Thursday, October 2, 2008

Challenge #24: Use old computer peripherals

Not as cool as the next galE-waste has proven to be large in volume, toxic, and its disposal is rife with corrupt practices. Computer tend to be like automobiles - a new one is 'needed' every few years. I hope to diffuse the idea that an average consumer of computer power needs the latest and greatest.

I retired my old PC about five years ago. Neither the hardware nor the software was performing well, and I started to use my husband's laptop in the evenings. After awhile though, we had to start scheduling evening computer time so that he could work and I could take care of the household management or surf the net.

I had the opportunity to buy a Mac G4 from the Mac support technician at my work site (his personal computer from home- he upgraded to a G5). I paid $100 for the tower, monitor, and keyboard. My 'new-to-me' computer is at least 8 or 9 years old now. Since the previous owner was a trained Mac repairman, he had updated the memory, some other hardware and had installed Mac OS 10.4. I have been using this computer for two or three years now. I rarely have any problems. Safari doesn't work well anymore, so I just installed FireFox, and I love it. I can surf high bandwidth sites with flash, music players, really anything. My computer has Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, ITunes, 1000s of pictures in IPhoto, and a couple of email clients. I work full-time at this computer.

The monitor was beginning to flicker, and I scored an old monitor when someone I knew updated their new computer (because, of course, new computers come together with new monitors, whether the old monitor is malfunctioning or not). Basically, I saved myself a ton of money and saved lots of perfectly good equipment from going into the landfill. Would a brand-new computer be faster? Probably, but would I even notice? The only complaint I have is that the new IPhoto is too new for my OS and the old one doesn't easily export to some web-based programs for printing photos. I can work around it though.

When I got this 'new' computer, I went down to the basement and dug out a few of my old PC peripherals. My old printer wouldn't connect to the Mac, so I bought an old printer from a friend who was moving for $40- along with an extra set of cartridges (score!). Currently, I am using 10-year-old computer speakers. One doesn't work anymore, so really I am using A 10-year-old computer speaker. Sounds okay to me. There is only one song in my ITunes that is really 'in stereo', and half of the instrumentation is lacking when it plays. I can only laugh when the song comes up.

Truth be told, new speakers are on my list for Santa this year. But before I can buy new ones, I have to find out how to properly dispose of these old speakers. I don't want them to end up in Africa where some kid will be exposed to toxic fumes as he burns away the plastic to recover a fraction of an ounce of precious metals.

That is E-ethics.

Dispose of e-waste responsiblyKeep up with software updates in order to extend the life of your computer and updates parts instead of systems.

Electronic waste pollutes the environment with heavy metals and toxic fumesfor anyone who properly e-recycles their old computers. I've got an old computer, two monitors, and two printers in my basement awaiting proper disposal. I have to find a trustworthy company to recycle these on-shore.


1 comment:

tomtt said...

we love old parts!

post what you have at

thank you ...