Remember You’re A Womble

I do love making use of the things others discard. I’m a latter day Womble (I can hear voices from the back saying ‘we know’).

Other Peoples’ Old New Stuff

I don’t have the need to print very often but obviously there are times when it is needed. I’ve been running a second hand mono laser printer for *ahem* years now without the need to replace the toner (ah that irritating pungent smell of toner in the morning).

Yesterday I was gifted up a barely used network colour laser printer being discarded because the owner said they could no longer afford to fuel it. That may well be the case if they were looking at buying original toner cartridges but there are ways and means to refill these beasts without going broke via toner refill services. Anyway hopefully I’ll give it a test and a refill before passing it on again.

Set Me Free… Only Slowly

I’d also picked up a rather swish ex-business standalone hardware ethernet voip phone during the winter but sadly it wasn’t responding to the default password to access the web interface for changing the settings. I’d emailed the maker of the phone several times but received no reply regarding any known procedure for reseting the phone to factory settings.

Out of the blue last week I finally got a reply detailing the suggested reset procedure which amazingly worked. Patience is a virtue.

Made The Upgrade

In other news I should be upgrading my mobile phone from a twelve year old model to a five year old model sometime this coming week.

I know it’s upgrade madness.

Image by kluens under this creative commons licence


The Circle Of Plant Life

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Calling Time On VHS

vhsclocked1Recycling or more accurately reusing old tech is something that always intrigues me. I still have way to many VHS (& Betamax) tapes that have as yet not been digitized. This VHS tape turned clock is one suggestion if you’re reasonably handy with making such things. Typically my own imagination is beyond my practical DIY abilities which has me thinking that the other cassette window could have been utilised for an additional sweeping second hand (I know picky picky picky).

Now could I do this with a huge old U-Matic tape I still have lying around?

Via Instructables

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Throwing The Book At Vinyl

vinylcoverThe recycling of older technology continues with these journals featuring covers made from old LP vinyl records (nothing rare I hope). We’ve already seen compact cassettes remodelled around money purses and belt buckles so this is just another reincarnation for the old ‘liquorice pizzas’. Personally I’d loved to see the same thing with covers made from shiny old silver laser discs. Bit too niche maybe?

UrbanOutfitters via

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We Are Glass

And lo a matter of days after the delivery of a glass recycle box the first collection occurred early today. A lone advance bin man (or garbologist as some may now classify him) moved alone and on foot with a large black bin (or ‘otto’ as they call them in Australia) and proceeded to noisily empty each glass bin contents into the larger black bin which he then wheeled away and out of the close to, I presume, an agreed collection point.Glass mobile

Glass is a very good choice for recycling as its structure does not deteriorate when reprocessed and up to 80% of the original material is suitable for using in new glass which helps reduce the total CO2 footprint for raw glass production. Glass accounts for around 7% of the total household waste composition.

Britain currently recycles around 34% of glass which is poor when compared to Switzerland and Finland achieve rates of around 90%.

Recycling two bottles saves enough energy to boil water for five cups of tea.


Photo by Lady Ema under this creative commons license

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Any Colour As Long As It’s Beige

Gimme gimme gimme

It’s been a computer refurb day as some kit goes out the door and into the community. I try to target this stuff but am inevitably deluged with chancers and people on the grab rather than people in need of a free or low cost computer. One guy emailed me with an obscene swear word as his email address who seriously expected me to entertain his greedy request and then sent me a sarcie comment when he was deemed ineligible for a freebie compy. There are days when I think this country is full to the jowls with thoroughly selfish and narrow minded people (maybe I’m one of them when viewed through the other end of the telescope) but maybe it was always the case but I can’t tell you how many email requests I get that are just plain rude and that basically say gimme gimme, ring my mobile now. Try a little politeness for a change.

Out of sync

I’ve been all fingers and thumbs to day in the sense of being out of sync with the day and much as I’m technically competent I derive no joy from jigging around with a crate load of beige computers and it only feels worthwhile when something productive is put in needy hands (what a bleeding heart liberal-in the British sense- I seem to be).

And to end the day, even more beige boxes

So after getting all hot and bothered getting some computers ready for collection to getting a call from my parents to find that their faithful computer had decided to fuse its internal components in a moment of computer suicide. So I spent a mind numbing hour sat in front of their machine transferring their files and setup to a replacement machine (my coping mechanism involved unfeasible amount of tea drinking ). I do it because it’s something I can help but not because I enjoy working with computers.

Begone boxes of beige (ooh I like a bit of beige)

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