Old Computers

Technology is one of those things where for the most part, things don’t improve with age. The main exception to this rule seems to be the old-fashioned division by hand versus trusting certain bits of silicon. (Thus leading to the expression/warning, “Don’t Divide, Intel Inside.”)
A couple years ago, an acquaintance gave me a notebook PC. It was in working condition, it just didn’t have a hard drive. (The original drive had failed and he’d decided to replace the entire thing with an Apple Power Book.) I tried to get a new drive from Dell, but eventually discovered they were no longer available. So the computer sat in my guest room, just gathering dust.
I think the correct term here might be “pack rat.”
A friend gave me a talking-to the other day and I resolved to do a bit more follow-through on my plans to Disenclutter™ the place.
So this morning I sat down and typed up a description of the notebook computer, making it clear that there was no hard drive.

This is an older (6 years?) Dell Inspiron 3000 notebook.
The specs are:

  • 233MHz Pentium MMX
  • 143 MB RAM
  • Swappable CD and Floppy drives (plus a cable allowing whichever isn’t plugged in to be connected to the parallel port)
  • PCMCIA Network and modem cards
  • Power supply

There is one catch: This computer has no hard drive. The original drive (3.2 GB, 2.5″ form factor) is no longer available from Dell and I haven’t had the time/energy/need to track one down elsewhere. The computer is otherwise in working order; you probably won’t be running Vista on it, but it should be fine for most word-processing or email tasks.

I then posted that description to the local Freecycle group.
The item was posted at 8:03 AM. Given the age of the computer, I didn’t expect there would be too many takers. In fact, I was a little worried some might accuse of me using the list as a means of getting rid of trash.
How’s that saying go? “One person’s trash is another’s treasure”? By 8:13 AM there were already seven people asking for the computer. Thinking that perhaps some had seen the word “computer” without reading the part about “no hard drive” I wrote back to the first one (for this stuff I figure it’s first come, first served) to make sure she understood that part. Yep, she’d understood that all along.
Evidently that computer still has some life ahead of it.