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joe sixpack
February 21st, 2005, 12:34 PM
Listen to me bitch and moan about computers and recycling



Last night on the news i heard about them having a E-Waste (Electronic Waste)
Day where people could bring down there old electronics (Namly computers and monitors)

At first i thought well thats good because there's a lot of bad stuff in them.
but they was just tossing them in big metal bins in manner that for sure
these computers will be recycled so no need to treat them with any care at all.
And later that night my friend who has more money then brains bought a
new pen 3.2ghz, 1gb ram, 300gb hdd to replace his pen4 1.8ghz, 512gb, 100gb
Why you might you ask? maybe he's a big time gammer? or has to have
a new machine every 2 years? no it seems his harddrive is going out
and instead of getting a new one for less then 100bucks he went and got
all new machine and got ripped off on the price as well.

This struck me and i thought about the report i had just heard/seen.
My friend is a very common PC user stuck in wintel land and thinks winxp
is the best thing since sliced bread. DOS is a bad word/slang,
and thinks linux is a virus of somesort. He knows almost nothing about his
computer if it had'nt been printed on a sticker still on the front of his computer.
So i thought, I bet a lot of people junk there computers when the hdd goes out..... oh and it will.
You also have the people who think if windows dont load the machine is ready for the trash.
Not to mention all the people who think that pen II you got is worthless rather it runs or not!
I guesstimate as much as 75% of the computers are in 100% working form hardware wise, and prob 95% have useable parts.
Monitors on the other hand are prob mostly bad or have problems because they are more clear cut if they are bad/dying.

Now getting back to the part about the big bins the way they was tossing
them in if they was working when they got there they prob are in really
bad shape being tossed 8 feet in the air onto a hard surrface. I really doubt
any one checks the machines before recycling. I tried to get more information
but for some reason google shows me stuff from different areas even when
i put my full state/city in. So i can only assume they are not checked.

In any event the whole thing got me thinking about how much us "Americans"
(I say that because i know a lot of you are not in or from america.) Waste.
We are starting to view computers as disposable 2-4 year max life span;
This sicken's me very much when think about the time and resources it took
to make a computer from raw materals.
Not to mention the time taken to dispose of the machine during recycling.
Can you imagine what people would have said in 1980 if you had told them
25years later we would have so many computer they would litter the streets.
A conversation i would love to have overheard.

This brings me to my last thought. Many of you have prob. heard that they
are working on eviroment friendly electronics. So far they have found a few
ways to make them easier to recycle but the more they make them "Green"
The less reliable the machines get and the shorter the life span.
What this means, (To me anyway) Is that some point in next few years
we will see machines made to be recycled in a few years because they
will no longer be working anyway. I think making computers more "Enviroment Friendly"
Is good but not at the cost of reliabilty.
I sutter to think of the computer becoming a commodity where quanity is better then quality
something that has already happend to a point.
In my mind the furture seems kinda dark for computers.
The old saying "They don't make them like they use too" Could be all the more true.

T1000
February 21st, 2005, 02:31 PM
I agree with everything you say, up until
In my mind the furture seems kinda dark for computers.

There's a new technology, which I don't think you've heard of, called CELL. It's a cpu that does 6 Teraflops/sec rather than Windows 32 Gigaflops(32bit) and macs 64 Gigaflops(64bit) but is compatable with everything. This CPU will process 4, 5, or 6 ghz on each chip which is the size of a tack.
These CELL processors can be placed in multiples on cards ( Don't know how they work yet) and they are made to parallel process, so the more you add the better. Imagine a 120GHZ system! 20 CELL Chips running at 6 ghz would send even the latest computers to the trash!

Not only that, they will be using CELL processors in PDA's, Cell phones, calculators( 1 CELL Tray would rank in the Top Ten SUPER COMPUTERS in the world!) cameras, entertainment systems, you name it

The Companies making them are IBM, Sony and Toshiba. Sony even plans on using them in PlayStation 3, previewers of the game said it made Half-life 2 and Doom 3 look like PONG!

Instead of a dark future, people will be leaning towards conserving the system which CELL operates, building up on one instead of having to replace the whole system( memory motherboard videocard) just for a new cpu.

joe sixpack
February 21st, 2005, 09:39 PM
i have heard of the cell cpu but i've not done any reading on it.
sounds like marketing working it's black magic again.
There is a old saying and i find it true almost all of the time.. some thing to live by even.

