Waste not, want not

Eventually rechargeable batteries won’t recharge, and that’s what happened to my Palm Tungsten E. It lasted around two years, which is the useful life the reviews gave it, so I can’t complain that I wasn’t warned. Palm’s astute marketing strategy is to make PDAs with batteries you can’t replace, so you have to buy a whole new device. I removed all the data from my fast-fading E, smacked it with a hammer for good measure (producing the interesting abstract above), then zapped it with my magnetic tape eraser and dropped it in the trash can.

If I had any vision, I would collect moribund PDAs, whack them around, and get the Hirschorn or the Tate Modern or MOMA to put on a show of my work. They’ve all done far sillier exhibits. But rather than launch my new art career, I simply bought another PDA. I chose a Palm TX because it is WiFi-enabled, so I can check my e-mail when I’m overseas (which I will endeavor to do without drawing attention to myself); but even if I’d chosen the E2, which is the new, improved E, the charger and the sync cable wouldn’t have transferred because the connections are all different. This sort of thing drives me crazy. I ended up with a useless-to-me U.S. charger/power cable; international charger/power cable with interchangeable plugs depending on whether you’re in the U.K., continential Europe, or Asia; and sync cable.

Thank goodness for Freecycle. I advertised the spare items just after lunch today, and at around 4:45 this afternoon, Brian, whose Tungsten E is still working, stopped by to pick them up. I could have put them in the Goodwill bag and taken a small tax deduction, but I’d way rather give them to a person I know can use them.

Freecycle and Craig’s List make me feel a bit better about planned obsolescence.


3 Responses to Waste not, want not

  1. Elisabeth says:

    I am kind of curious about what you can do with one of those things. I am interested in the capability of checking one’s e-mail while abroad. I guess you have to find a wi-fi connection, though, right? If you can, e-mail me about this. Also, how much do those things cost?

  2. Dan says:

    Looks like you had fun disposing of the old PDA…

    And speaking of PDA’s, a mutual friend of ours (whose name rhymes with frayed) tells the story of approaching a military checkpoint with a young lady (who he eventually married). She rolled down the car window and asked the young Marine on guard duty if PDA’s were allowed in the facility. I believe the actual question was something along the lines of “Can we have PDA’s in here? We would like to have PDA’s, if that’s ok.”

    He blushed and stammered “Um, I suppose that’s up to you, ma’am.”

    At this point, our friend explained “You just asked him if we could have Public Displays of Affection.” Now it was her turn to blush, as she hunted around for her Palm Pilot and explained to the guard that she was actually asking about whether the electronic equipment was allowed in the area…

  3. Kirk says:

    Passante, I am so pleased you hit it with a hammer. I’ve been looked at funny for hammering my old hard drives (two to date). I got the impression that was just so low-tech, so paranoid. But I thought it was a good idea at the time and I still think so. And now. Thanks to you. I can tell anybody who dares raise an eyebrow in my direction, “Well, Passante does it, too, and she’s GOOD at this stuff!” Bang! Bang!


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