It’s been six years since I bought my Dell laptop. In that time I’ve purchased a new battery. But last year the track pad went, the left control key does not always work, and I kept getting low memory warnings on the 30 gig drive. And, it was really slow.

I had been hesitant to buy a new laptop. Although it would be faster and have more memory, allowing me to do cool things, I doubted that I could purchase something of the same quality that would last another six years.

After meeting Mark Beckley, aka The Green Machine, I decided to upgrade my laptop instead–it’s high quality hardware and using a wireless mouse and camera/microphone for Skype does not bother me.  For about $300 I tripled my memory, vastly increased the operating speed, had the computer set up properly, and received great advice. My processor had too many things going on. Did I need Windows 7? No, I did not.

I am now able to join Webex and GoToMeeting, work with Windows Moviemaker,  and my Windows XP Professional now converts dot x files easily. I have a ton of new programs I was not able to download before, and it’s every bit as fast as a new computer. Any bugs picked up in cyberspace are gone, Beckley properly vaccinating my machine with all the protection it needed and lacked.

Beckley said this upgrade should last for at least two years. And if my keyboard breaks down further, he can easily replace it, thanks to the fact I bought a high quality laptop in the beginning.

After an upgrade like this, you need to re-download certain programs on your own. There were some set up issues with transferring email and losing some Internet settings–I had to remember or find all my passwords–but all is set now and I am happy that my first laptop is enjoying incredible longevity, my ewaste responsibilities pushed off for a few more years.

The best part? A lot of folks that I work with used to have my same laptop and remark about my old technology, little snickers here and there, even though my RAM and ROM are now totally comparable to their current laptops. Meanwhile, their batteries run out in less than 2 hours and they can’t finish their work or worse, the meeting we are in. “Oh that’s too bad,” I tell them. “But my battery lasts over four hours, so why don’t we complete the presentation on mine?”

When I’m ready, The Green Machine can build a custom computer that will last a lifetime–needing only its motherboard and other innards replaced or upgraded once and a while.

Got ewaste? Check out “events” at the SouthShoreCelebration.com for the October 8th collection at the Marshfield Fairgrounds.

Listen to the podcast from The Green Quick Fixes 5 on WATD.