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Author Topic: Have you ever come across any old tech that was sadly broken?  (Read 499 times)
wangobangy
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« on: July 16, 2023 @133.23 »

I always get a little sad when I find some old tech that won't boot up anymore, or is missing important components.
 
I used to work at a thrift store, and one day we got a donation of an old iBook G3, those old clam shell laptops from Apple. I was super excited about it, until I plugged it in and tried to turn it on. It was a goner. I was all over that thing my whole shift, begging for it to at least turn on, but I got nothing.
I would have bought it if it worked or not, but I don't know if it would have been worth it anyways. I doubt they'd have let me buy it when it was broken to begin with.

Have you ever had that happen to you? At a thrift store, or anywhere really, where an old piece of tech was sadly broken?
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2023 @161.98 »

I have an old Singer sewing machine from the late 19th century. Mostly iron and wood, and powered by a foot pedal. It doesn't work, and I've no idea how to repair it myself and there's nobody around who can help me. So it's just a piece of old furniture rather than something my wife and I could use for mending clothes.
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2023 @502.63 »

Yes! But, I'm a very weird person that likes to repair old tech.

I used (and sorta still do) dumpster dive and pick up old stuff that's left on the side of the road. CD, cassette, record players, I got super lucky with a VCR at one point.

I can only say this about tech that's from the early to late 90s, but there is knowledge out there to learn how to fix most things. it can be hard to find it though!! I think I just got lucky that most of my friends are like, middle aged dads who worked at tech repair places in the 90s. So I gained a lot of my knowledge from them.
Sometimes just finding a quirky old tech shop and becoming friends with the owner can lead to knowledge exchange! Repair folks tend to stick together, haha.

I will say, sometimes repairing this stuff means you have to get creative. Like, lets say a CD player requires an O-ring that is specific to that model, you have to substitute with another type and pray it doesn't snap in like, two months. Or specific parts that are no longer in supply, you have to rip from something else.

The times I couldn't repair something was usually when it's water damage. (darn you rain!!!).

But i can definitely see it being heartbreaking if I found something from an Older Time! Like what starbreaker was mentioning with the sewing machine!! I'd desperately cling onto it and hope that I can find a way to fix it some day.
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2023 @539.39 »

I bought a pocket PC running some version of Windows (I'm assuming it's Windows Mobile) like 12 years ago at a yard sale: it worked for like 5 days but then never really got it to turn on again. Maybe I'll fish it back up and see what it actually was soon!
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2023 @541.86 »

Ooph; when I moved into my apartment there was a mid 2000s CRT tv in the yard.. I didn't bring it in because technically if you have a TV in your house here you have to pay a license fee to the national TV service. After about 2 months I finaly decided I would bring it in and see if it could be used, maybe for an artwork. When I got home though the landlord had cleared everything from the yard and it was gone  :sad:

Another sad one! My grandad had a late 70s home TV pong machine; when I plugged it in there was a puff of pink smoke! I think something had gone wrong with the voltage on the power supply (it was a voltage switchable model) so I feel like this might have been my fault  :drat: It worked for a while, but the colours were weird and eventually it stopped. I looked inside once to see if there was anything obvious I could fix, but it ended up getting recycled  :notgood:
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2023 @597.43 »

I can do one better (or worse, depending on your POV), I've witnessed an old tech break before our eyes, or rather ears.

When we were in Italy earlier this year, we started to watch a DVD on this massive CRT my grandmother had. There was no sound, so I went to the back to make sure the SCART cable was connected properly, when suddenly: Crackle, crackle... BANG!

The TV started emitting smoke. Of course we turned it off and unplugged it instantly. Safe to say we weren't watching any DVDs.

It's a shame, as well because if it weren't so dangerous to work on them, I'd have loved to open it up and see what happened, but chances are good they just threw it out now.

I used to work at a thrift store, and one day we got a donation of an old iBook G3, those old clam shell laptops from Apple. I was super excited about it, until I plugged it in and tried to turn it on. It was a goner. I was all over that thing my whole shift, begging for it to at least turn on, but I got nothing.
I would have bought it if it worked or not, but I don't know if it would have been worth it anyways. I doubt they'd have let me buy it when it was broken to begin with.
Man, that really sucks. The G3 Clamshell is a great computer! Do you know what happened to it?


