This begs the question – setting aside issues of historical significance and nostalgia, what is a functional obsolete machine worth?
I’m of the opinion that as long as a computer can (1) run word processing software (2) connect to the internet and (3) run a modern web browser2 it’s still worth at least $100. With those few features you could do any number of useful tasks including programming, staying in communication, and even bootstrapping/starting up a business. Admittedly, you’re not going to want to use such a computer for long. As soon as you’re able, you would probably want to move to faster machine – but that old slow machine sitting in your garage could actually be useful right now to someone who does not have a computer. An old “obsolete” computer is still tremendously useful as a catalyst for future innovations. After all, our current technology is constantly being used to develop the next generation of technology.
A functional “obsolete” 3D printer is an entirely different matter. An operational “out-of-date” printer can always print useful parts or even the parts for a better 3D printer. In 34 years from now, anyone with a Cupcake CNC could just download a slew of upgrades from Thingiverse to trick out their machine. Right now Thingiverse has dozens of upgrades, large and small, that will make a Cupcake CNC easier to use, more accurate, and more reliable. Most of these upgrades require little more than plastic, extra nuts and bolts, and perhaps some off-the-shelf parts.
- Image courtesy of Adam Moon and the A.M Project [↩]
- Even IE 6 <shudder> [↩]
- “New in box” [↩]
- I am hopeful that in 34 years there are no unopened kits. I like to think that by then every single Cupcake kit is assembled, operational, upgraded, and hacked to the point that it is still running and cranking out whistles, open source violins, and other brand new inventions. [↩]
|Tagged with||adam, adam moon, apple 1, macbook, makerbot, moon, the a.m. project, why i love makerbot||4 comments|