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The Tapeless Office: After completing my digitize-and-get-rid-of-tapes project in January, and dumping a box of commercial tapes on the thrift store and mailing off a bunch of personal tapes to GreenDisk for recycling, I've now gotten the number of non-blank cassette tapes in my house down to about 12. For some reason this has not led to the dramatic increase in storage space I'd hoped.

Because of the thrift store thing I was thinking how odd it is that thrift stores still sell huge collections of terrible records, 20 years after they stopped really making records. You'd think things would have shaken out by now so that all the good records have been selected by hipsters or record stores and the remainder can't be sold, but I guess people keep dying.

Compare old game cartridges and computer software. There were windows for old game cartridges showing up at the thrift store 5-7 years after the console died. I remember going to the DI in Provo around the time of my father's funeral and seeing a huge bin of loose Atari 2600 cartridges. Around the time I graduated from high school you started seeing the lamer NES cartridges in thrift stores, but they were behind the glass case and sold for far more than they were worth--more than they're worth today, in fact. A couple months ago I saw someone's N64 carts at the thrift store on Ditmars. You might say that today's game buyback stores mean games don't end up at the thrift store, but what happens to those games after the consoles die? [Oh, I recently bought a Wii game at Goodwill, but it was busted, as you might have expected.]

Old computer books stay in the thrift store economy for longer, though it's been a while since I saw a good flowchart-filled "Principles Of Data Structure Analysis" book in a thrift store, or even a Windows 3.1 book.


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