Où sont les ordinateurs d'antan...
One of my ongoing projects has been to empty out my sweetie's spare room... basically, Sarah's roommate moved out a while back, and since then, it has been a pile of storage and languishing boxes. The big hulking presence in the room was a desktop computer--Sarah wrote her PhD thesis on this machine... whoah...
Windows me, check it... with Pentium II action... yeah!
[Yes, sweetie, I'm mocking you. Phhpftt!]
When we powered it up--hey, it still works!--we were amused by this warning message:
Trust EZ Antivirus
Your twelve month license subscription for this product expired 2729 days ago.
It will no longer operate.
If I'm doing my math right, this means that the software was installed circa April 2002. Whoah. So as a decrapification service, I took on the job of getting this computer out of the place. We removed any relevant files via USB stick... one amusement was that a 4 GB USB stick was larger than one of the two hard drives installed in the machine. There was also a case of, "Oh, hey, I didn't lose those photos! Cool!" I pulled the hard drives, to keep a copy of the data available in a small form factor.
Then it became a case of, "How do I get rid of this stuff?" Some online research and word of mouth turned up Earthworm Recycling--they are over in Somerville. They charge for drop-offs of items like CRT monitors and printers, but hey, it seems worthwhile. So one e-waste run later, which included a monitor, a 27" TV, a printer, CPU, two dead laptops, and two boxes of random electronic bits and pieces ...
The computer was gone! Earthworm is a pretty neat operation... they are only a reshipper--the actual electronics stripping is done somewhere out on 495. But they are very adamant on making sure the end use is actual recycling, as opposed to being set-on-fire-to-collect-metals in Nigeria or something like that. They charged $20 per CRT, and $10 for the printer... the rest was free.
And just to complete the recycling work... I broke down the computer desk into particle board pieces. I spent a bit of this weekend making a cheap-and-fast shelf for more of my tools. More recycling!
BTW--as a reward for reading this far, in case you don't know French, the title is meant to be "Where are the computers of yesteryear." My knowledge of this phrase is only from Catch 22... nothing more sophisticated than that, alas.