Sending an Indigo2 and Two Monitors
to the University of Uruguay

A Demonstration of My Packing Methods

These pictures show how I packed an R4K/250 Extreme Indigo2, various parts for Indy and Indigo, and two 17" montors, for shipment to the University of Uruguay in late 2004.

I used an Apple G5 box for the main Indigo2 + parts as it is very strong and the perfect size.


The contents of the Indigo2. Other items were also purchased along with the Indigo2 for Indy and an Indigo (disk upgrade, CPU, etc.) Thus, in order to minimise the space used inside the box (and hence maximise the amount of space for protective packaging) I placed some of the items inside the Indigo2.


The Indigo2 with the top lid in place.


Before packing the main Indigo2 box, I laid out the items in a stack to work out exactly how I was going to position them. Each package is labelled to make it easier for the recipient to unpack the more important items first.


Shows how the underside of the box is covered with lots of black gaffer tape to give very strong resistance to any damage when the box is being moved about.


Preparing the inside of the box, the bottom flaps are sealed, and the hand holds on either side are covered with protective bubblewrap panels to prevent any packaging from falling out, and to help prevent anyone carrying the box from affecting the contents when using the handholds.


Prior to placing the Indigo2 in the box, foam blocks are stuck to the bottom of the box to prevent any downward movement of the contents during transit. In theory, the presence of the foam chips underneath the box would do this anyway, but I've always used foam blocks in this way to be absolutely sure that unwanted movement cannot happen. The blocks are stuck to the base using double-sided gaffer tape. Foam chips are placed inbetween the blocks before the Indigo2 package is inserted.


This shows the Indigo2 package installed in the box, with the keyboard and locking bar also in place. Extra foam blocks are positioned to prevent any sideways movement. Though not visible in the picture, the ends of the keyboard package are taped to the sides of the Indigo2 package to prevent the keyboard from moving lengthways.


All the other packages are now installed, with tape securing the packages together to help prevent any of them moving around during transit. More foam blocks are also used to help prevent movement.


The completed box with the Indigo2, all tapes in place, but the shipping labels are not yet attached. Note that the top of the box also has lots of gaffer tape to give extra strength, as does every edge of the box - this greatly reduces the chances of the box being damaged by general handling, eg. when being moved against other surfaces, lifted by machines, stacked on top of or underneath other boxes, etc.


The two 17" monitors were packed in a similar way. This picture shows the monitor boxes completed, with the shipping labels not yet attached.


The day of the collection, all details of the shipment received, so I can put on the shipping labels and attach the required documents. This is one of the monitor boxes.

collection2.jpg - The other monitor box.

collection3.jpg - The main Indigo2 box with all labels attached.

collection4.jpg - The WTA truck arrives!

collection5.jpg - Items on board.

collection6.jpg - Sealed up & ready to go...

collection7.jpg - ...and it's away! 8-)

The parcels were transported to a processing centre in England, from there to one of the main UK sea ports (I'm not sure which one), and then a couple of weeks later when the ship arrived they began their journey to Uruguay which took approx. 21 days. All three boxes were received in perfect condition. Here is the reply from the person I was dealing with the the University of Uruguay:

  From: "Federico Iribarne" 
  Subject: at last we got the stuff!!!!
  Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2004 19:42:50 -0300

  Hi there!!!
  Im writing to let you know the good news!!

  Yesterday, we fetched all three packages and the indigo2 and both
  monitors are all installed here now.

  Thanks a lot!!

  Man, I can't believe how great of a packaging job you've done. It has
  to be the best I've ever seen.

  It took me almost and hour to unpack the three items!  I can only
  imagine how many time you spend preparing the boxes!

  You were certainly not exaggerating when you claim that noneone packs
  things as you do!

  Everything looks just great. The indigo2 has a very nice design,
  those foot stands kick ass!  Dont worry, I removed all the
  supplemental stuff from inside the indigo2, namely, the SCSI disk +
  adapter, mouse, UTP cable and spare riser backplane.

  Finally, many thanks for the spares and the O/S cds! My boss was very
  happy about them. That cd case was a nice touch too!  When I have the
  time (dont think it will be any time soon cos I have a Ph. D thesis
  to finish before March 2005) I will try and upgrade the indy CPU.

  Again, thanks a lot for a wonderful transaction. Youre the man!!!!!

  Cheers, Federico

It was definitely fun doing this shipment, sending something so far away to be used in a useful manner once again - a new life for an Indigo2 which had originally been used for car design from 1993 to 1997. Now it is destined for use in biochemistry applications.

Cheers! :)