M.I.T. Flea: April 2010
Before my pals and I got to the Boston area, we quickly stopped off at the two Apple Stores in New Hampshire (quickly, being the key word there, in case my NH friends are reading this) because we wanted to check out the iPad. Yeah, I get it. They look like a good time and I’ll get one when I feel it fits my needs. While at one of these stores, I was discussing Apple stuff with one of the clerks. Funny was the fact that I was giving HIM advice, particularly on the Apple TV, its functionality post-3.0, and its many not-obvious (but thoroughly legal) uses. One of my friends just stood there agape, then commented to me after on the amusement of the role-reversal. The clerk was older than I am, for cryin’ out loud.
But, on to the Flea…
The start of Flea season began, as always, on the third Sunday of April. No, I don’t mean an infestation of blood-sucking creatures (at least, not in the literal sense) but, rather, the M.I.T. Flea Market that happens from April to October of every year. This time around, the rain drove the entire market into the adjacent parking garage, where under normal conditions, only a section of buyers set up. Having it entirely away from the main outdoor parking lot and sheltered from most natural light somewhat sucked the typical carnival type atmosphere out of the event. It was fun, but it definitely felt like it was missing something.
Aside from picking up a Power Mac G3 (Desktop) to replace the dead one in my collection (which, technically, doesn’t add to the collection count), I also picked up an Apple IIe Platinum with matching Apple 5.25 external disk drive, both in great condition, and I also bought a G3 Powerbook (Bronze Keyboard) to go with my Wall Street. That’s a lot of Mac talk there, but it means that my Apple Retro Collection has increased to 30, and my Apple Extras collection has gained a disk drive. I walked into that Flea really wanting an Apple IIe as a sort of wish list item, and can’t believe I actually found one — yea, the only one I’ve ever seen at the Fleas I’ve attended.
Ran into a type of attendee I’ve yet to discuss. As you can imagine, I am not alone in my quest for old Apple machines. There are others. One type in particular are what I’d call The Hoarders. These are the folks who often enough are miserable human beings who collect not because they enjoy it or often not even to resell, but just to acquire and store, like squirrels stocking acorns away for a winter that never comes. The lack of joy on their faces alone is telling and they don’t like to be bested in their pursuit. Here’s a conversation that best illustrates this type, involving a disheveled hobbit of a gent well into his 50s…
Hoarder: [walks up to me] Heh, heh, I got an Apple Plus with TWO Disk II drives! Beat THAT!
MGP: Yeah, I saw that one an hour ago. Past it by for this Apple IIe Platinum in much better condition and actually worth its asking price.
Hoarder: [frowns and walks away in a huff]
When presented with childish posturing from a man nearly ready for Social Security, it’s occasionally fun to pop that balloon. As long as the opportunity is easily presented, takes little effort, and deflates a wantonly counterproductive ego, then why not. Besides, hoarding for some mindlessly compulsive competitiveness with people you barely know is beyond bizarre. It’s a wee bit sad.
During the trip to the Boston area, I visited Chinatown and took some pics. Also had an enormous spread of Chinese food at a decent restaurant with the mighty Bill M. and his lady. (Listen to Episode 19 of Terror Transmission, starting 1 May, to hear about the presents he gave to the show.) Visited Micro Center as always, picking up my usual yearly replacement USB flash drive as well as a nifty book on Airport Extreme maintenance and security. Bought too much chocolate at Trader Joe’s. And there was some decent Indian food on the way out of town as well. Good trip, and somehow managed to avoid the entire human mess that is both Patriots’ Day celebration and Boston Marathon spectatorship.