Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Open Source GNU is Not Unix Software Linux

Slashdot Asks: Appropriate Place For Free / Open Source Software Artifacts? 46

A friend of mine who buys and sells used books, movies, etc. recently purchased a box full of software on CD, including quite a few old Linux distributions, and asked me if I'd like them. The truth is, I would like them, but I've already collected over the last two decades more than I should in the way of Linux distributions, on at least four kinds of media (starting with floppies made from a CD that accompanied a fat book on how to install some distribution or other -- very useful in the days of dialup). I've got some boxes (Debian Potato, and a few versions of Red Hat and Mandrake Linux), and an assortment of marketing knickknacks, T-shirts, posters, and books. I like these physical artifacts, and they're not dominating my life, but I'd prefer to actually give many of them to someplace where they'll be curated. (Or, if they should be tossed, tossed intelligently.) Can anyone point to a public collection of some kind that gathers physical objects associated with Free software and Open Source, and makes them available for others to examine? (I plan to give some hardware, like a pair of OLPC XO laptops, to the same Goodwill computer museum highlighted in this video, but they probably don't want an IBM-branded radio in the shape of a penguin.)
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashdot Asks: Appropriate Place For Free / Open Source Software Artifacts?

Comments Filter:
  • I know! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Give them to Timothy.
    With any luck it will keep him busy and we wont hear from him for a while.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I was hoping to hear Bennett Haselton's opinion on the matter. ... Ok now that that is out of the way I'll go back to normal posting.

    • Message Jon Katz,
      Maybe he'll tell him how to get in touch with Junis to install linux on his old Commodore.


  • Sell it.
  • It's where artifacts and obsolete code goes to die. Like a public toilet for open source shit (which also doubles as a glory hole).
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have a bunch of that stuff too. Try to sell it on eBay as a donation to FSF or EFF starting at $1 and if no one bids on it even with that arrangement then probably it's just worthless nostalgia stuff of no value to anyone but you...

    • I'd second this. I'd certainly be interested in looking at such a collection on eBay and if the donations went to an organization that supports Free Software all the better.
    • At the very least, it might have some educational value.

      Uploading it to a repository would be the best thing to do with it. What happens to the discs is of no consequence.

  • Figure out before you try to get rid of them which knickknacks and giveaways are actually special somehow. Take all the other ones, put them into bags, and take them down to the your local landfill for recycling. Now put the valuable ones on eBay, perhaps in one or more lots divided by brand. Not expecting to get any notable money, but that would be a nice side effect. It's just a nice way to handle getting paid for shipping, really.

    Nobody wanted most of that shit when it was new. It has never ceased to amaze me how an industry which literally creates XL and 2XL customers will have 2000 size M tee shirts made, and 200 size XL, and 0 size 2XL. I've had to see some horrifyingly hairy midriffs in various technical departments.

    • "local landfill for recycling"

      Recyled as . . . an artifical hill ?

      • Recyled as . . . an artifical hill ?

        The electronic doodads get shipped off to be broken down. The stuff made of paper gets turned into more paper. Even some of the stupid figurines are marked for recycling.

      • Many landfills also do recycling. It allows them to fill less land...
  • Dumpster (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 30, 2014 @01:07PM (#48270551)

    Find the nearest dumpster and throw them in. Nobody (or very, very few people) wants worthless old CDs and floppies.

    • Back in the day, AOL free trial disks made excellent replacements for TPing a school or house.

    • And arrange counselling for your friend. I can't imagine the dilemma he finds himself in when holding an empty laundry detergent bottle.
  • The Internet Archive is very good to preserve open source projects. It is not like Github, but it is good as a search library for ISO images, source code and old software. Also a lot of Creative Commons wikis get dumped there (and I guess we all know the wayback machine). Check it out: []
  • Do one of those stupid auction or flea market shows that dominate now. You might make a buck...

  • Sounds like something Jason Scott might be interested in.

  • It belongs in a museum!

    Oh, wait, you already thought of that. Sorry.

    Have you considered donating to [] ?

    • Sorry, guess I should have read you submission more thoroughly. Even if you find a museum to take the old paraphernalia, it likely won't make it to their limited display space. Your best bet may be to contact those who were involved, their companies, their schools, and see if someone with a personal interest may want to display it.

      On the other hand, they're knickknacks as you said, and while they may have substantial meaning to you, their power lies mostly in evoking memories in those who lived through cert

  • Back in the dotcom days everything was funded, even Linux companies with too much VC money pushing physical CDs on everyone who'd take them. Vast numbers of discs were thrown away when they were no longer the latest and greatest version. I'm guessing for every person who'd want one there's a hundred thinking "yeah I might have something like that in my closet somewhere", personally I might have Red Hat Linux 6 (not RHEL 6) somewhere. I used to have OS/2, but I threw away all my floppies some years ago. Even

    • by afairch ( 56711 )

      I used to have a collection of install media for Red Hat dating back all the way to 3.0.3, and Debian dating back to at least 1.3. In addition, I used all of those free floppies that AOL used to mail out to install Debian, Slackware, and various BSDs - nothing like the fun of downloading 1.44 MB files over a dial-up connection, dumping them off to a disk with dd, and doing it all over again when, inevitably, one of them was corrupted. Eventually I got tired of them collecting dust and taking up space, so I

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I hear Waste Management, Inc accepts all kinds of donations like this.

  • The CHM in Mountain View [] also accepts donations of items like this, and they have access to the proper resources to care for said artifacts. You may want to contact them as well. They will be happy to take your IBM branded radio at least :)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ahhh, yeah, hype of slashdot past...

  • Upload them to some repository so they will always be available to anyone who wants it.

The wages of sin are high but you get your money's worth.