Pack Rat

A person who has a really big JunkBox. They almost never throw things out, if they even have the slightest possible potential for reuse in the future.

In extreme cases they may even keep complete rubbish (eg. candy wrappers) just on the off-chance that someday there'll be a competition that they can use the barcodes in.

Possibly someone who regularly practises ExtremeReuse is a PackRat....


PackRat programmers are those who never delete any code. They comment things out, but will never delete a single line of code or an unused source file because "we might need it again someday". Their sources grow and grow, hiding the program's functionality within a bunch of noisy comments and unused files. This becomes a maintenance nightmare, as new programmers spend much of their time trying to figure out what code is used and what is not.


I'm a self-confessed PackRat, though I don't (usually) go to the extreme of keeping rubbish. I do keep all my computer software boxes, though... -- GavinLambert

I had that pattern. But then one day I woke up and found a box for a computer game that I hadn't played in 8 years. I threw the box, and the floppy disk, away. I then proceeded to throw out about 12 years of accumulated junk (including 1991 issues of Mac User Magazine, many other abandoned games and software, and some birthday cards from my ex-wife). It turned out to be (like the nursery rhyme) 3 bags full. My problem is getting rid of unwanted books. I have about 100 books I'd like to get rid of, but I can't bring myself to throw them away and I don't have enough free time to eBay it all. --SeanOleary

I still have 1983 (or thereabouts) issues of Byte magazine (is that a date or a quantity?) [well, 1,983 issues of a monthly magazine would span almost 40 years, so it's safe to say it's a year], as well as some local user group mags. Though I don't know if they count, since I inherited them off my brother (since I was only 3 at the time they were issued)... they go with my fully-working ZX Spectrum and Spectravideo MSX -- GavinLambert

I'm an email packrat. Deleting email makes me most uncomfortable. It's also been very useful - on more than one occasion- that I had a copy of some specific 3 year old email ... -- PaulHudson

Heh, me too :) I've got email archives dating at least back as far as 1996... I guess I really do have a bad case of this! -- GavinLambert

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