Archive for the green it Category

Getting rid of an old PC

Posted in green it, product with tags , , , , on May 14, 2009 by sanaseni

Back in the day (90s’) a new laptop was supposed to last for three years. That was before we as consumers decided to want cheaper laptops. The warranties went to one year and the computers broke within a year or two. Then the EU stated that the minimum warranty is two years and dragged the kicking and screaming manufacturers back to sanity. Now they are still kicking and screaming, whining about the warranties not covering wear and tear, so when the cheap as chips hard disk goes bust, your warranty might not cover it. And you lost all your data. And you do not have a working PC anymore. All things concidered, you are in it – or are you?
Had you prepared for the inevitable, the story would be quite different. Your £200 netbook will most likely break, be dropped, spilled over or stolen within the first two years. As this is pretty much guaranteed, you should plan for this by keeping your data safe somewhere and having a mental image what to do then, when disaster strikes.
Get a new laptop. Just buy one, anywhere. If you bought it from a shop, give the shop your old laptop to recycle. If you are squemish about the data on the destroyed hard disk, you can always destroy it some more before turning the carcass in. The manufacturer of said computer is also obliged to recycle it. You can even order a pick-up from your house, the manufacturer has the EUs’ Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment or WEEE directive to obide. They can however, make you pay for the transport or just point you to their recycling center in your area.
Bottom line is, do not bin your old computer, there is no need. It is also bad, as the chemicals are not to go to a tip. And with the legistlation in place, thankfully, there is no need.
I have never tried this, but I will. In fact there is a german company called ALBA who are handling crapped HP’s in the UK. They are to collect them, but the price of the collection is not in yeat, awaiting their offer…

Green IT in credit crunch

Posted in green it, Nerdy, organic on May 14, 2009 by sanaseni

Green and remote

Green and remote

Staying green or surviving the credit crunch? Why should they exclude one other? The whole idea of going or even staying green is saving money. That’s the whole point. I was in a pub the other day, when the owner asked “someone green” how to be more green. The someone did not know, as the answer requires some knowledge of the trade. Well, I know IT and I know how to be greener there. Here is how:
1: Reduce the waste of paper and power. Just do not print. Use a screensaver. Have a dark backround image. Use powersaving. Unplug your chargers when you are not charging anything. Turn off the lights for the night but do not switch everything off from the power button. Some switches are not designed to be used ten times a day, they will burn and you will have to get them fixed. If the switch is light to use, it is usually ok. If it is like turning a boat around, don’t flick it.
2: Minimize the waste of old computers. Do not buy anything you do not need or replace something that is working. The last thing you want is to throw away your 18 month old computer and buying a new greener one to replace it. When buying a new one, Ebay your old computer without the hard disk (information security) or wipe the disk good and proper, using a special software to do that. Ebaying it will get rid of the clutter, recycle the hardware while it is still of use and make you a little bit of money as well. Do not expect a great return on your investment – the point is to get rid of it, get use of it and to do the right thing.
3: Extend the life of existing systems. Up-to-date backups and good maintenance routines will give your computers and servers longer life spans, thus saving the environment. Use a good service or company for this, as it is really, really important that this is done properly.
4: Eliminate the risk of waste. When buying someting, make sure it is the right thing. Use expert help when buying a new router, firewall or a computer. That is if you are not an expert nor want to become one. To get what you need and eliminating the possibility of a bad purchase, you eliminate the risk of wasting the investment or wasting time trying to work with insufficient tools.
5: Enable the work from anywhere. You need two things, the tools and the rules. Travelling to work wastes time and energy, but working from home is often just a day off. The tools are easy to set up, a computer with an internet connection needs to have a remote support available, so any problems can be fixed on site. Support has to be available at home just the same as at the office. The home office might have some security issues that you might want to check before setting shop. But most important, make practises and establish targets for working at home. Demand results from that day, just as you would from a conference or a business meeting, even more. Any properly motivated employee is more efficient working four hours at home than eight hours at the office.