As I’ve mentioned in some of my articles, upgrading computer components by replacing obsolete ones is very doable, and in the short term can save you some of your hard-earned cash. Of course, depending on the age of your computer also depends on the types of products that need replacing (RAM and Hard Drives being the most common). You don’t need to necessarily replace each part on your own; most computer stores that perform maintenance on computers would be more than happy to make any changes for you. It’s perfect if you’re like me: afraid of ruining some key part of the computer. So, get somebody else who knows better to do it.
Taking my laptop for example, I’m not going to lie: this thing is a tank, and is it ever getting on in years. It is a Toshiba Satellite from 2003. I picked it up as a discontinued model the following year, and even then it was growing to be obsolete. It came equipped with a 2.5GHz Celeron processor, 256MB of RAM and a 30GB hard drive. It’s not bad for what I wanted to use it for, which was for school. I began going through what I had listed above: Windows took up to 10 minutes to load, and certain programs were really tough on resources. Having iTunes, web browsers, MSN and antivirus software running in the background was starting to be difficult. I wanted to get a new computer so badly in my final year of study; I was actually comparing prices of different makes and models.
It wasn’t until my friend mentioned to me that I can actually upgrade certain components, such as RAM and a hard drive that was slowly dying. I upgraded the memory to 2GB and even replaced a dying hard drive by upgrading to an 80GB drive. Not bad. For one, it saved me a bundle of money. On top of that, it saved the hassle of trying to find out what to do with the computer. Nobody would have wanted it: it was slow and dying. I probably would have had to just toss it with the rest of my trash.
This isn't just to toot my own horn. Far from it, actually. I was completely ignorant of the fact that I could just make some upgrades to my computer. The thought of having this old laptop sitting on top of a pile of other e-waste is not particularly pretty. But not all is lost. Eventually this laptop will be utterly useless and it will have to be discarded. However, there are far better means of getting rid of an old computer instead of tossing it into the scrap heap.
The next portion of this series will discuss what you can do to recycle current components you’re considering replacing, or even your entire computer as a whole.