Time Limits for spare or “fixable” hardware

A few months ago I was thinking about buying an SSD to put in a FreeNAS system. Mind you, I already have 2 free standing NAS devices using traditional spinning disks. I was considering this because I can download a 2.4G file in about 1 minute to my OS Disk, and M2 SSD. It takes nearly 5 mins to download it directly to my NAS. Then I realized I could by a 2TB M2 SSD for $200 and use it instead. I still have my NAS for backup.

The point is, I was considering using old tech to solve a problem because I had it laying around when a “better” new tech solution was available cheaply.

I see IT organizations doing similar things. 5 year old technology finally broke and was replaced. The old tech still had “usable” or “fixable” parts and was put in a corner. A few years later it’s still there, covered in dust, and taking up space. It’s worthless and now takes effort to recycle it. Worse, you have several other things in similar condition that have been impeding your work by being in the way.

Those old laptops, tablets and PC’s aren’t getting any younger. Given the rate of change in technology, if it’s over 3 years old, it’s probably obsolete and better replaced than reused. This is not a hard rule, but you should always consider the reasonable lifetime when keeping replaced tech. Puppy Linux exists to give new life to old hardware. Worth it? Not for most.

I’m currently helping an organization that doesn’t have full time IT. Well intended people who want to save money, stack “fixable” or “old but running” laptops all over the place. So much so, that it’s now difficult to find anything. Your 10+ year old desktop it not worth re-purposing.


Grease Monkey ~~ GM

About Grease Monkey

Computer nerd since the 80's. Data nerd since the 90's. Generic nerd for a lifetime.
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