verify that it has DVI connectors (it should as it is "reasonably" new) as you don't want to have to screw around with 13W3 adapters.
Yes, it has VGA and DVI. DVI is working, but VGA isn't, at least it's not autoswitching to VGA, maybe it doesn't have autoswitching. Of the 5 panel buttons, 3 don't seem to be working, including SOURCE, so I'll need to crack open the case to see what's up with the buttons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious.George View Post
Most likely a type 6 keyboard. Note that it won't have the same sort of "magic buttons" that you'd encounter on a PC (e.g., to call up a calculator, multimedia controls, browser actions, etc.). Instead, the buttons (left side of keyboard) are Sun-specific (Compose, Cut, etc.). If its an older keyboard, it will have a special "serial" interface (not USB). Note that the feel is less than ideal -- they tend to be mushy.

Also note the positions of Control, Shift and Caps Lock keys! This can be a real nuisance if you're not used to it (or don't remap them).
It's a type 7. It is USB, and it has 3 female USB ports; I read on a thread elsewhere that the keyboard can act as a USB hub. It does have a lot of extra keys compared to a regular Windows one, which didn't seem to work out-of-the-box when plugged into a Windows machine. Maybe a Linux machine can use more of the buttons with any messing.
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Old 12-15-2017, 03:05 AM   #2528
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Default Re: Your Best Dumpster Finds

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Originally Posted by tmcw View Post
...
- an old BlackStar push button multimeter
- HP E3610A PSU
- A triple (!) PSU with analogue dial
- a counter-timer Multimeter with a broken display cover, TTi branded
...
A picture of the test equipment, for anyone whos interested...
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Old 12-15-2017, 03:12 AM   #2529
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Default Re: Your Best Dumpster Finds

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...
Yes, these are still respectably-performing video cards. About on par with the GTX 560 TI, maybe even slightly better (but also quite a bit more power-hungry and only DX11, IIRC). I can tell you for a fact that the 560 TI easily sells for $30-50 used on eBay in the USA. With yours being new, I'm pretty sure you would be able to sell them for at least $30-40 per card... so that's at least $300-400 right there in your hands.

The rest of the stuff is pretty good too. I never pass on old keyboards, if I can find one anymore. I love the beige PS/2 Dell QuietKeys (the ones that look a bit like IBM Model M).
Thanks for the info. I thought there might still be some value/use to them. I've never been into or used graphics cards much, except for lower end ones using the DMS-59 connectors for dual-monitor setup.

I don't even have a PSU that would be able to run, let alone connect to these graphics cards.
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:17 AM   #2530
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

I got a 5.25" desktop SATA DVD-RW drive off of eBay for $1.50 - that's including the shipping! lolwut!?!
Works too.

On that note, one of the computers from the lot I posted about in my last few posts has a Bluray combo drive (I imagine that means BD-ROM and CD/DVD-RW). Oh, and I also picked up that Dell i5/i7 PC from the guy, as I mentioned. That also turned out to work fine - at least in BIOS/CMOS. Best part is, I actually have 2x 8 GB DDR3 memory sticks (don't remember where I got those). So I think I now have a good rig to upgrade to for the future (when I need it, eventually.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ratdude747 View Post
$3- Vintage Cortelco wall-mount phone:

https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1513040561

https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1513040561

https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1513040561

Always wanted one for the garage... yay vintage made in USA build qualuty
Awesome phone!
Just try to untangle the wire a little, if you can. I have OCD about wires being tangled up like that, so it really drives me crazy looking at those pictures, lol.

By the way, we have a somewhat vintage Conair white phone in our house. I think my mom bought it in the early 2000's from Ames (a US store chain that's now gone). Not sure what model the phone is or what year it is made, but it does have a switch for Tone/Pulse dialing, so I imagine it's an older model. Really good dependable phone, though. And most importantly, it is purely powered from the phone line's RJ11 jack, so it can work even if the electricity is off (as long as the phone lines are not down too).

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Originally Posted by jiroy View Post
@Momaka; There are dead seasons where the market goes very low , so i keep myself busy with those old laptops
Good tactic.

