Dilemma: Offloading old tech

phonedump_250.jpgOk, so here’s the deal. You want a new com­puter, or iPad, or BluRay play­er or whatever. But your old one is still work­ing per­fectly fine. Yet, the fea­tures of your next tech­no­lo­gic­al acquis­i­tion are so good, so cool, that really, that new tech item will make your life much bet­ter.

Great, so you go out and get it, but what do you do with the old item?

And there’s the rub.

You’ve got the old tech, that still works and you’re com­fort­able with. And you’ve got your new tech that you’re learn­ing and works and is Jobs-gift-to-human­ity.

For me, there’s huge reluct­ance to get rid of the old stuff. Sure, it’s already been replaced by bet­ter stuff — but it still works! It can still do things. So here’s what I do:

1) Resell — this one is pretty obvi­ous, but takes a bit of work. List­ing on (com­pet­it­or) or Kijjiji requires set­ting up an account and man­aging the pro­cess. If you’ve done everything right, you’ve got a buy­er for your tech-stuff and you’re both happy.

Oth­er altern­at­ives that often work are pawn shops. If not, pro­ceed to step 2.

2) Regift — it’s entirely pos­sible you’ve got a very young neice or neph­ew that could use a ‘first’ com­puter. Once prop­erly refur­bished, your ‘gift’ could meet that need. Of course, you’ll be the first in line for hard­ware sup­port, but isn’t that what being sup­port­ive in a fam­ily is all about?

3) Repur­pose — Older com­puters still work well run­ning older oper­at­ing sys­tems. Giv­en your hard­ware won’t be your daily desktop box, nothing’s pre­vent­ing you from giv­ing it new life as a ded­ic­ated serv­er, a home secur­ity sys­tem, or a media centre box.

4) Recycle — this one is actu­ally my favour­ite. In Edmon­ton, we have loc­al Eco­St­a­tions that are set up to take our tech. As well, FutureShop has an amaz­ing Elec­tron­ics Take-Back pro­gram in Alberta and Ontario. What bet­ter way to keep your older tech out of the land­fill and ensure it (or its com­pon­ent mater­i­al) is being put back to work.

Obvi­ously, this won’t work for every situ­ation. For example, I’ve got a few old cell phones and  PDAs gath­er­ing dust in my closet. I’ve not figured out nor taken time to determ­ine the best ‘end’ for them, yet. Your mileage may vary…in fact, I hope it does! And I hope you share your best ‘tech recycle story below…because frankly, I could use a bit of help 🙂



This post of is one of many I pub­lish weekly at the Future Shop Techb­log. Read more of my stuff here.

Published by Brad Grier

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