This question submitted by Walter Kronenberg, Donna Case, Tina Williams, Brad Peterson, Andrea Thomas and numerous others
The computer. Your trusted companion, the keeper of your secrets, thevault that holds so many details of your life. Your work, your play. Itserves you well, but like many things in life, eventually you want toreplace it. You decide to replace it with a newer, bigger, better, andfaster model. So, what do you do with the old one?
One possibility is to use the computer someplace else in your home oroffice. Give it to your spouse, your children, your parents. Over theyears I've given away many computers to friends, family, and charitableorganizations. And if you run out of friends and relatives, there areother options which we'll discuss. Don't toss it out in yourtrash!
There are a couple of reasons why the trash is just not a viableoption for disposing of a computer. One is environmental impact. Manypeople don't realize it, but your computer has a number of preciousmetals in it. Gold, silver, and more. Heavy metals that can be a hazardto ground water if not disposed of properly. So, it's not a goodidea to just toss your old computer in the local dump or trashcompactor. There are a number of other options so you can dispose ofyour computer and be a good citizen.
Another reason not to toss it out is because there are so manypeople and organizations that need computers. Non-profitorganizations, churches, Scouts, and others. I suggest going to agroup like Share TheTechnology. This group was established about 10 years ago and theymaintain a database of organizations in need of computers.
Here are just a few things you can try to get rid of that old computer:
- Sell it on a site like eBay
- Offer it to charitable organization
- Give it to a non-profit recycling company
- Pay to have it recycled professionally
- Sell it at a garage or yard sale
Just remember that because the computer isn't of interest to youany longer, that doesn't mean that it wouldn't be valuable to someoneelse. There is such a great need for used computers, so take the time tofind someone to give your old computers to.
One thing to remember before you get rid of your old computer is toerase the hard drive. This can be done by formatting the drive, but thatdoesn't totally remove all data. If you want to make certain thatno on can recover your data, use a program designed to wipe ahard drive so it can't be recovered. A few such programs include:
And there are others as well. Just remember that whether you give yourcomputer to someone else, or have it recycled, you're being a good,conscientious computer user.
I'd like to thank Walter Kronenberg, Donna Case, Tina Williams, Brad Peterson, Andrea Thomas and numerous others for asking this question.
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Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.