Today the press was alive with stories about consumer electronics and how they die and get resurrected. Katherine Boehret on All things D
had a really well researched, keep as a reference article
on the recycling policies of the different computer and electronic retailers. It's really amazing how short the life of a digital doo-dad is these days despite the fact that there is still utility. When I think about the computing power available in a basic cell phone (not even a smart phone) as compared to what I had in my first Apple II computer, it saddens me that these are all left to the dumpster.
The willingness to dispose instead of repair is the focus of a New York Times article
on repair cafes in Amsterdam, Netherlands where people can bring broken appliances to an informal place where people are willing to try to repair the item for free or a nominal cost. Countering the habit of just throwing away an old item and buying a new one instead of fixing it. They even have a guide book on creating one's own repair cafe. And it's not limited to electronics, clothes are often repaired as well.
It's good to see the value of "second life" spreading, I wrote about my own repair projects in Saving Private Router
and Saving Private Router - the next generation
about restoring electronics from a hardware and software perspective. So next time something is broken, try to fix it. You might learn something.