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I'm not really the one to be answering this, but I found it interesting. First
thank you for contacting us and I hope you keep in touch. I believe there are
really two questions. First it sounds like you are looking for a donation of
old equipment. The various statements raised a number of questions. I have
thought that one would look locally since I felt the shipping cost would be
prohibitive. Maybe I'm wrong. We run a small business but by the time
something goes out the door it no longer works and isn't worth fixing. That
may be why you're not seeing anything. I suppose one could salvage usable
parts and try to assemble a computer. That might be interesting for the club.
There was something in the other post about, "486's just aren't going to be
popular running Windows 95. Anyway, there's no sense wasting this old hardware
that could be put to use". We have two 486's running Windows 95 one dual
booted with Linux. They run fine. The reason I'm saying this is that to do
something effectively one has to determine reality. For the most part it
appears to me that for individuals and small businesses old computers are
handed down or end up in swap meets or something. Very few computers from
these sources end up as donations. I would like to hear other views. For large
companies the story is different. Once the computers are depreciated, they
are candidates for replacement. This leads me to believe that it would be best
to approach larger companies and find out what they do with their old
computers. For example see (http://www.edos.org) and look at the messages.
There is one about computer donations from some company. In another post there
is the statement, "or someone may know of someone tossing out lots of old
equipment and needs a tax write-off". Just to clarify there is no tax write-
off, the computers are already written off. The companies are looking for
someone to haul the computers away for free and perhaps get the publicity of
the donation. Next it sounds like you want to set up one computer running
Linux and connect the others to it. What's not clear is where the Linux
computer is going to be and more importantly how you are going to connect the
other computers to it. More information would be helpful. If you intend to
modem connections at the same time, you will need N phone lines. If you're
going to connect them as a lan, you will need them in close proximity.
>Another intro - I have been watching for only about a week. I am the
>just starting a computer club for K -5 at my son's school, with the
>aim of starting the kids with Logo and looking at the computer as a
>machine rather than a software platform - as this is a club and not a
>class I have the luxury of telling the kids that if they're not
>interested they can go do something else. I really think the normal
>edutainment stuff is a waste of time - of my time, anyway.
>I am responding to this message because I also think that there's a
>lot of older equipment that I can get donated and that would work
>well if configured as terminals.
>> Lastly, I'm trying to figure out ways to use older equiptment. It wasn't
>> that long ago when I thought a 486-100 was a super-computer, and now I'm
>> using a 486-120 and people think I'm in the dark ages. Well the same
>> situation exists for 386s, 286s, and downwards. XTs and 286s won't run
>> Linux, but they could be useful still. Transform them into Terminals and
>> FTP boxes and you've found a use for an old machine. I've seen articles
>> describing how to take old 386s and 486s and turn them into Xterms using
>> Linux, and apparently it's worked out quite well at some universities.
>> It'd be a good use for them seeing as how they just aren't going to be
>> popular running Windows 95. Anyway, there's no sense wasting this old
>> hardware that could be put to use. The question then is what software is
>> available that would allow a DOS machine to talk TCP/IP, run telnet and
>> FTP, maybe even do NFS mounts.
>I'd love to try this, as XTs and 286s are pretty much free now, but
>I'm not being offered even 386s. There are a number of low-income
>kids in the club who don't have anything at home at all, and the
>school doesn't have either the equipment or the space to help with
>this. I'm thinking of setting up one machine with Linux and getting
>the rest to connect either locally or by modem. Any information will
>be gratefully received.