[sdiy] Batz (rant)

Batz Goodfortune batzman at all-electric.com
Thu Jun 13 17:44:38 CEST 2002

Y-ellow Eric 'n' all.

At 08:53 PM 6/12/02 -0700, metasonix at earthlink.net wrote:

>Dear boy, you are now finding out the true evil of corporate megalopoly.

If you're the Emperor then I must be Darth Vader. Eh. WHat the hell. My 
left hand needs replacing anyway.

>(Then came the Depression, and the US radio industry went from 250
>manufacturers to 17....
>Just substitute "personal computer" for "radio". Things really don't change.

Yeah. No-one learns. They just let the market economy drive them like they 
were lifeless ventriloquist dummies with an accountant's hand up their ass.

>In 1993 Los Alamos put out a complete CDC Cyber 135 supercomputer,
>with all manuals, software and peripherals. It used 100k ECL chips
>running way past their maximum ratings, pressed against cold-plates
>in which circulated freon refrigerant. They had just sawed off
>the cables going in and out, and thrown the cabinets onto pallets.
>The whole thing ended up selling to a surplus dealer for $2000.
>I saw this happen.

Actually it's funny you should mention that. I use to be in that business. 
IE: buying scrap main frames and ratting them for resources. I say 
resources because I wasn't actually the scrappy. I was just the guy who 
knew something about electronics and could work out what was worth trying 
to sell in in the shop and what was not. The guy who ran the show was only 
interested in metals. He knew nothing about electronics. Actually to be 
honest he knew nothing about anything. Well no that's not true. He knew 
heaps about drinking beer and laying bets on the races. This guy was a 
walking environmental disaster so I actually know first hand what all this 
stuff is like.

Whilst we never had anything as big as Los Alamos, or at least I never saw 
anything that big, we did have the monthly telecom auctions. Or the 
infamous ziggy boys and Telstra as they are known now. And I concur. These 
mo-fos would chuck out pallet loads of brand new Ericcson cross bars for 
example. Never been used. You could pick them up for as little as 50 cents 
a pallet. I don't know how much Kevin use to get in paladium out of those 
things but he use to lose a hell of a lot on the horses every time we did a 

And yeah. Then Telstra would go out and import more cross bars every 
financial year. All this despite the fact that the push for full 
computerization of their exchanges was well underway by then.

I got my first temp controlled soldering iron that way. Really nice weller 
that only broke a couple of years ago. All that was wrong with it, and get 
this.. was that the pins on the plug were a bit bent so the plug use to 
fall out. Like, were their technicians really that dumb that they couldn't 
straighten them? Well I can answer yes to that to as it happens. When I 
worked in the communications industry we had to send our LIUs (Line 
interface units to interface with SPTN phone lines) in to Telecom for 
testing. We got a note back saying something like. "Please don't use 1 
percent resistors as our test engineers don't know how to read them."  I'm 
not making this up!

I still have two panels from a burroughs main frame we ripped out through a 
roller door mounted some 40 feet up the side of a building. They forced 
Kevin to hire a scissor-lift to do the job -which no-one knew if it 
wouldn't collapse under the weight of the modules.- because they weren't 
prepared to let Kevin use his preferred option. Which was to simply push 
the things out of the hole in the wall and repair the damage to the car 
park and road below later.

Kevin's idea of environmental health and safety was to recover metal from 
cables and transformers by piling them all up in a mound on his block 
pouring on some gasoline (Or anything else he happened to have that burnt 
real well) and letting it burn. His block was in a scarcely populated and 
industrial part of town right out beyond the fringe but he still managed to 
generate complaints from all industries in the area. Someone thought there 
was a plane crash or something there once. It was just kevin rendering his 
metal. Eventually he was made to stop doing it so he'd wait till night when 
the factories 'n' stuff had all closed for the day and do it then. You 
always knew how to find the kevin's block. Just follow the smoke. If the 
fire service wanted to hold a disaster training program they'd do it like that.

But hangin' with the scrappies was a real education.

These guys were all pretty paranoid and I think Kevin's drinking 
exacerbated this natural tendency that all scrappies aparently have. It 
could have been a good operation but I got out of there just before 
everything really started turning ugly. But the single factor that closed 
Kevin down entirely was the fact that the golden time of mainframes was 
drawing to a close. Even mainframe manufacturers were using less and less 
precious metals in their machines. And your recovery operation has to be a 
whole lot more efficient than Kevin's to extract anything from PC junk.

All that was fun but even then I knew that someone was bearing the costs 
somewhere. This "Scrap" may well have been off the books but that was 
largely due to creative accountancy. Pushing the costs further and further 
till it became "Not my problem." But of course we didn't care. Even though 
ultimately, we were among the tax payers who were footing the bill.

>You have no idea. There is a rumor that Gates is trying to get
>his congressman to introduce a bill that would make open-source
>software illegal for any government or commercial use.

Actually yeah. I've been following all this pretty closely. (Thanks Terry) 
And yeah. They all rubbed their crystal balls and after they took their 
hands out of their pockets they saw that the bubble was bursting. Albeit in 
slow motion. But this just makes the hemorrhage all the more painful. This 
is now why the US has the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) and the 
Wallywood shisters are constantly lobbying for anti-consumer content 
controls on everything from your computer to your toaster.

And all this is way too complex for me to even begin with at this time of 

>Sad to say, this is not surprising. I have heard many times that Aussie
>businessmen are some of the world's most ruthless (and, imo, foolish).
>At Svetlana we had the same problem--the Australian customers
>were some of the worst--always screwing up paperwork, not paying bills,
>lying about receiving shipments (then demanding a replacement shipment),
>bitching about quality and prices, etc. etc.
>What is it, the isolation driving them nuts? Maybe the summer heat?
>Eating kangaroo burgers?

You don't have to live here!

This too is overly complex but bear in mind that nearly all the CEOs of all 
these companies are actually Americans. In fact trying to find a company 
here that isn't some multi-national conglomo or owned by one, is as hard to 
find as a bargain on eBay. They're out there by blink and you'll miss them. 
They're all so use to screwing the gullable idiots who live here (And I'm 
one) that they think they can do it to the rest of the world. Trouble is, 
Rupert Murdoch showed 'em all the way.

As any Aboriginal will till you. It use to be a nice place before Europeans 

Everyone who lives here instinctively knows that if you've got a good idea, 
take it over seas. Because if you stay here you're screwed. Australia is so 
corrupt that the corruption is actually legislated in law to make it legal. 
But I shouldn't even go down this path. However wonderful and exciting you 
may think the place is when you see it on the post cards, just remember, 
those postcards are probably at least 20 years old.

>I bet many list members have old PCs sitting around..........
>Just think, ship them to Batz in Australia, and you won't have
>to take the stuff to the local recycler or the landfill,
>only to have them turn you away....Batz will get "rid" of it for you...

Send me your tired huddled masses and I'll club 'em to death. (Lou Reed)

And speaking of Lou Reed, Stick a fork up my ass and turn me over. I'm done.

Be absolutely Icebox

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