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Pack Rat Penance



Like a lot of geeks, I have a collection of old and obsolete PCs in the basement. A few were my primary PCs, but many I rescued. And like any pack rat, I had plans for them - like being used in a MAME cabinet. Some of the plans have even panned out - like a MythTV backend or a TiVo guide server.


But the basement cleanup & purge brought to light the number of PCs which were lurking in the corner. The two 486s were declared surplus after removing the hard drives (for a final backup & secure wipe). And I swapped the drives & ATSC cards from a noisy Athlon XP into a quieter 1GHz Celeron. (A MythTV backend doesn't need a fast CPU if you avoid transcoding.)


Then I took a serious look at the various Slot-1 PCs I had. One was a bare P2-400 motherboard in my Tempest cabinet. I decided to upgrade it to the P3-550. So I started swapping stuff around and somehow ended up with at least two dead PCs. But then I realized there wasn't any point in using them as I had an Athlon 900 which I could use instead. That one booted, but failed to enter setup.


And then it hit me. Why was I bothering with these broken and obsolete PCs? For the Tempest cabinet I could use the Athlon XP - it was the fastest one and known working. And if I ever did build my MAME cabinet I would be better off getting something new anyway. (Yes, Tempest is running MAME, but I only needs to run Tempest and can use an older version.)


Thus in one fell swoop I have relegated four PCs to the dustbin. After I have pulled the hard drives, of course.


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