Yes! But, I'm a very weird person that likes to repair old tech.

I used (and sorta still do) dumpster dive and pick up old stuff that's left on the side of the road. CD, cassette, record players, I got super lucky with a VCR at one point.

I can only say this about tech that's from the early to late 90s, but there is knowledge out there to learn how to fix most things. it can be hard to find it though!! I think I just got lucky that most of my friends are like, middle aged dads who worked at tech repair places in the 90s. So I gained a lot of my knowledge from them.
Sometimes just finding a quirky old tech shop and becoming friends with the owner can lead to knowledge exchange! Repair folks tend to stick together, haha.

I will say, sometimes repairing this stuff means you have to get creative. Like, lets say a CD player requires an O-ring that is specific to that model, you have to substitute with another type and pray it doesn't snap in like, two months. Or specific parts that are no longer in supply, you have to rip from something else.

The times I couldn't repair something was usually when it's water damage. (darn you rain!!!).

But i can definitely see it being heartbreaking if I found something from an Older Time! Like what starbreaker was mentioning with the sewing machine!! I'd desperately cling onto it and hope that I can find a way to fix it some day.

Yeah, I'm the same. I have several broken consoles and computers that I'm holding on to in the hopes I can one day fix them. I truly believe almost nothing is unfixable, so I hope to give them all life one day.

I did managed to fix one console I had, though. I have an Atari Jaguar CD that didn't recognise when the CD lid was shut. Getting another was out of the question given how outrageously expensive they've become!

I looked up the issue, and it turns out it's a common issue with these units, and it's because of some bent out of place clips that complete a circuit, which is how the system knows the tray is closed.

With someone more experienced with tech repair watching me in case I did something wrong, I opened it up, manually connected the pins, and the system came back to life! Fantastic!

So we decided to get some duct tape and stick it below the pins to make sure they don't bend out of place, and bend it back, and put it back together, and all was right again!

There's a "repair cafe" in my city where every last Saturday of the month, people bring in stuff to get repaired for free by volunteers, I've began to volunteer there, though just as someone who helps out the repair technicians for now, until I can learn how to do the repairs myself.

Even if it turns out something can't be repaired, it's always super cool looking inside and learning how it all works! :ozwomp:
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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2023 @757.53 »

Man, that really sucks. The G3 Clamshell is a great computer! Do you know what happened to it?
I have no clue what happened to it. It was 2019 that I worked at that thrift store, and it's probably in a scrap heap by now. If I could have gotten it fixed, I would have loved that thing.
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brisray
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2023 @763.40 »

It's always sad and disappointing when you find a great piece of older technology then get it home to find it no longer works.

I'm a bit of a tinkerer and nothing broken leaves the house until I've taken it apart to see if it's fixable. The trouble is, I think I am clever than I actually am - and so do the people who bring me things to look at.

It's pretty cool when you do get something to work, even if it's simply replacing a nylon gear on some kid's toy. You can pick up packs of a hundred or so assorted sizes of things like that on Amazon for less than $10.

If I have something broken that I think may be fixable, what I do is while doing the rounds of thrift shops and yard sales is find another of it. That way, if it works, that's great. If not I can sometimes cannibalize one to fix the other, other times I end up with 2 broken pieces of junk cluttering up the basement.

Some things were never really meant to be repaired. Take my jukebox. It's a big, heavy (400lb) machine designed to take a lot of abuse - people falling against them and various liquids spilled over them. The problem was there was more money to be made by selling/leasing new machines than keeping the older ones going, so spare parts are hard to come by.

I like documenting what I do to the jukebox and my collection of 8mm projectors. It helps me remember what I did and perhaps useful to other people - https://brisray.com/house/jukebox.htm
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2023 @957.06 »

I got an iMac G3 from an on-line auction recently as a gift, but when I plugged it in and turned it on it just showed a "no OS' icon, and when I burned a CD of Mac OS it wouldn't boot from the CD, so the CD drive and hard drive are probably both dead. :( But it's still really pretty!
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« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2023 @950.02 »

maybe around a year ago i went to this house with my parents cuz the owners were giving stuff away, found some cool stuff including a working XP PC, an xbox 360, and an old TV monitor. I found an old dell monitor too but it doesnt work anymore along with an old flip phone but idk if it works
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