OT? Reuse of older hardware


#1

Hi all,

Not sure if this is off-topic for this group… More and more, things are
now being done on the web. The popularity of the Chrome-Book proves that
there are many people who mostly use their laptops on the web.

I’m not seeing any major effort to repurpose older computers for
Chrome-book type systems. I was able to install the Chromium Browser with
hangouts on Puppy Linux http://puppylinux.org, and created a distro that
would give new life to 10 year old laptops.

Wouldn’t these work in poorer countries and help bridge the digital divide
in richer countries?

I tried a while back, to get some Washington DC non-profits interested in
doing this to save eWaste, but didn’t get any traction. Any ideas from this
group?

~sanjay

··· -- Sanjay Jain Nonprofit Database Specialist AGH Strategies (202) 248-6400 phone (202) 521-1363 fax aghstrategies.com

#2

Hi Sanjay,

In my experience out-of-tech computing equipment tends to be more of a cost than it’s worth. Inveneo did a great white paper on the topic called “Cheaper than Free” that laid out the costs associated with donated computers compared to buying new ones. Old computers tend to take more power (which is expensive when it comes from generators or solar), are difficult to repair (lack of parts), certainly are closer to end-of-life on expensive and hard to find parts (like batteries).

In addition, most of the places I work, steady reliable Internet is still a long way off, so depending so heavily on Internet connectivity as Chromebooks do can be a deal breaker.

I’m sure there are cases where a Chromebook like device makes sense—maybe a lab environment with a local proxy server with the needed content so terminals can be stateless and just contain browsers.

Though I suspect in those cases, buying a state-of-the-art (and very cheap) Chromebook would be more cost effective than repurposing old laptops.

··· -- Jeff On March 25, 2015 at 1:13:45 PM, Sanjay Jain (sanjay@aghstrategies.com) wrote:

Hi all,

Not sure if this is off-topic for this group… More and more, things are now being done on the web. The popularity of the Chrome-Book proves that there are many people who mostly use their laptops on the web.

I’m not seeing any major effort to repurpose older computers for Chrome-book type systems. I was able to install the Chromium Browser with hangouts on Puppy Linux, and created a distro that would give new life to 10 year old laptops.

Wouldn’t these work in poorer countries and help bridge the digital divide in richer countries?

I tried a while back, to get some Washington DC non-profits interested in doing this to save eWaste, but didn’t get any traction. Any ideas from this group?

~sanjay


Sanjay Jain
Nonprofit Database Specialist
AGH Strategies
(202) 248-6400 phone
(202) 521-1363 fax
aghstrategies.com

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “ICT4D Principles” group.
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#3

Jeff,

What are your thoughts on combining Chromebooks with the BricK? (www.brck.comhttp://www.brck.com/)

G

Gwendolyn S. Andersen, MBA, MA | Senior Clean Energy Economist| Abt Associates
4550 Montgomery Ave Suite 800 | Bethesda, MD 20814-5342

··· O: 301-347-5978 | Twitter: @gsa0939 | Gwendolyn_Andersen@abtassoc.com [Description: Description: Description: Description: http://abtnet.cam.abtassoc.com/downloads/AbtBrand/abt_assoc_logo_tag_web/abt_assoc_logo_tag_2line_web_277w96h.png] www.abtassociates.com

From: ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com [mailto:ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Jeff Wishnie
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 5:22 PM
To: ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com; Sanjay Jain
Subject: Re: [ICT4D Principles] OT? Reuse of older hardware

Hi Sanjay,

In my experience out-of-tech computing equipment tends to be more of a cost than it’s worth. Inveneo did a great white paper on the topic called “Cheaper than Free” that laid out the costs associated with donated computers compared to buying new ones. Old computers tend to take more power (which is expensive when it comes from generators or solar), are difficult to repair (lack of parts), certainly are closer to end-of-life on expensive and hard to find parts (like batteries).

In addition, most of the places I work, steady reliable Internet is still a long way off, so depending so heavily on Internet connectivity as Chromebooks do can be a deal breaker.

I’m sure there are cases where a Chromebook like device makes sense—maybe a lab environment with a local proxy server with the needed content so terminals can be stateless and just contain browsers.

Though I suspect in those cases, buying a state-of-the-art (and very cheap) Chromebook would be more cost effective than repurposing old laptops.


Jeff

On March 25, 2015 at 1:13:45 PM, Sanjay Jain (sanjay@aghstrategies.commailto:sanjay@aghstrategies.com) wrote:
Hi all,
Not sure if this is off-topic for this group… More and more, things are now being done on the web. The popularity of the Chrome-Book proves that there are many people who mostly use their laptops on the web.

I’m not seeing any major effort to repurpose older computers for Chrome-book type systems. I was able to install the Chromium Browser with hangouts on Puppy Linuxhttp://puppylinux.org, and created a distro that would give new life to 10 year old laptops.
Wouldn’t these work in poorer countries and help bridge the digital divide in richer countries?
I tried a while back, to get some Washington DC non-profits interested in doing this to save eWaste, but didn’t get any traction. Any ideas from this group?
~sanjay


Sanjay Jain
Nonprofit Database Specialist
AGH Strategies
(202) 248-6400 phone
(202) 521-1363 fax
aghstrategies.comhttp://aghstrategies.com/

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “ICT4D Principles” group.
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#4

I’ll give the same annoying answer I give my Mercy Corps colleagues when they ask what I think of the latest cool tech (and which has gotten me called “The worst tech guy ever.” :wink:

It depends.

