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Rhetorical question time

I wonder how much high-tech gear goes straight from the box to the trash? Or perhaps, hopefully, to the recycler? Think of things bought as spares, but which become obsolete before they ever get used. Or gear owned by bankrupt companies. Or equipment that's simply over-bought (some of you will find the phrase "Bob math" meaningful here).

I bet that quantity can be measured in tons every year.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
shesingsnow
Aug. 10th, 2006 01:06 am (UTC)
Bob Math. *chuckling*
netcurmudgeon
Aug. 10th, 2006 01:52 am (UTC)
Ya know, he had the right idea, just no sense of scale. With our retiring ATM in favor of Gigabit Ethernet I've junked at least a dozen new-in-the-box ATM cards (which cost the taxpayers ~$10K each) and a pair of $50K each ATM switches. Over in one of our schools there's a room with a half dozen other switch chassis (of the $10K variety) still in their original cartons. And dozens of cards. All of it obsolete, all of it waiting to for they day when we need the space and it gets shoved off to the recycler. Selling it, unfortunately, is not possible.
also_huey
Aug. 10th, 2006 01:28 am (UTC)
I dunno about your installations, but at Worldcom (where we had at least one spare for EVERYTHING) they invariably got used. Somethin breaks, failover to the spare, de-rack the broken one, ship it back, and the new one that gets sent to replace it becomes the new spare. The only crap we had that probably went to asset dist still in the shrinkwrap was basically consumable stuff like SCSI drives.

The big secret there (at the time, anyways - this was five years ago) is that, if your project lost funding hardware, you still had an effectively infinite amount of funding to order other groups' decommed stuff from asset dist. While pulling ops shifts where I was basically just sitting around anyways, I ordered a whole case of busted laptops, made all but one of 'em work, kept a couple good ones for my own team, and used the rest as trade bait for favors from other teams.     ;-)
netcurmudgeon
Aug. 10th, 2006 01:47 am (UTC)
kept a couple good ones for my own team, and used the rest as trade bait for favors from other teams.

I see you have taken advanced ranks in scrounging!
also_huey
Aug. 10th, 2006 01:59 am (UTC)
In the Army, I stole a HMMWV one piece at a time, just like the Johnny Cash song. They issued me a frame with an engine and a busted transmission, and I had to scrounge the rest. Took me almost a year to do, but when the First Sergeant says "son, when we deploy, that truck is flyin' if you have to push it up the fuckin' ramp"[1] I think "hrm, be much easier to drive it up the ramp then, huh? Guess I better steal the rest of a working drivetrain first..."

If I keep improving at this rate, in another few years I'll be able to build anything- ...out of nothing.

[1] Yeah, wasn't just me. Everybody pretty much hated that guy.
netcurmudgeon
Aug. 10th, 2006 02:15 am (UTC)
Oh Lord, an Army scrounge! Nothing is safe when your're on a mission! :-)

Where'd you deploy to?
also_huey
Aug. 10th, 2006 02:32 am (UTC)
I got off pretty light. In a ten-year career, I only had three deployments: a short stay in Japan for Operation Joint Somethin-or-other, a short stay in Vincenza backfilling a unit that was in Bosnia, and one rotation through JRTC in Louisiana.

And it turns out the prick was wrong; truck didn't fly. JRTC issued me their OWN busted-ass truck, that they then insisted I fix a bunch of shit that had been broken when I got it, before they'd let me turn it back in.

Such is the ways of the Army.
half_elf_lost
Aug. 10th, 2006 01:49 am (UTC)
I have a modem card for an old work laptop hanging around - tried to freecycle it - and I can't bring myself to throw it away. Also heaps of transformers and cords to now-forgotten appliances.
netcurmudgeon
Aug. 10th, 2006 02:13 am (UTC)
I think that a lot of of have closets/basements/garages that look like the IT equivalent of this:

(USAF aircraft boneyard at Davis Monthan AFB)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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