Corrupted PC’s Find New Home In the Dumpster – New York Times


“SAN FRANCISCO, July 15 – Add personal computers to the list of throwaways in the disposable society.

On a recent Sunday morning when Lew Tucker’s Dell desktop computer was overrun by spyware and adware – stealth software that delivers intrusive advertising messages and even gathers data from the user’s machine – he did not simply get rid of the offending programs. He discarded the whole computer.

Mr. Tucker, an Internet industry executive who holds a Ph.D. in computer science, decided that rather than take the time to remove the offending software, he would spend $400 on a new machine.”

I’m hearing about this sort of thing happening more and more. People are just tired of fighting with their computers. And since the price of new computer is getting low enough that the cost/benefit analysis is starting to get interesting, more and more folks are just tossing the old machines.

I went with a Macintosh. Same issue – just a different solution. There’s a stewardship issue involved here for me. Old computers are contain a number of highly toxic substances – which really should not be just tossed in a landfill. Tossing a machine once a year is bad for the earth in so many ways.

If nothing else go grab a copy of Ubuntu Linux, install it and keep using the same hardware with a new operating system. You’ll have a machine that is pretty much impervious to the sort of low level trickery that makes modern computer use so frustrating.

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...