I’d be happy to take that off your hands

In the not too distant past, I was manning the reference desk, listening to a man say he had to come to the library to use the computers because his laptop was so badly infested with viruses that he had to throw it away. “You threw it away?” I asked, incredulously. “Yeah, it’s worthless now.  I can’t use it.  I’m just going to throw it away.” Realizing he hadn’t actually thrown it away yet, but was willing to, I glibly asked if he’d throw it my way.  He looked at me incredulously at the same time I realized there was Continue reading I’d be happy to take that off your hands

The harsh reality about aging computers

In preparing for Software Freedom Day (September 19, more details in this post), my dad and I began evaluating the stash of donated computers he has (he’s waiting on a call from the local Computers for Kids program donee), and installing Ubuntu on them to be demo machines.  As we began installing Ubuntu, we hit a snag:  Ubuntu 9.04 will not install on pre-2000 computers.  Version 8.10 wouldn’t install either.  There were only three, and one of them was only 366 MHz, but I figured I’d give it a try anyway since they each had at least 256 MB of Continue reading The harsh reality about aging computers

Frankenfest followup

We sorted a lot of stuff that day. A lot of people unloaded a lot of electronics.  About a third of it went to recycling (there is a recycling station near us that takes electronics).  We built three awesome systems, and the rest was divvied up among whoever wanted it.  Most of it ended up in my Mom’s garage.  She had been ecstatic as we hauled things out of her garage that morning.  We brought back about 2 to 3 times as much as we took. She only said, “That’s going to be gone when the guests arrive (for Christmas)?”  Continue reading Frankenfest followup

Frankenfest

It was Kevin’s idea. At a PBLUG meeting held at Nova Southeastern’s North County campus in Palm Beach Gardens, he suggested it. Frankenfest?  What’s a Frankenfest?  Kevin explained it’s when people bring whatever computers or computer parts they have laying around to an event where you (those attending the event) build whatever you can from what you have. Kevin had a motive.  He had a garage full of computers and parts, and his wife was not happy about it, but he couldn’t bring himself to just pitch them. Of course we were intrigued by the idea.  Especially me.  I kept Continue reading Frankenfest