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Address: 19#, Haoxin street, nanchen village, daojiao town, dongguan city. Guangdong province  China.
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Why you should keep the box next time you buy electronic gear

Why you should keep the box next time you buy electronic gear

Techno Logic By Blaine Kyllo

Publish Date: October 25, 2007

I'm a technophile, a gadget guy. I like my electronic toys. I've got computers and handheld devices, personal digital assistants and mobile phones, digital music players and video-game consoles, receivers and televisions.

But having an interest in such things means that I have to deal with the boxes the electronics are shipped in. Recycling the boxes is not an option because if I need to move, I want to make sure that my expensive toys are protected, and the smartest way to do that is by transporting them in their original boxes.

That's the reason retailers tell high-definition-television buyers to keep the box until the warranty period has ended: the best way to ship the unit from your house back to the store or repair facility is in that box, with the original packaging. How often do you find boxes that measure five feet by three feet by six inches?

When I was living on my own, the solution for storing so many boxes was to create a box tower behind a door. The tower prevented me from fully opening the door, but it occupied little floor space and kept the boxes mostly out of the way. Mostly.

Before my wife and I moved in together, the box tower was deconstructed. I put each electronic device in its original box, with the Styrofoam and packing wedges that had kept it secure when it left the factory. Because of this, each precious component arrived at the new apartment safe and sound, and stacking the boxes in the back of the truck was far easier than figuring out how to arrange a half-dozen awkwardly shaped machines.

My wife didn't comment when I erected the tower in our new, shared space. Over the years, as I added electronics to the collection–DVD recorders, digital-video recorders, more computers, new monitors–the tower grew to reach the ceiling. I was able to achieve some space efficiency by putting the boxes from smaller devices, like my latest cellphone, inside the boxes of larger ones–the newest colour printer–but that was a temporary fix. It's a good thing our apartment has 12-foot ceilings.

Living with the tower was easy enough for me, because I simply chose not to see it. It was there, but I didn't see it.

But the time came when the box tower was almost as wide at the base as it was tall, and even I was having difficulty ignoring it. The six-foot-long box for our new flat-screen television finally brought about the end of the tower. It just had to go.

But what could I do? Disposing of the boxes wasn't an option because the likelihood of us moving again is too great, and if the equipment needs to be transported more than a couple of feet, I want it to be secure.

Flattening the boxes to slide under the bed wasn't a solution either; we'd be stuck with an indistinguishable mass of Styrofoam pieces that the equipment was shipped with–padding that's as important as the boxes themselves. If we tossed them, when we moved we'd need something else to fill up the empty space around each piece of equipment. That's a lot of popcorn. The storage locker in our building wasn't any help, such was the volume of boxes we were saving.

The solution we settled on was to rent a storage locker at a local facility. Although the space we rented is supposed to accommodate the contents of a one-bedroom apartment, it is nearly full of empty boxes.

This may seem extravagant, but if you spend as much money on such things you'll face the same problem. In a sense, the small monthly fee for a storage locker amounts to an insurance payment against a cracked LCD screen.

I've been trying to come up with a set of rules for which boxes I keep, especially as my storage locker is already nearing capacity. Not all electronic devices need to be transported in their original boxes. The cardboard and packing foam for smaller devices such as MP3 players, components like flash memory drives that are more robust, and printers and other easily stackable units can be recycled.

Disposing of older devices and their boxes when replacements are added to the collection is another option. After all, how many cellphones or music players does one person need? But because personal information is often embedded in the chipsets and hard drives, you'll need to be careful about selling off older technology on eBay or Craigslist.

However, these units may be only a year or two old. Even if you've replaced them, they're far from ready for the junk pile. Besides, having a first-generation iPod is something of a status symbol for some of us, even if it doesn't work anymore. But your castoffs might be of use to someone else: consider giving your older computer to a women's shelter, or your previous-generation iPod to the children's ward of a local hospital.

The simplest–and cheapest–way to deal with the box tower would be to stop acquiring electronic gadgets so regularly, but I know myself well enough not to attempt that solution. It's best to set goals that are achievable.

Here's a suggestion for urban storage facilities: set aside some space to rent out to all the new HD–television owners. Not everyone is as out of control as I am, and most people don't need a personal, locked room in which to stash a box. Instead of paying $150 a month for a locker, I bet more than a few urbanites would pay $5 a month to be able to toss their box into a common corner. It might not be Babel, but to me there's something comforting about the thought of everyone in Yaletown contributing to the construction of a tower built from the empty boxes of their expensive televisions. We just don't have enough shared experiences like that anymore.

| 发布时间:2011.03.10    来源:    查看次数:787
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