[clug] giveaway - old PCs

nick.middleton at bit.net.au nick.middleton at bit.net.au
Wed Jun 7 07:41:27 GMT 2006

Just on this topic, below is an email that a friend of mine sent to me,
after i showed her a couple of the emails re Charity Computers:

Nick in response to those emails...you might want to write back and tell
them of my experience...I rang..told them my situation...full-time
student, centrelink income and single parent ..and my needs and the
importance of them...I was told at the time approx 2 years ago that....the
cheapest they had that could basicly even function on the web much less
deal with anu journal and data base sites and searches was $700 and that
didn't include very much at all...they also would only accept cash
upfront...the average person on centrelink is flat out raising $50 up
front...I asked if they let people pay things off and it was no
go....Anyway as you know I looked around and found it was
better...cheaper...more functional and reliable to get one on a rental buy
Anyway after reading those emails there are several issues involved that I
think some of the people in the IT industry may not be so aware of and I
thought might be interested.

...As stated...the overpricing of basic machines with no software.
...The lack of negotiation (given these prices) on time to pay.
...A total lack of needs matching...that is, a student at UNI or similar
will have a greater need for system size and reliability than someone
using it for a bit of searching, emails and writing letters.
...Lack of information given to 'clients' regarding what is appropriate
for their needs.
...Lack of information given to 'clients' regarding system protection
while on the web...but just as importantly, many single parents etc may
not be aware of the danger to children and should be informed of issues
regarding both their own and their children's safety.
(The former is not patronising, many of the people who these groups deal
with have no IT background what-so-ever nor friends who can assist with
information or training).
...Another overlooked issue is that people on extremely low incomes have
no means of paying for repairs so the machines reliability must be sound
(not the fee for repairs as charity does, even if they sold it to you).

Anyway these are just some of the basic issues I believe need addressing
and from my personal experience are not...I'm actually very concerned with
the situation and am pleased that others have independently noticed what
occurs in many areas of the lives of those most in need (in this case
computers).  I also can see no reason why, if there are so many people
with unrequired equipment and expertise why people cant get together. 
This stuff can  be centrally listed, stored and then matched to
individuals needs at very low costs.   Some costs if not all can be
recouped by nominal charges which many in need are and would be, more than
happy to pay when they know they are not being ripped off.  Yes, it would
require the time of some individuals, which I'm also sure, given the
responses, is possible to get and of great need to many.

Just thought you might be interested in the non-IT point of view.



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