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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dig Report 2/20/10

AVA snapped this shot at a Bridgewater estate sale as we made a retreat. No, we weren't being chased, but we also didn't feel like we could take too many pictures at this one. It's funny how you can consider someone's privacy in the middle of digging through their junk. Somewhere in there we found our scruples. This was a contemporary that was several years past being a contemporary. In fact it was either in the middle of a failed restoration, or a remodel that never got finished.  This is  another sale where the sheer quantity and quality if items makes it hard to believe that we didn't walk away with something good.  But, then again, I am looking for the dig within a dig and this place had a lot of things I wasn't looking for. We spent about 45 minutes here exploring, but the builders, or the sub-contractors running the sale gave us a luke-warm feeling.

On our way to the next sale (there were only 3 in the paper) we were side tracked by what I can only describe as the great Ubuntu expedition.  Actually, it was another tag sale, which was not in the paper, and found only by the short-cut we were in the middle of taking.  There are 2 streets with large homes on the Danbury/Brookfield border that are huge in every sense of the word.  This is exaggerated by the fact that they are on fairly small manicured plots.  They look nice, but, if you can call a Hummer a gas guzzler, then these are surely an oil drillers dream. My apologies if anyone reading this has a "great" home.

There on the floor of this home was a pile of computer hardware, which looked sold, but still had the prices attached. Being a sucker for computers, and also in the market to replace AVA's Win98 hand-me-down, I asked the obvious. "Is this the sold pile?"  The tag sale leader's response was, "Well, it was, but they never came back with the money, so, it's still for sale."  A quick glance and I knew it was better that what she was using now.  Heck, a Timex Sinclair would be better than what she's using now. Remember those?  Anyway, despite the risk, I purchased both pieces:

Back home I thoroughly expected to find WINxp and several viruses loaded on this PC.  Why? because that's what always happens.  Let me digress - 3 years ago I was still on Win98, and didn't know what I was missing, when I was sent to the store for ice for AVA's  3rd birthday.  Well, as I drove down the road, I noticed a sale and sitting on the porch was a flat-screen monitor.  Hmmm, might be worth a look, but I decided to get the ice first, and then stop back.  Stepping on to the porch, I noticed that the screen was trashed, but I still replied "computers"  when asked by the owners what I was looking for.
   The "father" led me upstairs explaining that there were several computers that he wasn't sure worked.  "They're just in my daughters bedroom." he said, as we topped the stairs. "She may be asleep." as we walked through her doorway. And there she was, flopped out on the bed, college student, probably sleeping one off. I asked, "Is she for sale?" (No, I didn't ask, but hey this was a sale, everything has a price.).  There were three towers on the floor not connected to anything, I just stared at the floor, trying to ignore the snoring behind me. This was too weird.  He eventually said, "You can have em all if you want."  I paused,  I was supposed to be getting ice, so I looked for the one that seemed the newest, with the most USB and Firewire connectors and said, "I'll take this one." 
   To wrap up the story inside this post, that evening as I set it up to test it ,I found it to be riddled with viruses. Dead as a doornail and wouldn't get passed the bios setup. As I looked it over opening the CD drive there was the Gateway re-image disk in the wrong place. After dropping it to the DVD bay, and cycling the power, a very hopeful message appeared: "This will reload all the software on your computer. Are you sure you want to continue?"  Duh.  The rest is tag sale history. All this PC really needed was a little more RAM and for 3 years I couldn't be more satisfied.
   That was the expectation with Saturdays "find" except when I powered up this is what I saw.

"What the heck is this?"  Then I recalled reading about a Linux-based operating system that had some of the more ultra-nerdy folks very excited, and maybe a little smug. Although this system was locked with another users key, it only took one download and disk burn to re-image AVA's new computer with a free operating system that had most of the bells and whistles that come with a new Windows system. Oh, and did I mention that Ubuntu is FREE along with  a  very MS Office-like program called "Open Office"? If you want to see how the smug half lives, take tour of a very stable operating system, which is Ubuntu 9.10.

New computer and flat screen monitor = $40.  Happy daughter and excuse to keep hitting the sales = priceless.

1 comment:

  1. Good Stuff Greg. Particularly effective use of cyber-cultural references.


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