You can have something: Cheap, Fast, Good/Reliable..... Pick Two

I mean the future is dark because we are seeing computers as disposable, This is very bad in my mind/opinion.
The good ole days of computers is long gone i fear.
Customers want cheap and fast computers.. they want them so cheap infact
that when soemthing goes wrong they would rather buy another one then take 30mins to fix it.
This causes a lot of waste and bussiness do it 10x more then everyone else.
Because of the waste problem bussiness now have to recycle there systems by law.
Hence we see a 2nd market of cheap used computers from corprate world.
But the market can only handle so much and they're selling more new then old
Now you and me can still throw out our systems.. it's still legal... and a lot of people do.
Im talking about America because thats where i live it might be different
in your part of the world so please feel free to fill in any gaps.

Anyway Dell as well as a few others will recyle your computer sometimes
there's a cost but sometimes free too. Also computer makers now facter
in about 15 bucks for disposal into the cost.

Following what customers want being fast,cheap,small computers they
now start intergrating the sound/video/modem/network and anything else
they can find into the board.. now this is a good idea on paper or as my
brother would say "It looked good on paper" however now the problems
becomes compounded because there is higher risk of a system failure on
a hardware level. There was this smart japanese guy i can't remember
his name but his philosophy is'nt lost on me. It's a very simple concept.
Make your product as simple as possible. The guy was talking about making cars.
but it works on so many things. or the old saying "keep it simple stuipid"
The idea is the less moving parts / complex a machine is the more reliable it will be.

Thankfully computers are much more reliable then cars due to the fact
they have almost no moving parts except the hdd and we've all had them die im sure.
If you have ever looked at a pre-made computer in the last 5 years
you'll see there arent many slots for cards this just makes the problem
worse. I have boards with just 1 or 2 slots. Not much hope in upgrading
that board with 1 slot. your stuck with what it came with hence "disposable"
These are miniATX and other small form factor boards they also make
normal size atx and other larger form factors but im talking about the
most common systems here, What 9 of 10 people have.

I just think it's "dark" and sad because we are reducing computers to such a pathetic existence
It might just be me but i think computers should get more respect then the toaster.
Course i wouldnt throw out a working toaster so maybe that makes me a packrat :P

T1000
February 22nd, 2005, 07:59 AM
You see, about 90% of people get attached to things they own. Watch this short commericial
http://poststuff5.entensity.net/022105/media.php?media=lamp.wmv

Old computers are disposed by americans ( Only americans because the rest of the world cherish these things) because to them, it's worthless and can't do what they need it to do. They can't save it and start collecting because the average work load on a person takes up too much time to fit in a computer collecting hobby.
But I wouldn't worry about those people. Where did you get your collection? Ebay? Thrift Store? Scrap Yard? without those people throwing, giving or selling their computers most of the people here and around the world wouldn't have a computer collection because that's where they find them.

The average person is stupid and careless, but we have the knowledge to know what is worth what and if we find it we save or resell what we found while the average would just trash it.

carlsson
February 22nd, 2005, 12:33 PM
I'm not sure which is more sad; putting a Pentium II to recycling or putting it in an advertisment asking $150 w/o monitor or software. Then if nobody buys it - for at least $100 - the owner will prefer to recycle it anyway.

joe sixpack
February 25th, 2005, 01:13 AM
On the subject guess what i just read in the news
chicken feathers and soybeans to replace circuit boards
It's in the R&D phase but who knows just goes to show.

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,66361,00.html

carlsson
February 25th, 2005, 09:08 AM
Yep, read about it on another news source. It is probably as close to tar and feathers as we will come. :)

Kaptain Skitzo
February 26th, 2005, 05:59 AM
You know, it really IS sad, but we Americans have moved into a disposable society. What's worse, is that something doesn't have to be non-functional to be thrown away...just "out of date/old"....this is fine for foodstuffs, but a properly maintained computer SHOULD last for decades. Look at our collections...they still work, and can do much more than the designers had intented. Part of the problem is Microsoft, making their OS more and more hardware hungry, and other software companies making their software(other than games) require the latest hardware and OS. Another problem is M$'s poor coding. Windows could be crunched down to 1/10th of it's current size, and probably run better. But that wouldn't behoove the hardware companies. Intelligent shoppers would know that they don't NEED a 6.3Ghz processor with 16 TerraBytes of RAM just to load up the OS. In fact, most of us do know we don't need excessive hardware to have a decent system, but the sheep believe all the hype. These are the same people who will throw away a perfectly usable system because the next model just came out...and they have to stay ahead of the wave.
My latest computer is a home-rolled, with a decent amount of expandability. When it gets so outdated it's not usable anymore(or breaks to the point it's too costly to repair)...I'll simply replace the motherboard. All the drives, except maybe the HD should be usable. I found out the hard way that pre-built computers use special sized cases, and it's pretty much impossible to put in a different companys motherboard.

