Pings & Packets from eWEEK Labs - 11

Cleaning up toxic IT equipment ... Data Deposit Box safely stores info ... Clusters rising.

Cleaning Up Toxic IT Equipment

As eWEEK Labs warned readers a year and a half ago, there are both costs and technical obstacles impeding the reduction of hazardous substances in IT equipment. The European mandate to do so is bearing down with its July 1 deadline, however, and California and other states are imposing their own mandates for recovery and responsible disposal.

Electronic hardware looks like a nice, clean commodity, but building it and discarding it are filthy tasks. According to Worldwatch Institute, the production and normal life cycle of a single 2-gram, 256K-bit RAM chip consumes 72 grams of chemicals, 1.6 kilograms of fossil fuels and 32 kilograms of water. Discarding that chip, and other electronic components, means finding a way to assimilate heterogeneous packages of toxic and carcinogenic substances into an already-overloaded waste stream.

Meanwhile, the impact of discarding our noxious boxes is devastating the landscape and the people in places such as China and Nigeria. Enterprise buyers should expect that sooner rather than later theyll be paying something closer to the full life-cycle cost of production and disposal of the IT equipment that they buy. Those buyers should be engaging with both the manufacturers and the distributors with which they deal to pave the way for "greener" equipment recovery.

--Peter Coffee

Data Deposit Box Safely Stores Info

Data Deposit Box from Acpana Business Systems is a useful online backup utility that caters to small businesses and consumers on a budget.

Its not often that we quote prices in cents, but Data Deposit Box costs 1 cent per month per megabyte of data backed up, so a small-business user or consumer can back up 500MB of data for $5 a month. Users with more than 1GB of data get a 30 percent discount.

Data Deposit Box also bills only for usage, so there are no client licenses required. (Backup software must be installed on each machine using the service.)

The Data Deposit Box client software was easy to install and run during tests, and, because the backup software runs continuously, there is no scheduling to set up. Using the software-based backup interface, I could easily choose which folders and files I wanted to protect on my systems. Data can be restored using the backup interface or by using a Web-based file retrieval tool.

Data is encrypted before it is sent to Data Deposit Box, and it is stored encrypted. For more information, go to

More eWEEK blogs are at

--Henry Baltazar

Clusters Rising

New to the Top 10 this month are Karl Koppers "Linux Enterprise Cluster: Build a Highly Available Cluster with Commodity Hardware and Free Software" and David Littles "Implementing Backup and Recovery: The Readiness Guide for the Enterprise."


Enterprise books for December

1. Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture by Martin Fowler, Pearson Higher Education, $31.30 hardcover

2. Enterprise Integration Patterns: Designing, Building, and Deploying Messaging Solutions by Gregor Hohpe, Pearson Higher Education, $33.71 Hardcover

3. Sun Certified Enterprise Architect for J2EE Technology Study Guide by Mark Cade, Pearson Higher Education, $24.83 Paperback

4. Linux Enterprise Cluster: Build a Highly Available Cluster with Commodity Hardware and Free Software by Karl Kopper, OReilly Media Inc., $32.97 Paperback

5. Enterprise Solution Patterns Using Microsoft .Net: Version 2.0: Patterns & Practices Microsoft, $19.79 Paperback

6. Enterprise J2ME: Developing Mobile Java Applications By Michael Juntao Yuan, Pearson Higher Education, $29.71 Paperback

7. Enterprise JavaBeans, Fourth Edition by Richard Monson-Haefel, OReilly Media Inc., $29.67 Paperback

8. Enterprise Architecture Planning: Developing a Blueprint for Data, Applications, and Technology by Steven H. Spewak, John Wiley & Sons, $67.62 Paperback

9. Enterprise Data Center Design and Methodology by Rob Snevely, Pearson Higher Education, $44.19 Paperback

10. Implementing Backup and Recovery: The Readiness Guide for the Enterprise by David B. Little, John Wiley & Sons, $29.79 Paperback

As compiled for eWEEK by from its sales database, from Dec. 1 through Dec. 31