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Office Depot Wants to Recycle Your Old Computer 546

Posted by michael
from the spring-cleaning dept.
IcerLeaf writes "CNN reports that Office Depot will happily recycle one old electronics item per customer, per day, from July 18th through September 6th. Qualifying electronics include computers, monitors, printers, scanners, fax machines, digital cameras, cell phones, and TVs 27" or smaller. Office Depot and Hewlett Packard will be splitting the bill. What's coming out of your basement?"
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Office Depot Wants to Recycle Your Old Computer

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  • stuff owns us (Score:5, Interesting)

    by digitalsushi (137809) * <slashdot@digitalsushi.com> on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:11PM (#9688723) Journal
    Two winters ago I had finally hit a breaking point of cruft. 11 computers weighed my personal space down, sparc servers and stations, sgi indigo2s and dumb terminals, countless x86 machines in varying states of decay. Sounds like you? In a panic, I updated my slashdot sig announcing that my lan was for sale, more of a joke to myself, a poke at my own sloth. Amazed at an almost immediate response with a serious inquiry, I reconsidered my offer and realized, "why not"? What had that pile of crap done for me? It caused me anguish, it made me think every single night coming home from work, "one of these days, I'm going to clean this place up". And so I went ahead with it, and sold everything on my lan for 400 dollars. I got 1 new machine with it, and 10 months later, an ibook (with other money) I haven't looked back since. In that time I've started, and completed, many of the mundane backburner projects that were always on-hold for seemingly forever. My point to this post is, if you haven't used a thing, and are keeping it because you think you might, why not just get rid of the thing (and this, a chance to do it properly, and for free!) and not let it vex you, sitting idle in the corner, calling out to your procrastinations ... (admittedly, 2 of the 3 boxes i mailed were lost or destroyed. the third, the cables, was received a-ok. the buyer was upset until i told him i had insured them. somewhere, there's a little old lady with a bright purple indigo2 full of potting soil and philodendrons ...)
    • 11 computers weighed my personal space down, sparc servers and stations, sgi indigo2s and dumb terminals

      Hey, that's some good stuff there! I'm far happier that it all found a better home than to hear that it was simply trashed. Serious Unix machines never die. They are simply less powerful than a newer model. Doesn't mean you should throw them away though. You never know who might need a cheap Unix workstation to get some work done, run background computations, or perform simple serving (e.g. sendmail).
      • Re:stuff owns us (Score:5, Interesting)

        by digitalsushi (137809) * <slashdot@digitalsushi.com> on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:22PM (#9688882) Journal
        4 years ago I ended up with a Sparc Server 20, I think it was called. Down in an Urban School System somewhere in Rhode Island, my first time on a field dispatch.

        I was doing an IP renumbering, and I reset the default route on their web server. I was telnetted in at the time, from another room. "Oops, I just broke the default route and I saved it in the start up file. I need to reset this at the console." The head IT lady goes "What's a console?" I explained it to her. She walked me up to the console, all remaining 50 keys on the keyboard and shattered monitor and everything.

        Walked out of there with IIS running her website, lugging the sparc server 20 to the trunk of my car. It was a horrible first experience. I learned that you never get free hardware twice!
        • I was doing an IP renumbering, and I reset the default route on their web server. I was telnetted in at the time, from another room. [snip] She walked me up to the console, all remaining 50 keys on the keyboard and shattered monitor and everything.

          And it was still running! Can't get that type of reliability out of a PC! ;-) I'll bet you could have even hooked a dumb terminal to the serial port and fixed everything without issue.

          Bah, kids these days with their "disposable" Windows boxes. Wouldn't know real hardware if it hit them on the head! (Because they'd be unconscious. That shit is heavy!)
        • by southpolesammy (150094) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:37PM (#9689090) Journal
          So you replaced a piece of broken hardware with a piece of broken software?

