Electronics Recycling

May 26th, 2011

After years of building up a stock of obsolete and broken down electronics, I decided it was time to find a responsible way to dispose of my former treasures. I had taken a few things to the Isabella County Recycling Center in the past, but they haven’t offered electronics recycling recently due to budget cuts.

The first option I found was eBay’s Instant Sale. This allows you to sell newer items that are still in good condition or recycle items that are no longer working or are just too old to have any value. eBay will even cover the shipping cost.

I used eBay’s service to recycle four old cell phones. The experience was really easy. I simply input all the details and printed out the provided shipping label. I packaged up the phones (including chargers, manuals, and other accessories) and shipped them off. I was notified when they arrived and I assume they have been recycled in a safe and responsible fashion.

Instant sale is great for some smaller items, but I had a bunch of stuff that didn’t easily fit into eBay’s categories. The remainder of my stock went to big box retailer Best Buy. I was pleasantly surprised to see the wide range of items accepted for recycling. They do not take hard drives, so I had to make sure all drives were removed from the computers I was recycling. (Of course, I had planned to remove them anyway. One can never be too careful with data.) I brought my old computer parts, cables, cd players, and other junk, loaded them up on a cart, and dropped them right off at the service desk at the Midland Best Buy store. The entire transaction took less than five minutes. I admit that I haven’t exactly shopped at Best Buy in about ten ears, but I might try to send some business their way to support this great recycling service.

Both services claim to use reputable recyclers. I have not done any research to verify these claims yet. For now, I decided to take them at their word. Some so-called recyclers of electronic waste actually just ship the items overseas where they wind up in landfills.

I also found out about GRC Recycling–a company that allows nonprofit organizations to collect and recycle cell phones to raise money.

I hope this post inspires everything to responsibly recycle their old electronics. I was happy to be rid of the clutter and feel confident that everything was disposed of in an environmentally sound way. For more information and updates, see PacDemon’s electronics recycling page.

Have a Happy New Year with HTML 5

January 3rd, 2011

Happy new year! What better way to celebrate than with a 50 minute HTML 5 presentation. This is packed with information about HTML 5′s excellent new features. It’s amazing how far a simple text markup language has come. A lot of HTML 5′s features threaten to make most of my code over the past decade obsolete (this is a good thing).

Look for more HTML 5 goodies soon.

Update:
Here’s a nifty infographic with more info about HTML 5.

Some Links

September 1st, 2010

It’s been a busy year and I’m a bad blogger. So, here a few links that have been sucking up resources in Firefox lately:

Happy Ada Lovelace Day

March 24th, 2010
Ada Lovelace.  1815 - 1852

Ada Lovelace. 1815 - 1852

It’s March 24th – Ada Lovelace Day. She was one of the first computer programmers and helped shape the way we think of computers. For more info, go here.

To find out what’s going on in this century, visit the ACM’s Women in Computing site.

Next year I’ll try to get this posted sooner and participate in more of the festivities.

Update:

Here’s some coverage from Wired.

O’Reilly DRM-Free Ebooks

February 26th, 2010

oreilly_iBook_graphicIf you like their dead-tree products, you’ll love these: http://oreilly.com/ebooks. Watch for daily specials.

Bill Gates speaks about energy, CO2

February 24th, 2010

I’ve been a critic of Microsoft’s products and business practices over the years, but I have always admired how Bill and Melinda Gates decided to use their money. In this TED talk, Gates describes his vision for the future of energy and carbon emissions:

http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates.html

Thorium’s Hammer

February 15th, 2010

In 2000, a NASA engineer dug up a report about “fluid fuel reactors” from the 1950′s.  He started this blog dedicated to Thorium-based fluid reactors.  Some of the benefits include:

  • Thorium reactors produce minimal waste
  • Thorium waste only needs to be stored for a few hundred years (as opposed to hundreds of thousands of years for traditional Uranium waste)
  • Thorium is plentiful in nature
  • Byproducts of Thorium reactors cannot be used to produce nuclear weapons

There are, of course, some concerns.  Critics are not convinced that Thorium fuel can be safely stored for extended periods.  Some nuclear engineers have called the Thorium reactor system “chaotic” because it does not use control rods and cooling towers like traditional nuclear reactors.

This technology looks like a promising step towards clean, safe nuclear energy. Read more here: http://thoriumenergy.blogspot.com/

Source: Wired #18.01 (January, 2010)

Welcome to the new PacDemon.org

December 8th, 2009

PacDemon.org has been up for over ten years but has been neglected for most of that time.  Hopefully that trend will change.

I’ll be adding content whenever possible.  Look for info on baby stuff, guitars, astronomy, and various other interests.  I’ll also be working on the theme for this site.  Since I couldn’t find an acceptable free theme, I decided to create my own.  I know it will take a while but it will be worth it to get the look and feel exactly right.  Once the theme is completed I will make it available for free here and on wordpress.org.

Well, I guess it’s time to get to work…