I am out on the Makah Indian Reservation at Neah Bay (widely known for its Shi Shi Beach trail access). The last time I came here, I gave my old laptop, which I had wiped of personal files, to a 25-year-old Native American woman.
She text messaged me a month later to tell me that she had begun attending college online thanks to this laptop, which would otherwise have been sent to a recycling agency and probably shipped to China to be melted down for its minuscule bits of gold. That made quite an impression on me.
Do any of you have functioning computer equipment that has been hanging around, unused, in your basement or home office? Do you know of anyone else who does? I have met the Makah's computer support technician, who rehabs computers for just this purpose. It makes a real difference — for school kids, would-be entrepreneurs, lonely isolated people, would-be college and grad school students, and elderly folks hoping to speak with family members scattered by circumstance and the economy. It doesn't cost you a thing, and can even save you the recycling charge.
I am going to be in Seattle on Monday, May 11th and Tuesday, May 12th, when I would be happy to come to your home and pick up your unwanted equipment. If you would like to post this computer drive request to your work place's internal bulletin board, please do so — I can stop by offices and other areas. Please forward this email to as many people as you like. I also, come into Seattle often so if you can't make this date, email me and I'll come by my next time through town.
1) Each monitor must go with a functioning modem and keyboard, unless the monitor is a newer flat screen.
2) If the computer is infected with a virus, please disclose that with a post-it note on the computer.
3) Please only donate equipment that can be salvaged; working poorly is ok. Working not at all is not.