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Hardware Science

Amiga Community Collaborates On Restorative Gel To Brighten Your Old Plastic 225

jamie pointed out an Amiga community that took a discovery of how to restore old computer plastic, super-charged it, and then opened the process to the public domain. Time to spruce up those old dusty TRS-80s in the basement. "All of the initial tests were done with a liquid and we realized that for large parts this was getting expensive, so the next stage was to make a paintable 'gel' version that could be brushed onto larger surfaces. This was tried in Arizona in the sun and the UK under a UV lamp and was found to be just as effective as the liquid. We have now released this to the public domain for anyone to use as we can't patent it and we coined the nickname 'Retr0brite' for it, as it summed up what we were actually doing with it."
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Amiga Community Collaborates On Restorative Gel To Brighten Your Old Plastic

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  • From the wiki (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FrameRotBlues ( 1082971 ) <framerotblues AT gmail DOT com> on Monday March 02, 2009 @05:55PM (#27045081) Homepage Journal

    However, a chance discovery was made in March 2008, by The CBM Museum at Wuppertal in Germany, that immersing parts in a solution of Hydrogen Peroxide could partially reverse the process.

    They accidentally immersed old plastic parts in Hydrogen Peroxide?

    Sounds like a "whoops" turned into a "cool!"

    • Re:From the wiki (Score:5, Insightful)

      by smellsofbikes ( 890263 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @06:41PM (#27045567) Journal

      Or they were trying to bleach it and clean off all the accumulated crap, and found that it did that *and* changed the surface chemistry as well.

      I used to restore old watches -- the mechanical ones. They're jammed with grease and wax that mechanics didn't put there and usually that's a large part of why they're not working. It's fairly routine to dunk something that looks like the Antikythera Mechanism into a cleaner just to get all the horribleness out.
      (A note to anyone considering doing this: avoid ammonia. Those are very delicate little bits of brass. Ammonia works spectacularly well. If you leave a watch movement in there for an hour rather than just a few minutes, you'll come back to find all the wax *and* all the metal completely gone except for the steel and a few of the large pivots.)

    • by LoadWB ( 592248 )

      Actually, this was discussed on in response to -- or concurrently with, I am not sure -- the amibe and a1k threads. H2O2 was discussed as a way to make this work, and several of us tried it and were pleasantly surprised with the results. I am not convinced this was a "whoops," but the result of many many years of listening and reading. Without having read the site yet, I have to imagine there is more to the story than straight H2O2. The gel idea is really nice, as it would eliminate a "bath."

      • by Moryath ( 553296 )

        Key questions I have:

        #1 - Will it work on my old NES/SNES and my HP Laserjet 4 printer?

        #2 - Do I really need a UV lamp or can I just do it and stick them in the sun on a nice bright day?

      • by DZign ( 200479 )

        This solution sounds very interesting..

        now what I could use is a solution to restore yellowed clear plastic (acrylic) as used on pinball machines..

        I'll give it a try on some broken parts and hope it works too..

  • by Lord Apathy ( 584315 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @05:59PM (#27045141)

    Both of them?

    • by Tiger4 ( 840741 )

      My Amiga 1000 (512KB, with 68881 co-processor!) has been sitting in the bottom of the old coat closet, waiting for this development so it would be useful once again. They should call it "anti Obsolescence gel"

    • by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @06:21PM (#27045371)

      Back in the day, Ami was a real contender.

      Buy an A1000 and run some graphics demos on one. Then try to remember that it was made in 1985.

      I've always dreamed of what the world would be like if modern computing had gone this route. Imagine your OS as a bank of roms, and your PC as a fully integrated machine rather than a patchwork of PCI cards and third party drivers.

      Seriously, Amiga was an excellent design.

      • Seriously, Amiga was an excellent design.

        Too bad it was made by Commodore. How's that joke again... if Commodore ran KFC, they'd advertise it as 'dead warm poultry'.

        • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @07:35PM (#27046135) Journal

          Everyone blames Commodore, but let's face it, the early 90s was a rough time for the computer industry. Atari went bankrupt (goodbye ST), Commodore went bankrupt (goodbye Amiga), and Apple would have gone bankrupt too (goodbye Macintosh) if it had not been saved at the last minute by Gates. The industry was consolidating around the Intel 486 platform, and I don't think ST, Amiga, or Macintosh would have survived even if run by someone as brilliant as Andrew Carnegie. What they offered looked unattractive to early 90s computer users who believed alternative platforms were as obsolete as newspapers today, and that everyone should be using the soon-to-arrive Windows95. In fact I can still remember the near-hatred from my fellow students: "You use an Amiga??? Everyone knows companies use IBM, and so too should you. You wasted your money."

