I have this old HP laptop that I got years ago in trade for fixing someone’s Windows box. I haven’t used the thing in years, and for the past three it’s spent its days underneath the buffet in my dining room. After cleaning up the dining room the other day, I found the thing and looked it over. Battery doesn’t work, hard drive is tiny, and the wireless card sucks. It couldn’t even be used as an iTunes library box for my garage. So I figured the best option I had was to yank out the hard drive and throw out the rest. I considered recycling it, but I don’t even know where to go to recycle electronics in town.
iFixit.com has long been known as the website that helps people fix their Macs. They have a series of step-by-step articles showing full tear downs, upgrades and everything in between. I went to them when I wanted toÂ upgrade my MacBook Pro, and I’ll use their guides again if I upgrade the drive in my iMac.
The other day, Twitter was all abuzz about a big change at iFixit, so yesterday I checked it out. It starts with the video above and a really sad story. were I to throw out my old HP, chances are it would be sent illegally over to Africa where it would be dumped. Then children in the area mine the junkyards for copper and other precious minerals and burn the rest. In the process of burning these circuit boards and other parts, they release arsenic and other dangerous chemicals into the air, causing cancer and making people sick. It’s a horrible tragedy, and one I never even considered.
Well, iFixit heard about the tragedy and decided to change things. They’ve upped the ante on their guides. Now they’re offering guides for anything electronic, and making it like Wikipedia where you can edit posts if need be. Now you can learn how to fix anything from game consoles to camera and everything in between. The goal is to get people to fix their broken toys instead of throwing them away.
It’s a noble plan, and it made me think about my plans for that HP laptop. I have an old 2.5-inch drive, so maybe I’ll install that instead and try to make a Hackintosh system. Or maybe I’ll just upgrade the drive enough to put my iTunes library on there so I can play it in the garage. Or I’ll use iRecycle to find a local recycler. Either way, I’m not just throwing it away.