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Thread: Old Computers whats your take

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    GTA Ontario Canada
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    12,251

    Old Computers whats your take

    After seeing what my Dad has gone through with holding on to things till you get too old to use them, i have been in anti hording mode for a month now. Yeah you need to wind yourself up to let go of certain things if you are a junk collector.

    So I am about to take 4 old working computer chassis to the electronic waste recycling dump. Breaking my heart to do this but i see no other way.

    I had planned on using one or two of the more recent versions but with the effort involved given the cost of basic new chassis today i just dont see the value anymore given time is at a premium.

    One of them i was going to use to load Ubuntu on and run weather station info collection on and at the same time learn the whole Ubuntu thing. But time is the issue so its been on the backburner of someday when this has been done or that has been done etc. This is exactly what happened to my Dad. He is 93 and he even settled for a new computer just the other day.

    So whats your take on these things. I been thinking of all the parts and maybe stripping out a couple of spares like power supplies. But really i dunno. The supplies in these things can be used for a electolysis bath given their high dc current rating but for my needs well Evapo rust does it for me.

    Any thoughts. I simply struggle to throw working stuff away but in this part of the world even the underpriveledged get new stuff and the way the web is its pointless trying to take advantage of new tech on the old tech just drives you crazy.

    My one concern is legacy software where there is not wide use and the "techies" involved have no justification to upgrade to the latest operating system. This is where my weather data concerns lie.

    So i would be interested in your thoughts and suggestions

    Thanks
    cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Reno NV
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    I've got the exact same problem and have shelves of stuff that I 'might' use.

    If you are in the mood I say dump it.

    If you really want to put your weather station on the web, then maybe keep the best of the bunch for that.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Midlands of South Carolina
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    271
    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    I've got the exact same problem and have shelves of stuff that I 'might' use.

    If you are in the mood I say dump it.
    I just dumped a bunch of computer parts I was holding. I hate throwing functional stuff away, but sometimes it is just not worth the space, time, and effort to determine if it will actually be used.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
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    2,668
    Rob, installing Ubuntu is a great way of prolonging a computer's life. Just last week I installed version 10.04 on one of my old laptops. It seems to be rock solid and works pretty fast. Some people even compare it with Windows 7. I am still learning the OS but it is very intuitive and user-friendly. On the other hand, availability of softwares for Ubuntu is whole different issue.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Hershey, PA
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    18
    I'm in the computer industry (30+ years) and I throw lots of good stuff out every month. I'm responsible for over 300 computers and 100 servers at my location and we cycle them every 4 years no matter how good they are.

    My suggestion is to take the hard drive out of any computer you're about to recycle. If you have an arbor press - use it and smash the drive flat. If not, drill a hole through it or run over it with your car/truck. In other words destroy it before recycling it.

    I'm a little paranoid about data getting out so every drive we recycle is put in an arbor press and smashed before leaving. Helps me sleep at night.
    "Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday." John Wayne.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Antonio Martinez View Post
    I'm in the computer industry (30+ years) and I throw lots of good stuff out every month. I'm responsible for over 300 computers and 100 servers at my location and we cycle them every 4 years no matter how good they are.

    My suggestion is to take the hard drive out of any computer you're about to recycle. If you have an arbor press - use it and smash the drive flat. If not, drill a hole through it or run over it with your car/truck. In other words destroy it before recycling it.

    I'm a little paranoid about data getting out so every drive we recycle is put in an arbor press and smashed before leaving. Helps me sleep at night.

    Ciao Antonio.....And what he said about the hard drive is 100% on the money....take it out and smash it with a sledgehammer...(then do some satanic chants around it)....the info someone can pull off of an old hard drive would surprise and scare you. Computer forensics is a huge field. Data can be pulled off....credit card numbers...etc....with a readily available program.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Reno NV
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    Out here in Nevada we have some pretty creative ways of destroying hard drives....

    Think "High speed hole punchers"
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Reno NV
    Posts
    13,360
    My weather machine is a little low powered mini-itx box. It runs ubuntu off of a hard drive attached via usb.

    Just checked and the uptime now is 34 days. The only reason the uptime is so low is we had a power outage 34 days ago...

    It's very stable and reliable.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,828
    With the recent acquisition of a new laptop for my wife, we now have two old but usable computers taking up space. Like Rob, I hate waste and am reluctant to just toss. When I was President of our computer club we took, literally truck loads of computer hardware to the dump. Must have been 500 of the office type track/sprocket ? drive printers. Folks thought they were doing good to donate them to the school district. Schools found out they couldn't use them and thoughtfully donated to our club. We found them equally useless. Archaeologists will find them one day, a 100 feet underground at the landfill.
    The computer club used to recondition computers and donate to worthy causes or people. Nobody wants anything but the latest these days. Can't give away and we don't have a recycle facility locally.
    Yep, it's a pity and a waste.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Hershey, PA
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    Ubuntu is a nice OS. I have three pc's up on it at home. Steady and reliable and good updates. I run them on very old Dell pc's. Though work requires me to recycle machines quickly, my home machines I keep until they smoke out.
    "Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday." John Wayne.

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