          Statistics show that less than 7% were interested in a non-IBM-compatible platform in 1994. That was quite a blow to Commodore who just eight years earlier controlled 40% of the market. Even now I can't believe Macintosh is still alive (3% share). I suspect if Gates focused his energies, and stopped Ballmer from making boneheaded decisions, he could kill-off the Mac fairly easily..... just as he almost succeeded in doing circa 1994.

          Point - Nothing could have saved Commodore. Just as nothing could save JVC from losing its VHS market. The market had changed. (link - [] )

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by rs79 ( 71822 )

            "Nothing could have saved Commodore."

            I should just repost old comp.sys.amiga threads and save eevrybody some time, and subtitle it "why am I doing this, I know better?". But anyway.

            I had an Atari 400, and made some hardhacks and sw for it. I had an A1000 with a HARD DRIVE. Yes, I rawked, utterly. I worked on a thing that was the precursor to flash, it came from the Amiga.

            One thing would have propelled the Amiga into stardom: Lotus 1-2-3. Lotus set the world on fire in PC land and you had to had one if you

            • Just to add, I remember the Video Toaster fondly. Granted, it was a niche platform; not something that would really propel the Amiga into homes in the '90s, but by '94-96 when I and many others were using 3D Studio (later 3DS Max) and Lightwave on the PC, there was less of a need to rely on the Amiga. As utterly craptacular as the IBM-PC was, once the DOS and Windows software base boomed, there just wasn't a need for my Amiga. I ended up using it for enjoying demos and games.

          • Apple would have gone bankrupt too (goodbye Macintosh) if it had not been saved at the last minute by Gates.

            Gates didn't "save apple". Microsoft bought $150M in non-voting-rights stock. []

            At the time, Apple had BILLIONS of dollars in CASH (well, not real cash, but in bank accounts of course.) It was losing money, but it wasn't in need of a bailout or rescue- and the money "bought" MS a couple of things, one of which was IE being the default shipping browser. More info: []

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

              Let me make that perfectly clear: the amount of money involved in the deal was insignificant to BOTH parties, and Microsoft got what it paid for.

              If the money involved in the deal was insignificant to both parties, then why did money change hands, and why did Microsoft actually get something for it other than a big lump of stock? I call shenanigans.

              PS:It wasn't Jobs that was responsible for OS X. It was Amelio- he bought NEXT after BeOS stuck its thumb up at Apple and demanded a fortune. Jobs repaid the favor by manipulating the stock price and ousting Amelio.

              From where I was sitting it looked very much like Apple wanted Jobs back, and Jobs came with NeXT and no other way. But then, I wasn't an Apple fan at the time. I outgrew that when Apple was insulting us with 68040s.

          • by Atario ( 673917 )

            nothing could save JVC from losing its VHS market

            Maybe, but to be fair, JVC sucks ass. (This I know from personal experience.)

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Too bad it was made by Commodore.

          Hey, now. The original Amiga--the technical foundation of the entire line of systems--wasn't designed by Commodore. It was primarily the brainchild of Jay Miner [], the same IC guru that designed the Atari 2600's graphics chip, TIA [].

          What's really too bad is that it was marketed by Commodore.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by schon ( 31600 )

            What's really too bad is that it wasn't marketed by Commodore.

            There, fixed that for you. :)

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by PitaBred ( 632671 )
        Yea. Amigas can do anything! []

        That aside, Bones is actually a pretty good show if you can ignore the "scientific" leaps.
        • First off, the Amiga 1200 didn't exist in 1987.

          Second, the Amiga didn't sit "on top" of old IBM PC cases.

          Third, the Amiga didn't use 5 1/4" floppies. It's used 3 1/2".

          Fourth, the Amiga did have the power to do three-dimensional shooters. Like Elite. Or Federation of Free Traders. Or Hostages. Doom may not have been released until the 1990s, but it certainly was not the first 3D shooting game, and creating such a game in 1987 was impressive but not radical.