          (Sorry, just had to say it....)
          • Re:stuff owns us (Score:3, Interesting)

            Hate to reply to my own post, but on second thought, the hardware wasn't broken. In fact, the software wasn't broken either. The only thing wrong was that you broke the routing on a working SPARC Solaris server, which is an easy fix with a laptop and a serial cable.

            But instead of providing them with the cheap fix, you moved them to what is probably a more expensive solution TCO-wise on probably less reliable hardware (especially so given the state of PC hardware vs. Sun hardware 4 years ago). Not sure I
      • Re:stuff owns us (Score:3, Insightful)

        by vasqzr (619165)
        Serious Unix machines never die. They are simply less powerful than a newer model. Doesn't mean you should throw them away though. You never know who might need a cheap Unix workstation to get some work done, run background computations, or perform simple serving (e.g. sendmail).

        You can keep the x86 cruft, however. They're older than the dinosaurs the day after they're released.


        Old SGI/Sun computers definately look cooler. They definately are cooler. But they require a lot more to get to work, and you ha
        • the sexiest solution is to get one of those 1 bay sized computers that mount right inside another, regular sized machine, and let it be your firewall.
        • Re:stuff owns us (Score:5, Insightful)

          by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:30PM (#9688989) Homepage Journal
          If you just want a *nix box to run sendmail or just for the sake of it, it's usually more efficent to have an old Pentium II (which are almost always faster unless you're doing 3D stuff on the SGI) and run Linux/BSD on it.

          But they lack the flexibility of the Unix hardware. That stuff was designed to work no matter what, to be fixable no matter what, and to be remotely accessible no matter what. You just can't get that type of reliability out of an x86. It simply isn't built for the type of abuse that a Unix machine was engineered for.

          Call me when PCs get OpenBoot, and I'll begin to consider them for serious work.
          • Re:stuff owns us (Score:3, Informative)

            by Junta (36770)
            Sure you can.

            Even down to the 'entry' level x86 servers there are quite a few systems with significant management features built in or available as a feature. For example, the IBM e325 (an Opteron box, but still in the same class as other entry servers), has a management controller that allows remotely querying and controlling aspects of the system via the network (querying fan/voltages/power state/system events/snmp alerts on error condition, system watchdog/power control), and also supports serial conso
    • by lcsjk (143581) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @03:30PM (#9689780)
      So that's where it came from!!

  • by Evildave (21909) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:11PM (#9688733) Homepage
    thats where I get rid of all my computer junk.
  • by gevmage (213603) * on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:12PM (#9688736) Homepage
    All right! This is great! My wife will be thrilled.

    I have two defunct laser printers, probably at least one dead monitor, and some other misc. stuff to come out of my basement. Stuff that frankly is too expensive to ship to sell on ebay.

    • by digitalsushi (137809) * <slashdot@digitalsushi.com> on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:26PM (#9688941) Journal
      Want to get rid of something for free?

      I kid you not this ALWAYS WORKS.

      Put it outside on a table with a hefty pricetag overnight, like a yard sale you didn't clean up.

      Every single thing I've put out on the front lawn like that, including a carrion mini-fridge, groaning for burial, has been stolen!
      • by LetterJ (3524) <j@wynia.org> on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:41PM (#9689158) Homepage
        I actually don't even have to put a price tag on it or wait until dark. I just haul it into the front yard or near the curb and it's gone within 2 hours. I'm amazed at the crap I've gotten rid of that way. The funny thing is that the people who take it are *always* grinning ear to ear, like they just won the freaking lottery. I figure if I can make someone's day and get rid of it, it's a 2 way win.
        • Honesty Works Too (Score:4, Interesting)

          by wintermute1974 (596184) <wintermute@berne-ai.org> on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @07:06PM (#9691840) Homepage
          I actually don't even have to put a price tag on it or wait until dark. I just haul it into the front yard or near the curb and it's gone within 2 hours. I'm amazed at the crap I've gotten rid of that way. The funny thing is that the people who take it are *always* grinning ear to ear, like they just won the freaking lottery. I figure if I can make someone's day and get rid of it, it's a 2 way win.

