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Donate your old computer to kids

Right now there are kids in Austin who can't do their homework properly because they don't have a computer at home. Do you have a spare computer to donate?

We're looking to have about 200 computers in inventory on the day of the installfest. Tom has a team of 50 volunteers broken into four groups -- with tables and chairs supplied by our friends at RGM Advisors. We have image servers. Union Park has given us the 10,000 sqft space. However...

We need more computers.

Every company I've ever worked for has had a back room with a dozen or so computers waiting to go to Goodwill. Most of my friends have a spare computer in their bedroom, closet, or whatever that they no longer use. I'll be bugging everyone of them. Do you have friends and employers with the sameleftovers? Can we have their computers?

We'll make arrangements to get them picked up, or if you want, I'll come pick them up myself. We'll get you a tax receipt. If you have a sizable donation, we'll figure out some additional perks. Just contact me atlynnbender@geekaustin.org or contact Ken Starks athelios@fixedbylinux.com.

Tweeting is appreciated, but.... You tweet this. Your friends retweet it. Thousands of tweets fly. Meanwhile, so many the computers sit in closets waiting for their trip to a junkyard in China.

more striking images of e-waste at

1) If you have a leftover computer or two, send me a note. I'll take it off your hands, and put you on my Christmas list. Did I mention that we're having a party?
2) Can you think of any friends who might have leftover computers? Please tell them about Linux Against Poverty, and give them our contact information.
3) Do you have an employer or former employer with a back room full of decommissioned computers? Please tell them about Linux Against Poverty, and give them our contact information.

This can make a big difference in someone's life. Someone right here in Austin. And it won't cost a cent.



your cut contents here.


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 24th, 2009 12:34 am (UTC)

I'm on the linux against poverty volunteer team. If you have an old computer but don't know how to get your documents and application data properly stored, reply on here or email me @livejournal.com and I'll see about helping get that old computer shaped up and shipped out.
Jul. 24th, 2009 12:40 am (UTC)
Laptops good? I have one thats a few years old and need to have all the junk cleared out, but if thats ok, you're welcomed to it.
Jul. 24th, 2009 01:07 am (UTC)
Specific hardware needs are pretty low and described here:

BUT they are lowering the bar way down for laptops. If nothing else, we can pick it up and and try to do a minimal install. I'll be bringing the same Sony Vaio I carried in college, and that thing barely makes grade.

Do you need some help clearing the junk out or have you got that under control? You can get a 250gig external backup drive for $99 or less at Fry's these days.
Jul. 24th, 2009 01:20 am (UTC)
Actually, the 1TB drives are about $99 at Fry's, at least the one out on Parmer. Fucking insane.
Jul. 24th, 2009 02:19 am (UTC)
Hot damn, that is a great deal!
Jul. 24th, 2009 12:59 am (UTC)
I have a computer I've been looking to get rid of for some time now. I'd love to donate it. I've already transferred the things I need off of it, but I just need to wipe it clean to ensure that none of my information will still be on it. I'm paranoid about these types of things! That's the main reason I haven't done anything with it yet.
Jul. 24th, 2009 01:06 am (UTC)
Linux Against Poverty will be erasing the drives using Dban,, "a self-contained boot disk that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers."

This and other questions are addressed in the FAQ:

I don't know much about it, but I'm pretty sure a magnet will also do the trick. If you have questions about this issue, email lynnbender@geekaustin.org
Jul. 24th, 2009 02:13 am (UTC)

With a strong enough magnet you can crash the heads onto the platter and ruin the drive. You are better off using DBAN. DBAN will wipe your stuff for sure.
Jul. 24th, 2009 02:22 am (UTC)
Thanks, I'd edit the post if I could but it's too late.

