Sunday, 08 October, 2000
I sure have a tough time parting with books. For example, I have a 20-year-old copy of Rodnay Zaks' How to Program the Z80 that I'm sure I haven't cracked in 10 years. I kept it around because I was sure I'd run across the Z80 again sometime. But my last embedded project was in 1994, and for that we used an 8051. I'm pretty sure I won't touch another Z80, but I just can't bring myself to part with the book.
If that was the only such book, it wouldn't be a problem. But I have scads of books on obsolete technology, and almost as many old games and software packages. I finally reformatted my MASM 5.1 diskettes, but the user's manual is still on my bookshelf because it has some great example code. Not that I've done any assembly programming recently. Do you remember CP/M? I have Alan R. Miller's Mastering CP/M taking up space over there. I have DOS programming references, Windows 3.1 API guides, and dozens of similar books. But I can't bring myself to throw them out!
I'm just as bad with old computer equipment. I had no trouble giving away my old 486/66, but my closets are full of older machines. The last I checked, I had an Osborne 1, an Osborne 4, an IBM PC with 2 diskette drives, a Leading Edge XT, and a Toshiba T1000. I even have the Epson MX-80 printer that I paid $600 for in 1981. They're all gathering dust and their magnetic media is probably going bad by now. I haven't booted any of them in a couple of years. The printer works, but I don't really have a use for it. Every time I make a joke about Jim's Obsolete Computer Museum, Debra just rolls her eyes and walks away. But if I have a tough time getting rid of old books, imagine how tough it'll be for me to trash these old computers.