          You know, people will take these things even when you're honest with them.

          My parents moved a few years ago from a 3000 sq.ft. house into an 800 sq. ft. condominium. Needless to say, not all their belongings would make the move with them.

          My mother sold the best, yard-saled what she could, and then started making a habit of putting things out on the lawn every Tuesday afternoon with a big sign marked "FREE!". By evening, the lawn was empty, except for the sign -- and sometimes that was taken too.

          After three months of her Tuesday give-aways, my mother had ridden herself of all the things she wasn't going to take with her. So, the Tuesday before the movers were scheduled to arrive, there came a knock on the door at 3:00 p.m. A shy, sheepish man with a wrinkled, stained shirt asked her if anything was available that day. My mother said no, wished him a good day, and closed the door.

          She was surprized that he had the nerve to ask. She was ever more surprized when people came knocking all that afternoon and evening.

      • by TastyWords (640141) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:43PM (#9689186)
        Along the same lines...they're extending one of the most heavily driven roads, from one lane in each direction to at least two [each], several miles' worth. What to do with all of the mulch from buzzing ALL of the tree matter, no matter how big? Leave it unattended. At night & during weekends, people are backing up with cars (trunks open) + trash cans, pickup trucks, rental trucks, etc.

        They've made no formal announcement - they're just leaving it alone, watching (and hoping it will) disappear. Prime, Grade A Mulch, freshly ground.... The problem? They aren't getting rid of it fast enough, despite the fact the roadsites are packed at night & weekends.
        • by macdaddy (38372) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @05:50PM (#9691243) Homepage Journal
          A word to the wise, DO NOT use any old saw dust/chips as mulch. In fact almost all will cause damage to trees and buildings. "Why" ,you ask? "Wood chips are wood chips, right?" Wrong! The vast majority of wood chips attract termites, among other things. Mulching the flower beds around your home with maple or pine chips is like lathering your ass in honey and jumping into the grizzly bear pit at your local zoo. Not a good thing to do. Using the wrong wood chips around trees will also lead to termite infestation in your living tree. Sawdust can cause nitrogen depletion in the soil as well as fungal contamination in some plant. That's not a good thing either. You want to use very specific types of wood chips. You should use Cedar, Cypress, Eucalyptus wood chips as these will deter most bugs. Also note that bark chunks are not the same as wood chips. They have different bug deterring properties, not to mention visual appearance and most importantly price. A quick Google search [google.com]will give you lots of information including this Lowes page [lowes.com]. I was a landscaper in a former life.
      • if you have "replacement cost" on your apartment or homeowners insurance, your defunct electronics magically turn into brand new equiptment if you happen to have an insurance loss that damages said equiptment.

        "Replacement cost is about an extra $75 per month. 20 Years of replacement cost is about as much as the new tv you will get when that 25 year old one gets wet when you have a fire.

        Some of you have friends who are insurance agents. Did they recommend you get "replacement cost"? If not, they aren'
      • by JaxGator75 (650577) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @04:06PM (#9690216)
        Filthy set of free-weights and a rusty bench were stolen the same night I put the "$50 OBO" sign next to it. It sat there for almost a WEEK before I had that idea...
      • Here in Seattle that stuff would still be on the table a week later, still needing recycling and also soaking wet.
      • by Espectr0 (577637) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @05:21PM (#9690978) Journal
        Put it outside on a table with a hefty pricetag overnight, like a yard sale you didn't clean up.

        Huh... no way dude... they would steal my table!
    • by slashjames (789070) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @03:15PM (#9689594)
      A warning for those who will be getting rid of old computers: make sure the hard drive is wiped clean (and I don't mean with format). I would recommend using software similar to Autoclave [washington.edu]. Every once in a while we get stories posted here about people picking up HDs from eBay and finding all sorts of goodies still on them... Don't be one of those people.
    • www.freecycle.org

      Seriously, it works. Find the site in your area and post it there.

