Recycle's Friend, Reuse

circuitboard clock

Recycling is something we all deal with, or at least should deal with, when it comes to technology. Old computers, monitors, motherboards and their ilk are full of toxic chemicals that must be disposed of properly. Thankfully, “Being Green” is a trend that hasn't really lost any steam. As technologists, we understand the need to use less power, recycle old technology and make wise purchasing decisions when it comes to hardware. And, we shouldn't forget recycle's buddies reduce and reuse either.

With modern virtualization, it's possible to reduce the number of servers we need to buy. Add to that the reduction in power usage with low-power CPUs, and it's relatively easy to reduce the amount of waste in our server rooms. Unfortunately, it doesn't eliminate the problem completely. That's where reuse comes into play. In the photo, you'll see a clock I received as a Christmas gift. It's simply the circuit board from some sort of router that has “clock guts” added to it. Geeky yes, but if it's stuck on my wall, it's one fewer piece of computer scrap in a landfill.

No, reusing old technology like this won't solve our technology waste problem, but every little bit helps. Plus, items like my picture frame made from old 30-pin SIMM memory chips make for great conversation pieces. How have you reused technology in nontraditional ways? Send a photo to shawn@linuxjournal.com, and I'll post some of them online. Perhaps we'll all get some gift ideas for the next holiday season!

Shawn is Associate Editor here at Linux Journal, and has been around Linux since the beginning. He has a passion for open source, and he loves to teach. He also drinks too much coffee, which often shows in his writing.

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