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Re: Coming Soon - Computerbank Sydney


I've scattered some comments throughout  regards Bill

  1. Aim of Computerbank

  2. To prevent individuals and communities from falling behind due to a preventable lack of technology.

Have you received a copy of Computerbank Vic inc. constituion - it was done by Clsayton Utz as a nulla bono job for us - it might give you some ideas
    1. Plan of Attack
To refurbish obsolete computer equipment for use by disadvantaged groups and individuals, and groups doing "charitable" works.

Computerbank shouldn’t give directly to individuals, but rather should take instructions from organizations more qualified to assess need.

It would be really great and solve most of your problems if you could get rid of contact with the recipients - if you don't have direct contact who will teach the recipients to use a 'Linux' machine- could you assume that the disadvantaged recipients will be 'Newbies' and that 'Linux' will be a foreign language and that the 'helpful' bloke next door or down the street is running 'Windows'

Computerbank shouldn’t get involved with organizations that are

Would it matter if they passed the gear on to disadvantaged persons - I'd certainly suggest being involved with Visyboard and the Pratt empire - I understand ACTU is doing a great job with Virtual Communities

  1. Premises
Listed below are minimum criteria for premises. Possible places to look include: STARTTS, Northern Sydney Waste Board, Old Hospitals, Army Buildings, Scout halls, Schools etc.
Great stuff - good luck with this one


  1. "Sales" / Shipping & Despatch of Refurbished computers

Can I make the suggestion early that you do sell some - every $50 goes a long way toward buying memory and HDD as well as petrol for the people picking up - there are bills for insurance, electricity, phones , tea, coffee, biscuits, and milk - you'll find them all - don't forget the printing and the photocopier

  1. Define what makes a "suitable" recipient of a computer

Any disadvantaged person - financially,mentally,physically, and any other way you can spell it. I guess the main thing is that they don't have a computer

    Find suitable recipients

    Advertise the service

    Formulate some sort of Distribution policy

    Organizations potentially interested in having some computers may be Work Skills Training Inc and STARTTS.


  1. Steering Committee
Define the nature of regular meetings

Define the goals of a working day

Timetable for getting things happening Define a quorum for getting things decided.

Incorporation: Now / Never / One Day ??


Will we do one off jobs or follow up with service of any kind?

We need people to be responsible for specific areas,

Without people to look after all of these roles, things won’t happen. If one person looks after too many of them, things won’t happen well.
  1. Demo Network
A demo network would be great for demonstrating the benefits of what we do to It would be a good spot to train volunteers and recipient organizations
  1. Collection
We need to come up with a strategy of where / when / how donated hardware is collected.

Will we collect if there are more than a certain number being donated?

Will we refuse to accept machines below a certain specification, or will we remove for suitable disposal for a fee?

There are supposed to be loads of people who are willing to get rid of old computer stuff. Two are

  1. Technical Group

  2. Decide on useful applications and minimal hardware specifications (for example)

    Network Server

    Must Run : SAMBA / NFS / Print Server / Apache / Squid / etc

    Must have as minimum: Pentium, 32MB RAM, 1Gig HDD, Monitor, NIC, Modem

    Low end Client / Terminal

    Must Run : Telnet / email client / browsing / etc

    Must have as minimum: 486, 8MB RAM, 500MB HDD, Monitor, NIC

    Workstation / Standalone

    Must Run : Star Office / CAD / GIMP / email client / browsing/ etc

    Must have as minimum: Pentium, 32MB RAM, 1Gig HDD, 15" Monitor, NIC, Modem

    Decide on suitable distributions / application bundles to meet the objectives

    I also believe it is very important that clients / standalone machines should be useable without any "under the hood" tweaking being required. Refer to Simple End User Linux for details : http://www.seul.org/

I'ts my experience in Melbourne that people are just starting to give us a few Pentiums - the bulk of the machines are 386 with a fair number of 486. 3000 machines made availabel at the end of last year around Australia by the ANZ were  50% 386.

Seek out a program like Newdeal - www.newdealinc.com and you can give these to 'Newbies'

Out of the last 100 machines I picked up less than 5 were Pentium and 60 were 386 -to the people that respnded to our call and gave us junk I still said thank you and cursed as I drove away looking for a place to store the junk. Several of these callers had rung in to say they had Pentiums and 486's - I don't think they knew..

If you can organise to recycle that would be terrific



  1. Volunteers

  2. Obviously people who are willing to volunteer their time and effort to computerbank. To keep people interested enough we need to

    Fill key positions

    Delegate work effectively

    Establish a framework for regular events


  3. Other Points for Discussion
If you can crack it for funding you will certainly not have some of the problems to which I refer - I believe people will join with you in this worthy task - I believe people will support you with donations of equipment - but to really make it wotk in a medium time - you'll need some dough - I'd make it number onde.

regards Bill