Friday, 7 February 2014

That also wouldn't have happened to a typewriter (Part 2)

Side note: There exists in Australia (and I’m sure in heaps of other countries too) a culture of finders-keepers when the local council runs the twice yearly 'kerbside collection' for the pick-up of large objects that won’t fit in the regular wheelie-bins. People drive around in their utes or vans, looking through the piles of junk people place on the kerb before the council trucks get there, seeing if there is anything useful to them. One man’s trash can be another man’s treasure. The same goes for skip-bins, which show up when people are moving out, or renovating or building and they hire a skip-bin to dispose of large amounts of rubbish. As long as it’s placed beyond the property boundary it’s fair game and people will often have a sticky-beak as they walk past to see if there’s anything interesting in there.

While I'm getting excited about rubbish, here's a few examples. I'd be interested to hear of inter-continental differences in terminology.



Left: 2009 model- exploded and fried. Right: 2014 model, didn't work, needed a warranty claim

Left: 1934 model- working. Right: Another 2014 model- working

Typed on the latest edition to my collection


  1. Minor detail comment: I share your anguish on so many modern plan-built houses. If the plans weren't so stupid to begin with these days it wouldn't be quite as bad if they didn't consider the site location…the superfluous nature of these designs only contributes to the shoddy construction that is required to keep the houses affordable. Why not design a simple, compact house (with nearly as much room) and build it well? Because…

    I've been lucky to not have had any of my computers fail massively like you've had to deal with. I'm very, very glad because I don't back up very often.

  2. Where I live a porta-loo is a porta-potty, and a skip-bin is a dumpster.

    How annoying it is when these unbelievably complex conglomerations of hardware and software break down ...

    1. Gee I'm a huge fan of minor differences in terminology!! See I would call this a dumpster- (note the lid), but what I call a skip-bin has no lid and the whole thing gets loaded onto a truck and removed, rather than just tipped upside down and emptied by a garbage truck-

    2. I'm hijacking comments but I can't resist. I love terminology differences a lot, too. XD

      The use of "dumpster" in the US is weird. I grew up with the same idea as you as to what a dumpster is. Very large, metal, and with heavy lid panels. Any other trash receptacle was a "trash can". Then as I got older, "dumpster" got more broadly applied to smaller bins, and "trash can" only applied to actual trash cans.

      I refrain from ever saying porta-potty or ever referring to them in any way. XD

  3. Yes, those kerbside collections are great. There' can be rich pickings in the posher suburbs. Never seen an old typewriter dumped on the kerb as yet, but I'm sure there have been a few. Skip bins are fair game, true, but what's annoying is when people decide to put their junk in your skip bin! :)

  4. Wheelie-bin is I guess the best translation for our "rolcontainer". Porta-potties are called Datenklo by us, because we like to stack them with network switches during computer events. ;-)

    What bad luck with computers! Hopefully your new laptop will last a bit longer.