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'Community Computer Recycle' Scheme

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Presentation to Rotary

Had a chat to the 'Rotary Club of Mount Gambier Inc' recently about this scheme. They made me feel special and were interested in the recycle scheme. The presentation took the following course

Community Computer Recycling
Grant High School

Community benefits

  • Reducing landfill
  • Slowing down the impact of the digital divide
  • Increased awareness of Open Source software

Student benefits

  • Practical computer technician training
  • Learn to do things for others
  • Learn that they have skills that others need

Assess donated computers

  • Do they work?
  • Do they meet our minimum specifications?
  • Are there usable parts that can be salvaged?
  • Other parts are recycled via KD's group to a scrap metal re cycler.

This is an already established system within the school

  • Buildfest - Students build computers
  • Donations usually come with no Windows license and students need exposure to Open Source alternatives
  • Computers are built and a distribution of linux is installed

Students train computer recipients

  • When computers are given away the students provide the recipients with basic use instruction
    • switch on and off
    • load programs
    • edit, format
    • save and load data files
    • etc.

Current computer configuration

  • Ubuntu linux (Debian derivative)
  • Open Office
  • GIMP
  • Games that are distributed with Ubuntu distro
  • Computers need to have 64MB memory
  • Memory and 2gig+ hard drives are in short supply
  • Computers need to be min. Pentium 266MHz


  • There is a growing body of students who want to develop computer technician skills but do not learn well from theory.
  • Their learning needs to be practical based.
  • This used to be the domain of the 'geek'.
  • Useful for students to learn to do things for others.
  • Useful for students to feel that they have developed skills that are useful to others


  • Bench in existing computer laboratory.
  • Had to get power and network to this bench so that the room could be used for normal classes and this technician class.
  • $1800 - received $500 from Lions

Storage Facilities

  • Old Girls Toilets.
  • Need to work on a better storage area and system for the project.
  • Best option is to install a compactus in our IT storage room


  • Awareness
  • Too big for just my school at this time - would be good to involve more people
  • Miss out on potential grants because not inc. body
  • Storage is an issue
  • A way of reducing the quantity of junk donations without creating a management burden
    • Currently have mid forties on list for a computer and have given away eight
    • Spend a lot of time sifting junk


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