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Old CD-Roms, Junk or Collector's Items?

By dug9000 in Culture
Fri Oct 20, 2000 at 05:30:12 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)

I was looking through a stack of old cd-roms, getting ready to turn them into a halloween costume, when I noticed the bright bold letters "Pre-Release for Chicago Beta". I then thought back to the olden days before windows 95, before the big internet boom, and wondered, was I holding a piece of history? Should I hold on to these old CDs? After all, people collect coins, stamps, and much more ridiculous things. Why not cd-roms? Could I end up on Antique roadshow someday with a fortune in old software? Or should I just go ahead with my art project?


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Old CD-Roms, Junk or Collector's Items? | 15 comments (14 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Well... (1.80 / 5) (#1)
by fuchikoma on Thu Oct 19, 2000 at 05:52:07 PM EST

I think it depends on what significance the CDROMs have to you. After all, you can get XTs (8088's) on eBay for dirt cheap most of the time, but I still wouldn't even consider selling mine.

If you're wondering whether they'll become a collector's item, I kind of doubt it.

Not sure (3.50 / 6) (#2)
by khallow on Thu Oct 19, 2000 at 05:54:04 PM EST

People will collect anything. Ask yourself some key questions. First, does the CD have anything interesting about it? I'd say yes since your CD is a beta of the biggest OS of the late 90's. Is it in good shape? A unopened virgin CD would be best. It better have the original packaging (CD cover and stuff). For example, half the value of a hardcover book is in that flimsy paper cover!

Does it look pretty? Some of these things will be collected not for the neat software or history but because of the flashy artwork on the CD and its container. Finally, how many of these guys are still in circulation? If the particular release of Chicago you have is uncommon or exclusive, then you might have something worth keeping. If it's one of millions then it's less valuable. Fortunately people don't keep these around.

If you decide to keep these things, then you should pay attention to how they are stored. Paper and plastic can yellow under improper storage conditions (they'll yellow in enough years anyway).

I'm not an expert, I just play one on K5.

Stating the obvious since 1969.

Techno-waste (2.42 / 7) (#3)
by Suanrw on Thu Oct 19, 2000 at 06:21:03 PM EST

Old CDs, like old AOL install disks can really pile up.

I can only use so many as coasters. And I always worry that someone will mimic my disrespectful attitude towards them by using a disk or CD I really want to keep.

Near my cube, several CDs are hanging from the ceiling like mobiles. They're pretty with the sun shining on them.

A couple of years ago, one of my co-workers used up his collection of 5 1/4 backup diskettes for a halloween costume. And several years ago, I saw someone with a dress made from AOL disks.

Nuke em (2.00 / 4) (#6)
by hariya on Thu Oct 19, 2000 at 07:16:54 PM EST

Nuke the CDs, not too long ... 5-10 secs max. As soon as you hear a pfzzt, turn off the microwave. The optical layer burns in random areas creating a very pretty effect. Much neater mobiles.

Warning: The place stinks after you nuke a CD. Also, remember all the warnings about putting metal in the microwave.

[ Parent ]
But with care! (2.00 / 2) (#10)
by PeterVanEynde on Fri Oct 20, 2000 at 06:45:47 AM EST

Put the CD on a glass of water, so the
microwave has a load...

[ Parent ]
I hope not (1.80 / 5) (#4)
by jmcneill on Thu Oct 19, 2000 at 06:29:46 PM EST

I sure hope it's not worth anything; I tossed all of my Memphis beta CD's in the trash a long time ago :/

``Of course it runs NetBSD.''
I hope not (1.00 / 3) (#5)
by jmcneill on Thu Oct 19, 2000 at 06:30:13 PM EST

I sure hope it's not worth anything; I tossed all of my Memphis beta CD's in the trash a long time ago :/

``Of course it runs NetBSD.''
Uhm...cd-r's??? (2.00 / 3) (#7)
by slynkie on Thu Oct 19, 2000 at 10:25:05 PM EST

Not that it'd be worth it to goto the trouble, but remember that any cd can just be copied, and as for the labeling/extra material, that can be copied as well...

the only thing that would distinguish a good copy from an original would be if the original software distributor kept a list of the CD serial #'s they sent out...

Umm.. data lifespan? (3.50 / 2) (#8)
by yonderboy on Fri Oct 20, 2000 at 02:29:07 AM EST

Regular silver CD's are meant to last forever. CD-R's on the other hand... they're only guaranteed for about 6 years... after that, the dye starts to break down. That means that all your CD archives will start to deteriorate after 6 years... no one really knows how long they'll last past then, but that's what the manufacturers say.

Stick with using CD-R's for halloween costumes.

[ Parent ]
yea... (none / 0) (#12)
by slynkie on Sun Oct 22, 2000 at 11:03:01 PM EST

I guess I didn't make it too clear, but I was referring to the idea of selling them as collectors items, not making copies of them for archive's sake.

[ Parent ]
it depends... (none / 0) (#11)
by plastic on Sat Oct 21, 2000 at 02:43:21 AM EST

Just a singular Chicago Beta CD by itself may be of relatively little value in the future, but what if you had, in mint condition, all the OS-related software (including alphas and betas) that MS has ever published? And what if it was signed by Bill Gates? Someone, somewhere, would probably dish out a chunk of cash for that.

Scarecrow (none / 0) (#13)
by Dop on Mon Oct 23, 2000 at 10:55:35 AM EST

Apparently, A bunch of old CD's spaced out along a string makes a pretty good deterrent to keep birds off anything you're growing on your garden.
Although I suspect there may not be very many keen gardeners here...
Or you could line the inside of your roof with old CD's, to reflect heat back into your house!
Glue them to the outside of your computer case for that sci-fi look!
I'm surprised there isn't a web page by now on 101 things to do with your old AOL CDs... Maybe there is.

Do not burn the candle at both ends as this leads to the life of a hairdresser!
Yes there is a site that has AOL CD ideas... (none / 0) (#14)
by barnaclebarnes on Sun Dec 10, 2000 at 05:02:25 PM EST

Parent ]
I could actually post the link... (none / 0) (#15)
by barnaclebarnes on Sun Dec 10, 2000 at 05:04:31 PM EST


[ Parent ]
Old CD-Roms, Junk or Collector's Items? | 15 comments (14 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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