Electronic waste is a growing global problem, and in some ways it’s unavoidable. Eventually, even the best systems will degrade to a point where fixing them is no longer economically viable, but too often we misunderstand where this line lies. In many cases, the technology that’s no longer viable as a main device can be salvaged for another purpose, and with the right approach, such technology can keep performing for years. Looking at some typical examples, we want to explore what you can do to get the most out of otherwise obsolete systems, to keep them running until their true inevitable end.
Webcams used to be a staple of practically every house, but with their inclusion in modern laptops and cell phones, traditional exterior webcams have become significantly less useful. This might tempt us to throw them away, but such devices can be repurposed into powerful and cheap security tools.
Connected to a desktop, laptop, or even a system like a Raspberry Pi, computers can integrate with older webcams turning them into effective security cameras. This approach can be especially helpful if you have a lot of packages delivered, with the growing threat of theft being a concern many of us have had to manage.
When a mobile phone gets old it becomes frustrating to use, and for this reason, we can be all too eager to replace them with a faster model. Just because a system can’t manage the latest programs, however, doesn’t mean it’s useless. Taking an approach with simpler apps that revolve around tools instead of entertainment, the demands on mobile systems are much lower.
That’s not to say all forms of interactive entertainment are off the table with mobiles. Some online systems, like online casinos, have such low requirements that even dated devices can run their titles well. The best new slots from these casinos like Book of Toro and Gonzo’s Gold are prime examples if you care to make a dedicated gaming handheld. Emulation can also be a worthwhile choice, for systems like the Game Boy Advance and PlayStation 1.
Desktops and Laptops
Like with mobile phones, what we ask of computers tends to evolve to a point where the system can no longer manage. Again, taking a step back can allow us to find new legs for ageing devices. Clean a computer and install older programs that work within a system’s limitations, and it can still be an incredibly effective tool for productivity.
Taking this avenue can be as simple as formatting a hard drive to remove all unnecessary data, cleaning inside the case, and only installing software on the system that you really need. Without years of programs clogging up the drives and memory, systems can become much faster, and exactly what you need for the likes of word-processing and database management.
Nothing lasts forever, and while this is as true for electronics as it is for everything else, a different attitude can make a world of difference to a machine’s lifespan. A little effort on this front can go a long way, and could potentially open up opportunities that you would never have considered otherwise. It might mean an afternoon of effort, but at the very least, the environment will thank you.