Are you sure you want to empty the trash?
July 17, 2007 9:13 AM   Subscribe

Please convince me to throw out my old MacWorld magazine cover CDs.

I have 50 to 100 of these CDs, mainly from UK MacWorld but some other UK Mac magazines too. They date from 1994 to 2000, all full to the brim with demos, freeware and shareware that I will never ever look at again. I don't even have a Mac anymore. I desperately want to throw them out, but somehow I keep hanging on to them. I think it's the regret I feel when I hear of 1970's Blue Peter annuals fetching fortunes. Nothing on the internet indicates these CDs have any value, so please convince me to bin them.
posted by zingzangzung to Technology (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Nothing on the internet indicates these CDs have any value, so please convince me to bin them.

They have no value to you as functional items or as collectibles. You have no need for demos, freeware & shareware from 1994-2000. They are taking up valuable space, and the longer you hang on to them, the more you risk becoming a compulsive hoarder whose home is practically unlivable because of the stacks of magazines, newspapers, junk mail, cats, unopened QVC packages, paper bags full of empty plastic bags, and spoiled food.

Stop it before it's too late, throw out the CDs today. You will feel better having gotten rid of them.
posted by tastybrains at 9:26 AM on July 17, 2007

If they're more than a year old, they're useless. If you can't use them on what you've got, they're useless. Junk 'em.

Old software hasn't got nearly the collectibility of old music. Even original full-fledged software in original packaging fails to sell for more than original price -- disks full of demos are worth even less.

If it breaks your heart to bin them, sell the whole lot in a package on craigslist to somebody more compulsive, put the money in an investment, and let that earn more money than your old periodicals would.
posted by ardgedee at 9:32 AM on July 17, 2007

The whole internet knows your secret now. Clean up your act before this meme spirals out of control!
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:35 AM on July 17, 2007

Yeah maybe drop Jason Scott a note to see if he's interested in being sent them but any value these will ever have in your lifetime is sentimental/archival not monetary.
posted by Firas at 9:36 AM on July 17, 2007

I think you've just got a hangover from the pre-net days, when Mac software was hard to find, and disks like that were to be treasured. Now you can find everything on the internet, and it's not going away!

The only things I'd keep are full copies of original software, as some of that can be hard to find -- like my trawl to find a copy of Word 5.1 a while back -- and curios. I still have my OpenDoc and Cyberdog disks, but the rest hit the trash some time ago.

Oh wait, I just saw you don't have a Mac. Toss 'em.
posted by bonaldi at 9:38 AM on July 17, 2007

I understand how they might have some emotional value as theoretical collectibles. If it were me, I'd offer them up on Craigslist (probably for free). Let someone else's disorder look after them for a while :)
posted by o2b at 9:39 AM on July 17, 2007

Actually, I'd suggest you recycle them so they are disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.

I don't know where you are in the UK, but here's some information on recycling CDs in many parts of the country.
posted by jeri at 9:44 AM on July 17, 2007

Please consider mailing them to me instead of throwing them out. I will cover your postage.
posted by jscott at 10:07 AM on July 17, 2007 [2 favorites]

Why not backup disk images of the CD's and toss out the physical media? If you really want to be OCD about it, you can scan the CD covers and post them all on the internet somewhere.
posted by designbot at 10:49 AM on July 17, 2007

Old software hasn't got nearly the collectibility of old music. Even original full-fledged software in original packaging fails to sell for more than original price -- disks full of demos are worth even less.

This is an up and coming collectable market. While it is extraordinarily unlikely that collectability of old computer software and hardware will ever reach to demo CDs from magazine covers, it might one day reach complete magazines (including their CDs)..

Probably not though.
posted by Chuckles at 11:02 AM on July 17, 2007

I took 2 black bin bags of software magazine cover cds (oh the shame!) to the tip on Saturday morning and I cannot tell you how liberating it was. The boxes had been taking up so much space in the study, wish I'd done it years ago. Go on, go for it!
posted by ceri richard at 11:35 AM on July 17, 2007

I'm sorry we'd not met sooner. I'd have paid you for postage for them as well.
posted by jscott at 12:06 PM on July 17, 2007

I threw mine out recently because I realized that I couldn't even get anyone to pay me for the goddamned computer that they functioned on.
posted by klangklangston at 1:29 PM on July 17, 2007

This is why you should throw them out. They are the thin end of the wedge!
posted by indienial at 9:37 PM on July 17, 2007

There are three conflicting points of view here, and that's fine.

The first is regarding the software and the media as a financial investment, purely as some sort of antique/speculative market chit, awaiting some point in the future when its original cost will have increased at a substantial rate. While there are plenty of cases of software/software boxes fetching very high rates in auction (regardless of ardgedee's declaration), it's a very hit-and-miss investment and requires, at the least, a level of preservation preparation that most would never think to take. So that's kind of a dead end for most purposes.

The second is purely one of loosing one's life of perceived junk or needless ballast, throwing out stuff according to "have I touched this in the last few years", "find easy things to throw out", etc. This is outside the conversation as well, but I understand the focus on it.

My take is purely one of historical things. In the case of shareware CDs, I find them an easy way to capture years of work by people in a very small space. From this, I started

The tens of thousands of people who use the site would, I think, be happy that I approach things the way I do.

I invite anyone reading this to contact me about sending cd shareware, floppy disks, old hard drives, old printouts and advertisements. I will accept them all.
posted by jscott at 12:25 AM on July 18, 2007 [2 favorites]

I decided to send them to Jason. There obviously was an emotional attachment, as Bonaldi said, at one time these disks were to be treasured. Knowing that they are going to a good home with Jason allows me to part with them more easily. It's been an interesting thread, I am trying to clear out old stuff at the moment, it can be surprisingly hard to part with. Thanks all.
posted by zingzangzung at 3:00 PM on July 18, 2007

I received them, and they'll go on my site shortly.
posted by jscott at 1:19 PM on September 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

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