Monthly Archives: March 2008

Recycling Computer Equipment

Considering the majority of IT equipment is practically non biodegradable and can contain substances that are potentially harmful, there is scarce information available to local residents about how to go about effectively recycling their old computers.

I wasn’t particularly surprised to find no reference to such advice on the Torbay Council website.Unfortunately it seems that whilst both national and local government bang on about the importance of public awareness regarding the issues of recycling, they don’t tend to clarify exactly what we should actually be doing.Extending my search to council websites nationwide was just as fruitless, and as such it’s not surprising the public at large are slightly bewildered about the best way to dispose of their IT equipment.

Fortunately there are a number of methods one can use to dispose of their old equipment:

-You could look to reuse the computer yourself and there are a few options Read the rest

Vista Service Pack I

This week Microsoft made the eagerly awaiting Windows Vista Service Pack 1 available for general download.Service Packs are important milestones in the development of an Operating System as they bring together a collection of bug fixes, performance improvements, security updates and new product features.For many the release of the first service pack is the only time they will consider updating their Operating System, the idea being that all the potential teething problems are now ironed out.

At present the only way for existing Vista users to get the service pack is by downloading the 450mb file from the Microsoft website ( however it will be pushed on to users via the Windows Update utility sometime next month.New PC’s shipped with Vista should now come with the Service Pack already installed.

In terms of new features, there’s not all that much to get excited about; as you’d imagine most Read the rest

Project Gutenberg

I was recently introduced to the website Project Gutenberg ( which rather impressively holds the title for being the oldest digital library.Started by a gentleman called Michael Hart back in 1971, the website is a volunteer effort which is designed to archive and distribute cultural works which have fallen in to the public domain. The venture began when Michael was given an account with $100,000,000 worth of computer time by the operators of a mainframe at the medical research lab at the University of Illinois.This gift was a chance occurrence which can be attributed to his good friendship with two of the four men operating the machine, along with being simply in the right place at the right time.

Unsure what to do with this free time, he announced that the best way he could use this gift would be to begin archiving material stored in hard copy Read the rest

CD and DVD Printing

Last week we looked at the different technologies available when recording data on to removable media such as a writable DVD and I briefly touched on the subject of printing on to the top surface of the disc.Whilst many use a simple glass marker pen, there are of course several other options available should you want give your discs a more professional looking finish.

Disc Labels

Possibly the simplest option, the label route involves literally printing on to an A4 sheet which has two disc shaped labels pre-cut in to it.Once complete you literally peel off the label and apply it to your finished disc.

Unfortunately this technique suffers a number of drawbacks; it looks unprofessional, it is tricky to apply the label to the disc, and unless positioned perfectly the label can physically unbalance the disc, resulting in read errors when spun inside the drive.The only real advantage is Read the rest