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pr opportunity for linux?

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  • Dan Kegel
    http://linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2000-05-21-009-20-PS-MS - http://www.ktvb.com/news/newstory.html?StoryID=1933 mentions that reselling old computers
    Message 1 of 2 , May 21, 2000
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      http://linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2000-05-21-009-20-PS-MS
      -> http://www.ktvb.com/news/newstory.html?StoryID=1933
      mentions that reselling old computers that have Windows
      on them is illegal. I wonder if there's an opportunity here
      to refurbish those old things by putting open source os and apps on
      them...
      --
      Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.
    • Ismet Kursunoglu
      It is a great opportunity for LUG s to get involved. I have personally installed Linux on about a dozen old PC s (deleting all the prior software on them). I
      Message 2 of 2 , May 21, 2000
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        It is a great opportunity for LUG's to get involved. I have personally
        installed Linux on about a dozen old PC's (deleting all the prior software
        on them). I gave away most of these- most recently one to a family who
        would never have been able to afford a new one. (also got them an account
        on LA Freenet for 40 dollars for the year).

        Dealing with PC's that can boot into windows is pretty easy. It is the
        really older PC's that have broken components (main-boards and disk drives
        being the most common points of failure) that are a pain and require time
        and hardware upgrades to get working. Also ran into lots of "dead"
        monitors that came with these systems.

        If we could get over some of these limitations and "recycle" 10 PC's /
        month per LUG that would be about 100 / month that we could "donate". Of
        course there are many political, social, tax and financial issues
        surrounding such a project if it were to scale up- but yes, this is a
        great opportunity for us all.

        Often all a PC might need is some more memory and a larger hard-drive- this
        cost could be carried by the "purchasing" person or group while we could
        donate our technical expertise in installing Open source solutions
        hopefully tailored for the user. (For example we could use this for
        Spanish and Portuguese users http://en.conectiva.com/conectiva/)

        Eventually as this scales up we would need "manufacturing" facilities to
        deal the huge load. Tax exempt status could be one way to approach this-
        of course you could also develop a revenue / profit based company if you
        can sell the value added services of "upgrading" the software along with
        hardware upgrades.

        Another thought would be to give companies or individuals the ability to
        send in the the PC paying for round-trip shipping and a "handling" fee.
        In return they get it returned with custom open source software
        solutions (firewall, print/file server, workstation etc.. it might be
        possible to even remotely administer these boxes using things like
        http://www.wholelinux.com/features.html) Then of course you open up many
        other issues.

        The main limiting factor is having the physical plant available to get the
        project underway. Then of course we need the volunteers, network access
        and financial backing / plan to get started. No doubt getting the
        project to scale could be tough. No doubt many of the
        installations and upgrades could be automated as the various geometries
        and model types are categorized and brought into the "system".

        There even might be other sources of revenue that could be generated- for
        example it might be valuable for hardware manufacturers to gather
        information from the database that we develop regarding hardware failure-
        model # etc...

        I don't know , but with the millions and millions of recycled PC's out
        there it looks like such a project would be very helpful in moving along
        the adoption of Open source software solutions and development. Imagine if
        we could populate the world with these boxes - then we would be
        contributing to Linux and open source projects in a very profound way. It
        would certainly complement and support Linux/Open source development.

        Of course then who would be entitled to these PC's? How is "ownership"
        transferred and then there is always the liability "ball" that gets
        thrown about. ( we could ship them back with no warranty and no support-
        but this might serve to create bad press for Open source and Linux)

        Then the issue comes up as to why the PC is being donated in the first
        place- i.e. is this a business upgrade of a functional PC or is it just
        a 10 year old 386 that was sitting in the basement that may or not boot.
        I wonder of the millions of PC's that are being "trashed", what percentage
        are functional. If it is a large number then this project could quickly
        become overrun with broken systems and we would be left with the cost of
        disposal of potentially toxic components.

        So all in all it looks appealing to just limit ourselves to working with
        folks through our respective LUG's to offer such guidance that would come
        with any "install fest" session to get their "used" PC upgraded to great
        software. Then the individual can deal with the disposition of the
        hardware. This would be a way to grow the membership in our local LUGs at
        the same time increasing public awareness of the potential uses for what
        maybe considered "outdated" PC's.


        Ismet Kursunoglu
        ibk@...

        On Sun, 21 May 2000, Dan Kegel wrote:

        > http://linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2000-05-21-009-20-PS-MS
        > -> http://www.ktvb.com/news/newstory.html?StoryID=1933
        > mentions that reselling old computers that have Windows
        > on them is illegal. I wonder if there's an opportunity here
        > to refurbish those old things by putting open source os and apps on
        > them...
        > --
        > Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.
        >
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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        > Come and buy today and get free shipping!
        > http://click.egroups.com/1/4011/5/_/597299/_/958928787/
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        >
        > Los Angeles Linux User Groups
        > http://www.lalugs.org
        >
        >
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