Welcome to Macintosh

'Obsolete' Computers Belong in Homes and Classrooms, not Sitting in Storage

- 2007.09.21

Bong! . . . :-) . . . Welcome to Macintosh!

One of my fellow Low End Mac writers recently wrote an article that encouraged me to come back from an almost three week hiatus. Ted Hodges wrote a very interesting Vintage Mac Living column in which he told how some schools would rather keep old computers in storage rather than use them in the classroom. If you want to take a look, check it out here: What A Waste! Some Schools Would Rather Store Old Computers Than Put Them To Use.

Sadly, this is an epidemic that's all to apparent with school districts across the country. Once a school district deems a computer "obsolete", into storage it goes.

This has me asking the question: Just what is considered obsolete? You'd figure that in this age of multi-gigahertz processing with massive amounts of RAM and storage any computer would be more than capable and not considered obsolete.

Any computer is better than none.

Even computers ten years old or more have their place in schools. Set up writing stations in classrooms. Give children access to computers who may not otherwise have that access. Any computer is better than none. Give or loan out older computers to as many children as possible!

Back when I went to Lone Oak Elementary from 1987-1993, we used Apple IIs of all flavors (mostly Apple IIes), and we were darn happy when we went on our weekly visit to the library just to get to use them! We eventually got a computer in each classroom, although our time was limited on them.

In this age, you can set up any vintage of computer for certain uses. There's absolutely no excuse to put perfectly good computers in storage, whether they be Mac or PC.

Have we become so accustomed to the latest and greatest that we can no longer see the value of any older computer?

I think it's sheer stupidity and laziness on the part of administrators for not seeing the value of older technology and for spending unnecessary money on the latest and greatest when many times it's simply not needed. I also think it's crazy that some teachers and faculty can't or refuse to think outside the box in not wanting to set up older machines and putting them to good use. Have we become so accustomed to the latest and greatest that we can no longer see the value of any older computer? Are we too spoiled?

Take me: I'm typing this article on a vintage 1997 Newton eMate 300, which most would consider stone age, but it gets the job done - and in cute style, I might add!

It's a waste of space and money to keep purchasing computers that will only be used for a year, if that. With ingenuity and resourcefulness, a fleet of today's machines could be used for five years or more as main machines - even without upgrades.

Going back to grade school and even middle school....

In an era where Windows PC were becoming the dominant platform in the early-to-mid 90s, guess what our computer labs were using? Ataris. We used them for math and reading drills, and we were really happy just to have time on a computer. Were they old? Sure. Did that make it yucky to even consider using something considered so obsolete? No, not in the least!

Teachers, staff, and administrators, if any of you read this article and Ted's - for those of you who are used to the latest and greatest, there's nothing wrong with that, but think for once! Broaden your mind and be creative. Especially teachers: You are teaching our hope for the future. What kind of example are you setting if you don't teach kids the value of using what you have available to its fullest potential?

Older computers still have a place today. It takes a little brain power to adjust, but isn't that what school is all about, to learn? LEM

Further Reading

Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS news feed

Today's Links

Recent Content

About LEM Support Usage Privacy Contact

Custom Search

Follow Low End Mac on Twitter
Join Low End Mac on Facebook

Favorite Sites

Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
The Vintage Mac Museum
Deal Brothers
Mac Driver Museum
JAG's House
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ


The iTunes Store
PC Connection Express
Macgo Blu-ray Player
Parallels Desktop for Mac

Low End Mac's Amazon.com store


Open Link