Hunting Computers

Granted a very strange title for this blog post, but let me explain.

If you have been fortunate to have a piece of equipment work until it just gets too old for your use…probably mostly technology or energy draining appliances, you may discover it tries to survive.

My Head…My Arm….

If you don’t turn the computer off first you have to deal with the computer as it knows you are killing it.  Blinding the computer by turning off the monitor is bad enough, but when you disconnect cables, that is where the anger begins to build.  Think if the keyboard and mouse as the arms, monitor as the head, speakers as the mouth, and microphone as ears.  Disconnecting them causes the computer to go into a state of panic.  If you are using a PS2 Keyboard or Mouse, sometimes the panic is so great that the machine freezes and you have to pull the power cord to ease the pain and restore function.

“My Mind is Going…..I can Feel it”

Much like the HAL 9000 in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” computers have feelings too. This is why when it was time at work to recycle 8 year old computers I got a few bumps and scrapes.

Think about it.  They have been working hard for such a long time.  They have been used, but not really taken care of.  Example: How many of you open up your computer to clean out the dust?

Dells

Desktops anyway seem very easy to get into.  While there is some dust inside, you don’t have to touch much to get the hard drive out.  Yank the power and SATA interface cable and quick release the drive and snap her closed.

eMacs

Besides being obsoleted by Apple, these Power PC machines were solid.  Both in performance and weight thanks to the all in one design with a CRT!  In order to securely recycle these machines which are no longer supported with security updates, one needs to remove the hard disk drive.   Back then these were manufactured, 2004, the only access panel was on the bottom and it contained the CMOS battery and Memory slots.  This is probably fine for most users, but eventually you will need to replace the DVD drive or Hard Drive, but that apparently is not something a user is supposed to do.

Something is up….

To get access to the hard drive you need to remove 9 screws on the outer case, which is a allen key.  Probably was a deterrent at the time, but allen keys are very easy to acquire today.  Granted it took a while to find the right one, Metric vs US, the screws were on very tight and if you did not get them just right, stripped them and then you were SOL.  Well…almost.  The cover is plastic and some of the stuck screws, usually only one on a cover, a hammer and brute force usually is enough.  The plastic is amazingly tough considering how old they are.  Don’t we get brittle as we get older?  LOL.  By this point the computer has fought a bit, but the fight is not over.

Skin Drying Dust

Once you get inside, you see all the dust and that is where the fun begins.  This dust makes you wonder what we breath in every day of our lives!  Computers don’t normally smoke, so this is everyday air!  Maybe we should wear masks 🙂

Wading through the dust you need to remove close to 30 more screws and finally you can free the hard drive.  At this point the computer’s memory is gone, but you need to be careful as the sharp metal parts and dust are still there fighting.  Kind of like how our fingernails and hair continue to grow when we die…or so I have been told.   Toss the extra screws inside and secure a few on the outside and viola!

Does grass have feelings too?

Okay, so computers really aren’t alive at the moment.  They do get abused and used all their life only to have us toss them when they get of age.  They can seriously hurt you since they have sharp edges, especially when you are inside of a computer trying to locate the elusive hard drive.

But….plants are alive….makes you wonder.   😉

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