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Wednesday, May 31, 2006, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

Briefly: computer take-back program, OS X 10.4.7

Apple Computer is kicking off its free computer take-back program this week. Meanwhile new builds of the company's forthcoming operating system update are also making the rounds.

Free computer take-back begins

Apple on Wednesday announced the launch of its free computer take-back program, offering US customers environmentally friendly recycling of their old computer when they buy a new Mac.

Beginning today, the Apple Store online store and Apple retail stores will give US customers the option of recycling their unwanted PCs, regardless of the manufacturer.

The program was announced back in April of this year.

When a customer chooses to participate in the program, Apple will send an email with instructions and a label for free shipping and recycling. Customers will need to simply package their recyclable equipment and attach the label provided.

All equipment received by the program will be recycled domestically and no hazardous material is shipped overseas, Apple said.

Through its recycling programs, Apple has processed more than 21 million pounds of electronics worldwide since 1994. The company also offers a free iPod recycling program through its US retail stores, which offers customers 10 percent discount incentive on the purchase of a new iPod.

New Mac OS X 10.4.7 builds

Just before breaking for this past holiday weekend, Apple released to developers a second round of pre-release Mac OS X 10.4.7 software builds, according to reports.

The new builds are listed as Mac OS X 10.4.7 build 8J2115 (Intel) and Mac OS X 10.4.7 build 8J115 (PowerPC). There appear to be no major issues with the software and a release looks ripe for shipment sometime next month.

Mac OS X 10.4.7 is expected to deliver bug fixes and enhancements to a broad range of Mac OS X components, including Mail, Safari, Synching, and iChat.