What to do with computers and cables?

Computers for good causes

At the moment, there are lots of really worthy organisations collecting computers and laptops for great causes.  GIVIT has quite a few requests from different organisations for bushfire survivors, children being homeschooled and tertiary/vocational students studying remotely.

How do I deal with gadget cables?

A Saturday chat participant, who very proactively took the opportunity to declutter during the chat, asked what to do with gadget cables, and which gadget cables she ought to keep.  My rule of thumb for this is, if it doesn’t belong to a gadget you currently own, or is an unidentifiable “mystery cable”, you can safely declutter it.  In the off chance that you accidentally declutter a cable which is needed later, most cables are very cheap to replace. I feel that the order which and storage space which can be reclaimed is a fair trade-off for a $10 cable purchase further down the track.

It’s difficult to recycle cables, but I learned this week that the Tech Shed DO accept cables among other computer equipment which they refurbish for concession card holders.  The Tech Shed is a very worthy organisation which I had the pleasure of volunteering with when I was at uni!

Don’t I have to destroy the data on hard disk drives before donating computers?

I thought this blurb on the Tech Shed website was of particular interest to people donating computers:
“There is no need to be concerned about your personal or corporate data when you donate technology. Every HDD, SSD, and removable media device goes through a data destruction using specialised software which conforms to the NIST 800-88 standard. If you require evidences of data destruction, please talk with us and we can work with you.”

It turns out they have expanded their work to accept older computers, disassembling them for safe disposal.

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