          • by chthon ( 580889 )

            Yep, I even enjoyed elite on a ZX Spectrum, 48k and 8-bit Z80 processor. Wire drawn 3D.

      • by Mr2001 ( 90979 )

        Imagine your OS as a bank of roms, and your PC as a fully integrated machine rather than a patchwork of PCI cards and third party drivers.

        You mean, imagine your PC as a Mac? (Classic Macs had the OS in ROM, and the integration goes without saying.)

        • Classic Macs had a toolbox in ROM.. really nothing more than BIOS plus some QuickDraw routines.

          It's a far cry from the "OS". At least Apple IIs had BASIC and the Monitor in ROM so you could actually use them sans-disk.

        • >>>You mean, imagine your PC as a Mac?

          Yeah basically, but the Mac was missing the key element of "helper" coprocessors. In 1985 the Mac couldn't display 4096-color movies (only black-and-white), or 8-bit music files. Or multitasking. I pushed my Amiga 500 to the limits one time, and I had 30 animated programs all open at the same time, before it finally started to show some slowdown. Impressive for a machine that only had a 7 megahertz 68000. (I'm not sure even a modern PC could do that; whene

          • Bingo - exactly (Score:3, Interesting)

            Yeah basically, but the Mac was missing the key element of "helper" coprocessors.

            That's it exactly. Amiga was years ahead of the competition. The design was simply brilliant. We didn't have a lot of speed. The processor is 8 freaking MHz. But with clever and elegant design, the thing could do miracles.

            And the thought I have now is - what if this had been the main thrust of computing? What if this had become the dominant design paradigm? Add 20+ years of work and research onto that idea rather th

      • by mdwh2 ( 535323 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @06:53PM (#27045709) Journal

        I've always dreamed of what the world would be like if modern computing had gone this route. Imagine your OS as a bank of roms, and your PC as a fully integrated machine rather than a patchwork of PCI cards and third party drivers.

        But in many ways, I'd argue that modern computing has gone the Amiga way: consider how most motherboards now have everying on board, and it's only the graphics card that people might optionally have as an extra for performance. (Whilst drivers can be a pain, they have the advantage of allowing standardisation through an API - the Amiga was moving towards a driver model for graphics and so on, and I'd have thought it a great advantage for any modern machine taking advantage of 3D hardware, so chances are that a hypothetical modern Amiga would have drivers too. Chances are they would've dropped the ROMs too - AmigaOS 3.5 onwards came entirely on CD.)

        Consider: today I run a multitasking OS, with combined GUI and command line. The machine I use has dedicated graphics and sound chips, and everything's integrated on the motherboard. Finally, I'd argue that today's machines are modern Amigas. Compare that to the DOS based PCs, or single-tasking non-command-line and no-chipsets on the classic Macs. Looking back, it's laughable how people back then tried to justify their expensive primitive purchases (e.g., claiming that it was better not to have a GUI), when we see how computers are designed today. The Amiga was written off as a games machine, but what is it that now drives the 3D graphics industry, and arguably the personal computer industry as a whole? Yes, I like having a fast machine with decent graphics in front of me, rather than a boring command line operated piece of business furniture, or a black and white interface that doesn't let me do things the way I want it. The only thing stopping it being a modern Amiga is the trademark.

        • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @08:06PM (#27046435) Journal

          I agree. Today's PCs are not Amigas, but they are the result of copying the Amiga philosophy. Computer makers aren't stupid. They may have dismissed the Amiga as "just a gaming machine" like they did with the C=64, but they also saw that Amigas were being used by Disney to animate movies, by NBC and WB to create special effects, and by desktop publishers for integrating graphics into print media like magazines.

          It was only natural, rather than lose those users to Commodore, the computer makers adapted. They produced the Sound Blaster to create music. They produced graphics cards that did 16 colors than 256 colors than 65,000. It was a slow process that took around ten years time (1985-to-1995) but eventually PCs became "gaming machines" themselves. Except they wisely called it "multimedia" rather than "gaming".

          Oh well. The business people did what they are paid to do - dismiss the competition as non-relevant "gaming junk" while secretly copying those same ideas into their own machines, until they can co-opt the market for themselves. It's not personal; just business.

      • by mmontour ( 2208 ) <> on Monday March 02, 2009 @07:09PM (#27045869)

        Buy an A1000 and run some graphics demos on one. Then try to remember that it was made in 1985.

