Recycling Plastic Bags - What about Saving 35 million PC's from Landfill
Published 13:59, 11 August 08
A friend of mine recently gave their daughter a PC for her birthday. Unfortunately the PC had Vista with half a megabyte of memory. She had complained to her parents that her new PC was slow and they told here to stop exaggerating. I went to visit them and watching paint dry seemed quick. We fixed it by upgrading to 2 Gigabytes of memory.
This got me to thinking about what happens to all of the old PC's that can't run the latest software. Are they just meant for landfill. The article
1 billion PC’s in use, 35 million dumped into landfills
points out that today there are around 1 billion PC' s being used around the world and that number could double by 2014 with the highest growth in developing markets. 58% of PC's are owned today in the US, Europe and Japan. The sad fact is that 180 million or 16% will be retired and about 35 million of those will find their way into landfill.
This year there was an "Installfest for Schools @ Linuxworld". Ubuntu was installed onto 750 aging PC's that now run like new. If a school were to buy a PC with Windows Vista pre-installed, they'd probably spend as much as $500 per machine in the US and maybe more the the UK. To get Office to run efficiently you also need much more than an entry level machine.
My kids look at PC's in a different way to me. They see my Mac, their PC and my Eee Pc as the same thing - something to access Facebook, Wikipedia, Google and email. They don't want to care about browser versions, they want to socialize and write their homework using a small percentage of the power of Office. All my mum wants to do is email.
In the Open Source Barometer users with a preference for Linux chose Ubuntu 27% of the time showing the popularity of Ubuntu across the consumer and enterprise markets.
Shouldn't we think about those 35 million PC's on their way to landfill and look at if they are still suitable for Facebook, Google, Wikipedia, Email and basic Office functions. In these times of the credit crunch, we can save money, save landfill and go green with open source.