Computer parts keep piling up in my office, and I’m running out of space for them. All the closet shelves are full, and there are boxes upon boxes on the floor. Out of necessity, it’s time to dive into the piles and figure out what I really need to keep.

I grabbed three old Pentium 66’s (circa 1999) and gave them to Alex and Zack, who were quite excited about unscrewing the lids and ripping out the guts. There’s something really fun (for a boy, anyway) about the innards of an electronic device– particularly something with as many different parts as a computer. So they’re learning about power supplies and RAM chips and CPU’s.

The shame of it is these computers were still functional. Sure, they can’t do much more than run Windows 95, but in a way it’s sad to tear them apart. I guess I’m a packrat– I hate destroying something that works, even if I know I’ll absolutely positively never use it again.

I thought about dropping some network cards in them and building a little cluster, just for the fun of figuring out how to cluster computers, but after spending the time to figure that out, I’d have a system that was still only a fraction as fast as the 2 GHz system I have on my desk.

What’s funny is I have fifteen more computers just like the ones Alex and Zack are gutting now…