Gibsaw wrote:Actually the thing I find amazing is the almost total lack of IBM clones.
Yes, I'm not surprised. I see four forces at work.
(1) Recycling for parts: An active recycling industry (as Welsh Wizard has written about)
(2) Upwards compatibility: When people upgraded from a 286/386/486 they went to a machine that could still run all the old software. So there was no point in hanging on to the old computer. Contrast this to when you upgraded from a C64, Apple or similar to a PC clone (or Mac). Rather than bin, better to shove that beloved beast in the cupboard just in case in a fit of nostalgia you wanted to revisit those glory days (your shiny new machine wasn't gonna do it). Nostalgia saved the old 8-bitters from the trash.
(3) Y2K throwout: The Y2k scare who saw a HUGE number of 486 machines and below simply scrapped...particularly from businesses. I remember scrapping a few at work. There was talk about just "officially" giving them away but the bureaucracy and paperwork involved was too much. Also, Health and Safety laws meant that we were liable for anyone who electrocuted themselves playing with these old machines. Hard drives were formatted with a hammer then they just got chucked.
(4) Size: A C64 or a ZX-Spectrum is small enough to put in a box in a wardrobe and forget. Not so a fully decked out 286/386/486