The constantly obsolete computer

In cleaning our house for an upcoming Christmas Eve dinner with the relatives, my wife came across an old 3.5″ Floppy Disk with some jpg pictures. She asked if I could transfer the picture files from the floppy disk to a USB flash drive, and I had to think a minute… do I even have a floppy drive anymore? My iMac certainly doesn’t have one, nor does my previous Quad-Core Windows 7 machine. My Dell 11z Netbook doesn’t have one, and my older Dell D620 laptop neither. In fact, none of the computers in my house have an ancient “Floppy” drive at all!

Fortunately, I did have an old PC carcass in my garage that did have a 3.5″ floppy drive but it wasn’t connected to the motherboard. I then began the search through my closet and attic for a Floppy Drive ribbon cable so that I could connect the floppy drive to the motherboard of the old PC, fire it up, and then copy the data from the floppy over to the USB drive. Luckily after searching through tons of cables, connectors, hard drives, etc. I found a floppy ribbon cable and completed my mission.

After all of this, I decided to do a little housecleaning and get rid of all the obsolete computer parts and cables I had collected over the years. With how fast computers progress in hardware and capability, most of my spare parts were just junk. I had a dual DVI output video card which worked great when I was using it, but now it is obsolete since the AGP board connector has been replaced in newer motherboards with PCI-Express 2 slots. I also found an old PC-Card slot WiFi Adapter (no doubt, WiFi-b protocol), a few USB 1.0 speed WiFi adapters, several sticks of old RAM memory, an old Parallel Port printer cable, a 300-Baud COM2 portable Modem (remember those?), lots, and lots of USB-A to B, to etc. cables. I also had a few very old NEC laptops that wouldn’t boot up, “Free” Inkjet printers that came with various computer systems, an old VGA Cathode-Ray tube monitor, and a few wired mouses and wired 101 keyboards. Instead of keeping this ancient junk, I through most of it in the trash and took the old computer electronic devices to my local recycle shop.

It’s amazing how quickly hardware goes obsolete in the computer world. Since switching to an iMac (which is a fully integrated system where all the components are inside the monitor display), I don’t think I’ll be collecting so many spare parts in the future. I sort of miss tinkering with the hardware on my past desktop systems, but then again I’m giving up on all the headaches of dealing with bad drivers, wrong components, etc.

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