LSSM is chasing this, was Re: General Data? Computer Equipment Auction - GSA

Dave McGuire mcguire at
Thu Mar 17 16:37:09 CDT 2022

On 3/17/22 17:27, P Gebhardt wrote:
>   > Ok, it hit $1200, we're out of the running.  I hope these systems go
>> to a good home, and don't disappear into the black hole of a private
>> collection.
> I think that next time, you should consider to rephrase this in a more considerate way. There are public museums on both sides of the great pond where stuff is stored in the basements for preservation and does not become accessible for years and years, even if one asks for it. And I am not only meaning hardware or software, I also mean documentation (this is based on personal experience). In my point of view, black holes exist in private as well as public museums, regardless of the different reasons for this. Some do a great job in making their collection accessible in public either for real or online via a website, and some don't. It just depends from case to case and generalising here doesn't seem appropriate.

   You are correct, and I will try harder.  LSSM does, like most 
museums, have things in storage that are not always on exhibit.  Most 
museums have more exhibits than they have space to show off at any one 
time.  We rotate them every other year or so, but still, there are 
things even at LSSM that aren't readily visible. (of course you can 
always request a visit to the storage building around the corner.. ;))

   As I've said privately today to three people who have emailed me 
off-list about this, since starting the LSSM project about ten years 
ago, I've seen many, probably 25, situations in which widows have junked 
their dead spouse's prized computer hardware.  We've all heard of those 
situations, but as we've been actively looking for hardware, we see it a 
lot more, and even I was shocked about just how common this actually is. 
  This is a fate that seems to befall most private collections.

   That, combined with rodent infestations, rust, etc resulting from the 
typical garage/barn/shed/basement storage that we've seen over and over, 
has impacted my opinion of private collections.


Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
New Kensington, PA

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