  • by tekunokurato (531385) <jackphelps@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:13PM (#9688745) Homepage
    Recycle your used tech with 5R Processors! They are the nation's largest computer recyclers and put a lot of the tech to work either through refurbished sales or donations.
  • Dirty dirty (Score:5, Funny)

    by cloudkj (685320) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:13PM (#9688751)
    Well, I sure hope the the recycling plant workers don't mind the sour cat piss smell and the rat droppings when they open up the case of my old 386.
  • My old Vax (Score:4, Funny)

    by IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:13PM (#9688757) Homepage Journal
    I mean, now that it's dead and all ;)
  • by Kid Zero (4866) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:14PM (#9688770) Homepage Journal
    People throwing stuff out when I could use something besides the 1994 era Pentium I have right now.

  • by march (215947) * on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:14PM (#9688772) Homepage
    What's coming out of my basement? Heck, I'm going to go and stand in front of these stores and try to take the old stuff from people who are going to recycle it so I can add them to my collection!!

    I'm still looking for that old atari and timex sinclair... :-)
  • you insensitive clod.
  • Can't send 'em to the dump, due to all the lead in the CRT. A half-dozen monitors will be leaving my basement. Also a Compaq 386sx and 386 (upgraded to a 486DX2 via an Overdrive chip), and I'm sure I'll find some more stuff. Anybody want an original IBM PC async serial card?

    This is great news.
  • by jmrobinson (660094) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:16PM (#9688787)
    While I think this is great of Office Depot, I think re-implementing some of the older technology to maybe some younger siblings, cousins, Boys and Girls club, etc. could also be good. There are still a lot of people that can afford these types of things. So, before you go recycling that 486 at office depot, thing about re-deployment!
    • Excellent idea. I have a box full of old games that will only work on a 486 or thereabouts. We should get that stuff together.

      I don't really have a use for a 250MB tape drive, but some older machine might.
    • by Snap E Tom (128447) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:30PM (#9688992)
      Please don't. Ask yourself whether you'd want to use this machine everyday.

      I volunteer for a medium-sized nonprofit. We get a fair number of PIII's that we use and a lot of 486's and PI's that we can't. Sure, we get a lot fewer PIII's and even PIV's, but there's enough out there on the market that our staff of sixty all have PIII's and above. People think they can just dump off their toxic crap and get a tax write off. Instead, they just shift the burden of getting rid of this stuff on us.
    • #1. The tech is OLD. It will fail. Why should they spend $50 for a replacement power supply when a brand new box is $199?

      #2. The tech is SLOW. Again, a new box costs $199 and runs 10x faster than the old stuff.

      #3. When they finally do buy the $199 stuff, they'll be stuck with the recycling costs of your old stuff.

      Of course, none of this matters if you also give your time and expertise to keep it running and so on. Those older machine can make great servers and firewalls, if you will set them up and maint
  • by lawpoop (604919) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:17PM (#9688800) Homepage Journal
    Don't dispose of your old monitors. They have lead and other hazardous materials that we really don't want in our groundwater. Please take this opportunity to have them disposed of properly.
    • That lead is in the glass. How is it going to get into the water supply?

      Is my 24% lead crystal stemware poisoning me? No.
      • That lead is in the glass. How is it going to get into the water supply?

        Source: Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board presentation to the Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee of the Association of Minnesota Counties. 18 Sept 2003.

        Lead is in the phosphorescent coating of the tube - fused between 2 pieces of glass, so an unbroken CRT is relatively safe, but crushing CRT glass releases solid lead into the environment

        Lead in the funnel and face plate glass - does not leach readily

        Lead in

    • While having (not one but) two corporations run this recycling program gives me some initial confidence, what makes me think that they'll dispose in a eco-friendly manner at all?

      Many local governments where I live have zero regulations about proper disposal of large electronics, heavy metal laden motherboards, and leaded glass in crt's and tv's. If anything they have a maximum weight limit which is easily circumvented by some creative crushing and re-partitioning.

