I love it!
My first computer was a TRS-80P (Tandy Radio Shack Model 80, the P standing for "portable," which is like saying a 50 pound computer that looked like a sewing machine case is portable). That was about 1985, before Windows, and when Microsoft was using DOS, and Word Perfect 5.0 and WordStar were the standard word processors--who could forget the Lotus 1-2-3 nightmare?). Radio Shack had its own operating system called TRS-DOS, which was similar to Windows DOS (disk operating system), but they were not compatible. We operated only in a sterile, green-text, DOS-like environment, and could only operate one program or function at a time. Multi-tasking? Good old days? You've gotta be kidding.
Since January of this year (2007), I have worked in the computer and electronics departments of a huge 75,000 square foot non-profit resale store in Indiana, deciding what stays and what goes into the dumpster or the metal recycling dumpster, and what components are salvaged to help breathe a little more life into another system. It's a delight to be able to get a chronology and history of different models.
Just a few days ago, we sold a cute little Apple laptop (don't remember the model) to a lady who works in a public school special ed program, for $30 and is over 10 years old, and it worked fine.
What I would like from you readers is an online source of the history of old cpu's, whether in PDF form or downloadable video (I use dial-up, so streaming video is impractacle), old repair videos, showing the dates certain components were used, e.g.: the date ranges of power supplies, certain chipsets, floppy drives, hard drives, interfaces, etc. A bonus would be schematics or cut-away drawings. I would prefer PC resources, but since we get some Mac stuff, that would also be welcomed.
I am also looking for repair manuals or software that can be used to refurbish, clean up, and diagnose the cpu's, check out printers and other accessories to see if they are worth selling. We stay above board legally by retaining the original registration number and don't pirate anything, so we are careful. We don't keep anything older than a Pentium III, so at least there is a little life left for the youngster or hobbiest who just needs a basic word processor to learn typing on, use a basic database to keep track of his collection, or perhaps some old 10-year old games that we still sell for $1.00 a disk.
Since this is my first participation in such a forum as this, I don't know what the best procedure would be for people to get in contact with me or send any donations (Merchandise, not cash. I am not a Nigerian scammer, no bank account numbers, please) to the store (not my home), so I will leave that up to you to answer this question. If not, I will not lose any sleep over it.
Our store has only been open, officially, since February of this year, so our web site is not complete and running yet, so I can't direct you to it right now.
I hope to get a lot of feedback, and perhaps some links to other sites or recommendations that can help me in my computer department.
Thanks for your consideration and advice.
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