What are you hoping to achieve? How do you intend to do it?

Answer those and then we can discuss the best technology to help you achieve it!

Keep in mind that BRCK doesn’t solve the intermittent/slow/unstable Internet problem. It has a bunch of ways to connect to the net, but the net it connects to may well be (is likely to be) intermittent, slow, and unstable.

That means all the Google services a Chromebook depends on are going to be intermittent, slow, unstable.

There are use cases where a local content cache does everything you need, in which case Chromebooks (or any inexpensive device capable of running a browser, like a tablet or phone), viewing cached content is great.

That said, I don’t know of many (any?) offline-caching projects that have really worked well. There is an inherent complexity in them, and of course the content goes stale very quickly.

But there are some interesting projects like RACHEL-Pi and KA-Lite which have had some success.

Again, it depends on what you want to do!

image001.png@01D0672C.9F8D1670 (13.6 KB)

··· -- Jeff Wishnie Sr. Dr. Program Technology mobile/whatsapp: +1 503 893 9193 Skype/IM: jwishnie

On March 25, 2015 at 3:50:59 PM, Gwendolyn Andersen (gwendolyn_andersen@abtassoc.com) wrote:

Jeff,

What are your thoughts on combining Chromebooks with the BricK? (www.brck.com)

G

Gwendolyn S. Andersen, MBA, MA | Senior Clean Energy Economist| Abt Associates

4550 Montgomery Ave Suite 800 | Bethesda, MD 20814-5342

O: 301-347-5978 | Twitter: @gsa0939 | Gwendolyn_Andersen@abtassoc.com

www.abtassociates.com

From: ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com [mailto:ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Jeff Wishnie
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 5:22 PM
To: ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com; Sanjay Jain
Subject: Re: [ICT4D Principles] OT? Reuse of older hardware

Hi Sanjay,

In my experience out-of-tech computing equipment tends to be more of a cost than it’s worth. Inveneo did a great white paper on the topic called “Cheaper than Free” that laid out the costs associated with donated computers compared to buying new ones. Old computers tend to take more power (which is expensive when it comes from generators or solar), are difficult to repair (lack of parts), certainly are closer to end-of-life on expensive and hard to find parts (like batteries).

In addition, most of the places I work, steady reliable Internet is still a long way off, so depending so heavily on Internet connectivity as Chromebooks do can be a deal breaker.

I’m sure there are cases where a Chromebook like device makes sense—maybe a lab environment with a local proxy server with the needed content so terminals can be stateless and just contain browsers.

Though I suspect in those cases, buying a state-of-the-art (and very cheap) Chromebook would be more cost effective than repurposing old laptops.


Jeff

On March 25, 2015 at 1:13:45 PM, Sanjay Jain (sanjay@aghstrategies.com) wrote:

Hi all,

Not sure if this is off-topic for this group… More and more, things are now being done on the web. The popularity of the Chrome-Book proves that there are many people who mostly use their laptops on the web.

I’m not seeing any major effort to repurpose older computers for Chrome-book type systems. I was able to install the Chromium Browser with hangouts on Puppy Linux, and created a distro that would give new life to 10 year old laptops.

Wouldn’t these work in poorer countries and help bridge the digital divide in richer countries?

I tried a while back, to get some Washington DC non-profits interested in doing this to save eWaste, but didn’t get any traction. Any ideas from this group?

~sanjay

Sanjay Jain

Nonprofit Database Specialist

AGH Strategies
(202) 248-6400 phone
(202) 521-1363 fax


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “ICT4D Principles” group.
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#5

Hi Gwendolyn and Jeff and Sanjay:

It depends on what you want to use them for.

As Jeff notes, old computers are typically way more trouble than they are worth, especially once you start to add in linux (which is fantastic but not familiar and known by most end users). They can be a godsend under certain tightly controlled conditions (such as single use computer labs) but the whole industry is dedicated to pushing and driving down the cost of the latest, not extending the lifespan of older machines. So you get into incompatibilities with supported operating systems, which means you have security vulnerabilities for malware, especially if they are connected to any internet, which means…which means….

I know I’m speaking as someone with an IT background which gives me a bias but I would ask if all that worth it when you can get really good Android tablets and other devices now in the < $100 or even less than $50 range which have cellular connectivity options? I guess it really depends on what you are trying to do, where, and how it will be supported. There are plenty of examples of great intentions for older equipment becoming complex paperweights.

In terms of Chromebooks with Brick (and other local server solutions like Brick) the question is what is the server doing that the Chromebooks can use? If its running web-site based applications, how will you deal with the moving data out of the Brick? It could provide some advantages for a team that needs to work together in a specific area but what if they are out of range of the Brick – that’s where the Chromebook limitations come in. MSF is looking at Chromebooks for DHIS2 FYI – that is a perfect use case for them.

Be interesting to hear more about what you are trying to do…

Ernest

Ernest Ostro | Director, Software Systems
International Rescue Committee
122 East 42nd Street, NY, NY 10168 | Rescue.org
M. +1 347 688 2225| skype. ostro.ernest

··· From: ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com [mailto:