      My local governement is very anal about th
  • by TastyWords (640141) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:17PM (#9688809)
    1) are they trying to get us into the store(s)? (hoping we'll do some business whilst we're there)
    2) are they trying to do the public a service (by getting the possible toxic materials out of the dumps?
    3) They're hoping (x)% of the materials turned in with have (y%) of redeeming worth, either directly, for sale on eBay, or as a donation to a local school as write-off donation?
    • ...#4) All of the above.

      Even the most ethically run companies (i'm thinking of places like Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, or Canada's Mountain Equipment Co-Operative) still have to run their companies without incurring a loss.

      If you take this into consideration, you still realise its a good idea for the Office Depot. It shows that they're creative and listens to the needs of their customers.

      Our dump here in Mississauga, Ontario, is free (to encourage recycling and proper disposal of hazardous materia
    • All of the above. The one-per-customer-per-day limit suggests that the emphasis is on #1, drawing customers to the store.

      I have a fair amount of stuff to recycle, so I'll probably end up making 5-10 trips to Office Depot to do it. Some of what I have is loose video and Ethernet cards. Loose ISA cards aren't in their list, so do I have to stuff them into a computer before I can recycle them?

    • #4 ???
      #5 Profit!!!

      I know I know, but it had t obe done, and I'm thinking it jus fit SOOO well in here...
  • Monitors! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by steveha (103154) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:18PM (#9688810) Homepage
    It is impossible to get rid of monitors, at least here in Washington state. Even working monitors. Schools don't want them donated. Salvation Army and similar charities don't want them. You aren't allowed to throw them in the trash. All you can do is sell them, if you can find a buyer who actually wants one, or pay $10 for environmentally correct disposal. ($10 is for a 14" monitor; bigger ones cost more.)

    So, this is a free service that is worth $10 or more if you need to get rid of a monitor. Cool.

    steveha
  • Clever (Score:3, Insightful)

    by maxchaote (796339) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:18PM (#9688816)
    The companies would not disclose how much their program will cost, or how they're splitting the bill.

    There's no cost. There's a lot of money to be had in the recycling industry -- especially in recycling electronics. They sound like they're just in it for environmental and humanitarian reasons, but they're in it for their wallets first and foremost.
    • Re:Clever (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gerardrj (207690) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:23PM (#9688899) Journal
      While it is indeed true that there is a lot of money to be made in the recycling business, most all of that money to be made is in charging consumers to recycle instead of tossing things in the landfill.

      With the exception of aluminum, most recycling programs would loose money if not for the fees charged to end users.
    • Re:Clever (Score:2, Informative)

      by knitting fool (542573)
      I personally don't care if they're in it for their wallets. If one person recycles a moniter (or whatever) that would have otherwise gone into a dump (and consequently into the groundwater) I say, "good for them". Assuming the customers have a little self control and don't go on a spending spree after droping off the electronics, it isn't hurting them a bit.

  • "Don't be so quick to toss out your old PCs, fax machines or digital cameras"

    Where I live, Toronto, it's actually against a city bylaw to throw anything with a PCB in the garbage. Pretty sure lots of people do, however. But's its good to see Office Depot and HP offering consumers something better to do.

    -psy
    • by Phantasmo (586700)
      Electronics Recycling [electronic...ycling.com] takes all kinds of stuff. They recycle everything on the Accepted Materials list. Best of all, if you drop it off there's no charge!

      They have a location in Scarborough at:
      Unit# 14 - 80 Midwest Rd
      Scarborough ON M10 4R2
      416-285-0588
      9-5 Monday to Friday

      We use them all the time. It's way better than paying the city to just have the stuff tossed in the dump anyway.
  • If someone could find enough storage space then those old machines could probably be combined into a fairly powerful grid computing array or linux cluster. The main problem that I forsee is that at some point the really old x86 machines take up more physical space then they are worth in terms of additional computing power made available to the cluster. However, if someone had some wherehouse space that they were not using then it would be an interesting project and it just might convert machines that are no
    • So you mean, you could get a cluster as powerfull as... a PII 3GHz, but only for 20x the space, 2x the cost (of your time setting up the thing) and 30x the power consumption.

