The question isn't WHETHER to replace -- it's WHAT

This pilot fish's main job isn't IT, but he serves as the local tech guy at a satellite office of his state's environmental agency.

"Last spring we started to deploy the new HP tablets for field usage to replace the old Surface Pro 2s our people were using," says fish. "We even got advanced user training on the new tablets.

"Fast-forward a few months: One of our guys was complaining about his stylus not working with his tablet, so I checked it out and did a little troubleshooting."

First fish tries cross-linking the stylus from his older tablet with the user's newer tablet, and vice versa. Fish's stylus links fine, but the user's stylus won't work with either tablet.

Fish also knows the new styluses need batteries, while the old ones didn't. He checks the voltage on the AAAA battery in the user's stylus and, sure enough, it's not kicking out enough voltage. A quick trip to the battery store for a package of AAAA batteries, and fish returns the tablet and now-working-fine stylus to the user.

"Thanks," user says. Then he drops a bombshell: "Gee, the other IT guys said they were throwing away the styluses that stopped working, and getting new ones."

Fish is stunned. The last time he had to get replacement styluses, they were a lot pricier than a $2 battery. Besides, he thinks, what agency are we working for? The one whose motto is to reduce, reuse and recycle before throwing away, right?

"I sent an email to our help desk about the new styluses needing AAAA batteries," fish says. "Then I requested a case through my manager. The AAAAs should be here in a week. In the meantime, I'm keeping the other battery from the two-pack I bought for myself."

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