ADVENTURES IN TRASHING
Well, it was a Sunday afternoon and me (cyb), Wizbone, and The Question were cruising around in TQ's kick-ass new truck. Woah, what the fuck was that? Let's check it out. Fuck me, it looks like some mini's sitting next to them dumpsters. TQ starts to salivate, "maybe it's vax's."
Closer inspection revealed two smaller units 2'x2'x1' marked XEROX. Cool. And right next to them stood a monolith. A RAID system the size of a very large refrigerator. Sweet. An assortment of large boards and a dumb-terminal were strewn about. Shit, let's get this shit. TQ was obviously reluctant. Who could blame him? Broad daylight, people all around, and it was his truck. Oh well. Fuck it. That RAID is huge and we're unsure of what those smaller boxes are. Probably useless. Let's grab some beers and head back to HCHQ (Hack Canada Headquarters).
So we chilled for a while and TQ took off. It was getting late and Wiz and I had plans to go out skatin' and bladin' and getting into mischief. Let's roll. Where do ya' wanna go? Well, to get them boxes of course... they did have wheels and all. It was approximately 30 blocks to our target, so we pushed hard and made good time.
When we arrived there was some dumb fuck ripping stuff out of the RAID. Fans and shit. Oh my god! He's wrecking our stuff! So we walked up behind him and stood watching for a minute. He finally notices us and was obviously a bit startled. Seems he didn't like us being there any more than we wanted him there trashing our trash. Anyway, the fucker gets in my face, push came to shove, and I had to crush the fuckers skull to a pulp with my deck. Well shit, we really wanted that old RAID, but the bum had fucked it up and besides it might have looked WAY conspicuous rolling that beast all the way back into the heart of the city. Especially with it being covered in blood and brain tissue now. So we decided to just grab the Xerox boxes. I grabbed the heavier of the two and promptly busted one of its wheels trying to jump it off a curb. So I wrestled it onto my board and off we went. Wiz bladed along pushing the other one.
Well, after a near miss with some rent-a-cops at a mall we passed, we get within about 7 blocks of HCHQ and the inevitable finally happened. A cop stops us to ask what we're doing. I say, nice and cool like, "Oh, just moving some old junk computers we found." "Oh, yeah?," says the cop, "Where'd you get those?" He proceeds to interrogate and we do some creative explaining/deception. In the mean time this cops dog in the squad car is going nuts, clearly wanting a piece of ours. Now he starts inspecting the boxes, looking for identifying marks and such. "Open 'em up." Well, Wiz opens his and the fucking thing is EMPTY! Grrrr. It actually worked out to be a convincing decoy. Why would we steal an empty fucking case, right? (That was lucky break #1.) I couldn't get mine open without a screwdriver. (That's lucky break #2.) "Where ya' goin? Where ya' live? You boys got some ID?" I say "nope," which was true. Wiz hands over his ID. (Here comes lucky break #3, and the most important one...) Just then some guy pulls up on the street and shouts, "Hey! There's a buncha' people fightin' just down that street over there and some chix got a knife and shit!" Sweet. So the cop hands back Wiz's ID and says, "well if I hear anything about this I'll be giving you a call." Heh, sure ya' will buddy. Buh-bye. (Actually, the guy was decent about the situation, however, I am glad a more urgent situation arose at that very moment. And after all, it was just garbage.)
We continued on our way and some people in a car driving by waved and cheered us on. So, we're like 3 or 4 blocks from our destination when the fucking wheels melt off the thing Wiz is pushing. We decide to finally ditch it since it turned out to be empty and had already served its "decoy" purpose. We set it up by the side of the road to look like a telco box and continued on. Almost home...
We got to HCHQ, and plugged the thing in... but wait, that was after a lovely interaction with a fine young lady and her friends in the hall just as we rolled out of the elevator... (Lucky break #4.)
FYL (fine young lady): Hey, you want a drink?
So, it was after that we got the thing into HCHQ and hooked it up, stood back, and applied the power. Well it came alive but what its purpose is was not clear. So we let 'er run and knew it was just thankful to be alive and so were we. We grabbed some beers and headed back out in search of the FYL and her friends.
The nice folks were in so we chilled with them for a few hours, went up to the roof for a while with them, and chilled some more until everyone looked like zombies and we headed back to HCHQ for some much needed sleep.
The next day I dissected the unit. There isn't a model number to be found anywhere on it. Turns out to be circa 1984. It contained 6 large boards. I identified a few of them to be memory and drive controllers. Also a 8" disk drive, a 4 digit digital display, the power switch, and buttons marked B RESET and ALT B. Ports on the back labeled 17" DISPLAY ONLY, KEYBOARD (50 pin connector!), J11 RS232, J12 RS366, TRANSCEIVER, PRINTER K/B-TERMINAL, and LSEP. What appeared to be the main drive controller/display driver was not seated, so I re-seated all of the boards and cables and powered it up again. This time the display lit up and showed '0150'... whatever that means. The B RESET button did what you would expect and caused the thing to restart. When I powered it up with a couple of the boards pulled it displayed a different number, '0139'. Perhaps the display is for diagnostics to indicate loose or damaged boards.
Well, I still don't know what the fuck it is, what it's for, or what possessed me to push this thing across a city on a skateboard at 2:00 AM. But hey, we had fun, met some great people, and most importantly didn't get busted. And isn't that what life's about?