I love gadgets and just about all things tech. I faint at the sight of blood, but give me a torx screwdriver and the chance to peer into the guts of a hard drive, and I’m all over it. (Lesson learned: discs are fragile!). I also have a weakness for the latest and greatest.
I’ve had the same computer for almost six years now with no significant incidents to speak of. But two things happened in short succession: my battery died completely and the hard drive reached capacity. This meant that an accidental disconnect from the power source resulted in my losing any unsaved work. It also felt like I lost three hours of productivity a day due to the spinning beach ball of death. I am a touch typist who uses all keyboard shortcuts- I expect computers to keep up with me, not hold me back.
My gadget self felt secret glee: Time to get that latest MacBook! My responsible self urged caution: A new computer is no small investment. My environmental self chastised me thoroughly: The computer still works; you just need to delete files and learn to be patient.
I bemoaned my pokey mac to a friend, trying to justify my desire to purchase a new one. After all, a standard refresh tends to be three to four years, and I had already doubled that. But no luck. Why didn’t I just replace the hard drive, he wanted to know. Easy to say, I thought, since he already had the latest and greatest.
From both an economic and environmental perspective, though, there is little doubt it is the solution of choice. The purchase of a new hard drive and battery will run about $150. Add in an updated operating system and we’re looking at $180. Add in thirty minutes of enthusiastic play as my own tech support (with ifixit.com as reference), and I have a souped up and responsive computer with the latest OS. Hard to beat that!
Replacing a computer hard drive is simple and quick. It is one of the small ways individuals can lessen their environmental impact, but one few are aware of. Like many environmental efforts, it also results in significant cost savings to the individual. With technology now foundational to everyday life, let’s take conversations about individual effort to the next level.