Are Computers Disposable?

trash_canIt seems that computer hardware advances so quickly that within a few years your computer is just obsolete. New printers, scanners, and other perpherials are incompatible with older PCs, and the latest technology just doesn’t work on aged systems. When I upgrade my Desktop PC’s motherboard, it seems I always need to get all new internal components to keep up with the current technology.

Normally, my wife and I upgrade our computers and laptops and pass down our older systems to relatives, nieces, etc. A few years ago, my wife upgraded her laptop and left the old one on the kitchen table for my 5 year-old son to use for watching YouTube.com videos (Thomas the Tank Engine and Scooby Doo). Everything worked great, until yesterday when the laptop wouldn’t boot up. It gave an error message stating that the hard drive couldn’t be found. So, I removed the tiny hard drive, placed it inside a 2.5″ enclosure, and plugged it into my Desktop PC’s USB port. As such, I discovered that the hard drive was definitely bad since I couldn’t get my PC to access its files. As such, this old Dell laptop is now rendered useless.

Having decided that replacing the hard drive in a 6 year-old laptop is cheaper than buying a new one, I searched the Internet for a suitable replacement. To my surprise, I found the exact same Toshiba hard drive model available for sale at a few different sites. Most were on eBay, with both used and allegedly new models. So, my wife decided to buy a “new” hard drive off eBay for $40 so we can get my son’s laptop back up and running.

After spending several days getting my Desktop PC upgraded and the OS reloaded, I sure don’t want to spend another few days doing the same with this laptop! But, if I don’t then my son will be using my laptop for his Internet video needs…. 😦

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