Personal computers contribute significantly to the growing problem of electronic waste. Every computer, when finished with, must be stored, dumped, recycled, or somehow re-used. Most are dumped, at a huge cost to health and the environment, as their owners succumb to the desire to keep up with the ever-increasing power of new computers. Supercomputers and computer clusters provide more power than ordinary desktop and laptop computers, but they too are subject to rapid obsolescence. The authors have built a cluster of obsolete computers and have found that it easily outperforms a fairly standard new desktop computer. They explore how this approach can help to mitigate e-waste, and discuss the advantages and limitations of using such a system.
International Journal of Information Systems and Social Change Vol. 1, Issue 1, p. 1-10