Linux Against Poverty: Any interest in doing something like this around here?

James Ewing Cottrell 3rd JECottrell3 at Comcast.NET
Wed Sep 30 23:15:28 BST 2009

Craig Younkins wrote:
>> "i vote to give them to schools."
> Public schools won't take them. There's just no chance because they don't
> integrate into the county's infrastructure. And find me a poor private
> school.
> Craig

Exactly! Plus, you would be up against whatever company has the Support 
Contract for the Entire County in Question.

However, I beg to differ on that point "they don't integrate into the 
county's infrastructure". Exactly what do they need to do?

[1] Respond to DHCP
[2] Join a Domain and use it for Authentication
[3] Be able to read and write Windows Shares?

One good group to talk to would be Blair High School in Montgomery 
County. They have what is essentially a College Level Program there, and 
the people there would know some of the County Politics and Issues.

Donation from Individuals is Nice, but if this project is to Really get 
off the ground, we'd need to hook up with the County Dumps Recycling 
Programs. Again, there might be an Established Company that has 
contracted to recycle computers. Montgomery County claims that they 
prosecute scavengers at the dropoff sites.

Don't forget FreeCycle.

The US Government has Strict Rules about Excess Equipment. They do make 
donations, but you'd probably have to be a Registered Non-Profit.

State and Local Governments are probably more lax, but probably have 
some arrangement with the people that supply them in the first place.

Businesses large and small are probably a very good source. Many 
companies couldn't even give away CRTs a few years ago, but it's quite 
likely that most have been replaced by now.

I have mixed feelings about putting CRTs back in circulation, but I 
guess it beats going to the dump.

Track-mice can be had cheaply. And there are $3 keyboards being sold at 

I like the idea of Flash Drives instead of disks, but I doubt that the 
kind of computers that will be donated/recycled will boot from them. 
However, having the system boot from a CD and then run from a USB might 
be OK. Or even boot off a (yuk) floppy.

On a related issue, you might think that non-profits could be easily 
lured away from M$ to Open Source. Wrong. M$ will do whatever it takes 
to stay in a shop, even giving away software, to compete in price with 
Linux. And then they can deduct it as an expense and claim they support 
charities and non-profits.

Finally, there is the problem of distribution. Who gets them? Maybe the 
thing to do is work with local Goodwills and Salvation Armies. They may 
be willing to store and host Reconfiguration Parties if they get to sell 
the computers.

Also, don't forget that cases can be sold for scrap metal.


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