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Ask Slashdot: How To Donate Older Computers to Charity? 260

Posted by timothy
from the curbside-charity-pickup dept.
yanom writes "My school gave me several circa-2006 computers with no operating system. I fixed them up, and now they run Lubuntu fairly well, making them great internet/LibreOffice/general Linux workstations. I've been wanting to donate them to local nonprofits where they'll go to good use — for example, I've already given several to a local church for them to use in their afterschool care/tutoring program. However, I'm having trouble finding other places where these machines could go to good use. How should I best conduct this search? How can I find nonprofits that could benefit from these workstations?"
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Ask Slashdot: How To Donate Older Computers to Charity?

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  • by xelah (176252) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @11:55AM (#43171849)
    Charities are not a waste disposal service. Have them disposed of properly and safely, and the useful materials extracted and recycled. Even if you find a charity who'll take them, you're just dumpling that problem on them a year or two from now - and, as several other commenters have said, they probably use enough power the charities would be better of buying something newer.
  • Thrift stores (Score:4, Interesting)

    by whizbang77045 (1342005) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @11:57AM (#43171867)
    You might donate them to a local thrift store, along with a printout of how to use Linux (although it seems obvious to me, it may not be to others). For a while, I was checking out and repairing computers for a thrift store associated with our church.

    Some came it with a usable operating system; some had to have one installed. I'd always stick Ubuntu on.

    None of them ever failed to sell. After all, the price was right, and the people usually needed whatever they could get. I felt good about it, because a computer that would have seen the scrap heap got reused. Let's face it: for word processing and simple spreadsheets, it doesn't take that much computer. You can also browse the web, if you stay away from overbloated sites. Email is a no brainer.

    And, if they didn't like Linux, they were free to install Windows or whatever they chose. Given the financial state of a lot of these people, I doubt they could have afforded Microsoft's price. But Linux at least let them see the machine was funcitonal.

  • Criagslist (Score:4, Interesting)

    by NewWorldDan (899800) <dan@gen-tracker.com> on Thursday March 14, 2013 @12:13PM (#43172097) Homepage Journal

    Post them for free on Criagslist. It's possible someone might want them, but I wouldn't count on it. If no one claims them in a week, take them in for recycling. Right now, there's a glut of crappy old single core CPUs out there that no one wants. I've got a few in my basement that I haven't recycled yet.

  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @12:42PM (#43172491)

    They have that now, you know.

    Yes, I did know. But if If they knew the difference between Ubuntu and Android, you wouldn't need to dumb it down.

    We got an old Dell laptop for my daughter, it came with a locked-down corporate install of Vista. After a few hours wrestling with trying to configure it I said fuck it and just put Ubuntu on it and it "just worked" immediately. Predictably, she complained about the funny looking apps but has learnt to use it. Even Libre Office for schoolwork. And now she has an Android phone, she has rooted it so she can install some of the same utilities she has on the laptop... So there is crossover.

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