        Remember also that many of the main features of Microsoft's Windows 95 (32-bit code, preemptive multitasking, long-filename support) were present in the original "Amiga 85" OS.

      • Imagine your OS as a bank of roms, and your PC as a fully integrated machine rather than a patchwork of PCI cards and third party drivers.

        Uh, Apple did that for, what, 15 years or so? They gave it up, which makes me think the "patchwork of PCI cards" must be superior on some way, at least.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Twinbee ( 767046 )

          I'm guessing the 'patchwork' allows more competition for companies to one-up each other, and also allows for a more modular design. I loved the Amiga, but as long as decent interfaces and standards are used, it makes sense to modularize.

          • by jrumney ( 197329 )
            The software on the Amiga, on the other hand, was modularized. Want PNG support? Install a PNG-IFF filter and all apps that read and write bitmap images using the standard OS APIs can now read and write PNG. OpenDoc promised the same thing in the early 1990s, but never materialised, so we are still stuck with OS designs in all the major OS's that force you to deal with file formats directly.
            • BeOS also had that feature. I think that a lot of commercial software companies, frankly, don't like stuff like that and OpenDoc... after-all, if a small OS plug-in is all you need to open and edit Photoshop files, you might not need Photoshop.

              I'm not paranoid enough to believe those companies made any effort to kill the technology. We all tried OpenDoc, and it was a buggy mess.

              • by keeboo ( 724305 )
                BeOS was, in many ways, an Amiga-ripoff.

                I remember Be, years ago, calling Amiga users to BeOS since it was (so they said) the philosophical successor of Amiga and, differently from the Commodore machine, it had a future and bla bla.
                "Don't waste your time with Amiga, it's gone. Go to BeOS" they said.

                How ironic now.
      • by Spit ( 23158 )

        Yeah it was a great design in the day, but every PC component has had DMA for a long time now so there would be no real advantage. There were many advanced features in the AmigaOS such as drivers, plugins and mountpoints but some things may have ended up as security nightmares if they continued as legacy. Arexx ports and lack of memory management come to mind.

      • Imagine your OS as a bank of roms, and your PC as a fully integrated machine rather than a patchwork of PCI cards and third party drivers. ... like an iphone?

    • Yeah I still have my old Amiga 500 with Kickstart 2.0 it still runs great.

      But I use my Amiga emulator because it is faster and saves my Amiga from wearing out. Yes I do legally own a few Kickstart ROMs in order to use the emulator.

      My old Amiga 1000 broke down the floppy drive and keyboard and monitor, but it lasted about ten years from 1985 - 1995. I bought the Amiga 500 in 1996 to replace the Amiga 1000 at an Amiga convention.

      I am looking forward to AROS getting ready for prime time so I can develop applic

  • It sounds to me like this concept has a lot more potential uses. There are likely many other types of plastic where the same protection chemicals were used. While this probably won't help anyone dealing with plastics exposed to other environmental hazards (like dashboards which fade out under too much sunlight), it may prove useful in restoring other items.

    What other items can you think of?
    • It sounds to me like this concept has a lot more potential uses. There are likely many other types of plastic where the same protection chemicals were used. While this probably won't help anyone dealing with plastics exposed to other environmental hazards (like dashboards which fade out under too much sunlight), it may prove useful in restoring other items.

      What other items can you think of?

      Used dildos?

    • by je ne sais quoi ( 987177 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @06:09PM (#27045239)
      I immediately thought of old toys, like my precious ships for the star wars action figures, the imperial shuttle [] or b-wing [] whose plastic is all faded and yellowed. Now I can run around the room with them making laser noises and re-enact scenes from ROTJ just like I did when I was eight. Awesome!
      • This was also what I immediately thought of - my poor old faded Millennium Falcon will ride again!
      • If they come up with a way to restore the tightness of the joints in my GI Joe and Star Wars action figures, then we'll be in business. I've been using those thin rubber bands used in packaging produce.

    • It sounds to me like this concept has a lot more potential uses.

      I wonder what type of plastic is used for the lenses in headlights?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by budgenator ( 254554 )

        I assume that they are an acrylic, although polycarboanate plastic is also a possibility. I also assume that they are the thermoplastic variety rather than the thermosetting type. Acrylics often use an amine catalyst which tends to cause yellowing. Moisture and UV exposure causes embrittlement, clouding, cracking and crazing in acrylics.

