The Significance of Computers in Our Lives

2010; mankind has come a long way since the first discovery of fire a few hundred thousand years ago. Fire used to be a necessity then, now the computer is a necessity for us as we use it in our daily lives.

One way computers help us is in our lives. We use the computer to communicate with people such as web conferencing with friends who are overseas, to look up on information about a particular topic, socialize on social networks such as Facebook or even to do something as simple as sending an email or digital cards to friends and loved ones.

The computer has also managed to change us from reading hard copies of books, magazines and newspapers, to reading online digital documents such as online newspaper articles and e-books.

In education, lecturers are now using PowerPoint to make their lecture slides which are used during their lectures and students are now able to download the lecture slides into their computers and store it as reading documents.

In the working place, paperwork is now slowly converting from manual printing and keeping documents to storing documents in the computer. The problem with paperwork is that it takes up a lot of space and an office has limited space. Moreover, going digital will help the environment as there will be less demand for paper which results in lesser trees being cut down to be made into paper.

However, there have been some issues raised about digital documents. A digital document can be created and edited by anyone, thus this leads to the owner verification problem. It is dangerous in the working environment, because anyone can edit a contract or agreement after it has been signed and used it against the other party. Another problem would be if one accidentally deletes the document, it will be hard to trace the perpetrator and also very hard to retrace the document.

The Benefits Of Buying Used Computers

Okay, so your computer has eaten its last byte. Don’t fret, you have several options to get you back to surfing the web. You can buy the newest unit on the market or, for a more frugal decision, buy a refurbished computer. The benefits of buying used computers are worth examining.

Saving money is one of the more obvious reasons when choosing to buy a used computer. Often you can find the same or comparable model as a new one for a discounted price, simply because it was refurbished. Refurbished usually means something was originally wrong with the new machine, but it has been repaired and tested. Alternatively, it can be that someone returned the product and it had to be tested and the data cleaned before reselling the item. Either way, it is a viable option when a replacement computer is needed.

In many households, there is one computer per person. This can be expensive not only for the original purchase, but also for replacing either a broken or an outdated computer. In this situation, refurbished computers really can save some money. Knowing how the person used the computer can open a wide range of pricing in the used market. A computer that is only used for internet browsing and general correspondence will be cheaper than one that is used for gaming or any heavy graphic use.

Regardless if the computer is new or used either should come with a warranty. If you are offered a used computer with a short or no warranty, ask if an extended or new warranty can be purchased. Depending on the brand, a second-party warranty service may be available.

Used computers resold on the retail market have been repaired, tested, and cleaned of any previous data that may have been left on the drives. This helps to ensure that the used machine is like new and does not have any virus or other potential damaging effects.

While the selection may be slightly less than buying a new computer, buying a refurbished computer should still allow for a good choice of brands. Searching online is a great option for finding a used brand of your liking. Try the brand’s home sites to see if they offer refurbished machines. This way you know the machine was gone over and has met factory specifications.

You can try secondary markets to find even better priced deals, but these most likely will not have adequate warranties and may not be factory tested upon repair. Oftentimes it is worth the search, because some companies will use these markets to sell off their older refurbished. Just use caution, double check the warranty and the return policy before making a commitment to a purchase on these sites.

When you see the sign that reads refurbished computer give some attention to it, it may save you some money. Reputable companies should stand behind their products no matter if the product is new or refurbished. Brand names become brands because they are reliable. These are only some benefits of buying used computers, browse the internet to find out more information.

When Recycling Computers Means Scrap Metal

Until two weeks ago I believed our local council gave used computers to organisations for reuse and recycling. I based this belief on the Barnet website, http://www.barnet.gov.uk/ which states that computer and home office equipment – and I quote – “are collected by organisations for reuse and recycling”.

However, this was not my experience when I took one of the family’s many PC castoffs to be recycled – or so I thought. If I had imagined it was going to help a poverty-stricken village in Africa or some other place too hot to mention, I was mistaken.

For as I made my way to the corner where so many of our technological cast-offs end up, I could clearly hear, in the distance, the unmistakable sound of a man.

“Chuck it in the scrap metal mate”.

I turned around with all the dignity a man carrying a desktop computer can have, and pointed out that I believed the council policy was to recycle used computers.

“Nah, mate. People keep putting them down with the electronics, but we just chuck them in the scrap metal anyway”.

I complied, and made a mental note to check this ‘fact’ with the local authority, who seem to be trying so hard to reduce waste. And I did so, and I’m waiting for a response to this evening’s email. While throwing this piece of ‘scrap metal’ into the giant skip I pondered over the fact that, so few years ago, an incredibly complex and clever piece of equipment like this would have been someone’s prize possession, probably even belonging to a private company and definitely costing thousands. But even for that money I couldn’t have acquired one, as the best on the market wasn’t even that fast, just a few years ago.

Today, such an item is simply not good enough, not even worth taking to bits for someone else to deal with.

The way people round here behave, you’d think there were way too many computers in the world, but according to Computer Aid International, a charity that distributes PCs to the developing world ([http://www.computuraid.org/] )

“The digital divide that currently exists between the developed and developing countries is enormous. Latest World Bank research shows that there are 5 or less computers per 1,000 people in the vast majority of Sub-Saharan African countries. This figure is also applicable to the South Asian sub-continent.”

Here in the UK well over half of households have at least one PC, more than that in ours.

Is there a link between our attitude towards used technology and our attitude to everything else around us? I believe so, but that’s another topic for another day.

By the way, the Council seems to be doing something with the monitors. I saw these loaded onto a pallet at quite a rate. It’s quite hard for them to keep up with the number coming in.