ENVIRONMENTAL CHARGES / ISSUES
Ontario and a number of provinces and states have recently implemented environmental disposal charges for computers, printers and assorted electronic equipment. At present this adds up to a charge of about $26. per new computer, monitor, keyboard and mouse.
Modern society does create a vast amount of electronic waste as these newer computers, television sets and cell phones replace our older less desirable ones. One would hope that these fees will be used to create or subsidize companies / departments to recycle the old equipment. Many larger companies like Rogers and Dell currently operate recycling programs that allow you to return one unit for each unit that you purchase.
For years now we have been personally recycling computers, by separating the metal casings from the circuit boards and plastic parts and dropping them off at the recycling depot at the rate of $2/100 kgs. We will take your older computers and do the recycling as part of a regular visit. We cannot pickup equipment outside of regular visits however.
There are a small number of parts that can be salvaged from an older computer and we save these, where possible, to repair other older computers. Unfortunately most of these parts cannot be used to repair newer computers as memory and hard drive technologies are constantly changing and the parts are often incompatible with the much newer machines.
As a result of this parts salvage we accumulate a lot of parts that we may never use. For this reason we make them available free of charge should anyone want one. We have a large number of keyboards, mice, modems, soundcards, floppy drives, CD’s and even complete older computers available. Again we can deliver these parts during regular visits or you can drop by to get one.
WINDOWS 7 RELEASE NEWS
Microsoft has moved on to the next stage in the development of Windows 7 by making available the “Release Candidate” version. Since the final Beta test version was well received this version brings us closer to the likely final release of Windows 7 by year-end.
With all of the bad press Windows Vista has received Microsoft will likely release Windows 7 early to try and put Vista behind them. We will likely participate in the Windows 7 trials this time around to determine whether any new compatibility issues have arisen. This may affect any Libra users that might want to migrate to Windows 7 on a new computer.
It should be noted that Dos based software is far from the only potential casualty in the release of any new operating system. Windows 7 is known to be incompatible with Microsoft Office 2000 & Office 2002 (XP). The oldest version that it will work with is 2003. It has been intimated in many circles that these incompatibilities may be deliberate to force users to upgrade to the newer versions of MS Office which would in turn help with Microsoft’s bottom line, so it may be feasible.
Similarly, a lot of other Windows programs will experience compatibility issues which will likely be corrected if you are on some sort of annual update program. These update programs are often the life blood of smaller companies trying to stay viable in a Microsoft dominated world, so we usually recommend going with them if you can afford them.
If Windows 7 is released, in say January 2010, that would likely be the next target date that Microsoft may attempt another phase out of Windows XP. The last one failed miserably as businesses rebelled, so it will be interesting to see whether similar strategies will even be attempted in an slow economy where new computer software investment is difficult.