Good-bye old Mac...

by Fred Showker

our Macs say good-bye on their final trip to recycling...

Saturday was a beautiful day. A perfect day for the project my brother and I had been putting off for several years -- moving all the Macs out of the shop, delivering them to the Goodwill recycling depot. It was both happy and sad.

good-bye old mac
(click for enlargement)

A happy day...

The old saying goes "The happiest two days of your life are when you buy your boat... and when you sell your boat." Well, the same could hold true for old computers. In the late 1990s, my brother and I picked up, or purchased on auction, dozens and dozens of Mac computers. We reconditioned them and prepped them to move back into active service. We set up several computer labs at local schools; we outfitted many dozens of needy users with good computers; we provided computers not only to teachers and families unable to afford another computer -- but many went to the indigent, ill, and the elderly. It was a rewarding and exciting several years.

Early after the turn of the century, recipients began turning down computers that would not run the latest internet and internet browsers. The beige boxes began to gather dust and cobwebs. Although these all work perfectly, people no longer wanted them. The charity recyclers began to turn away anything beige.

But it was a happy occasion because the Goodwill program actually refurbs computers and puts them back into use. Those which are 'lost causes' are then taken to the proper recycling center to be crushed, metals and glass removed, then ground up into re-usable manufacturing materials -- probably the railing on your new deck, or the benches at the ball park. Until Goodwill began that program, our only alternative was paying the county to bury them in the landfill.

Good-bye Mac

The sad part was seeing them all piled up on the pick-up, going nowhere. I had originally wanted to get them all booted up, stacked in a line, and have the landfill bulldozer run over them while making a video. It was just too much trouble. Then the idea was to band-saw all the faces off the monitors, and build them into a large wall-mounted block with a continuous slide show loop displayed from behind their dead screens. This too was way more grandiose than time could justify. But the most sad part was the absence of the excitement that surrounded their first arrival -- the pleasure of showing friends and acquaintances all the wonderful things you can do on 'my new Mac.'

As my brother and I piled up two heaping pick-up loads -- we cited what each machine was capable of, how much ram, drive space, etc. It was almost like reading the eulogies for so many fallen soldiers -- which in a way, it was.

At the end of the day they're all gone -- from SEs to G3s... all gone. Good-bye, old Macs.

Thanks for reading...

Fred Showker

Fred Showker, Editor, Graphic Design & Publishing

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