Tech Tidbit: Spring cleaning old electronics (aka: crap)

My wife sent me a really interesting article from the Wall Street Journal today, which is in the theme of: “We really need to clean out the old crap  in the house”.  What to do with the “old” electronics in the house, particularly computers, iPods and phones?

At last count, we have 2 desktops, 1 laptop, 1 smart phone, several disks and some networking gear that we could (and probably should) rid ourselves of.   Most or all of this works, though we’ve moved on to more powerful, useful stuff.

I’ll leave you to read the article as it’s a well-written description of the various options for providing a new home for your old stuff.  The most intriguing part is that you can recover value from some devices without resorting to eBay or Craigslist.

Before you trade-in or otherwise dispose of your old electronics, be sure to get rid of personal and identifying information from the machines.  For computers, this means securely erasing the disk.  The GeekSquad has a good description on how to do this using DBAN, which works on PCs, Macs and Linux systems.  For Macs, you can also use Disk Utility to perform this.  Macworld has a good article on the procedure using Disk Utility.

For your smart phone, see my post on this topic.

Finally, I decided to see what BestBuy would give me for my iPhone 3GS:

Not bad, not bad at all ……….

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    1. Securely erasing those old drives | The Family HelpDesk
    2. Your technical New Year’s resolutions | The Family HelpDesk

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