[sf-lug] Computer Zombies

Asheesh Laroia asheesh at asheesh.org
Thu Mar 6 17:42:33 PST 2008

On Thu, 6 Mar 2008, Charlie Wheeler wrote:

> Hi,
> My name is Charlie Wheeler and I work for a small group that was 
> purchased about three years ago by a large educational publishing 
> company.


> I'm a Linux enthusiast, and I noticed that you did some install-fests, 
> so I am writing you to see if you (or SF-LUG) might be able to help me, 
> or give me some advice on dealing with some of the computers at our 
> office that have been put out to pasture.


> Basically, they're just sitting there. It's true, of course, that some 
> of them aren't in good shape and have been canibalized. But, 
> surprisingly (to me at least) most of them are fine, older P4, desktops, 
> servers, laptops with plenty of memory (256MB-2GB). I suggested that we 
> donate them, but because schools are our clients, it's a conflict of 
> interest for us to donate these machines to schools. So, I'm looking for 
> a 3rd party to donate them to. Also at issue is the hard drive, or 
> rather what's on it.

Right, erasing that would be nice.  Just boot them from some Live CD and 
zero it out, or use "Darik's Boot and Nuke" (hilarious name, I think): 

> I volunteered to do a proposal. My plan is to install Ubuntu on the 
> machines (mostly Dells)and find a non-school that takes donations, and 
> recycle the ones that aren't working. I could use some suggestions, in 
> particular, who might be interested in these machines, and whether this 
> will be an inordinate amount of work for me.

You might consider donating them to ACCRC.  That way, you've given them to 
someone who will consider where to put them; that organization isn't a 
school, it's just a friendly neighborhood non-profit.

> My co-workers kind of poo-poo'd the idea and suggested we pay a company 
> to recycle them. It seems weird to just let these computers rot when 
> they could be useful to somebody.

Either way, I hope you recycle them.  (Having said that, I would be open 
to taking one of these laptops if they still work....)

-- Asheesh.

May you have many handsome and obedient sons.

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