Pondering the definition of junk

by hobbitalastair

I haven’t posted as of late, being busy with other things, so I thought I should take the time to jot down a few thoughts I’ve been considering of late, with regards to the definition of junk.

As it turns out, junk has a few definitions which I won’t link to here. Urban Dictionary has a rather tongue-in-cheek definition:

Seemingly useless rubbish which sits around for months and is inevitably disposed of the day before it is needed.

It’s fairly close to what I was thinking of.

The reason why I was pondering this is because I’ve convinced myself that I have space for one more computer, with a caveat – I’d have to get rid of the iMac, which I had planned to build a case for and revive. The real problem with getting another computer (or even trying to revive the iMac!) is that I feel the need to justify it’s existence.

You see, currently all of my computers need a justification for me to keep them. For my Toshiba, I am keeping it because I enjoy fiddling around with it and experimenting with stuff to put on it. For my PC, the justification is that I need it. For my Pi, the justification is that it is a perfect always-on low powered server. I have a justification ready for whatever laptop I end up with, namely that it is a laptop. But I don’t have a justification for the iMac, since it is underpowered compared to my other machines. I don’t have a justification for any other pieces of cool hardware I might find. And I certainly don’t have a justification for the rubbishy laptops I bring home from time to time, which is why most of them have been returned within a few weeks.

So why do I even need to think about getting another machine, or replacing the iMac? It would obviously have no use what so ever, and I could never spare the time to really give it care it needs, since I’ve already got the Toshiba to keep me busy.

Well, there are possible reasons why I’d like to keep a piece of hardware.

  • It is more powerful than anything else I own.
  • It is useful in some way.
  • It is cool.

The first one is easy – of course I’d keep something more powerful, provided that it was substantially more so, and was an attractive machine in it’s own right – not too noisy, easy to install Arch Linux on and maintain, and easy to hook up to a network. A bigger monitor is another thing that I’d quite like… but I might wait until large e-ink screens are available.

The second is a bit harder. Given that I own all I need, I’m not sure what that useful something might be. An expansion card for my PC that provides some more functionality? Spare parts for my Toshiba, perhaps.

The third is even trickier. What makes something cool? Pondering this, I thought of several machines I would like:

And a few others 🙂

The main issue with reason #3, is that I could get to the stage where I have a dozen old computers, all of which I might consider to be ‘special’ in some way, which I never spend any time on. In other words, I would become a collector of old computer hardware….

Is that a good thing? Or is it just hoarding junk?

I’m not sure yet…