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 Sure, it’s already been replaced by bet­ter stuff — but it still works!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.

Legacy Hardware loses flagship application

Five years ago I mod­ded my first Xbox to cre­ate a Media Centre. The soft­ware I ran, and still run is the über awe­some XBMC (for Xbox Media Cen­ter).

But now it seems that the days of using my ori­gin­al Xbox as a media cen­ter are numbered — the developers are stop­ping work for that hard­ware plat­form.

So now there will be no updates, no new ‘offi­cial’ fea­tures or bug­fixes for what has become the corner­stone of my enter­tain­ment sys­tem.

And this means that I’d bet­ter start look­ing at a replace­ment that offers:

  • Mul­ti­me­dia play­back
  • Huge lib­rary of media codecs
  • Nat­ive net­work aware­ness for Win­dows, OSX and Linux shared drives
  • Simple and easy-to-use inter­face

But I’m in no rush. My ori­gin­al mod­ded Xbox­en still run the last build of XBMC just fine. And will likely con­tin­ue for some time. But now I know, the days are numbered. Some­thing else just got added to my todo list. Lucky for me it involves tech 🙂

Modding my Xbox…

[ This item ori­gin­ated at my pre­vi­ous (now defunct) blog bradblog.info — copy retrieved from the Inter­net Archive]

A while ago I man­aged to lay my hands on a refur­bished Xbox for a fairly reas­on­able price. Great, methinks. A game con­sole and a DVD play­er, all rolled into one. And hey, it’ll even play music from the built in hard drive too¦ but not stock from the fact­ory. No, my friend, you have to void the Microsoft war­ranty and mess with the happy tech­no­logy that lies bur­ied with­in your game con­sole. Once you do that, you then have unlocked the power of your Xbox, and cre­ated a Monster¦here’s how I did mine¦ Con­tin­ue read­ing “Mod­ding my Xbox…”