Rick Ethridge
February 26th, 2005, 10:49 AM
I always thought that a number of people prefer to stay with what they know. First, I won't throw my Commodores or Tandy's away. They're obsolete by today's usage but still can do most everything any other systems can do albeit not as "flashy". Relative speed-wise there's really not much difference with the resourse and "code bloat" on new operating systems. My preference is using an older HP Pavilion 500 MHz PIII with 256 meg ram and 31 gig of drive space running Mandrake Linux 10.1 Official and WIN98SE dualboot. I have faster. Just my applications don't seem to run noticeably faster.

CP/M User
June 12th, 2005, 02:30 AM
"joe sixpack" wrote:

> At first i thought well thats good because there's a lot of bad stuff in
> them. but they was just tossing them in big metal bins in manner that
> for sure these computers will be recycled so no need to treat them with
> any care at all.

> And later that night my friend who has more money then brains bought a
> new pen 3.2ghz, 1gb ram, 300gb hdd to replace his pen4 1.8ghz, 512gb,
> 100gb

> Why you might you ask? maybe he's a big time gammer? or has to have
> a new machine every 2 years? no it seems his harddrive is going out
> and instead of getting a new one for less then 100bucks he went and got
> all new machine and got ripped off on the price as well.

> This struck me and i thought about the report i had just heard/seen.
> My friend is a very common PC user stuck in wintel land and thinks
> winxp is the best thing since sliced bread. DOS is a bad word/slang,
> and thinks linux is a virus of somesort. He knows almost nothing about
> his computer if it had'nt been printed on a sticker still on the front of his
> computer.

> So i thought, I bet a lot of people junk there computers when the hdd
> goes out..... oh and it will.

This sort of goes back about what I said at the Gameshippo forum, about the state of DOS games & the machines which are being produced nowadays. I might of even mentioned elsewhere (if not there) about the state of computer neglect nowadays & how they are just thrown away - before they are fully used to their potential. It's all about the same thing, speed of the machine, detailed graphics, size of the hard disk, but has anyone actually used the hardware to it's extreme to see what it can do?

As I always say, DOS games kick Butt, they can go into the standard interrupts & do things with the video, while Windows has to goto some sloppy Library program which needs to then talk to the hardware (or something). Too coplicated for Windows to perform. DOS games generally work out a bit smaller as a result & fun to play.

CP/M User.

Mad-Mike
June 12th, 2005, 11:33 AM
"joe sixpack" wrote:

> At first i thought well thats good because there's a lot of bad stuff in
> them. but they was just tossing them in big metal bins in manner that
> for sure these computers will be recycled so no need to treat them with
> any care at all.

> And later that night my friend who has more money then brains bought a
> new pen 3.2ghz, 1gb ram, 300gb hdd to replace his pen4 1.8ghz, 512gb,
> 100gb

> Why you might you ask? maybe he's a big time gammer? or has to have
> a new machine every 2 years? no it seems his harddrive is going out
> and instead of getting a new one for less then 100bucks he went and got
> all new machine and got ripped off on the price as well.

> This struck me and i thought about the report i had just heard/seen.
> My friend is a very common PC user stuck in wintel land and thinks
> winxp is the best thing since sliced bread. DOS is a bad word/slang,
> and thinks linux is a virus of somesort. He knows almost nothing about
> his computer if it had'nt been printed on a sticker still on the front of his
> computer.

> So i thought, I bet a lot of people junk there computers when the hdd
> goes out..... oh and it will.

This sort of goes back about what I said at the Gameshippo forum, about the state of DOS games & the machines which are being produced nowadays. I might of even mentioned elsewhere (if not there) about the state of computer neglect nowadays & how they are just thrown away - before they are fully used to their potential. It's all about the same thing, speed of the machine, detailed graphics, size of the hard disk, but has anyone actually used the hardware to it's extreme to see what it can do?

