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Friday, October 24, 2008

Whiteboxes in Texas

I came across this interesting article with a long thread of responses.
You all know this topic is dear to my heart, but my heart sank like a rock as I made my way down the thread.

Look at Davidt’s message: Not In Texas, unfortunately
The time got away from me to post a timely reply to his message regarding whiteboxes being illegal in Texas as of September 2008. I did a bit of research and found it’s HB2417 to which he alludes. Bear in mind I am a layman in these matters and do not take what I say as a final word.

House Bill 2417 is an environmental law which will requires recycling of computers by manufacturers. The bill addresses the problem concerning whitebox (or, “no brand”) computers, namely, that they do not bear the manufacturers name. The bill, as I understand it, is not so much that whiteboxes are illegal, but that the manufacturer must identify itself as the manufacturer in some way even if by some means other than the manufacturers name. Ultimately, the law is about ensuring all computers are disposed of in legal, proper
compliance with Texas state law. Manufacturers are required to submit a recycling policy.

My personal (what else could it be, right?) of the law is that it focuses on manufacturers, not individual sole proprietors. If you advise your neighbor in the purchase of computer components over a three month period, assemble it, load software you have just manufactured a whitebox computer. If you built it for yourself that is a whitebox you manufactured. By all means, as a responsible citizen, turn it over to Dell, HP or retailer who are collection centers for recycling at no cost to you.

The Texas business climate is favors entrepreneurs. I believe our current economic times will
have laptop buyer parents looking at desktops for a better bargain. Yes, laptops are quite inexpensive. Desktops are even more. Whiteboxes even more, still.

Go’on. Build you one.

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