Getting Rid of the Old Gear

I imagine we’ve all faced this problem — what to do with an old computer.

Last week I sold a 450 Mhz G4 tower along with a good 19″ Trinitron. Together, they cost about $3,300 in 2000 when they were new. The CPU still ran OSX just fine and the monitor was way better than your typical LCD. My goal was to find somebody who would actually use it, and if that wasn’t possible, then to dispose of it responsibly.

It took 10 days on Craig’s list. At $200 I didn’t get a single call. $75 seemed to be the magic number.

While my computer wasn’t selling, I was looking for places where I could give it away. I didn’t find much. The World Computer Exchange is supposed to get computers to young people in the developing world. They have a chapter in LA, but they only take Mac laptops and only in Massachusetts.

After that, I would have used an LA County E-Waste drop off center. If you you live in LA and haven’t used one of these places you should consider it. They’ll take your monitor, your CPU, and just about anything else that shouldn’t go in the trash, including paint, oil and solvents (list of locations). I’ve used the one on Vista Del Mar near LAX and enjoyed the whole process, including the drive along the beach. There are two pounds of lead in a 17″ monitor. And all kinds of other crap in that CPU of yours. By using the e-waste center you’re doing what you can to keep your garbage out of somebody else’s water.

Another choice, of course, would have been Goodwill or the Boys and Girls Club. I’ve given them a lot of stuff over the years.

In the end, though, the whole thing seemed awfully strange to me. We’re blythly purchasing and using these gadgets — and they are abandoned every year by the millions. Where do they end up?

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4 Comments on “Getting Rid of the Old Gear”

  1. Luke Pebler Says:

    Ditto for the LA County E-Waste in Burbank (right off the 5 @ Colorado). They’ve got a really pleasant staff, and things go quick and easily.

  2. Jaye Says:

    Your G4 went to a good home. Thanks for selling to me. I love it, and it was really good to meet you.

  3. Jaye Says:

    Steve, your G4 went to a good home. Thanks for selling it to me! And it was really good to meet you.

  4. Steve Says:

    I was wondering if you were out there, Jaye. I’m glad to hear that it’s working for you.

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