viznut's amazing discoveries

[2007-04-27]

Dumpster-diving of electronics

Today, while bicycling to work, I noticed some abandoned electronics near the waste boxes of a student apartment building. One of the devices was a Sony Playstation 1, so I felt obliged to grab it. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find the cables, controllers or any software even in the actual trash boxes, as they seemed to have already been emptied.

Some years ago, I had a much more unusual dumpster-diving experience: when I was bringing out my household waste, I suddenly noticed that someone had thrown a Commodore 64 in the waste box. After some astonishment for this intolerable blasphemy, I saved the machine. When I came back some hours later in order to find some accessories for the computer, I found a cardboard box containing ANOTHER Commodore 64, some original and pirated tape games and stuff. So, two C-64s found during one day, in the same place. I even found a disk drive cable but there was no actual disk drive to be found. Later on thay day, testing revealed that both of the machines were completely functional (and they still are, by the way), excluding some minor keyboard problems.

It seems that most of my greatest dumpster-diving discoveries still happen accidentally, while doing something completely different. Perhaps this means that I should search more regularly and particularly concentrate on the "good zones", such as the apartment buildings near big IT firms.

In any case, however, I don't want my apartment to eventually look like this. As far as I know, most of this guy's TV electronics has been dumpster-dived during the course of several years. Although I too have some junk-collecting tendencies, I'm still more interested in the "spirit" than the "flesh", and in the end, all hardware is nothing but dead matter. It is just the braindead attitude some people have towards material consumption that urges me to continue my searches for abandoned things.