Recycled Computing

Recycle Old Computers by Repurposing Them, Not Retiring Them

- 2008.02.15

In many, many ways I am preaching to the choir here. If you are anavid reader of Low End Mac (and who isn't?), I can't help but thinkthat you are predisposed to hang on to your old computer until the lastpossible moment and even then pass it on to a family member or friendin need.

Now I don't know why Mac users are more sentimental than PC owners,but I will note that there doesn't seem to be a site called Low End PC on the web. [Editor's note: We tried, butnobody cared. dk] Perhaps it is just the huge number of hardwaremanufacturers on the PC side.

Mac ClassicI don't really know why this is so,but I know most of this site's readership will get a little misty eyedwhen I mention that my student aide just dusted off one of our Mac Classics (in our little Macmuseum on campus) and started it up. Yep, it worked. And no, you can'tbuy it from me - it's not mine.

Technology no longer marches on - at this point it's a sprint.Today's cutting edge computer becomes tomorrow's landfill.

If you're like me, you can't help but think that the old and not soold should be useful in some fashion. Most of our developed countriesin this world have up to date hardware and software, but the thirdworld lags behind us in this field as well as many others.

Does a third world classroom need the latest Dell, Apple, orToshiba? Or do they just need a ethernet equipped box with a monitor,keyboard, and mouse? Do they need the latest processor and gigabytes ofRAM, or do they just need a processor and some memory? Do they needtabbed browsing or just a browser? Do they need the latest edition ofMicrosoft Office, or do they just need a word processor? Do they needthe One Laptop per Child, or do they just need laptops?

My wife's school district has a contract with Apple that allows herIT department to give her a new laptop every three years. So whathappens to all the laptops that are turned back in? There is a boomingmarket for used Apple iBooks, so I don't have many worries that thelaptops are still being used by someone, somewhere and in somecapacity.

Power Mac 8600Weused to have a bunch of old Power Mac 8600s and 7500s (remember SCSI?), and afterwiping and removing the hard drives, we sent them away. At the end ofthis year, all our G3 desktops are going. Now G3s of this vintage canrun Mac OS X 10.2.8, and wouldn't they fit nicely in a Third Worldcountry's school computer lab? The old G3s could provide a window tothe world that these children might not otherwise have.

I don't know if I feel that a government program....

Oh, my God! Hillary Clinton just materialized next tome! How did she get in here without a hall pass? Oh, I see. . . I said the words "government program" and. . . Oh, my God! Bill Clinton just materialized next to her!I better stop before Chelsea shows up.

And now back to reality. Public or private, shouldn't we have a"Computer Corps" full of retired computer maniacs traveling to theThird World with the computers that are not as advanced as the latestand greatest? That's a lot better than languishing in a landfill orbeing ripped apart by Chinese recyclers.

Remember to keep reusing that 'puter! LEM

Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS news feed

Today's Links

Recent Content

About LEM Support Usage Privacy Contact

Follow Low End Mac on Twitter
Join Low End Mac on Facebook

Favorite Sites

Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
The Vintage Mac Museum
Deal Brothers
Mac Driver Museum
JAG's House
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ

The iTunes Store
PC Connection Express
Macgo Blu-ray Player
Parallels Desktop for Mac

Low End Mac's store


Open Link