The technician opened the door to J114a and stood back as it swung open, his keys returning to their holder on his belt. J114a itself was nothing special. A large cupboard room with whitewash brick (or brick effect probably) walls and a linoleum floor. It was not largely full, but what it did have in it was astonishing.
I approached slowly, my life as a Computer Tech myself and I’d never really seen anything like this. Yes I had a room full of old kit back home, but this was something else. Piled up against the far end of the room was CRT monitors, computer towers, printers, switches, servers, even a TV that looked older than me. So old in fact that it had on it that it was a “Colour” television as if that was a major selling point. It had several switches down one side, each hard-labled with a channel name. “BBC - 1, BBC - 2, ITV - 1”, and so forth.
I quietly turned, on my right was a pile of miscellaneous kit, just discarded in a crumpled and tangled mess. Broken or not, this was no way to treat electronics. I looked a little through it and brushed the dust off what looked like a keyboard.
The keyboard was cracked horizontally across the seams, but upon closer inspection it was just unclipped from its housing. I turned it over in my hands and looked at the chunky connector, it seemed proprietary, not any standard I recognised anyway. Looking back at the face of the keyboard on a small plate above the numbers it was titled “Amstrad 512k”. If the whole unit was there, it was probably worth a few bob if it was cleaned up. The technician who had come in behind me commented to that effect.
I respectfully laid the keyboard back down where I found it. Damaged or not, just chucking around electronics, especially computer equipment, is just not what I do and is no way to treat it.
It was sitting on top of what looked like a large box with a small display. I still don’t know what it was because it was too heavy to move. All I know is it had a small screen on it and to the right of it a dazzling array of buttons and switches. Must have been a very, very old computer system of some sort. Maybe a testing device.
I moved some cables and uncovered a G5 PowerMac along with it’s TFT screen, still intact. Just sitting there as if it was turned off at the end of the working day one day and just never turned back on. Fully functional from what I could tell. A PC tower was sitting next to it, previous generation HP, looked like the father of the towers in the E-block computer labs. Why it was there, I don’t know. Probably had a faulty component and was just tossed, like so much of the stuff in here. Unnecessary waste, easily fixed, easily re-purposed.
I had another look around and asked: “So, why don’t they let people just cart this stuff off. Surely it finding a home and a purpose in life is better than leaving it here for the Janitors to come and pick up one day and chuck into a skip.”
The technician responded with one of the worst reasons I’ve ever heard: “European computer disposal laws and red-tape. As soon as the laws came into effect the Management no longer wanted people to help them remove stuff in case it was then just chucked away without regard to the environment and was traced back to the University. It’s got to be taken to a ‘Licenced Disposal Facility’.” he scoffed slightly, he knew they’d just be exported to places like India where they’d be chucked in a massive heap and left to rot. So did I.
I responded with something along the lines of “that’s crap.”
He nodded quietly in agreement as if speaking out against it would summon a massive security team which would shoot him on the spot for insolence and speaking out against Management. “I know, all people taking this stuff would need to do is sign a form that states that they take full responsibility for the safe and legal disposal of this equipment after they take it off the Universities hands.” he stated quietly.
I simply groaned, red-tape, that’s all this was. Red tape…
I stood up from my crouching position and left the room in silence, passing a large LaserJet printer, it’s only flaw was that it was missing its bottom feeder tray, once again, easily replaced.
The technician quietly followed me out and locked the door behind him.
We had a brief discussion about network security then parted ways…
The amount of electronic waste is appalling, and the lack of respect people seem to have for their electronics is just as bad…
I hope to return to that room again and have a proper look at what’s in there. Even if I just untangle everything and tidy it up a bit before it’s contents meet their final demise…
Just to show some respect…
It is a graveyard after all.
Send the text to the wrong blog… so here’s a link to it.
Supposedly a time for family and giving…
For some reason I just can’t get into it this year. No excitement, no anticipation, just nothing…
So here I find myself, sitting in the back-bedroom of my Grans house alone, with the majority of my family downstairs having a laugh, having a good time.
If I go downstairs I just feel awquard and uncomfortable, up here, I just feel depressed and bored.
I have my 3G internet connection and my laptop, the entire internet at my beck-and-call, yet, I can’t think of anything to do.
I don’t know, perhaps it’s my aspergers kicking in, I hate large groups and social situations where I feel I have nothing to contribute.
Nobody seems to even care whether I am downstairs or not.
The whole year in general has been a bit odd, and I don’t have a clue why.
Hopefully I’ll figure it all out.
Hope you have a happier Annual GiftDay(tm) than I am having everyone!
|(Cell phone customer has been redirected to the call center for non-payment of his cell phone bill.)|
|“Turn on my phone or you can take it and shove it up your a**!!!”|
|“I’m sorry sir. We don’t have service in that area.”|
Note to self, don’t EVER trust the MacOS Disk Utility EVER EVER EVER AGAIN!!!
Ugh, it wiped my primary partition on my laptop even though I told it explicitly NOT TO!
Recovering using Acronis Disk Director Emergency Boot CD, a utility I would trust with my life.
You can now ask me what my thoughts are on things by pressing the (?) button at the top of the page. You can do it anonymously or if you’re not so shy, you can put your name to it.
If I could reach out through your TV and strangle you, I would.— Frankie Boyle