This I Believe

Kevin - Houston, Texas
Entered on February 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

One Man’s Trash Is another Man’s Treasure

A loud thunderstorm is booming and banging outside. My Mom and I are driving in the car. We reach our destination: a skuzzy little thrift store called Value Village. My Mom says to me, “Hurry up honey, we have to get home, we don’t want to keep Emma waiting too long.” I run in, excited, to the back of the store where the electronics are kept. However much to my dismay, there’s nothing I’m looking for. I walk back to the car. Getting in, my Mom asks me, “Find anything?” I reply with the usual answer, “Nope.”

So, what on earth did that previous story serve? Was it some random rambling? Was it a snippet of your life that serves no purpose whatsoever? No, not really, actually, it pertains to the point I’m trying to make. You see, I collect the old Apple II computers (The Apple II was designed by Steve Wozniak in 1977, who went on to co-found Apple Computers.). It’s a weird hobby, I know. In fact, I don’t know anyone else that has any interest in what I have besides the standard, “Oh…neat.” When I show people I use those old 5 ¼” floppy disks, they laugh. The response is always, “You use THAT!” Yes, I do use THAT, and by preference too. Yes, they’re archaic. Yes, they’re probably just pieces of junk. And yes, I literally have to take them apart and fix them myself. I love them anyway.

I believe in my Apple II’s. They’re the ultimate companion! They do what they’re told, they do it right, and they do it fast. What more could one ask for? I don’t need the newest gear or whatever crazy new electronics are out now. I can do all the stuff I need, and that’s what matters. I think my Apple II’s, in weird techno-philosophical way, expose the errors of the current “American Way”. They show how wasteful we are. I rescued mine from dumpsters! If we don’t need something we have, we trash it. We would rather throw something away than give it to someone who would like it. I tried many a times to rescue relatively new computers from recyclers who always turn me away. In our attempts to be “green” we just hurt the environment more by forcing manufacturers to produce even more computers instead of truly recycling them by donating them to charity. We seem to put more emphasis on the word “green” then we do on actually being green. The Apple II also represents simplicity. Booting the old AppleDOS 3.3 is good enough for me. If you need a program, you often have to write it yourself. While I don’t think we should all ditch everything we have and go live in the jungle, living simpler does bring one down to earth. So when people complain about how they need a new computer, I tell them go dig in a dumpster until you find an Apple II, and then you’ll be set.