When Programmers Send Old Computers Into ICU and Palliative Care

My computer and old Operating System have seen better days. Things are crashing almost hourly now. I am so grateful that the original donor was twice able to get this computer back up again (with telephone advice) after a partial freeze and fully appearing meld-down, but it is still malfunctioning online, so I have to shut it down frequently, as the sites I use seem to have updated using technology that is no longer inclusive of XP and my  minimal RAM (adding more would be cost-prohibitive).

I  therefore find myself in critical need of a new computer, even with all the toxicity and adverse health risks involved, and without the time to mitigate them (like running things somewhere else that is also fragrance free, for however long it takes to off-gas everything).

Eeks! image from pixabay 2

Here are some details:

Used computers would work ONLY if they were used in a completely fragrance-free environment (no scented candles or air “fresheners”, etc) by people who never used fragranced products on their hands, body, or laundry (meaning someone with MCS/ES), but could work temporarily if they had a completely fragrance-free history.

Most regular new computers are also too toxic for me, so it rules out all the cheap options, and I ***cannot *** use wireless devices, so have to be able to plug in to the internet (I use DSL here).

As I am housebound and isolated due to severe MCS/ES, I am dependent on a computer and the internet to get my groceries and everything else that requires contact with the outside world.

It seems there is one company that not only manufactures to ROHS standards, but even exceeds them (although I have yet to confirm this is applicable for all their regular “consumer” products in North America).

I have determined my needs in a computer, so that I can access the services and maintain some quality of life, and they are as follows (unless I forgot something):

I am interested in buying an ASUS laptop (as soon as possible) because they have the least toxic ones from what I can find (ROHS etc) but I need to talk with someone who can find the product with all the features best suited for my needs and budget.

I could not find a way to enter the criteria in somewhere to find a matching model.

I am in Ontario Canada.

I need a ROHS certified

ASUS 15″ – 17″ laptop

with metal case,

with as much RAM as possible (I tend to have a lot open at the same time)

I need (minimum) 3 USB ports as I have to use an external wired mouse and keyboard

I connect to the internet with wired DSL (not wireless), so that needs a port of some sort (ethernet?)… and I need to be able to disable all of the internal wireless ‘stuff’ easily so it can’t go on accidentally.

I need an internal camera, microphone, and speakers (ie for skype),

DVD player (I don’t have a tv)

SD? card reader (from my camera)

Adding equipment like speakers or USB hubs would mean more toxic exposures, as the wires especially emit plasticizer and other fumes (even if ROHS certified), so the computer needs to be as simple and inclusive as possible.

Good photo image quality would be a real asset, as I wish to be able to do some artwork and photography in the future.

I also need a new
ROHS certified WIRED external mouse
and a
ROHS certified WIRED keyboard.

(the certs on those would need to be double checked to make sure they are actually stamped on the products themselves, as some vendors say they comply but if there are no labels on the actual product, they don’t comply and they stink)

I don’t know if ASUS has those or if they’d have to be found elsewhere.

These are all MCS/ES disability related needs, or I’d not be writing about it here as I could easily get something cheap but they are all too toxic for me.

Re O/S, I’d prefer not with Windows 8.1 (or so I have been told). If I have to learn W-10, I will need help as I have been using XP.

I’d use the computer plugged in predominantly, so battery life isn’t a deciding factor.

I may have forgotten something, as my lists have been scattered, but this seems fairly complete now.

So first of all, I really need help finding the most cost effective option that offers those features. Looking at all the tech specs online makes my few functional brain cells explode.

Being housebound, and isolated, I have to have access to a computer to order food etc. and find ways to have the things I need delivered if bought over the phone locally…  I also have to be able to research symptoms and what I can do about them if I experience something new, as I don’t have access to healthcare either. And this: safe access to the internet  provides me with the only bit of a social life I can have (due to all the toxic fragrance and other chemicals in laundry and personal care products that people buy and use).

Financially this is not something I have income for due to the limited (below poverty level) disability income I receive,  so I also need  fundraising assistance towards the cost of paying off the computer related credit card charges (and astronomical interest rates if I can’t pay it off in full right away).