      Sounds like a good deal...
  • The problem is that I can't help thinking that someone out there might like a Sony NEWS, or an old Sun SPARCstation with a HUGE (but small in capacity) SCSI hard drive! :)
  • by OctaneZ (73357)
    Need to know where [officedepot.com] to go dumpster diving?
  • I've got so much junk downstairs it's not even funny to the point where in my delusional state of "going to build it..." had me purchase a small bureau at a yard sale, just so I could sort all the equipment from their bins into drawers.

    I want to keep some stuff, like kind of a small a museum for my kid later on, or just for the desperation midnight frontend server build, but with 8 sun lunchboxes, enough compaqs for a small business and more ISA/Tokens, and Ethernet cards than computers it's time to reali

  • by ShieldWolf (20476) <`jeffrankine' `at' `netscape.net'> on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:21PM (#9688853)
    The proper question may be who is coming out the basement.
  • It's nice of all of us to give our old computers and other electronics to them, but what, exactly, will be done with them?

    Are they truly being recycled? Will they be melted down for reusable metals or just scavenged for useful parts and the rest sent to a landfill?

    If they're just going to landfill, I can do that at the curb...
  • Get friends and family to take in an item aswell as yourself. That way you can get rid of much more stuff in a smaller amount of time.
    It's always good to dispose of old equiptment properly (or even recycle it).
  • Consider ebay. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jafo (11982) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:21PM (#9688867) Homepage
    My wife pointed out that ebay is one of the most powerful resources in recycling that we have today. I'd have to agree. I don't know what Office Depot is doing with these machines, but wouldn't you rather have your old gear to go someone that can make use of it?

    For example, I recently got a "new" used car. It came with tired I didn't particularly like. I replaced the tires in fairly short order, and sold the old ones on ebay. They were a mis-matched pair. One pair I sold and because of shipping difficulties I ended up losing about $5 on it. That's less than the $20 I would have paid to take them to the dump, which is probably what would have happened if not for ebay. And now someone has a pair of tires in good shape that they can make use of.

    The other pair I sold for $90, because they were not an "off brand".

    I've been putting a bunch of my junk up for sale. Things that aren't really useful to me, but are to other folks. Plus, once in a while you come across the rare things like the Dreamcast Ethernet adapter that I sold for twice what I paid for it, or my classic HP calculator which looks like it will sell for almost twice what I paid for it.

    Usually, I first offer it to local folks in my Linux Users Group. Selling is much easier that way, and you don't tend to have to muck around with shipping. ebay makes shipping pretty easy though.

    So, remember that recycling isn't just about giving things to the "recycling centers". If you can get it to someone who can use it, all the better. If you can recover a few bucks in the process, all the better.

    Sean
  • by nulltransfer (725809) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:21PM (#9688868)
    Instead of recycling electronics, it would be much better if they could send them to less-developed countries where high-tech is more or less non-existant.

    Recycling is better than throwing out, but I recall it only usually saving 20% energy. Reusing, on the other hand, is much more efficient.

  • Boy will my girlfriend be happy when I finally get rid of that old flux capacitor I have sitting around. I recently upgraded to a 2.42 gigawatts flux capacitor for my time travels. Thats twice as good as the original! The old one has been rendered useless.
  • bill? Ahahahaha. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SuperBanana (662181)
    Office Depot and Hewlett Packard will be splitting the bill.

    Must be the same "bill" as the one they have for recycling(gee, what swell guys) those $20 inkjet cartridges.

    Seriously, corporations don't do jack unless they think it'll help them sell their wares. If Office Depot and HP aren't making money by giving all the junk to a recycling company, they're expecting to steal away customers from Staples and IBM, with good will. They're probably doing both.

