A really nice site, Ecogeek (now linked to here) has a great article about ewaste (see my previous post on the topic), and how Windows new OS, Vista, will contribute to it greatly. It’s something I was talking to my Pops about just last weekend, and I threw in that people really didn’t need faster computers, and that if they just ran Linux, they would get a speed increase over anything they’re running Windows XP on; and it would contain all the software they’d need. Ok, perhaps not all, but I’d say over 95% - people that say, “I’d switch if I could just do $TASK on it” or “..if Linux only ran this $WINDOWS_APP” just don’t know what software is out there for Linux, for free. So I stick by my contention that while people may want Windows, they don’t need Windows to be online, send email and do whatever they do, thus they don’t need to trash a perfectly good machine when Linux can give their machine a new life, and free them from the upgrade cycle. Ecogeek’s comments echo mine perfectly. “Vista is almost certainly going to result in a mass dumping of perfectly good computers. For an operating system that, basically, offers two new features, this is certainly unfortunate. But what can be done? Well, A report from the government of the United Kingdom discussing the benefits of open source software indicates that Linux could certainly alleviate this problem. “**A typical hardware refresh period for Microsoft Windows is 3-4 years. A major UK manufacturing organisation quotes its hardware refresh period for Linux systems as 6-8 years.” A significant difference…a doubling even, of the lifetime of a computer. **Thus, a world using Linux would be a world with half the computer waste (and, admittedly, halved sales for Dell and the rest.) A widespread switch to Linux could prevent millions of tons of waste from going into landfills. Every computer not needed would prevent the use of 240 kg of fossil fuels. Spread that out over the 17.5 million computers that wouldn’t be going obsolete every year and Linux could deliver the world a much more sustainable future.” Ah, and in looking for a good image for this story I found the cartoon you see, and pasted on a small Tux (Linux’s mascot) for comedic effect. I like it!