I really don’t like asking, but as I have no other options at this time, if you have any  disposable income, and can donate something via paypal, (which I’d have access to after getting a new computer if this one crashes again before that happens) here’s the link:  https://paypal.me/lindasepp

or you can use this link:

PayPal Donate Button

I’ll be forever grateful for your kindness

I don’t have the brain to set up a “go fund me” type thing, and promise to tell people when I have received enough… With great gratitude to those who have already helped, I have received about $250 so far.  ♥

If you know anyone who can get me a really good deal on an appropriate new computer, that would be super helpful too.

Thanks very much.

~ linda

8 responses to “When Programmers Send Old Computers Into ICU and Palliative Care

  1. Stephanie Hundemer

    PLEASE put me in touch with linda. Thanks, Stephanie Hundemer


  2. I can only wish you luck. I don’t understand most of the computer speak that you listed but I do understand all the MCS issues. I have been without a washer for 2 years because I don’t know how to handle all the MCS issues of bringing a new one into my house. Oh what most people take for granted.

    • My next blog post, if I can get it finished (it’s been in drafts for months) is about the VOCs from appliances and electronics…

      I was thinking ASUS had people working for them who knew more than what is on their website, which doesn’t have everything listed, but no… I was offered a model that either can’t be used via wired/ethernet, or doesn’t list the capability on their site…

      And she couldn’t tell me why all the ending #s are different, and a model I am interested in that is listed at some local stores, isn’t on their site either.

      BUT the biggest fail was that NOT ALL OF THEIR PRODUCTS ARE ROHS certified!!! And they are not listed on the sites, so phone calls have to be made…

      This is absolutely MADDENING!!!

      • Sorry about the lack of a washer… I haven’t had one for 6 1/2 years, so I can relate.
        Colleen, you tolerate a lot more exposures than I do, and I’ve been told Speed Queens are the lowest emission washers available, that the bit of fumes they have off-gasses quickly… Maybe something you can look into?
        If I had ventilation in my laundry room, I’d have bought to Canadian version, but as I don’t have any ventilation in there, there’s no place for the offgassing to go except my air and my brain…

      • It would be great if it was required that every person selling an item had to fully understand what was on/in the product. Could you imagine the list of toxic chemicals they would have to know about if they worked in a supermarket?

  3. Little update:

    A very kind cyber friend has ordered a new computer for me, contributing generously to the cost, and allowing me to pay the rest back over time.

    I also received about $250 in donations from other cyber friends in the support groups, so I think about half the total costs are covered now.
    (I reached bandwidth overload so have to wait until I have all the documents etc in front of me to do all the calculations, especially since there’s Canadian-US exchange rates involved)

    The computer that was ordered has a few extra bells and whistles than another one I was interested in (which was out of stock anyway), so it should allow me many years of comfortable computing (as well as a decent sound system to listen to music with!!!)

    It will also need to be off-gassed some unknown amount of chemicals for an unknown period of time… and I have to get (buy if not available for free) all the programs I need for it… and then, when I’ve figured out how to use it, as it has a different operating system I have to learn how to use too, I will hopefully not need another one until we have truly non-toxic ones that are easily available everywhere!

    Having the issue with the air purifier filters is a concern, unfortunately. as I may end up brain dead again for months… I am trying to prepare myself for anything now!

    Ending up with the cognitive prowess of a potted plant for many months is something I don’t cherish at all, but as I just survived and have kind of come out from 5 months of that, primarily due to local pesticide use, I am pretty sure that I would survive somehow again, worse for the wear, but alive…

    Of course, I would welcome a good experience, with minimal to no adverse health effects, or that I recover quickly…

    If ASUS applied all their green standards to everything in North America, that would be great, but they don’t have to, so they don’t. Some of their computers are ROHS certified, (or have components that are) but those specs are in the back of the manuals, not online, and there was no info available regarding the other 31? things they were doing to be less toxic.

    There’s still work to do!

    Wish me luck!

    And help get detox centers until stuff actually doesn’t need detoxing!

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