[GLLUG] Recycling computers with Linux

DL Neil GLLUG at GetAroundToIt.co.uk
Thu Nov 10 02:11:42 UTC 2016

Is there a way to offer recycled computers for sale to 'Joe Public', 
which takes care of relative ignorance (of Linux) and embodies both 
realism/common sense and ethically-sound principles?

I give my 20% time to the local Hospice who raise funds through 
'OpShops" and by holding a weekly yard-sale of items generously donated 
by locals for locals... The funds-raised approximately double the number 
of nurses and counsellors 'provided' by government funding, to provide 
palliative care of patients and their families.

The donated computers have all been WinXP or Vista driven, and of that 
vintage. Clearing the HDD is a requirement. Re-installing the OpSys is 
the easiest way to do this, but with WinXP being loyally-unsupported, 
seems unsound - to say nothing of time-consuming. A Linux installation 
has the potential, both to give the machine a new life and to provide a 
secure and capable computing environment.

Do you think that members of the public (cf 'us' computer enthusiasts 
and professionals) might be perfectly happy to purchase a machine they 
know to have only modest capabilities, running a familiar-looking web 
browser, email client, word processor, etc?

Thereafter, expecting such people to understand the implications of 
Linux cf MS-Win is but a fantasy - even the garage sales manager who 
suffered through the COBOL and FORTRAN 101 courses I enjoyed so much, 
all those decades ago, and who uses a PC every day, confesses a lack of 
appreciation... Accordingly, we wouldn't want folk buying a box and then 
attempting to add some MSFT-compatible package purchased from Argos, et-al!

Such machines are likely to sell for less than $100, definitely in the 
low hundreds, even for a 'big one'.

I have a backlog of at least seven, and the 'arrival rate' seems to 
average one or two monthly.

So, whilst I would appreciate advice about the methodology of preparing 
a viable user-image which could then be rapidly copied/ghosted onto the 
various sizes of old HDDs; what's really occupying my mind is the 
customer-relations and reputational aspects of ensuring yard-sale 
customers know what they're getting into (and how little).

Will welcome any and all advice, particularly that born of experience...


More information about the GLLUG mailing list