Gadgets for writers are fantastic when they are brand new and can provide the maximum amount of usefulness, but technology progresses rapidly. That means today’s cutting edge device could well be outclassed within a matter of months, and certainly within a year or two. Although few of us will want to upgrade every gadget we possess just as soon as a better model becomes available, most of us will upgrade from time to time, and that leaves us with a variety of old gadgets that tend do little more than gather dust in cupboards and drawers.
The question of what to do with these old gadgets is one that is worth thinking about. A gadget that is a few years old or lacks the processing power or storage capabilities of the latest devices has not automatically reached the end of its useful life, and many old gadgets can be put to new uses very effectively.
Consider a laptop bought six or seven years ago. Instead of simply casting it aside when you upgrade to a brand new laptop that makes the predecessor look like a toy, think about alternative uses. You could use it as a WiFi access point in your home, as a media hub that stores your MP3s, photographs and video files, or as a larger than usual external drive that you use for data backup purposes.
Similarly, if you have an old MP3 player (as I have after upgrading from an iPod Classic to an iPod Touch) then you could wipe it clean and use it as a portable storage device. You could even install Portable Apps, which is exactly what I have done, to give you a mobile desktop that you can plug into any PC you happen to be around.
This kind of ‘recycling’ is far better than allowing your old gadgets to sit unused for months or years, and finding new uses for old gadgets actually maximises the value for money you get from every gadget you own.
Of course, if you really can’t find a practical use for an old gadget, the next best alternative is to sell it on a site such as eBay and use the proceeds to help fund your next gadget purchase. You’ll also enjoy less clutter in your office!