Confessions of tech hoarders

How much hardware do you have hidden in your home's nooks and crannies?

Page 9 of 9
The world's priciest end table

Creative reuse

We conclude with Brian Ghidinelli, who has found something useful to do with his old equipment. "My living room has a stack of eight or nine late '90s 2U VA Linux servers that were once used for my company but now have no home and nowhere to be sold. We use it as an end table. The stack is a mess of various 1U and 2U VA Linux servers with Pentium III hardware in them and one Compaq machine. We still run some of these in production today (for low powered things like DNS) but some have been decommissioned and/or are broken. At this point it's basically a salvage yard of old PC parts."

PC parts are, of course, not something one should dismiss lightly, especially for older hardware. "I could probably realistically get rid of half of them and just keep a few spare parts but the conundrum is that tech hardware goes through this inverse bell curve in pricing where initially it's incredibly expensive to purchase and over time the price decreases as new hardware comes out. But that trend reverses at some point when parts become scarce and pretty soon you're paying three to five times the original cost to get parts or surfing eBay and Craigslist to find a replacement. When we moved from a shelf to an actual rack at our colo facility, just the bloody rail kits were $100 a machine. For servers worth $100 each!"

But the latest tech trends may finally spell the end of Brian's unique interior decorating. "I'm currently looking to migrate my business to a cloud-based service like Amazon because it means no more physical hardware -- and thus, no more end table. You can't imagine how giddy that makes my wife."

See also:
Facebook's most wanted
Beyond the smartphone battle: Seven patent lawsuits you should know about
Flops and vapor: 10 ways Microsoft tried and failed to rule mobile

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