Awesome Tech Finds – Past & Present

What “tech finds/bargains” have you come across, recently and in the past?



I scooped up a Microsoft Surface Book 1 (256gb, I5-6300, GeForce), for $100. It had Ubuntu installed and was slightly beat up. It was also missing the pen. The touchscreen and eject but wasn’t working. After installing Windows 10 it came right back to life! Hopefully it will go to Windows 11!




Conversation 10 comments

  • hrlngrv

    Premium Member
    06 July, 2021 - 10:39 am

    <p>Given the headaches it solved at the time, a small utility named <strong>SCRLLOCK.COM</strong> on the 1st shareware diskette I got joining a PC user group back in the 1980s in grad school. It used [Ctrl]+S and [Ctrl]+Q to freeze/unfreeze streaming text output on screen. I believe MS-DOS also used those keys but only those keys, and [Ctrl]+S would freeze output in the middle of lines/screen. SCRLLOCK froze the screen at the 25th (bottom) line, [Space] advanced one full line, [Enter] advanced 25 full lines. I haven’t used it in decades, but I still remember it quite fondly.</p>

  • erichk

    Premium Member
    06 July, 2021 - 11:26 am

    <p>Hmm … the LG sound bar that I use with my Xbox … normally it would have been $300, I got an open box that was less than half that. In like new condition.</p>

  • jimchamplin

    Premium Member
    06 July, 2021 - 12:24 pm

    <p>A Commodore 128D for free because a friend had finally upgraded his dad’s computer. He was going to throw it in the garbage.</p><p><br></p><p>I literally just took it away.</p>

    • erichk

      Premium Member
      06 July, 2021 - 5:15 pm

      <p>Awesome. In good condition?</p>

      • jimchamplin

        Premium Member
        06 July, 2021 - 10:37 pm

        <p>Had one bad tantalem cap that I replaced. Works like a beauty. He ended up giving me a full set of GEOS disks and the 1351 mouse. I don’t have a screen that I can use with the 80-column mode, but I’m looking to purchase a RetroTank video converter soon to be able to use both the composite and RGB video with a modern HDMI screen.</p>

        • erichk

          Premium Member
          07 July, 2021 - 9:02 am

          <p>Hey I just went to that website and it looks really cool. Do you think something like that would be good with an old Radio Shack TRS-80 MC-10? That’s that really small computer they made in 1983. I think it has a composite out. Or is it RF? Actually I think it has an internal RF modulator, so maybe it’s not composite? I wish I knew, I have one of these things and I’d love to hook it up to a monitor or TV.</p>

  • samp

    06 July, 2021 - 2:49 pm

    <p>500GB Hard Drive from an old laptop that wouldn’t boot- someone literally 2 weeks ago offered me an old laptop cos they knew that I like those kinds of things. I took the drive out, popped it into a caddy, and got a free 500GB storage. I also took out the DVD player, and replaced one from an old external DVD player that broke and I never bothered to replace (who uses DVD’s anymore?). I still got some more of the internal bits and the screen which I might find a use for. </p><p><br></p><p>And I also gave the fan to a young relative of mine who loves it ?.</p><p><br></p><p>For some reason, I am forever finding 4GB USB’s everywhere in other willing relatives’ houses. Most of the time, they were given it in work and don’t need it. I have a whole stack of USB’s now?. </p><p><br></p>

  • wright_is

    Premium Member
    07 July, 2021 - 4:00 am

    <p>A SCSI controller and 3 hard drives (Quantum Fireball 40MB jobbies, the best you could get at the time.</p><p><br></p><p>A friend had bought the set-up, but couldn’t get it to work and was just throwing it away. I said, I’d take a look at it, but he wasn’t interested, he’d wasted enough time with jumpers and motherboard interrupts! He just gave it to me.</p><p><br></p><p>I took it home, looked at the set-up, slapped a SCSI terminator on the host card and it just worked. He’d put a terminator on the last drive in the chain, but had overlooked the fact that the adapter had two SCSI ports and if you were only using one, you had to terminate the other.</p>

  • christianwilson

    Premium Member
    10 July, 2021 - 11:54 am

    <p>Not recent, but I bought the original Jawbone Jambox for 50% off at the Apple Store. It was a $200 speaker at the time. The reason it comes to mind is that my wife and I used it, daily, for many years. It was how we played music around the house and went with us on every trip we took. </p><p><br></p><p>It eventually died on us and was a sad day. We use Amazon Echos around the house, and a UE Wonderboom 2 speaker for outside, but we still talk about the Jambox a lot. We miss it. </p>

  • sentinel6671

    Premium Member
    11 July, 2021 - 4:02 pm

    <p>In the before times, found and ordered from eBay five InfiniBand network cards, InfiniBand router, and cabling to use on some of our fire modelling workstations at the office. Thought InfiniBand was something inaccessible to mere mortals, but this ancient, cast-off hardware have been perfect and function beautifully. They allowed me to dabble with the tech without needing approval for spending thousands.</p>


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