The other day Jason asked me if I had any old computers. As a CTO, he handles all of the computer hardware for his company, and about once a year he takes all the stuff that’s outdated or broken or otherwise unused and donates it to a local elementary school. There, the kids have a day where they basically tear open all of these old computers and electronics, learning about how they work and reveling in just how cool computer guts can be.
So, yeah, I told him, I happened to have some old computers in the basement. Even after purging a bunch of decades-old stuff that was mostly broken, there were still all sorts of things: network switches, KVM’s, firewalls, print servers, CD-ROM drives, and so on.
However, all of this stuff still worked… and most of it isn’t even that old. On the other hand, it’s not stuff I’m ever going to use again. When I have a gigabit switch on my home network, why would I need a 10/100 switch? And who uses full-size CD-ROM drives these days? Why do I need four print servers when I use CUPS? Et cetera.
So, I loaded all of this stuff into the trunk and gave it to Jason. I hope the kids have a great time ripping it apart!