Free to a Good Home: Junk
I was pricing a low-end desktop computer the other day. When configuring it, I noticed that if I added a four-year warranty, it would cost more than the entire system! We've really come to the point where computer hardware is like a plastic fork. If a tine breaks off, it gets thrown away. Sadly, although throwing away plastic forks is rough on the environment, used computers are so much more so.
Thankfully, green is the new pink, and everyone seems to be interested in conservation and recycling. The problem is it's easier to talk about recycling computer hardware than to do it. I work at a school district, and we have a closet full of old CRT monitors just waiting for an opportunity to be recycled. There aren't any recycling places in our area, and thanks to the lead and glass, CRT monitors are very expensive to ship. So, they sit in a closet collecting dust.
Some amazing organizations out there are working hard to focus on another R, and rather than recycling old equipment, they reuse it. Places like Free Geek in Portland, which I had the pleasure of touring last summer, take donated computer parts to create usable systems that are sold or donated back to the community. Thanks to Linux, those systems aren't encumbered with licensing issues. It's really a great way to get working, viable, stable computer systems in the hands of people who would likely never be able to afford one.
Although I'm not suggesting everyone should start a local Free Geek (although how cool would that be!), it's possible someone in your area already is doing something similar. Before you put that 17" CRT monitor and Pentium II computer on the curb, try giving it away in the local newspaper. If you like the idea of building computers for those in need, consider doing a small-scale version of Free Geek in your garage. Don't worry about running out of hardware, the local school district likely has computer parts piled in closets it would love for you to “recycle”. With the power and flexibility of Linux, and the steady supply of aging computers, perhaps the path to world domination is by repurposing last year's Windows computers!
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Enter to Win an Adafruit Pi Cobbler Breakout Kit for Raspberry Pi
It's Raspberry Pi month at Linux Journal. Each week in May, Adafruit will be giving away a Pi-related prize to a lucky, randomly drawn LJ reader. Winners will be announced weekly.
Fill out the fields below to enter to win this week's prize-- a Pi Cobbler Breakout Kit for Raspberry Pi.
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Free Webinar: Hadoop
How to Build an Optimal Hadoop Cluster to Store and Maintain Unlimited Amounts of Data Using Microservers
Realizing the promise of Apache® Hadoop® requires the effective deployment of compute, memory, storage and networking to achieve optimal results. With its flexibility and multitude of options, it is easy to over or under provision the server infrastructure, resulting in poor performance and high TCO. Join us for an in depth, technical discussion with industry experts from leading Hadoop and server companies who will provide insights into the key considerations for designing and deploying an optimal Hadoop cluster.
Some of key questions to be discussed are:
- What is the “typical” Hadoop cluster and what should be installed on the different machine types?
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