Old closets

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We've spent a good chunk of today cleaning out old gear. It is an axiom of the IT world that unused cubicles gather old, unused equipment, and supply closets are even worse. We did a big purge two months ago, and this is the second step of it. I've spent the intervening months wiping disk drives so we can get rid of them.

Today I cracked the case on an IBM AT. I haven't been inside one of those since 1996. This wasn't original issue though, as it had an AMD-386 CPU in it and a non-IBM motherboard. But still, an AT. That and the DDS2 tape changer are rivals for oldest-crap in that room.

An old HP Pentium Pro 200MHz server booted, which is good. It means we can at least wipe that era of drive now.

And more monitors than we knew were around are now awaiting the surplus people to haul them away. Including at least one HP-server monitor, dating from the era when all servers came with monitors. Scary, huh?

In 1996 in one of my first jobs after college, I was tasked with cleaning out another closet like this one. The department was upgrading their desktops to Pentium-class machines, and were surplussing anything older than a 486-33DX. As it happens, the remains of the previous replacement cycle were still in the back of the graveyard, and that was one big pile of IBM PC, XT, and AT machines. I was pulling network cards (10-base-2) for reuse in the newer stuff which shipped with the wrong kind of ethernet card (10-base-T), and tagging everything else for surplus. It was a deep closet. I got to know the Surplus people real well.

Also? Then as now, everything is dusty. These old boat-anchors I'm working with today spent some of their service-life parked on carpet and are therefore filled with dust. The stuff that only lived in a datacenter only have minimal dust. 

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Just a quick note - instead of wiping and old drive, you can drill a couple of holes through the drive. Preferable close to center bearing. Much faster.