Tyler and Eddie had painstakingly developed a pattern for robbing our high-school efficiently, it’s a subject worth it’s own story so I won’t go into it quite yet. Eddie was way into computers and had found a place that would buy RAM chips for a great price and devised a great scheme to grab the RAM.
They would break into the school and hit the computer lab (30 computers), Tyler would lift up the monitor while Eddie opened up the computer and popped out the RAM. They then repeated this for all 30 machines and got in and out in under 15min (this timing matters…more later). Each machine had 16MB of RAM (two 8MB chips).
I remember hearing about how all the computers in the lab were ‘broken’ and it took about 1 day for the school to realize that the machines were devoid of memory. We had three labs at the school and they hit all of them over the span of a week.
This was during the early 90’s and RAM prices were very high, so the boys thought they had a real cash cow on their hands. In a fateful turn of events before they could get the RAM to their buyer (an unsuspecting local computer shop) the worldwide RAM prices took a deep tumble. Now this news was fantastic for consumers (me) and the school as it had to replace the missing RAM, but a terrible blow to Tyler and Eddie. Since the school’s computers were not very new their stockpile of RAM became worthless over a period of a few days. It also meant we couldn’t even use the RAM for our computers as they were too old.
Within a few weeks Eddie had fashioned holes in the chips and we all had RAM keychains. Which was ironic considering we spent much of our time in the very labs where the RAM once lived. Also of note RAM chips have very sharp edges which made the keychains rather dangerous for both the wearer and anyone in their vicinity. So that could be one reason the trend didn’t catch on to a wider scale.