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Dumpster Diving?


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So, I cant say that I have done anything like this before, but...

I work construction and part of my job today was to clean up a site and take the trash to the local landfill. So I drive up to the dump, and begin throwing my trash into it when I spot a CPU to my left. Not being able to resist, I jump in, grab it, and toss it into my truck. Has anyone else ever done similar?

But the question: When I got home and booted it up I found out that its a pentium 2 processor with a 4.3 GB harddrive, and its running WINDOWS 95!!!!1!1!! Aparently from what I can tell this computer has not been used since 2001. Can anyone think of something I can do with a comptuer like this running windows 95? If not im just gonna throw xp on it, get a NIC card and make Yet Another Headless Server. But I would like to do something kewl with it as is? I just havent seen a '95 box since my old when, I havent seen it since like 98.

ps.- If anyone was wondering, no, there was no intresting information on the computer.

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CPU - Central Processing Unit. The thing that you tend to plug into the ZIF socket of your motherboard. Typically manufactured by AMD or Intel.

Computer - That typically metal box filled with electrical components that, using a leap of faith and some nifty engineering is capable of running an OS, allowing it to become a useful addition to your assorted belongings.

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Yeah I used to do it a lot:



Sun Workstations

Sun Servers

HP UNIX Workstations

HP UNIX Servers

Hard Drives

HP Printers

ID Printers

Plotting Machine

Network cards



Network terminators



You could set it up as a honeypot.

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Yeah, I used to do it a lot but dump sites in the UK aren't allowed to sell untested electrical equipment and you're not allowed to take it for free either but staff don't always stick to that so I did have a source for equipment for a while. If you have certificates to say that you are a qualified electrical engineer you are allowed to buy things, I think I would've got away with my computer hardware qualifications but I just never remembered to take a copy because I usually went with someone else and we usually ended up there on a whim when I was hanging out at their place.

They did stick to health and safety though besides that so I regularly got a bollocking from the staff for delving in to the huge metal skip where the electrical and metal stuff was... got some interesting stuff out of it though, a number of years back I got a good number of machines for less than $5 (~£3) per machine and they often came with plenty of RAM, decent CPUs and drives galore, my current CDRW is still one I rescued from one of those machines.

My last machine (1GHz Athlon w/256MB RAM) actually came from someone's residential rubbish and I got it only because in a tired stupor I got the wrong bus to college which took me the opposite direction, I got off at the next stop realising my mistake and walked back home... and that's where I found it.

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Yeah i have done my share of garbage digging in the past. I used to live by an Alltel building so lots of fun things in that spot mostly cables and the rare comp part. As for landfill diving i have a bit of that as well up until they turned out dump into a scrap yard and which point you had to pay for stuff going out mean no more free roaming treasure hunting. Last is the awesome almost art of what i dubbed street cleaning which is driving around urban areas looking for stuff on the curb waiting to leave. Out town had a trash day once every 6 months that was a gem of all kinds of neat crap.

My best hauls ever were a OS7 Macintosh computer, a brand new box of Cat5 cable, and a MASSIVE haul of Coax cable i spooled and sold to a friend who was wiring up there remodeled house. Funniest and coolest was a old box of Mad Magazines about 5 years worth i snagged from a curb. Light water damage but still readable.

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I still dumpster dive at all of the local colleges/universities electronic waste disposal holding areas on a regular basis, though i get some strange looks but security doesnt care. I've goten some working networking stuff out of them, few computers, cases, lots of fans, optical drives, cpu's, wireing, and Audio equipment.

I once got a haul of 5 gateways from around 2000 maybe 2002 ( i cant remember) that were all working, they musta been upgrading. Sold a few and gave the rest away to family after I fixed'em up.

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