    Sorry, but touchy-feely posts about corporation

    • Re:bill? Ahahahaha. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by steveha (103154) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @03:06PM (#9689465) Homepage
      Seriously, corporations don't do jack unless they think it'll help them sell their wares.

      Sweeping statements like that are generally wrong.

      Corporations are not Borg entities. They are made up of individuals. Sometimes the individuals can successfully push the company into doing some Good Things, and guess what? Those individuals might not be the souless, calculating evil bastards you seem to think they are.

      It's true that corporations often do good things that might in some way benefit them. That's called "doing well by doing good" and I don't have a problem with it. You shouldn't, either.

      Corporations don't have hearts, and neither do boards or executive officers.

      It's healthy to be a bit suspicious of companies; don't accept their press releases without a grain of salt. But you sound like someone who has gone overboard the other way. All corporations are not the same, and everyone who works for a corporation is not necessarily evil.

      steveha
    • Re:bill? Ahahahaha. (Score:3, Informative)

      by dcw3 (649211)
      Seriously, corporations don't do jack unless they think it'll help them sell their wares.

      I suppose that at the Fortune 500 company I've worked at for 22+ yrs, that that's the reason they've sponsored:
      1. Local races supporting cancer research, and children with brain damange
      2. Annual creek cleanup
      3. United Way...every year
      4. Matching funds donations to numerous charities (I've written many personal checks that were doubled up)
      5. Etc.,...I'm sure if I spent ten minutes, I could triple this list.

      Yes, they'r
    • Re:bill? Ahahahaha. (Score:3, Informative)

      by evilviper (135110)

      Corporations don't have hearts, and neither do boards or executive officers. They do it because they want to sell more stuff and want the PR points- it's pure greed.

      Thankfully, that's not true.

      There are lots of companies that do things out of simple charity, and the desire to do something positive for the community. Now, I have to admit, it used to be infinitely more common before giant evil conglomerates took over, and started killing kittens to make another cent every quarter. However, there are still

  • *Finally* (Score:3, Interesting)

    by diagnosis (38691) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:23PM (#9688898) Homepage
    I live around Boston, MA, and my roommate has been trying to get rid of an aging VGA monitor he bought on eBay for like 12 cents. After he found out it wouldn't fit on the shelf he wanted to use, he dumped it on the curb, only to learn the city wouldn't take it; they told him to take it to the dump. So of course, a week or so later, he goes to the dump, expecting to have to pay them to take it. The dump people tell him, "no, the city will take it for free; just leave it on the curb. We *can't* take it here." So this Monday, he leaves it on the curb, a little bit frustrated but happy to see it go.

    What do I see while walking to my car this morning? His monitor, lying alone on the sidewalk, the only item left behind after the garbagemen visited.

    So, thanks, Office Depot!

    P.S. Go Earth.
    • by nuggz (69912)
      Throw it in a garbage bag.
      Throw it in a garbage can.
      Smash it up and put it in a garbage can. If sharp encase in a yard waste bag (large paper bag) and put that in a plastic bag.
  • by Lodragandraoidh (639696) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:23PM (#9688900) Journal
    Okay - I've got my tinfoil hat squarely on - and tongue in cheek.

    It occurs to me that this could be an evil plan to remove older technology from the potential hacking marketplace.

    Think about it: everyone throws away their old computers (perfectly suitable as Linux workstations/servers) - forcing people who want to build low cost servers to buy new machines instead.

    Taking this further into the realm of the strange, the move to force adoption of DRM technologies would get a boost in the arm from the acquisition of new computers due to the lack of used alternatives... :0

    Okay...maybe not... (takes tinfoil hat off and slinks away)
  • Alas, the nearest Office Depot retail location to Boston is in Kingston NY.