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Originally Posted by jiroy View Post
but anyway , it's not in my plans to get rid of anything electronic . You know sometimes a very small resistor can be a live saver . In Lebanon , most of the Electronic dealers stopped importing 90% of the usually needed items .
When i ask them why , while you're already more than Billionaires , they say sites like Aliexpress , Ebay and the usual others killed their business .
One small item needed , and you'll have to order it and wait .
Very true.
I disassembled a completely "gutless" ATX PSU many years ago while learning to solder/desolder. A few years later, I used the parts from that PSU to fix quite a few broken stuff: namely, three good ATX PSUs that just needed a minor component, my first CRT monitor (had open resistor in the PSU section), and build most of my projects for college/university with those parts. So it's indeed useful to have spare parts around.

Last edited by momaka; 12-15-2017 at 06:26 AM..
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:27 AM   #2531
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Default Re: Your Best Dumpster Finds

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I know that corporations are bunch of morons filled with pricks,
far more polite than i would have put it.


i found out last week that a friend works at a network security company.
they buy the latest laptops using i5 or better cpu's - like T460s's
they use them for 3-6months - then drive a forklift over them!!!!!

big joke is they all have computrace and Lenovo remote-spyware in the uefi and are installed with win10.
so no security left to compromise!!
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Old 12-15-2017, 01:10 PM   #2532
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Default Re: Your Best Dumpster Finds

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Originally Posted by tmcw View Post
Yes, it has VGA and DVI. DVI is working, but VGA isn't, at least it's not autoswitching to VGA, maybe it doesn't have autoswitching. Of the 5 panel buttons, 3 don't seem to be working, including SOURCE, so I'll need to crack open the case to see what's up with the buttons.
It's new enough that I suspect it will work with at least some PC video standards ("modes"). Older Sun monitors had wacky resolutions (e.g., 1152x900, 2048x1536). However, you may find that displaying images at other than the native resolution causes them to be "shrunk" -- surrounded by unused black space on the screen. E.g., try a 1280x1024 source.

Quote:
It's a type 7. It is USB, and it has 3 female USB ports; I read on a thread elsewhere that the keyboard can act as a USB hub. It does have a lot of extra keys compared to a regular Windows one, which didn't seem to work out-of-the-box when plugged into a Windows machine. Maybe a Linux machine can use more of the buttons with any messing.
The keyboard can only supply minimal power to any clients. I.e.,if you try to hang a 2" USB disk drive off those ports, it likely won't spin up (or, may take the keyboard offline).

The "extra keys" have specific uses under Slowaris (Solaris). You can probably get the "basic" keys (including the function keys across the top) to work -- I've used a Type 6 on a PC when I was in a jam -- but most of the other keys will probably be dead to you (the keys to the left as well as the keys in the upper right corner). In particular, you won't be able to turn on your PC using the "power" key.

Play with the "regular" portion of the keyboard for a while before you decide to invest any time trying to get the whole thing working. I've never liked the "feel" of any of the Sun keyboards -- they feel "sluggish".

Also, pay very close attention to the actual key layout. I use a type 5c on my Ultra60 and a type 6 on my SB2000 (and I can't recall what's on the Voyager). In addition to the vastly different feel (I use Dell SK8135's for most of my other machines and often am typing on two keyboards, simultaneously), the key placements are slightly different. So, its not uncommon to strike the wrong key and have to correct myself. (STUDY the actual key layout carefully as many of the differences are subtle. Hopefully the images in the links are detailed enough for the differences to be noted)
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Old 12-15-2017, 01:13 PM   #2533
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Default Re: Your Best Dumpster Finds

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i found out last week that a friend works at a network security company.
they buy the latest laptops using i5 or better cpu's - like T460s's
they use them for 3-6months - then drive a forklift over them!!!!!
We have a firm that regularly donates large numbers of machines. They've "thoughtfully" removed all the hard drives and placed them in a separate box. Each drive having either three 1/4" dia holes drilled straight through the platter area or an 1/8" wide saw cut from the edge, inward, almost to the spindle.
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:26 PM   #2534
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

got another cheap goodie box...

1x Biostar M7NCD nForce2 motherboard with XP3000+ Barton CPU, 1gb RAM (had to recap it, works now)
1x eMachines version of the AM37 with XP2400+ (the one above was the compaq version), needs recapped
3x adaptec 2940U2W ultra2 scsi controllers (all working)
4x more 160gb velociraptors (got a dozen of them now, working)
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Old 12-16-2017, 04:18 AM   #2535
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

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1x eMachines version of the AM37 with XP2400+ (the one above was the compaq version), needs recapped
I have one like that in my parts box. It got Bestec'ed. So beware of that.

