[clug] giveaway - old PCs

Cameron Patrick cameron at patrick.wattle.id.au
Wed Jun 7 03:47:03 GMT 2006

David Tulloh wrote:

> I looked in to Charity Computers a few weeks ago, I was considering
> volunteering to help them out.  There were several things that I found
> disturbing about their setup, mainly the fact that they are selling the
> computers.

I'm involved in a similar organisation in WA called Computer Angels [1]
and we also sell machines.  I believe the current price is $195 for a
refurbished machine, generally a P3/128mb/4gb with a 17" CRT, pre-loaded
with our software.  At the moment we're shipping something based on
Debian Sarge with XFCE [2], all set up nicely so it'll do all the
multimedia stuff on the web that people expect, as well as work easily
with whatever cameras/scanners/etc they may have without needing to
install additional software or drivers.  Selling machines is
unfortunately necessary since while the hardware we give away is donated
to us and we don't pay our volunteers, we still have to pay for our
rent, power and internet connectivity!

We also offer a training programme for $120, which is six weekly
three-hour sessions covering everything from moving the mouse (bearing
in mind that a lot of our participants have never used a computer
before!) to browsing the web, using e-mail, using a word processor and
spreadsheet.  At the end of the training, participants get to take home
a computer.  Some of them end up with Windows installed by "helpful"
family members soon afterwards, but such is life.  A reasonable
proportion _do_ stick with our Linux system!

There is also a group called Computerbank [3] in the eastern states which
does a similar thing.  Perhaps some enthusiastic CLUGers might want to
get in touch with those guys and set up a Canberra branch.
Unfortunately, there is some degree of politicking involved between
these various organisations and ridiculous amounts of wheel-reinvention.
Hopefully whoever starts something up in Canberra will be able to take
advantage of the work already done by Computerbank and Computer Angels.

*gets down from soapbox*


[1] http://www.computerangels.org.au/
[2] http://distro.computerangels.org.au/
[3] http://www.computerbank.org.au/

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