Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spring Cleaning: how do you deal with old technology?

It's been a long while, but adapting to my new job is taking longer than I thought.
Spring Break, which I devoted to tiding my house and my driving lessons is about to finish, and I haven't found the answer to a very stressful question: how do you get rid of all old technology?

I found myself surprised with the amount of now useless items I picked up from long forgotten drawers and my closets: my first computer (now more than 10 years old), a traditional auto-focus camera, a battery-tape reporter recorder from my college years and a walkman! Now that the laptop, the digital camera, the MP3 and the camera-included cell-phone, both of which include voice-recording devices have obsoleted them forever, I don't know how to discard them in a practical and ecological way, not to mention that my capitalist heart is torn by the idea of throwing away those items that cost me so much effort to acquire in those days. The fact that they must go due to room optimization remains, though.

I mean, what am I suppossed to do? Put them into plastic bags and throw them into the garbage bin, just like that? My ecological conscience tells me that they may end up in a field polluting the ground with their electronic parts. On the other hand, who in his right mind would offer money for this prehistoric age devices, when even the sanitation man can afford a cheap cell-phone? In this era of constantly up-grading technology, how are we expected to deal with all the obsolete items that used to be the coolest trend no more than 5 years ago?

Regarding my old computer, I've been told that the CPU might still be used as a "slave" for our more modern computers, adding to the storage capacity, but I have absolutely no idea about how to do that, not to mention even opening the case. On top of that, the question about how to retrieve and convert into more modern formats all the information contained there and in all my cassettes (more than a hundred) creates a critical problem, since searching for that info on the web would consume a lot of hours I should be devoting to preparing my classes.

For some younger people this wouldn't represent a serious problem, given the fact they must be familiarized since long ago with this kind of situation, but for yours truly, who is just catching up with the newest tech-trends, is becoming a real headache.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Remember I mentioned having purchased a laptop? Although it has solved a lot of practical issues I used to have as a teacher, discovering the advantages of wireless connection is becoming some sort of addiction to me. Right now, I've just finished answering my students' emailed homeworks and updated my class webpage while lying comfortably flat on my belly and watching tv. I've just found myself tempted like ten times to take out my laptop at the oddest places and try to find an unsecure wireless connection. It might be the delight of having a new toy to play with, but I noticed the fact, though.

Could I be turning into a web-addict?

(oh, my gosh!)