The staffs in the office got new laptops last year (thanks to the government’s PIC grant) but the stockpile of old hardware became an eyesore. What should I do with them?
I found out that one of my friend’s a volunteer worker and needed computers for needy families, so I decided to spend my NDP weekend sorting out them out. I thought it was going to be an easy job, but turned out it burned my entire weekend.
Me and my wife started late Saturday afternoon and missed the National Day Parade. We worked till 12:30am and decided to continue again on Sunday (today), and it’s still not yet done. There’s still two more computers in the queue.
The problem was that the computers left sitting started to degrade — CD/DVD drives, hard drives, motherboards, graphic cards all started to fail. So the tip here is that if you have a computer you do not want any more, wipe it ASAP and donate. Some of these computers are over 10 years old (Pentium 3!), so it was amazing to see them still working.
I was also impressed by how well the old HP desktops held up after 14 years. These thick, sturdy steel cases must have been galvanized because there’s not a single speck of rust on them. Machines (including servers) these days are no longer made to such high standards and feel flimsy.
There were also old networking equipment up for grabs, but I could not see how a needy family would need a 24-port switch, so I found another friend who might have a use for it by sending it to schools in Cambodia.
The last problem I need to solve would be to get working software into these machines. Some of the PCs had OEM Windows XP (luckily we kept all the original CDs).
Update: The list of hardware to be donated have been distributed and they have been collected, albeit slowly. But it definitely feels good to know that it is going to somebody who needs it, rather than a karang-guni man who will probably just scrap it for parts.