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Tech Buzz 4/04

Recycling hardware, 3-D desktops and more
April 1, 2004
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/69918

Hardware Heaven

We all know that tossing old computer equipment in the trash is a bad idea and bad for the environment. Fortunately, computer manufacturers are revamping their recycling programs and making it easier than ever for entrepreneurs to do the right thing. Just about every major manufacturer from Dell to Epson now offers some sort of program. Generally, the cost to recycle ranges from free to about $35 for a computer system.

Hewlett-Packard (www.hp.com) lets you use an online quote engine to get the trade-in value of your old hardware. You might as well get something back when you're upgrading, and they'll come pick up your trade-ins. On a smaller scale, Lexmark (www.lexmark.com) includes a box and prepaid shipping for your old laser-printer cartridge with the purchase of a new cartridge.

Large or small, there's a low-cost way to recycle your outdated hardware and consumables. Just check with the product's manufacturer or the retailer you plan to purchase from.

Three-Ring Circus

Looks like 3-D isn't just for monster movies and cardboard glasses anymore. With the introduction of the Actius RD3D desktop replacement notebook ($3,000, all prices street), Sharp has brought 3-D-monitor technology to the masses. Aimed at early adopters, the notebook offers a glimpse of where display technology is going. No glasses are required, and it switches between 3-D mode and the 2-D we're all used to. Viewers have to find the "sweet spot" to view 3-D images, but the reaction is usually "Wow."

Available applications for taking advantage of 3-D are a little limited right now. A photo editor and a slide-show application come with the laptop. These programs allow you to create your own 3-D images from 2-D photos. Entrepreneurs involved in modeling and design areas may be the first to adopt the technology in growing businesses. Expect 3-D-enabled desktop flat panels to arrive in the not-too-distant future.

Displays aren't the only place where 3-D is popping up. Adobe Systems is pushing its $399 Adobe Atmosphere program for creating interactive 3-D content for the Web. Businesses that like cutting-edge technology could use Atmosphere in e-commerce or for creating collaborative work environments. Visit Adobe (www.adobe.com) and Sharp (www.sharpusa.com) for more information.


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