    • by Hatta ( 162192 )

      This ought to work for yellowing SNES's and early Macs/IIGS's too.

    • I have an original Game Boy that could benefit from this procedure.
  • I wonder if this would work on LEGO bricks? Particularly the white ones that fair very poorly in the sun. That a good method for polishing out scratches would make the day of many a LEGO collector.
  • by hcdejong ( 561314 ) <hobbes&xmsnet,nl> on Monday March 02, 2009 @06:07PM (#27045221)

    You'd have to be careful with at least PET, because that degrades when exposed to H2O2 for more than a minute or so. So I'd check for possible side-effects before attempting to spruce up your preciousss with this.

  • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @06:17PM (#27045319) Journal

    Better make it only in small batches. B-(

  • Amiga TRS-80? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shadow Wrought ( 586631 ) * <> on Monday March 02, 2009 @06:20PM (#27045367) Homepage Journal
    Ah yes... the venerable Amiga TRS-80. As much as I appreciate the requisite throwaway jokes in summaries, you really couldn't think of any Commodore Amiga product? Even a C64 jab would have been better.
    • by nomadic ( 141991 )
      I thought it was the Commodore TI/994A.
      • If Jack Trmaiel was dead, he'd be rolling in his grave. As it is, you better watch your back.

        Remember son, business is war. And ole' Jack intends to win!

        • by Chyeld ( 713439 )

          Luckily Jack was to Business as Joseph Bonaparte was to War. Completely ineffective.

          Yes, I'm a bitter owner of two Atari ST's.

          • I'd watch who you're calling "ineffective". I don't see you cratering any multi-billion dollar markets, thus allowing you to purchase the largest gaming company in the sector for little more than a song.

            Ole' Jack may not have been an admirable business man, but he did have an effect. He even managed to leave the market with a significant amount of money in Atari's bank! (Go figure.)

  • It's kind of cool that raw UV exposure is the commonly accepted culprit of yellowing, and the restoration process involves basking the gelled surface in UV as well.

  • Oh, an old Ozzie one! My heart leapt at the sight of it, as if I had seen an old friend. It's a shame I don't have mine anymore.
    • by ogdenk ( 712300 )

      My O1 died a few months ago. Just displays random garbage on the CRT with a constant whine coming from the speaker. I still have the carcass and full set of floppies.

      Compare that to the life of newer laptops or portables. That thing was built in 81.

  • by DnemoniX ( 31461 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @06:31PM (#27045453)

    Really sounds like tooth whitening gel to me. Some of those procedures use high energy light to excite the peroxide which speeds up the process.

    • by evanbd ( 210358 )
      No way am I smearing urea-based [] chemicals all over my precious computer hardware. Keep your piss off my computer and in you tooth-whitening paste where it belongs!
  • One man's patina... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RevWaldo ( 1186281 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @06:32PM (#27045457) another man's sickly yellow. The basic rule of thumb for antiques/collectibles is to never remove its patina e.g. all that crap that's built up on its surface over the years, as it's an undeniable indication of its age (plus sometimes it just looks cool.)

    Then again, vintage car fans don't hesitate to break out the paint and the rust remover.

    Will diehard technology collectors prefer plastic as yellow as a smoking lounge drop ceiling, or returned to its brilliant off-whiteness?
    • by Chyeld ( 713439 )

      Depends on how many times you can 'restore' the equipment before the chemicals used damage the plastic.

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )
        I ran into this veiwpoint when someone asked me about polishing an old and relatively expensive sword - I made the mistake of telling him what seems like the obvious act that you are removing a bit of the surface to polish it. Here as well you are damaging the plastic - the secret is to damage only a few microns in depth just like polishing.
  • I have a greenlight from Hollywood to film the Jack Tramiel Story. Starring Jack Black as Tramiel. It's a heartwarming story of him escaping the Warsaw Ghetto and Nazi oppression (cameo by Ralph Fiennes as Josef Menegele) and headed to the Bronx to repair office machines.

    The film ends in Triumph as he founds Commodore and wins over Bill Shatner (played by Bill Shatner of course) to be his spokesperson.

