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Spring Cleaning 2019

March 31, 2019

For most people, spring cleaning is a time to clean out and refresh your house, getting rid of all that junk that's cluttering up your spaces. But for people like me, it's a great time to find cool stuff by digging through random peoples trash! You know what they say, "one man's trash is another man's... trash!"

Normally, I don't find that much, but this year I think I just blew all of my luck in one season.

The first thing I found this year was this Celeron based Windows XP computer. I know some of you are going "eewwww" right now, but ANY computer is a good find to me.

It seems like this computer was most likely used by an older couple. First of all, there's 5 years of TurboTax shortcuts just on the desktop, along with HomeWorks and Spider Solitaire. In the documents folder was nothing but endless recipies, my favourite being PECAN PIE.RTF

As you can see from the right pic, it's a pretty simple build. I think I had already removed some components by the time that picture was taken. I ended up parting this one out, because all the caps on the motherboard were exploded (and yes it still worked, but barely). I still got a bunch of useful parts out of it, so still a good find overall.

The next find of the year was something I was not expecting.

I was riding around neighborhoods on the lookout for anything interesting, when I saw an old guy bringing out tons of cardboard boxes from his house. He went back inside before I got there, but there was fresh new stuff to be looked at. I opened the first box I could not believe my eyes.

Inside that old, modly box was an entire, original Nintendo Entertainment System, complete with controllers, games, manuals, original boxes, ac adapters, and even birthday cards! The second box I opened had an entire SNES, complete with accessories as well! I opened the third and last box on the pile and it was full of more accessories, as well as tons of PC games, CDs and floppy disks, including a sealed copy of Phantasmagoria!

There were 3 heavy, moldy boxes of expensive retro videogame junk sitting right in front of me, and all I had was my bike. I didn't even have my bike trailer with me. I didn't live really far away, but there were lots of annoying scrappers rolling around the streets looking for any metal and electronics they can find, and I didn't want my consoles to be toast.

Using my large brain and fast thinking, I spotted a lawn spreader. I tied that broken, rusty lawn spreader to my bike, and stacked 3 heavy old boxes on top of it. It would be impossible to ride without falling over, so I put one hand on top of the pile, the other on my handlebar, and walked it all the way home.

And boy was it worth it! I gave all of it, except the PC games and accessories to my brother, since he's far more interested in game collecting than I am. Most of the stuff required some cleaning of course, but you might be asking, where are the consoles? Well, they needed a bit more attention.

Here's the NES. I don't know where it was stored to get like this, but as you can see it cleaned up alright. When testing it, I got the infamous blinking red light, which is usually because the pins on the cartridge and the slot on the console are, in this case, insanely dirty. I opened it up, did a full cleanup of the plastics, and since I didn't have a replacement cartridge slot to use with it, I just cleaned it up with alcohol, and used a pin to bend every pin up a little bit so that they make better contact with the cartridge. After that, I'd say it's a perfectly working NES!

And here's the SNES. And yes, I cleaned the whole thing. I just didn't take a photo of it. This one was truly beyond disgusting, but it actually worked perfectly first try, most likely thanks to its much better cartridge slot design. I did still go around and clean it up though, and it works great!

So there you have it, spring cleaning 2019. I'm excited for the future SCs, but I don't think any will stack up to these finds, but you never know!