Friday, July 10, 2009

WANTED: G.E.E.K. (Gifted Eccentric Electronic Know-it-all)

Lately I'm at a standstill when it comes to deciding what to do with all the old gadgets around the house. I guess it isn't about making a decision; it is more about actually knowing what to do with them, so I COULD make an informed and environmentally conscious decision. What I'm calling gadgets are the technologically related things that use to serve a particular function but no longer do because they are broken, e.g. cell phone chargers and/or old broken cell phones, iPods, laptop computers, hard drives from old computers that don't work (from which data needs to be extracted), and a variety of cables and cords.

I think it would be a great business idea for some technologically saavy persons (i.e. geeks) who are so familiar with all the gizmos out there that they could come into my house and organize them, tell me what to keep and what to dispose of; they would have to organize them in such a way that I could easily locate them and they would have to be labeled. Right now, I have in my basement an old computer we brought with us from our previous home, a couple of laptops from my husband's office, a couple of old laptops from a daughter who has graduated from college, a laptop that we purchased when we moved to the current house, but now won't charge up; and that's just computers. Of course with every gadget you buy there are numerous cables and it is hard for me to decide what belongs with what, what is important, and what could be tossed.

The way the prices have dropped on computers and other electronics, it is almost easier to throw away the old one and buy a new one. What is the point of spending $150 to repair a printer when I can go to Walmart and buy a new one for the same price or less. But then, what do I do with the old one? Is there an organization out there that will take all of this junk off my hands? If I just toss it, will it end up in a landfill? Do the materials put into these things break down, or will some future generation discover some deep dark secret about me? Even if I had any, what would it matter since my body would definitely be broken down by then? Would someone actually be standing in a landfill digging for information about dead people? If I don't miss what is stuck in the hard drives, how important can it be?

I think I'm going to start looking for someone to hire to take care of all this for me. Maybe such a business already exists. If it doesn't, I know what will happen. I know I won't be able to stand the stuff any longer, so I'll toss it. That means that on Saturday (following Friday's trash pick up) I'll suddenly need one of the things I threw out. Oh well, I guess I can just run to Radio Shack or Walmart and get another.

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