The Biostar mobo should be nice once recapped. Although they often use crappy caps, I've grown to use Biostar mobos quite a bit. Like Jetway, the often have a good amount of BIOS features, even on their cheapest models.
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:00 AM   #2536
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

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I have one like that in my parts box. It got Bestec'ed. So beware of that.

The Biostar mobo should be nice once recapped. Although they often use crappy caps, I've grown to use Biostar mobos quite a bit. Like Jetway, the often have a good amount of BIOS features, even on their cheapest models.
I haven't tested the AM37 yet....so yea, it may be toast. I saw plenty of those back when they were popular for recapping. The Biostar was recapped immediately, that's a good retrosystem. I have a PNY geforce3 64mb to mate that up with...or a Matrox g450 dual head. Biostar still had drivers & BIOS's on their site for it. Both chipset & audio driver was less than 20mb....I miss those days!!
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:31 PM   #2537
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

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^dang. I love raptors and Velociraptors. Combined with a 3ware 9550 or 9560, they're generally unstoppable.

------

Today's scores:

$5- Acer P205H 20" Gaming Monitor (1600x900 16:9 glossy). Great condition (no scuffs, which matters for a glossy screen and housed unit) and has good picture quality. Has 3-5 dead pixels in the middle of the screen, but not really noticable.

$3- Asus G01 KB Gaming keyboard- Types decently, has a red backlight and an actual volume knob.

$3- Vintage Cortelco wall-mount phone:







Always wanted one for the garage... yay vintage made in USA build qualuty
Phone update: Finally got my phone wiring fixed... and went to use it, no buneo. only got a dial tone with the phone on the hook... so here's what was broken and what I did to fix it:



That explains a lot. The plastic reed spacer came loose and the reeds went everywhere. Some disassembly and needle-nosed-plier magic later:



While I was in the phone, I took some pics of the guts. First, the patented adjustable ringer:



Sadly the ring volume isn't too good even at full... maybe needs lubed with graphite or something? I don't think it's a line signal issue, as my phone system is powered by a "15 phone capable" Viking ring booster:



Said amplifier is to boost the puny output of the Magic Jack Go (also on that shelf) I use for landline phone service.

Anyway, more guts:





Back on the wall:



Other than the lousy ringer action, it all works correctly otherwise.
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Old 12-17-2017, 07:23 PM   #2538
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

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Originally Posted by momaka View Post
I have one like that in my parts box. It got Bestec'ed. So beware of that.

The Biostar mobo should be nice once recapped. Although they often use crappy caps, I've grown to use Biostar mobos quite a bit. Like Jetway, the often have a good amount of BIOS features, even on their cheapest models.
Both AM37's are good. Recapped and alive. Next was the BIOS's, both boards' ROMs are hard soldered to the boards. The compaq version has a 4mBit BIOS, the eMachine version had a 2mBit. The FIC version is for the 2mBit, which I flashed the emac board. The Compaq version, I had to do the old fashioned way....dumped the binary, picked it apart, removing all the compaq logos and changing the strings....and a few otehr things....now its more 'generic' for use in a homebrew case.... I don't think I'd really build a system on these, but I did get them working....just because their souls would be sad if I didn't.



The Biostar works like a charm, now that's a good candidate for a retro rig....Biostar's site has drivers all the way back to win98 for this board.



Trusty old XP....Win7 would probably shit a big turd on this single core slowpoke...
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Old 12-18-2017, 06:29 AM   #2539
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

I'll just leave a small teaser, it's going to be mine tomorrow. Talked to the seller, and he's busy today, but we arranged to meet tomorrow morning.


Can you find anything wrong with it?



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Old 12-18-2017, 09:24 AM   #2540
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Default Re: best cheap/free scores 1.1

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Originally Posted by ratdude747 View Post
Sadly the ring volume isn't too good even at full... maybe needs lubed with graphite or something? I don't think it's a line signal issue, as my phone system is powered by a "15 phone capable" Viking ring booster:
Other than on WE station sets, mechanical ringers tend to suck. WE actually designed their ringers as resonant systems so they want to ring (when excited at ~20 Hz). I've got one mounted high on the back wall of the house to alert me of incoming calls when I'm outdoors.

I rescue virtually every WE station set that I come across (I make alarm clocks out of them -- no one sleeps through the sound of a real phone ringing! ). The odd colors are a bit of a problem as finding "new" (NOS) coiled cords for them is usually difficult.
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