Mac Daniel's Advice

Earth Day and the Mac

Manuel Mejia Jr - 2001.04.23

In thinking about Earth Day, I noted that the newest items of trash to start moving into the nation's landfills are PCs. In 10,000 years, archeologists are literally going to be issuing precise dates on layers 20th century garbage by finding and identifying what type of PC was thrown in with the trash!

If this sounds insane, it is not. Archeologists date trash piles from early human civilizations based on fragments of clay jars and thimble sized clay spools that have early writing and drawings (signs of the "first" tools of the information age).

One of the strengths of the Macintosh is longevity - they just keep on working. Another factor is software - no matter how old it gets, it never wears out. Given these factors, investing in an "old" Macintosh is both good for the environment and good for those who do not have big wads of Ben Franklins ($100 bills) to toss about.

When looking into buying a used Mac, I have noted that buyers are not necessarily looking to upgrade for RAM or CPU purposes. Their existing systems often doing what they want them to do. Many computer users replace their computers because they want something smaller on the desk. Others get small, inexpensive computers so that they can be placed in areas that are normally a bit dangerous for an up-to-date PC (a kitchen or workshop office). Buying an older Mac is also helpful on the wallet because you can often transfer your old software to the replacement machine without worrying about compatibility.

If you are Mac user in search of a smaller machine but not able to buy a petite iMac, consider buying a used PowerBook. The PowerBook 100x series are relatively inexpensive - around 1.5 Ben Franklins ($150). If you can spare 3-4 Ben Franklins, you can get the "Blackbird" (68040) series of PowerBooks with accessories. PowerBooks are great for the small apartment, the workshop, the kitchen, and for those who just move around a lot and want to take their work with them. Visit your favorite LEM Used Mac Dealer for a low cost, "recycled" Mac.

All computers eventually die. However, be sure that the one that you send to the landfill is a dead one. There are many "Wintel" machines that are being discarded while still in working condition. If the software still exist, future archeologists may even try to get these machines running again so that they can impress their students on how wasteful 20th Century humans were.

Happy Earth Day.

Manuel Mejia Jr is familiar with Mac IIs, LCs, and older PowerBooks. He uses his Mac LC, PowerBook 145B, and PB 100 with System 7.1 on a regular basis and recently added a Mac Plus running System 6 to his collection. He's quite familiar with both System 6 and System 7. He also owns the Pina books on repairing compact Macs from 128k through the SE. You can read more about Manuel's computers in Manuel Mejia Jr's Four Old Macs.

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