    The only thing holding back production was that nobody in Hollywood could get an old C64 to look fresh
  • The last time I confronted this, I used a little Simple Green and a bristle brush. The part looked brand new in seconds. I guess I could've waited a decade for someone to invent a workalike, but it didn't occur to me.

  • Holy sh*t! TRS-80s? Boy, are YOU showing your age. Wait ... I used to work on those things.

    Aw, damn. {whimper}
    • Ha! Ha!

      LOL!! Until your post on this thread, I was happily remembering helping my buddy code a war game in BASIC on his TRS 80. He was converting the table top w/dice(think D&D style game in WW2, with rulebook and dice taking the DM's place) game they developed/modded into a computer game. The goal was to recreate the tabletop game on the PC.
      The idea came about from the group playing chess with each other over modem. LAN COOP play in the early/mid 1980's!
      The game was very similar to what ended up as Pan

  • Pluses and minuses (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ancient_Hacker ( 751168 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @06:57PM (#27045757)

    What you're doing is applying an oxygenating bleach to the surface. Works quite well to remove the yellow. But anytime you apply oxygen to a surface you speed up the rate of .... oxidation!

    So while you're whitening it, you're also speeding up the deterioration of the plastic.

    If you've ever used an "ozone generator" to remove smoke odors you know it does that job very well, and it also destroys every rubber band, ballpoint pen, and bicycle tire in the area.

    • My gut reaction to this process in general is that it sounds cool and useful... but that it might be a good idea for most people to wait a few years before doing it en masse- just to see what (if any) side unforeseen effects it's had on the restored computers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by chiark ( 36404 )

      I *think* that it's not oxygenating at all: the chemistry is replacing oxygen that is bonded to a bromine (or bromide? dunno) compond with a hydrogen compound. Or something like that.

      I think it's absolutely not oxidation: the "vanish oxy action" is used for its TAED content which may act as a catalyst, not the oxygenating properties.

  • Was that the process that Michael Jackson used?
  • Twenty years ago or so, when I was working as a tech in an Apple Service Centre, we were using a leather softening agent for saddlery called "Gee-Y" (or "Gee-Why" depending on what part of the world you're from) to clean the ABS cases of hardware like this. A rag dipped in Gee-Y used to polish the burn out.

    Worked brilliantly for restoring the original colours of computer equipment that had been getting browned from sitting in direct sunlight, and it wouldn't affect the printing on cases and key caps.

  • Some of their materials chemistry in the theoretical background there is a bit iffy, but the main thing that jumps out at me is that they reckon they're reducing bromine compounds (bromine oxides, which are brown) by converting them to hydrobromic acid. Of course I've not worked out the whole scheme yet, it's possible they're just forming bromate salts in practice, and it's tiny amounts anyway, but I'm curious as to how much (or little) hydrolysis of the polymer you get from that in the long run.
  • by MerlinUK ( 1491001 ) on Tuesday March 03, 2009 @07:41AM (#27049583) Homepage
    Hi, I am the guy that wrote the Wiki. Now, I know that there are skeptics out there and I may have over simplified the science a bit so that non-nerds can understand what's going on, but I am open to listen to anyone who can explain the chemistry that is actually going on in a coherent way. I may have made it too simple I suppose. Regarding the ABS polymer itself; consider that black car bumpers and trim are made from (yes you've guessed it) ABS. These tend to go white (not yellow or brown) over a long time in sunlight. This is the ABS polymer degrading to the hydroperoxide via oxidation. The computer parts only go white if you use too strong a peroxide solution, so what is reacting under UV so quickly? My theory is it's the TBBP-A flame retardant which is active under UV and decomposes. There is also the phenomenon of migration, where ingredients can move within the plastic matrix and eventually get to the surface. I believe that the degradation products of TBBP-A migraet through the ABS and this is what make it discolour as the molecules attract oxygen molecules. There have also been comments elsewhere that the site is a hoax and that the photos are faked; if this were so, how could the photographs post in the various forums threads I added to the Reading section of the Wiki this morning be faked? They aren't, simple as......... I know I risk feeding trolls with this but this isn't a hoax. As this uses properietary products as part of the mixture, it couldn't be patented, however, I suppose I could have patented the use of H2O2 with TAED in a use for treating plastic. I chose not to and so it was released for all into the public domain. Don't flame me; try it for yourself. Let the flaming begin...........

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson