Chapter 2
The Best of the Past

These uses are the selected best from [23] and [3]. They are included to remind everybody of the utility of the Volker-Craig terminal in everyday life.

This list is being rereleased here just in case Rich accidentaly “on purpose” lost his old copies. Given that at the time of this writing, these are currently over twelve years old, it is very important to make sure these uses don’t get lost.

2.1 The 1988 List

This is stuff from the 1988 edition of Uses for Dead Volkers [23].

  1. 110 bps teletype replacement
  2. Alarm clock
  3. Ashtray
  4. Bail out failed sump pump/boat/raft/lifeboat
  5. Beach cooler
  6. Bed pan
  7. Birdhouse
  8. Blackboard
  9. Bookends
  10. Camping stool
  11. Chicken Wing fryer
  12. Chihuahua carrier
  13. Chimney flue
  14. Chock block for tanks and other tracked vehicles
  15. Coffee/beer/liquor dispenser
  16. Cornerstone for buildings
  17. The CRT may be used as a used motor oil funnel
  18. Desoldering trainer
  19. Doorstop
  20. Draft deflector under doors
  21. Dummy bomb for bomb dropping practice
  22. Dummy camera
  23. Dummy machine for use on Dr. Who
  24. Dummy theft decoy
  25. EMP testbed
  26. Electric train switchboard
  27. Event Counter
  28. Fare Collection box
  29. Fashion monogrammed jewelry
  30. Filing cabinet
  31. Film developing tank
  32. Finger Puppet Theater
  33. Flowerpot
  34. Fonduer
  35. Footstool (also for use with kneeling buses)
  36. Goldfish Bowl/Aquarium
  37. Igloo block makers
  38. Liquor dispenser controller
  39. Litterbox
  40. Metro Rail front bumper
  41. Metronome
  42. Paperweight
  43. Phone dialer (with external modem)
  44. Porta potty
  45. Reassemble a VT–100 compatible terminal from its parts
  46. Recipe card holder
  47. Replacement Brain for Diefendorf Hall’s Coffee machine
  48. Replacement windowpanes in Crosby Hall’s computing site
  49. Sell to Iranians, Cubans, North Koreans get or any other country not recognized by the US Government
  50. Small boat or small boat anchor
  51. Something to impress peers/date/kids with
  52. Something to throw at or on a threatening object or power
  53. Tables for kids’ teasets or for use with dolls
  54. Target for gun or artillery practice
  55. Toilet Paper Dispenser
  56. Toy typewriter for Kids
  57. UN*X systems console
  58. Umbrella/hood/mosquito repellant
  59. Video games
  60. Waffle indenter
  61. Washbasin/sink
  62. Water Closet for old-time Toilets
  63. Waterproof Speaker Cabinet

2.2 The 1989 List

This is stuff from [3].

  1. ATM console (The size of the CRT is large enough to allow nice sized graphics and other ‘user-friendly’ features to appease the banker who is possibly wanting a few bucks late at night)
  2. Ammunition holder for M2 machine guns (or any other type of small arms/crew served weapon ammunition)
  3. Antenna rotor stepper/controller
  4. Automatic urinal flusher controller for use in Crosby Hall
  5. Ballot box for voting
  6. Bathtub thermometer controller
  7. Battleship turret
  8. Bird feeder (Once again, one would just use silicone filler over all the vent holes to keep the bird seed dry. Don’t forget to grease some of the entries to keep Mr. Squirrel out!)
  9. Bite (byte) sized Pizza oven (With all the junk for the CRT circuitry, there isn’t that much room in the box for heating up the pizzas, but the tube filament should be able to cook these pizzas in about ...2-4 weeks or so. By that time, the pizza should be about as rotten and crusty as SAC Pizza1
  10. Blue Light Special bulb lighter at K-Mart
  11. Bob Uecker’s official terminal (Hey, Computer fans... I luv ya)
  12. Bookcase for MAD Magazines
  13. Boom box
  14. Briefcase/book carrier
  15. Candy bar vending machine
  16. Checker pieces
  17. Commode
  18. Condom (Trojans or otherwise) dispenser (now Volkers can participate in the Safe Sex movement and feel good about society)
  19. Control console for smoke detectors
  20. Cosmetic carrier for a ‘Princess’
  21. Crock Pot (just weld up the sides of the CRT cabinet and use the tube filament for a slow-cooking heater)
  22. Dead weight for Ford Rangers
  23. Dead weight to be thrown through a window in case of fire (as mentioned earlier, these terminals were built like rocks (well, they weren’t exactly built like brick houses because these don’t have any implied gender2 that we were aware of), so there should be no problem with using them like this. Just think, wouldn’t every Volker like to be able to sacrifice itself for a fellow Computer User’s life?)
  24. Deluxe Roach Motel
  25. Domino’s Pizza 30 minute delivery timer
  26. 8-track Cartridge Organizer
  27. Electronic Fuel Injection controller on any Ford car
  28. Engine block
  29. Fire Pit (if I use this right, we have a container which is fire resistant so the spread of fire is not very wide. Just think of all the buildings that will not burn down now!)
  30. Flak armor
  31. Food Tray (even suitable for SAC Pizzas!)
  32. Football helmet (Let’s face it, Volker cabinets are built like tanks, so there is plenty of strong, durable aluminum left over for helmets. Just pull the guts out of the Volker and give your one son a desoldering trainer to learn good electronics technician skills,3 [23] and give the other a helmet suitable for Midget or Pee-Wee football. Of course, the sharp objects may cause him to draw Unsportsmanlike Conduct fouls!)
  33. Frog jumping contest box which covers the frogs
  34. Fuse for more expensive computer (for systems like an IBM 3090)
  35. Garage door opener for toy cars
  36. General Electric/Black & Decker Space Saver
  37. Geodesic Dome paneling at Disney World’s Epcot Center
  38. Give to David Letterman for dropping from a third-floor window
  39. “Hat” used to pick items to be drawn in Pictionary games
  40. Jukebox record dispatcher
  41. Kitchen sink (everything including)
  42. Lampshade (even for drunks to wear at parties)
  43. Laundry basket for ‘Smelly Socks and Pooped Undies’ from the movie The Naked Gun.
  44. Life-support unit for dying Soviet leaders
  45. Lighting timer/dimmer for people on vacation
  46. Lightning Surge Protector
  47. Matchbox car carrier
  48. Milking machine controller
  49. Monitor speaker cabinet for heavy metal musicians
  50. Motor controller to spin cotton candy
  51. Museum piece for the Association for Computing Machinery’s collection of archaic computer equipment collection (placed next to the vacuum-tubed computers)
  52. Night of the Living Dead prop
  53. Othello gamepieces
  54. Pancake griddle (I can imagine how much the keyboard is going to heat up for this. With the crude TTL circuitry in the keyboard, the integrated circuits should provide enough heat to cook golden brown pancakes and waffles that would even make St. Alphonso’s Father O’Blivion4 proud)
  55. Paper dispenser magazine for printing terminals
  56. Paper shredder5
  57. Pete Roselle’s urinalysis tester
  58. Phone Hold Switch
  59. Picket sign for anti-SDI rally
  60. Poolside depth marker as found in public pools
  61. Popcorn popper
  62. Popcorn string type decorations (from the keytops)
  63. Postage stamp licker rate controller (how fast does it lick stamps?)
  64. Printer port for Timex/Sinclair systems
  65. Programmable electronic pitch pipe
  66. Prop for cheap science-fiction movies
  67. Random Number Selector to be used to pick the winning numbers in the New York State Lottery games
  68. Realms of Fantasy6 helmet
  69. Receipt printer/order verifier at Burger King
  70. Replacement “brain” for frying timers used in fast food restaurants
  71. SAC Pizza Warmer (With its high-tech tube filament, no SAC pizza ever gets cold! Instead, they come out like cardboard!)
  72. Safety outlet covers for families with kids
  73. Scrabble letters
  74. Soap Box Derby chassis
  75. Spare powder charge carrying containers to be used by field artillery batteries (the powder man now has a convenient container to put powder bags not needed to fire the round in. Who cares if the Volker’s guts get burned by accident when some overzealous soldier burns the powder in the field!)
  76. Spitoon in high-tech bars
  77. Spork distributor for School Lunches7
  78. Spotlight case used to interrogate overactive computer game players
  79. Star Wars/SDI satellite
  80. Statistics and control workstation for the Jamaican Bobsled team (even the Volker is old enough to be smoke-powered like everything else associated with the Jamaican Bobsledders. With good heuristics, the Volker may even be taught to smoke its own Ganja)
  81. Steam controller for single pipe radiator heating systems of the 1920s to 1930s
  82. TI 99/4A Expansion Bus cabinet (First came the UNIBUS cabinet, now here is the ultimate (in antiquity) cabinet to complement the Volker. Mediocrity easily complements mediocrity between the Volker and the TI-99/4A. They had their places in computing when they both came out, but now they are both hopelessly outdated.)
  83. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (or other superhero-type action figures) carrier or collector’s item8
  84. Timer for World Dryer Corporation9 hand dryers
  85. Toast-R-Oven temperature controller
  86. Toboggan for pet roosters
  87. Trash can at University Computing Services10 (We wonder what type of complaints would arise from using New York State property for such uses, but maybe, just maybe, somebody might be nice enough to use an old terminal in such a case! Just make sure that only non-recyclable stuff goes in the Volker cabinet!!)
  88. Use CRT as Erlenmayer flask
  89. Very Large Heatsink (Plenty of scrap metal for the cabinet that can be put to work serving mankind, computerkind, and digital electronics-kind better)
  90. Video cassette/floppy disk/cassette/tape cartridge holder (or for any other form of magnetic media)
  91. Water sprinkler
  92. Waterproof display case for newspapers