[svlug] worthy uses for old computers

Alvin Oga alvin at mail.Linux-Consulting.com
Fri Nov 2 13:58:00 PST 2007


hi ya 

> Larry Colen wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 01, 2007 at 08:34:12PM -0700, Akkana Peck wrote:
> # Darlene Wallach writes:
> # > many people who have no computer at all and cannot
> # > afford to buy one - maybe a recycling center that
> # > puts Linux on it and gives it out to people/communities.

one should think about this seriously ... or so i think ...

how much is costs of (hard) goods ?? 
	zero, because people give you their old PCs 
	which is a major cost issue for making $$$ at recycling

how much can you sell it for ?? ( to make a living )
	as little or as much as you like .. some folks are finicky
	on pricing and "new-ness of the recycled widgets

the trick variable is how much time is needed to do the debugging and
refurbish costs to make it look new or usable
	and a big ole warehouse to store all this "junk" ..

the problem is most schools want the latest greatest pc
and not these "recycled looking" old klunkers ( door stops )

the keyboards and mouse with dirt/mudd doesn't fly too good either

the svga screen has to be color capable too and nowdays nobody
likes them phosphorous stuff 

there are folks making 7-figures of income doing this recycling stuff

> # Are there any such programs in silicon valley, by the way?
> # I know there's at least one in Oakland, and the school project
> # in San Francisco, but I've never heard of anything in our area.

i've been collecting some odds-n-ends along the way ...
some ( 2 ) are dual-xeon class machines ..

most all of these old giant monsters can be hammered to fit into 1U 
or 2U rackmounts or 1.5U rackmounts 
( i/we make small 9"deep rackmounts or monster 30TB per 4U rackmounts )

some will even work off +12v atx power adaptors so the big ole
monsters will be as small as 10" rackmounts or smaller

- problem is it takes time to see which old PCs still boot and
  which boxes has problems with bios, vga, keyboard, nic, pci-cards, etc

- and people like to complicate things with their favorite distro
  ( aka kernel and module problems vs whacky hardware problems )

- i have access to another 200 - 300 old PCs but i've been telling
  them its too much ... who's got the time to work on it .. not me

- testing old PCs can easily be done with a customized diagnostic 
  bootable usb-stick or bootable cdrom .. 
  ( why bother installing stuff for testing if it properly powers up )

c ya
alvin




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