Apple and Microsoft have been at each other's throats in the computer realm for years now, culminating in those super annoying "I'm a Mac" commercials. Now comes word of Apple's newest ploy; the company will recycle your PC for free. Heck, it'll even pay for the shipping and packaging and give you an Apple gift card if the computer's still worth anything. Are they being generous and environmentally conscious, or do Steve Jobs and Justin Long plan on high-fiving and laughing maniacally while bulldozing giant stacks of Dells?
As PC enthusiasts we spend much of our lives finding new and exciting ways to work the technology we love into every facet of our lives. We pay our bills, play games, keep in touch with loved ones, and do business from our computers. They are our hobby, our obsession, our passion.
As computer enthusiasts, we are not strangers to using our interest and knowledge of tech for the benefit of others. The Internet is filled with user-created and supported software that are available to all, regardless of financial need or experience level. Some of us provide education and guidance to others through forums and knowledge base sites. We donate our old or extra hardware to groups or individuals in need. Among us are the heroes who use a mouse and keyboard at work to fill invoices and write programs, then come home to don superhero capes and use these same tools to provide education, inspiration, and creative outlets for others.
Click through to view some of the many who have gone above and beyond to use their love of computers and technology to improve the lives of others.
Don't know what to do with your old smartphone now that you've upgraded to a slick device sporting a Snapdragon processor? You could toss it in the garbage, though that won't earn you any brownie points with Mother Nature. Or you could take advantage of Verizon Wireless' new Trade-In Program.
"By using the Verizon Wireless Trade-In Program, you are disposing of your device in a simple, safe, and easy way! Look no further to trade in your used device...we accept all devices, regardless of wireless carrier or model," Verizon says.
Verizon Wireless set up a site where you can appraise your device, and if it has any value, you'll receive a gift card by mail. If it isn't worth anything, you can still send it to the company for recycling.
Since its inception, the Window Recycle bin has operated with one purpose in mind: holding your stuff. As well, the recycle bin has always come with a super-bonus feature that, when activated, sends said stuff into the digital ether of your hard drive--or, technically, it marks the location of said stuff as "free space" on your hard drive, rendering said location available for an overwrite at some indeterminate point in the future.
There goes the joke.
Anyway, that's about it. You can send things to the Recycle Bin and you can delete things from the Recycle Bin. End of story. But thankfully--and finally--there's a piece of freeware that extends the usefulness of this digital trash pile just a wee bit past its original intention. It's not a monumental shift or crazy new feature, just a little, necessary tweak to an old friend.
Whether you’re turning off the water while you’re shaving or driving a fancy new biodiesel fueled car, going green is something that just about everyone has on their mind. But if you’re using a computer (which I’m going to assume you are) you’ve got one more thing to add to your “going green” check list.
Where your PC winds up at the end of its life is something that’s come under heavy scrutiny lately. An estimated 1.8 billion pounds of PCs are disposed of every year, and only half of that (about 865 million pounds) are processed by recyclers, according to a report by International Data Corporation. While some of the nearly 900 million pounds of unrecycled computers are reused, for the most part they’re thrown in a landfill or incinerated.
A huge reason for this is because IT organizations are failing to accept responsibility for the end-of-life destination of the PCs that they purchase. While computer vendors such as Dell, Hewlett Packard, Lenovo, Apple, Sony, Toshiba and IBM all offer take back programs for computers, most organizations donate their PCs, which simply shifts the responsibility to religious institutions or school districts.
So what can you do to help? Mostly keep your eyes open when you’re buying a machine. Check out if the computer that you’re purchasing has a good life cycle, and if the company that you’re buying from has a take back program (and be sure to use that program when the time comes to get rid of that computer).