Search is on for London's oldest PC

Is your company running a machine so antiquated that it belongs in a museum? If so, this is your chance to land a free upgrade

IT equipment supplier Kinitron is searching for the oldest personal computer still being used by a London business.

The company has promised to reward the lucky owner with a brand-new PC plus a year's technical support -- an offer that could send IT managers rummaging through their stockpile of aged and dusty machines.

In order to qualify, the PC must be based on an Intel processor and must still be performing a 'regular business function' within the M25.

"Technology is constantly evolving and successful businesses need a modern and efficient IT system to handle day-to-day activities and help drive growth," said Dr Xeno Andriopoulos, Kinitron's managing director. "Yet old equipment and outdated software provides such poor performance levels that not only does it hinder how a business operates, but it also makes life very stressful for people using it."

So, if your staff are still using any Pentium or P2 machines, or if your print server is a 486 box running Linux, drop Kinitron a line at before 17 September, 2004.

Many companies upgraded their PCs five years ago when there were concerns that old machines would fall victim to the Millennium Bug. This equipment is now reaching the end of its effective life, and some 220 million PCs are expected to be replaced by the end of next year.

There are concerns about what will happen to the machines that are replaced, and fears that this could cause serious environmental problems as PCs contain several toxic elements.

The WEEE directive, which comes into force before the end of this year, will make manufacturers and consumers more responsible for the disposal of old PCs -- which could force PC prices upwards.