Throwing out more stuff — a continuing saga

Not everyone will find this fascinating, but at the very least I want my friend Sarah the professional declutterer to know about it. Here’s what I took to the dump today:

2016-04-02 13.53.58--more-junk

That box full of paper may not look like much, but I weighed it at 28.7 kg. A single sheet of regular 80 gsm A4 paper weighs 5 g, so that’s the equivalent of 5740 pages. Some of this is cardboard, so I didn’t actually dump 5000 pages here, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was 4000.

In front of the box is more electronics — things like a functional-but-noisy spare power supply for the Xbox 360 “just in case”, a couple of video cards that may be perfectly functional but won’t plug into a computer that I own and are too much trouble to re-sell for the tiny prices they’d fetch, and iPod whose Back and Menu buttons have stopped working, two personal stereos from the days of cassettes, and the first digital camera I ever owned (640×480).

All gone.

Those who are particularly observant may have noticed that there are also fewer records in the shelf to the right than there were back in computing paraphernalia of yesteryear. In fact, I have sold all my LPs — about 120 of them, mostly prog and heavy rock from the 70s and 80s. I haven’t listened to them in probably a decade, and I have them all as MP3s now anyway (although see the copyright-related moral dilemma that now pertains). The LPs now in that shelf are Fiona’s, moved across from the music room so that she has shelf-space there and can declutter some of her surfaces.

We are decluttering machines!


7 responses to “Throwing out more stuff — a continuing saga

  1. This is all well and good, but I am slightly alarmed and frankly shocked at your reference to mp3s: I hope that’s only a colloquialism! As dubious as you no doubt find my taste in music, and as much of an audiophile as I’m not, I much prefer lossless formats like FLAC (well, obviously as lossless as any digital encoding is, but y’know) and if I must use compression, ogg is my preferred choice. Back in the early days of digitising my collection, I randomly selected an ELO album as my benchmark which turned out to be quite fortuitous, I think, as it revealed mp3 as being the Compact Cassette of the digital world.

    I know I’m probably not going to get very far attempting to stagger in here pretending to be all knowledgeable about music and technology, but I’m much too tired to exercise any common sense at the moment and will have time to rue my impetuousity tomorrow. :D

    This series of blogisms is however continuing to incite me to attempt to get rid of the mountain of obsolete tech gubbins that’s occupying rather too much of my house.

  2. I am a bit ashamed to admit it, but I can’t hear the difference between a 192 kbit/s MP3 and uncompressed audio. I’m not even sure I can hear a difference at 128 kbit/s.

    (If you think you can, I urge you to check out the two blog-posts at Coding Horror: The Great MP3 Bitrate Experiment and Concluding the Great MP3 Bitrate Experiment. They were an eye-opener for me, or perhaps I should say an ear-opener.)

  3. I’m slightly scared to listen! My hearing was good enough to tell the difference between an mp3 and an equivalent-sized ogg 10 years ago, but I fear that the experiment in question may now highlight the shortcomings of my 47-year-old ears. Previously, I liked the fidelity for the sound; nowadays I like the fidelity for the presumption that my hearing is good enough to warrant it. :D

  4. I’ve had a read, but not a listen. It was interesting. My backup defence is that FLAC allows me to use different encodings should I fancy it and at least I’ve covered myself for when mp3 is no longer viable and… *cough*. Yeah, that is sounding a bit desperate, but it appeals to my nerdiness. It did make rather less sense when HDD storage was comparatively more expensive than it is now.

    One thing I am reminded of is some daft hearing test I tried on Metro where I was depressed to find that my high-range hearing had deteriorated more than I expected. It turns out it hadn’t, but I was then equally depressed to discover that it meant that my trusty 17-year-old Sennheisers aren’t quite as good as I’d assumed they should be. Oh well, they still haven’t broken, so there is that.

  5. I should say that in principle I prefer OGG over MP3 because of the patent-encumbrance issues. I feel a bit bad that I don’t push this harder, but as we all know, the brutal truth is that MP3 works everywhere, but OGG doesn’t. So I guess I use MP3 for the same reason I save LibreOffice documents in MS-Word formats: for the benefit of the rest of the world.

  6. I’m younger than Vometia but also well aware that my ears are distinctly less sensitive than they were 10 years ago. That said, my experience was that the question of whether I could distinguish between .mp3 and CD sound differed based on the recording. I never did enough comparisons to decide if there were specific things that .mp3 struggled with (though I’m sure there are) but, for example, I still remember that Prince’s, “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man” sounded clearly worse on .mp3 than CD, whereas some songs sounded just fine.

  7. Pingback: Turn your old electronics boxes inside out | The Reinvigorated Programmer

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