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What's on that old hard drive?

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I managed to get an SE with a working(for now) hard drive. It's kind of like opening a time capsule. What are some interesting things that you all have found on these old drives and disks?

 

(haven't had a chance to look at these in detail)

 

post-9181-0-84123800-1494262309_thumb.jpg

 

 

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I had a non-working Color Classic I bought from a lady in central Austin last year that I was able to get working after a recap of the logic board. That was definitely one of my favorite time capsules.

 

It apparently belonged to an art student at some art university/institute in New York (I don't remember the exact one). The browser had a bunch of bookmarks for classes and whatnot; the hard drive was loaded with lots of art software, photoshop, Infini-D (3d software) and some sound software too. I was sad that I couldn't find any of their actual work on the drive, but then again it was an 80mb hard drive and there probably wasn't room for everything, and they probably wouldn't have sold/given away the machine with all of their work on it anyway. It did have some MOD (midi) music that they composed, but I am not sure if any of it was original. There was one of Depeche mode's "Enjoy the Silence" and some other generic-sounding early 90s techno beats.

 

The person who used it was also really into theming their mac. It had a bunch of custom icons, a platinum skin, and many other add-ons.

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Huh, this reminds me of the 500MB quantum I got for $3 that's now in my SE. Came dualbooting 6.0.8 and 7.1, and loaded with software. I think it belonged to a teacher, there were old school projects on it. Definitely interesting.

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I saw lots of personal documents, complete with bank account numbers and social security numbers on my SE. My SE/30 had some stuff on it, but I haven't used that HDD yet.

 

I've picked up plenty of computers at the thrift shop that have peoples stuff on them.... Remember to wipe your personal data everyone!

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Indeed.  One of my SE/30s was apparently from a doctors office or hospital.  It had complete financial and medical records for hundreds of individuals.  Another was from a divorce lawyer, it contained his/hers statements on very personal matters, and value listings of possessions.  Really quite shocking.  Another computer was someones college computer, has all homework and assignments from senior high school up to and including doctoral thesis.  It was so tightly organized... I am still impressed thinking about it.

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My plus came with some microsoft stuff on it, and following the normal rules, I tried not to look and delete everything, but I just HAD to check out something. It was a modeling agency's!

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This reminds me of the time I went dumpster diving as a kid in a computer recycling/reuse company, and found a laptop with a ton of IRS internal software and peoples information. it was a DOS machine and was fairly old, but SS#s and personal info are forever. Crazy. 

 

Then recently I picked up an LCII and restored it, it came from dayton daily news and had a bunch of SS#s in there as well for ID purposes. Man have things changed now. 

 

So in situations like that, I Zero out the HDD, and unless the software is so peculiar, I dont save anything at all. 

 

But I did get a Duo that came from what appeared to be a Sybase employee and had a bunch of neat stuff, Luckily no personal info so I saved the software. 

Edited by techknight

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My TAM was the Dean's work computer from a prominent PA college.  Nothing on there that was sensitive, you could tell that those items had been removed, but it still had the old email client set up with a few nothing emails, and it was an interesting look at computing in the late 90s.  The hard drive corrupted itself at one point, so it's all lost to history.

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Funny you mention that, I have an IBM PS/2 Model 25 which was used by a principal to a school district just outside of atlanta somewhere. Same thing, FULL of emails and letters, and it was designed to remote into a mainframe/terminal to do all the work. 

 

But then everything else was written in wordperfect. It was kinda interesting to see all the letters, documents, and emails on a DOS machine from a principal in the 90s. It was definitely a time capsule. 

 

Matter of fact, Here is a pic of one of the documents. 

 

post-366-0-15313200-1494287498_thumb.jpg

 

Its funny though, because I remember in 1996 when I was in school, most of the machines had already been replaced by new 52XX machines at that point. 

 

Edited by techknight

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Discussing what you found on an old hard drive is a cardinal sin. It gets everybody riled up and paranoid.

 

Don't ask, Don't tell.

Edited by CelGen

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Other then looking for old hard to find software and drivers I wipe everything and do a fresh install. People tend to leave all kinds of music, naked pictures, bank information I don't want to have to look at let alone massive amounts of crap software.

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My first SE was found on a curbside, nothing special except for a small document, the previous owner left a message saying more or less: "Goodbye little Macintosh, hope your next owner will treat you right"

 

Also, the last powerbook i collected had a copy of the passport and credit card of the previous lady owner....

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My IIsi's hard disk (Now in my Color Classic II) had some files from the mid 1990's, suggesting the computer was used at a medical school.

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I think you will find people actually used computers for content creation back in the day so they have plenty of files. These days a computer is an entertainment device so you will find music and videos and a browser history that will make you blush.

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As if people don't use computers for content creation today? Granted, the percentage of people who don't do content creation is a larger group of people that it was back then, as it seems almost everyone owns a computer now.

 

Makes me wonder if one day someone will collect the PCs and such that we are using today! They will have to get lucky to get one that belonged to a content creator, or a person who put interesting things on their computer.

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I found some VERY interesting stuff...  One person kept a meticulous list of every mac he owned, including where he bought the systems and/or parts and what programs were on each machine.  I think he had around 30 Macs.  One of my other machines was used by the Public Relations department of the USPS (Postal Service).  Had some very interesting speeches the PR teams were drafting to paint the postal service in a better light (this was 92-93 time-frame).  I haven't come across any personal information really, or anything 'classified'.

Edited by Schafeman

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Most interesting I had was an LC475 (bought ago at a garage sale) that appeared to have come from an Australian Antarctic base - lots of scientific emails.  Shame the Mac wasn't so good, covered in rust.

 

Funniest one was an IBM PS/2 286, from my school library that contained fictional stories about various teachers - proved a laugh.

 

Like others though I decimate the lot and keep unusual drivers etc if saved there.

 

JB

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Well I dont know if its real or not. 

 

its a big text file and its drawn in ASCII art. My guess someone found it on a BBS somewhere, or who knows. But its the only thing like it, That and porn... Oh, and it had everything that I could see, but I am no nuclear engineer. Only thing it lacked was refining uranium. But thats a big piece, and quite frankly, I DONT wanna know... 

Edited by techknight

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