Jul. 24th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
I've got an old Mac G4 that I could donate. It can and has run Ubuntu. Acceptable?
Jul. 24th, 2009 02:38 am (UTC)
Totes, can you bring it to the valet the day of the event?
Jul. 24th, 2009 03:58 pm (UTC)
Darn it, I JUST dropped off 2 computers to GoodWill last week! :-/
Good luck!
Jul. 24th, 2009 04:08 pm (UTC)
I've got an older HP Pavilion desktop with an Intel Celeron (1.3GHz/512MB... or thereabouts) however it comes with a CRT monitor and has integrated graphics...

I read the hardware specs on the link above and while this exceeds some of the stated requirements there are others that it does not meet (specifically for the CRT monitor & graphics)...

That being said, I've got Ubuntu Hardy already installed on the desktop so in reality this workstation is pretty much ready to go.

Would this be an acceptable donation?
Jul. 24th, 2009 04:11 pm (UTC)
I'm not running the show, but in my opinion it's absolutely acceptable. just don't bring the CRT, they've got tons of those. To me the monitor donation requirement was stated separately from the computer specs; I'm bringing a similar spec'ed HP pavilion too, but I'm not bringing any monitor with it.

Edited at 2009-07-24 04:12 pm (UTC)
Jul. 24th, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
heh... let's say, theoretically:), taking the CRT off my hands was one of my "requirements"... what then?
Jul. 24th, 2009 07:08 pm (UTC)
Bring the computer to LAP valet.

You can find a home for the CRT at Goodwill, Craigslist, Freecycle, or any numbers of electronics recycling resources in Austin.
Jul. 24th, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
...back in my day, we didn't need computers for homework!

*cough* Sorry. ;) Couldn't resist. Are we really, already, at that stage where kids need computers for homework? That came a lot quicker than I thought it would.
Jul. 24th, 2009 05:53 pm (UTC)
No that's just the pitch. However, we are at the stage where lack of access to a computer at home (or at school, in some neighborhoods) amplifies the already existing socioeconomic divide and drives down the chances of underprivileged children to be successful in an increasingly information/technology driven economy.

Splitting hairs.
Jul. 25th, 2009 03:08 am (UTC)
I completely agree with what your REAL reasoning/mission is as stated in this comment and think that it's totally true, but as a teacher who spends an absolute shitload of time and effort making sure my students without computers can still do my work and do it well, I really resent the wording of your post. Every single teacher I know is sensitive to students who lack resources at home. I'm so sick of people acting like teachers don't care or ignore student problems and then call it "splitting hairs." We work too fucking hard for that.
Jul. 25th, 2009 04:21 am (UTC)
I can't even begin to understand your hostility. I think you're reading a lot more into the original post, and the "splitting hairs" comment than what was there. Also, I did not write the original post. It is copy pasted from the Linux Against Poverty site.

This project has little to do with education so much as the broader problem of the digital divide.
Jul. 25th, 2009 04:57 am (UTC)
The tag line posted makes it sound as though teachers are leaving students stranded, expecting them to complete homework that they cannot do due to resources. I don't care who wrote it, it's incorrect. If it's not about education, why point fingers at schools?

Like I said, I think working against the 'digital divide' is a worthwhile cause. I don't think that setting it up as though schools are the battlegrounds because teachers have unreachable expectations is honest or fair.

I'm hostile because I get SO SICK of people blaming teachers and schools for things that are not remotely their fault. Gets incredibly old.
Jul. 25th, 2009 03:25 pm (UTC)
It sounds like you've had to deal with a lot of thankless parentzillas. I've never heard this type of argument in regards to what's wrong with education, it's mostly that teachers are underpaid and schools are underfunded -- but then I don't have kids and nor do any of my friends. In any case, I am sure this is not what was intended by the pitch that you read. Linux Against Poverty actually started as a mission to send computers to classrooms in Africa, but has expanded to addressing poverty on a local level too. Their hearts in the right place.
Jul. 25th, 2009 01:11 am (UTC)
and you still don't. No teacher can require homework that needs a computer. Any typing usually has some at school access time they can get it done.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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