[GLLUG] Recycling computers with Linux

Marcus Harriott marcusjharriott at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Nov 10 08:13:23 UTC 2016

On 10 Nov 2016, at 02:10, DL Neil via GLLUG wrote:

> 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...
> -- 
> Regards,
> =dn
> _______________________________________________
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> GLLUG at mailman.lug.org.uk
> https://mailman.lug.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/gllug

Hi Neil,
Im a newbie to Linux and still struggling a bit.....
Do i understand that you have redundant laptops with linux installed?  
I have a PC for my mail running linux (unsuccessfully at the moment)  
and i want to experiment with a linux (only) laptop to be run  
alongside my mac while i get my head around linux. I dont want to  
spend £5-800 (which is what the entry level to linux seems to be) and  
installing linux myself on a laptop is very difficult (BIOS locks  
these days)
So i would welcome the opportunity to buy a ordinary laptop with  
running linux on board...... Let me know if you have one. (for cash)
Im in Croydon area.


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