in the early nineties, due to circumstances outwith its control, the newspaper at which i ply my graphic trade on occasion, ended up with two windows based computers, neither of which were in the best of health at the time. rarely do computers improve with age, and these were no exception, eventually getting to the stage where they were in dire need of replacement. though the board of directors were intent on replacing like with like, those of us who actually have to work with the blighters on almost a daily basis were much more in favour of acquiring apple computers, for that was what had initially brought the paper into the computer age in the first place.
happily, sense prevailed, and we are forever thankful that we've never had to deal with microsoft's operating system ever since. however, when considering the main machine, now a recently purchased 27" imac, it has almost daily need of running adobe indesign, photoshop and illustrator simultaneously, along with scanning software, a word translator, e-mail, web browser and one or two other necessary programmes. therefore, whenever a new machine is purchased (every couple of years), we load it up with as much ram as it will hold. in truth, it's the only sensible thing to do.
apple are notorious for charging alarming amounts of money to fit the memory at the time of ordering. it is far more economical to accept the computer with the base amount of memory and purchase the rest independently. for those unfamiliar with the form factor of random access memory chips, they're surprisingly small, even when offering several gigabytes of usable memory. you could easily fit four of the little chaps inside the average dl envelope (though padding would be a good idea to retain its intergrity while in the hands of the royal mail).
but more often than not, when the memory chips arrive in the office, they've been placed in a cardboard box several orders of magnitude larger than is absolutely necessary, cossetted by either miles of scrap paper or enough bubble wrap or airbags to line a formula one race circuit. i'm sure that, somewhere along the line, the customer is paying for taking up all this excess space in the vans and trucks of the average haulage contractor or mail van. surely economy of space would be miles more pragmatic?
it would, however, be unfair to single out the retailer of computer memory chips alone. only the other day, mrs washingmachinepost received two dvds (we have yet to embrace anything marked blu-ray) from a well-known online retailer, contained within a rather substantially sized cardboard box inside of which was miles and miles of brown paper, occupying a lot more space than taken up by the dvds. one has to wonder where it will all end. or maybe more to the point, where a more sensible degree of compactitude will begin. and just so's you know, i made that word up.
it is of perhaps significant notice that the first i've come across to adopt this common sense approach is simon nash at the green oil company. oil is oil is oil, whether 'real' or synthetic; there's little that can be done to minimise the space such a liquid occupies, but bike cleaner offers an entirely different kettle of chainring bolts altogether. as mr nash pointed out, "most cleaning products are 80-95% water. to reduce the carbon footprint of transport, this latest version of green oil's green clean contains only 300ml of concentrated cleaner."
i was eternally grateful to mr nash that he included this information within the delivered jiffy bag. for when removed from its packet, i had fears that the cleaner had leaked, and fully expected to see thick green liquid dripping onto the sitting room carpet. however, the clever bit, and i do wonder why others have not adopted a similar practice, is that the container need simply be filled with that 80 - 90% water, making it up to a litre. so cotton pickin' obvious now that someone's taken the first step.
however, a lowered carbon footprint is really of no nevermind if the end product is found wanting. the idea here is to replace the standard bottle cap with the included spray nozzle, then smother the errant bicycle (in my case, a rather dirty ibis hakkalugi. getting it very dirty was great fun in the first place) with the green cleaner. it's then a simple matter of leaving it for a couple of minutes before rinsing the bike with water and watch the dirt run off the frame, wheels and tyres. any really grotty bits can be nudged with an eco sponge, then dried off with a handy towel that i found in the bathroom cupboard. end result: one shiny, clean bicycle.
adhering to the mantra that art lies in the details, the two rubber bands holding the spray nozzle to the container are hand cut from reclaimed inner tubes, while the bottle top is also recycled from old containers. i'm glad to see that someone has our best interests at heart. the product does exactly what it says it will, while lightening the postie's delivery load. and i've never heard a postal delivery operative complain about that.
green oil's green clean bike cleaner contains only 300ml of concentrate at point of purchase. retail cost direct from the green oil website is £7.99 with free uk postage.
sunday 2 november 2014..........................................................................................................................................................................................................