    Oh, well.
  • by JRHelgeson (576325) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:25PM (#9688918) Homepage Journal
    Twice a year up in Princeton, Minnesota they have a machine gun shoot (www.tankrides.com). Now, regardless of what your opinion of guns are - pulling off 100 rounds from an M-60, AK-47 or an M-16, I tell you, nothing compares.

    I stockpile old computer equipment to take up to the shoot so I can put a few rounds of .50 cal through it.

    There's nothing like pulling the trigger on a Barrett 50 cal sniper rifle and watching that old server that gave you years of grief explode.

    It's beautiful.
    • by poofyhairguy82 (635386) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:58PM (#9689357) Journal
      There's nothing like pulling the trigger on a Barrett 50 cal sniper rifle and watching that old server that gave you years of grief explode.

      How about the feeling of taking your wholly bitch to Comp. USA afterwards.

      When they ask what happened say "Isn't that how you fix computers?"

    • up in Princeton, Minnesota they have a machine gun shoot (www.tankrides.com).

      Not for long! I saw an ad in last Sunday's paper: the guy is selling the business.

      The world gets smaller every day. I heard about this outfit in a tiny northern town no-one knows about just a week ago and now it's on Slashdot!
  • Wanted:

    Beboxes
    Amigas
    Atari STs
    HP PArisc systems
    SGI Systems
    Apple 2s
    Apple Lisas
    Any Xerox computers
    IBM RS6000/AS400 (especially microchannel based)
    Sun Ultrasparc
    Any Alpha based systems
    Any Cray systems
    Any ATM622 nics
    Any HIPPI equipment
    (Any unusual nics for that matter)
    Any Vaxen

    Email me!
  • Interesting that this was announced the day that Office Depot [macrumors.com] begins selling Apple computers......
  • The better...

    This seems the nnnth try to get old hardware platforms out of the way for new plans...

    Every year I get more synical about companies trying to help consumers...
    It is simply not true that they help us, period.

    I refuse to believe it is in all our interests...
  • Good bye, spherical 15" and 17" monitors from the early/mid 1990s. Good bye P90 and P166. Good bye junk I've wanted to get rid of forever but didn't want to pollute the world with.
  • We have geeks up here too! We're cold geeks but geeks nonetheless.

  • Related Article... (Score:4, Informative)

    by MisterLawyer (770687) <mikelawyer.gmail@com> on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @02:39PM (#9689126)
    I remember reading an article [wired.com] about 6 months ago in Wired about the waste problem and some recent legislation to help combat it. In particular, it talks about the Electronic Waste Recycling Act of 2003, and various new incentives in the tax code. A short read, it's an easy way to quickly understand the current state of computer waste legislation in America.

    Also, the article specifically mentions Dell's recycling efforts:
    "Computer makers such as Round Rock-based Dell Inc. have stepped up programs to take back old PCs"
    No mention of HP, though, so maybe HP is just doing a better job of publicizing their program, despite being about half a year later than Dell.

  • by jonasmit (560153) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @04:11PM (#9690274)
    Unless you are absolutely sure that you have completely sanitized it. We have all seen reports here and elsewhere of banks/companies who have sold formatted hard drives where confidential data was still recovered.
  • by pair-a-noyd (594371) on Tuesday July 13, 2004 @05:10PM (#9690877)
    I take old stuff from corporations and individuals and refurbish it and resell it cheap to the needy or young upstart SOHO's....

    I take in more stuff than they do and I am,
    1. disabled
    2. working alone

    Come on guys, you can do better than that.
    My typical daily run (pick up)is 20 laserjets, 4-5 21" CRT's, +/- a dozen PC's, 6-10 injets, and 2-300 lbs of cables and wall-warts.

    If I can do it this much by myself and disabled at that, they can do better. And I DO NOT throw ANY of it away, it ALL goes back to someone. A lot of it I simply refurbish and give away or trade away just to keep it from piling up.

    shameless plug, http://www.SystemRecycler.com [systemrecycler.com]

    .

"One Architecture, One OS" also translates as "One Egg, One Basket".

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