Heavy trash pickup day is your friend . . .

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Natakel, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. Natakel

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2008
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    Last fall my sons found three computers people had set out for heavy trash pickup (along with other broken appliances, furniture, etc.). They would stop and ask if they could take them, of course. They brought these to me to scrap for usable parts, as I build and repair computers as a hobby.

    I was able, with salvaged parts, to put together a core 2 quad computer, running Windows 7, 8gbs of DDR2 RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and a DVD re-writeable optical drive. I was only out $45.00 for a refurbished ASUS replacement motherboard for the system (which is why the quad core PC was thrown away).

    I was also able to get another of the three PCs going again. It had a bad power supply. The third PC fired up with no issues . . . apparantly it was tossed because it was "old" maybe? It was running XP . . . I put Linux Mint on it. It never ceases to amaze me what people throw away.
     
  2. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    The Geek Squad at Best Buy is my best friend. They keep telling people their computer is unrepairable and I get them for free. A few have needed a hard drive. One only needed me to unplug a bad video card and it defaulted to the mother board video. Bottom line: I have never bought a computer. :p
     
  3. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    How did you initiate the relationship with the Geek Squad? Or did you mean you know the people turned away by them? My son-in-law could sure use a castaway laptop and we've got some repair skills.
     
  4. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    It's about long term relationships with people...not the Geek Squad. Lots of people know I fix things. After they assume I can't fix computers and they go to the Geek Squad, they assume I want their useless junk, deliver their, "dead" computer to me, I fix it, and it's mine! That simple. Their stupid is my bread and butter.
     
    wayneh likes this.
  5. Glenn Holland

    Member

    Dec 26, 2014
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    On a remotely related subject of recycling and reuse of electronic equipment, when I was in the elevator business I would go on a salvage survey with a building demolition contractor to check for any late model elevator controllers that were available.

    In 1971, a severe earthquake hit northern L.A. County and a brand new 7 story hospital (the infamous "Olive View Medical Center") was red tagged. Before being prepared for an implosion job, the whole structure was cannibalized and contractors were treated to a literal smorgasbord of electrical/electronic, and mechanical equipment.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2015
  6. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    I have picked up three paper shredders in the last 10 months. People toss them out because they are "broken".

    #1. Paper jam (the usual culprit).
    #2. The plastic tab for the micro-switch is broken.
    #3. Broken power cable.
     
  7. Glenn Holland

    Member

    Dec 26, 2014
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    Low end paper shredders for home use are really a waste of money. I knew a mechanical engineer who designed commercial and industrial shredders and he said the drive would have to be hydrostatic instead of gearing and the cost would be out of reach for your Average Joe.
     
  8. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    I scavenged parts from an otherwise very nice shredder from a friend. The only thing broken was a plastic gear. It was a common failure so there were lots of people looking for a fix but no more replacement gears on the market. So stupid to send this machine to the dump for lack of a 25¢ piece of plastic.
     
  9. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Ditto here. I'm the Mr. Fixit they come to, but they know my "price" is usually the item I fix. One friend likes to shop garage sales, so I see quite a variety of things come by.
     
  10. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
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    Sounds like a scam. :)
     
  11. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
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    Where do you get parts for something like that?
     
  12. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Yebbut...It's MY scam and I'm not telling you about it! :D

    Oh wait...I just did. :oops:

    I'm thinking this is a job for the famous 3D PRINTER!
     
  13. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    You don't. That's been a frustration of mine for years, that so many items hitting the trash are there because you can't get a cheap part. 3D printing may change that, but only if and when people draw replacement parts and share their drawings in a way others can find them. I mean, I'm not going to spend hours drawing a gear for a fax machine, but how do I find the drawing I need with no part number on the gear?

    So far, I'm a bit disappointed with the cost 3D printing. Good review here. As I shopped around it was eye-opening how many 3D print shops are out there, and how many materials can be printed (like gold jewelry, for instance). But even the the cheapest PLA plastic is far too expensive for most things I want to do. Faster and cheaper to carve a piece of wood. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  14. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Inconsiderate manufacturers! :mad:
    It's as if they don't want you repairing a machine that they can sell you again and again!
     
  15. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    It used to be a major reason to buy from Sears - you'd get a parts diagram and they used to have parts available for years and years. Yes, they'd totally rape you on price, but at least you could get the part. Now, they still give you the parts diagram but good luck finding the parts by the time your purchase is old enough to need them.
     
  16. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    True. I used to work at Sears and knew how to, "work the system". I could buy an inductive pickup without ever buying the timing light it was attached to. Eventually, I needed a variable speed switch for my 1970 3/8th inch drill and they had assigned the part number to a much younger drill and I received a part that just won't fit. :(
     
  17. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    Sears equipment is often relabeled, they don't make anything, for e.g. the Garage door openers are Chamberlain, and you can get the parts on line cheap, same with the appliances.
    Max.
     
  18. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    That's one of the tricks...find out who is designated by the first 3 digits of the model number.
     
  19. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
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    I managed to create kind of flow of still useable PCs to me. The problem I cannot solve is how to get a valid Windows version I can install in the good ones.

    When I say valid I mean able to get SP et al legally.

    That's is my frustration with all this.
     
  20. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I used to use Magic Jelly Bean to change the registration numbers, but it seems that program has been crippled so it can't do that any more. I installed whatever copy I had and changed its number to the number on the sticker on the case of the computer. I suppose Micro$oft wants to sell you the operating system again instead of allowing that computer (or you) to use it's original O.S. for as long as it survives.
     
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