As I always say, DOS games kick Butt, they can go into the standard interrupts & do things with the video, while Windows has to goto some sloppy Library program which needs to then talk to the hardware (or something). Too coplicated for Windows to perform. DOS games generally work out a bit smaller as a result & fun to play.

CP/M User.

I'm with ya on the whole issue there. Half the reason I collect computers is because I actually do use them, and push them to their utter limits. Before the machine that became my current Pentium III, I had a late model 486 with 64MB of RAM running Windows 98SE! And I used that machine till the system board died. Half the reason the "Americans" throw a computer away is because the industry is crooked in the marketing department and listing minimum system requirements. Case in point, there is a WARNING in the manual for Diablo saying explicity NOT TO run it on a 486 because it was not "designed" for it. I'd have the authors know the 486 I had above was running Diablo as good as, if not even more stable than my Pentium 200 w/ MMX, complete with sound. Shoot, it even runs decent enough to play on a 66 MHz 486 with 16 MB of RAM, I set up a Compaq CDS 520 for a girlfriend like that. I agree, old DOS games were much better. Think what they could have done if they took Ultima VII and expanded on that "virtual world" concept, within DOS, with direct accessed interrupts and abilities to take advantage of the hardware.

People say Windows 95 won't work on a 386, well, I actually managed to run it on my 16 MHz Deskpro 386 before I sold it off a 540MB IDE drive, using a second party RAM expansion card at around 14MB of RAM, and it did not run bad at all. People say Windows 98 is useless on a 486, I used to use Trillian, networking on 3 protocols, Diablo with and without netplay, NES and 2600 emualtors, and while the speed sometimes was not perfect, it was definatley useful, and for work, it did everything I needed, I had that computer a good 5 years before the board died. Windows 3.1x is still useful as is DOS in capable hands, they both have workable and useable internet applications, instant messager programs, and other modern conveniences, heck, I found a DOS CD Burner program, I might actually toss a Burner in my 486 when I have the time and money for it. I could back up all my hard drives to CD! I think the problem early on when computers became mainstream, it was that people did not want to take the time required to learn to get more out of their computer, now people have gotten lazy as a whole and figure "why remove all the spyware and defrag my hard disk, I could just pay $500 and be done with it!".

As far as I can see, the people who do work only really only need a Pentium II-III machine at most. I'm still using a Pentium III, and possibly intend to for the next 10 years or so, why? Because just about every program I throw at it works on it (save very old stuff designed to work on 486 and older machines). Even then, I had a Pentium Pro that could keep up with this machine, as well as my same home-rolled hot rod AT was running as a Celeron and I have not seen any real increase or improvement. Actually, because I picked out a complex Server board (so I could have at least one expansion slot open), it was a bit of a downer. For the first week I had Intel Active monitor whining the CPU was too hot and stopping all processes. It took me 3 heatsink's and fans and quite a bit of thermal paste to get the cooling right, and with that and re-learning how to handle that new speed and make use of it, I have come out as a better tech, and on top of that, I also have managed to make the system as close to perfect for me as can be. I never see myself EVER tossing it because I appreciate all the hard work I did to build it. Besides, it's WAS a $3000.00 PC in 1988, they just don't make them like they used to. Now who's with me on bringing the AT form factor back?

Rick Ethridge
June 12th, 2005, 04:43 PM
Here, here!

I renovated a 486DLC (actually a souped-up 386DX) which runs Windows 95 on 4 megs of RAM. It would run 98SE S L O W L Y. Not supposed to. Same for bumblebees! I use it convert TRS-80 .dsk images to native disks.

My son found a derelict Compaq Presario 4505 and brought it home. Everything still worked: only needed reinstall. I found another trashed computer with a good 240 meg HDD and installed the drive in the Compaq along with maxing out the RAM and installing WIN98SE and a supplemental Matrox video card. Small but potent. Use it for testing for my compTIA A+ certificate.

My brother's neighbor left a system sans drives and RAM. on the curb. 1 GHz Duron with spare 400 watt blue LED power supply and Gateway internet keyboard. Replaced the bad power supply and installed drives memory and operating systems. Using them now.

These would've been in a landfill by now. I only throw them away if they're absolutely USELESS!