This weekend we spent going through the house and creating four piles:
- books to donate to the library
- computers and electronics to recycle at the electronics recycling place
- stuff for Goodwill
- a recycle/toss pile.
This will be the first time I’ve recycled computers. In the past, I’ve found homes for older machines while they were still useful. However, the first generation PowerBook and the 11 year old PC laptop are too old to be useful, and have developed problems making them useless, even as Linux machines.
They still run, though, and have working hard drives. In order to prepare them for recycling, I spent yesterday writing zeros and random writes over the PowerBook, and used Darik’s Boot and Nuke over both. I’m also paying the ten bucks each to have both hard drives shredded at the recycler.
The other material I’m donating/discarding is like a microcosm of computer technology. We found that floppy drive and zip discs are plastic surrounding a thin film, which is easily cut with scissors. Old CDs make deadly frisbees; I don’t recommend using them as such. Then there’s my first, bulky external CD burner, ethernet PC cards, a wireless router that doesn’t work, a couple of external USB hard drives that hold only a little data, an old inkjet printer, and various other devices that have me scratching my head as I try to remember what the heck they are.
The last of the photographic film stuff is also going, as I’m now completely digital. The same could be said for many of the books, though I always keep my favorites. Since we eliminated all landline phones, I’m also donating phones and a mile or two of phone wire. We get all our video from the internet or over the air, so there goes the coil of cable wire.
I don’t know if life is simpler with today’s technology, but it certainly is less cluttered.