- How can I safely dispose of my old computer(s), unused electronic devices, their associated waste (e.g., batteries), and other hazardous materials?
- How did my computer get a virus when I'm running Anti-Virus software?
- How do consumer and commercial electronics compare?
- What are device drivers (or just drivers) and why are they needed?
- Am I a Software Bandit?
- What's meant by "Patch Tuesday, Exploit Wednesday"?
- What is meant by the discovery of an "Exploit In The Wild" or a "Zero Day Attack"?
- Why is computer maintenance critical?
- Why is it important to address commercial power and lightning issues?
We all hear and understand correctly it's not smart to entrust our landfills with the "trash" of technology which no longer meet our needs. We find ourselves unaware of how to "give it away" and end up storing this "stuff" and other hazardous materials looking for an enviromentally safe solution to dispose of and/or recycle these items...over time it has piled up!
Below are a few organizations which do just that:
Freecycle- changing the world on gift at a time
"It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them's good people). Membership is free."
Earth911- allows you to find recycling centers in your area and further supplies a valuable resource of information about recycling.
"We dream at night about a world where everyone practices the three R's (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle). Our search engine can help you do this, by making the trash in your hand another man's treasure. We hope we can not only help you learn more about one of the easiest ways to make a real difference, but also get involved to impact your community and world."
Electronics TakeBack Coalition- Take It Back. Make It Green. Recycle Responsibly.
"The Electronics TakeBack Coalition (ETBC) promotes green design and responsible recycling in the electronics industry. Our goal is to protect the health and well being of electronics users, workers, and the communities where electronics are produced and discarded by requiring consumer electronics manufacturers and brand owners to take full responsibility for the life cycle of their products, through effective public policy requirements or enforceable agreements."
Gazelle- the EASIEST, FASTEST way for you to sell or recycle your gadgets
"to provide a practical, rewarding way for people to finally rid themselves of all those old cell phones, digital cameras, and gaming systems that they no longer use, but can't seem to find a way to let go of.
MRM- assists manufacturers and consumers to ensure electronic products are diverted from the waste stream and recycled in an environmentally responsible manner.
"MRM's mission is to bring manufacturers together into long-term relationships that help provide convenient, environmentally responsible recycling opportunities to consumers nationwide."
Wise Recycling- Wise wants to be the vessel for all your scrap metal. We buy the entire menu of ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metals. Wise Recycling sorts and processes all scrap metal to be recycled into new products.
Just having anti-virus/anti-malware software running on your machine(s) doesn't guarantee your system can't become infected or compromised. These protective but reactive tools (i.e., anti-virus) only shield from known threats and many current malwares change daily if not hourly. There are so many new attacks dispatched every day it's almost impossible to guard against them all. With that said, a managed and layered approach to protecting your computer(s), data, and information is your best defense.
|Consumer (home)||vs.||Commercial (enterprise)|
Branding and packaging
Wanted (emotional purchase)
Lower cost, replaced often
6-8 hours a day
90 days to 1 year with extended up to 3 years
Performance and service
Needed (planned purchase)
Higher price, replaced less often, and designed
for long term use with tighter specifications,
tolerances, and accuracy
24/7/365 (i.e., 99.999% uptime)
1 to 3 years with extended up to 5 years or the life of the product
Device drivers (or drivers) are simply small computer programs which allow devices (hardware) to interact with other computer programs (OS and software applictions) thru the computer bus that the hardware is connected.
Like all software, driver software is not perfect (i.e., it's buggy) and accounts for a very large percentage of Windows crashes, devices not working properly, and system vulnerabilities.
Device manufactures are regularly updating these computer programs (drivers) to address such issues, and thus the need for all computer systems with devices to assure the latest "device driver" is currently installed on their system for each of the specific devices.
Aplication hang and/or the notorious Blue Screen of Death (BSoD), as I stated before can be attributed many times to a "bad" driver, and updating your system with the latest "device drivers" can eliminate such frustrations and go a long way to a more enjoyable computing experience!
The action often referred to as software piracy and a "software bandit" is an individual or business that employs pirated software.
Basically it's the use of software not in accordance with the manufactures license agreement. That is to say...using software specifically provided for "personal use only" and installed on an enterprise machine, software intended for use with a specific machine, and installed on another or different machine, or illegal use, reporduction of, and/or sale of software without permisson of its maker.
Commercial Use of Non-commercial Software
Unrestricted client access infringement
"Patch Tuesday" is the second Tuesday of each month when Microsoft releases to the public Windows Updates. These updates fix known exploits and vulnerabilities in the Windows Operating system, its components, along with other Microsoft software (i.e. Office, Windows Live, etc).
This schedule I understand was initially intended to establish a known and consistant day of patch deployment allowing time primarily for the enterprise to evaluate individual updates they deamed necessary on their systems and postpone those which might cause ill effects with their particular configuration.
"Exploit Wednesday" pertains to the short period of time (i.e., Wednesday) when malware (malicious code) has been discovered 'in-the-wild' taking advantage of the exact vulnerabilities addressed in the recent released updates.
Today malcontents are able to quickly examine and analyze the latest update(s), write programs and take advantage of the exposure on those systems NOT up-to-date!
So, Patch Tuesday, Exploit Wednesday is a serious acknowledgement of an ongoing threat, and another reason why it's essential everyone keep computer systems fully patched with the latest Microsoft updates...
The term "Exploit In The Wild" or "Zero Day Attack" is malicious code discovered and currently taking advantage of a previously unknown vulnerability in Windows or other software...
Computer maintenance is about taking proactive steps to ensure your computer's running as efficiently as possible, just like it did when you first bought it. Computer maintenance is about assuring your important data will be protected and available when you need it, even in the event your system fails or sustains a malicious attack. Computer maintenance is about verifying your system is running with the latest software patches, updates, and drivers which address known issues and vulnerabilities that might put your system and information at risk. And finally, computer maintenance is about allowing you to be as effective as possible when using your computer, without the frustrations associated with a system not performing as you would expect!
Overvoltages (high voltage), brownouts (low voltage) and lightning can be the most destructive forces computer systems confront, implementing an appropriate Surge Protector, Uninterruptable Power System (UPS), or Voltage Regulator (Power Conditioner) to protect your electronic equipment can eliminate the largest part of this threat, and goes a long way to assure worry free computing. This type protection can be purchased rather inexpensively when you consider the total cost (if your entire system had to be replaced).