Friday, May 19, 2006

Farewell, Gateway PC

These old components had been strewn all over the floor of my study for the past 9 months. Together, they probably weigh the same and occupy as much space as I do. My plan all along was to recycle them, but I hadn't quite figured out how to do that. Dell would take them, but I would have to pack them into the box that my new computer came in (one look told me they wouldn't fit, or if I could get them into the box, it certainly wouldn't fit in the Mini) and ship them back to Dell. I sent e-mail last fall to the Five College recycling coordinator, asking her how I could recycle computer components, but she never replied. The college where I work has a recycling program, but only for college-owned computers. The UMass recycling facility will accept personally-owned computers, but you need a UMass ID to get in (mine expired in 1988). I gave the old ink-guzzling Epson printer away last fall, sold the external CD drive (the best of the lot) for $20, and tried to no avail to find a buyer for the speakers and subwoofer (old, but still sound good).

Then this week I saw a post on Usenet -- someone wanted an old PC. I wrote back, he called, we arranged a place to meet, and the components shifted the next day from my car to his. His plan is to rebuild an old computer for his sister. He didn't ask any questions, so I didn't have to tell any lies. I did tell him in advance that the hard drive was about to die (true) and that I would be pulling it out (easier than trying to permanently delete -- if that's even possible -- all my personal stuff from it). So, there was no mention that the monster monitor spazzes out periodically and that the power switch is temperamental. Apparently he didn't need to know. He promised to recycle whatever bits he couldn't use, and that was all I needed to know. I'm thrilled that I can see my floor again.

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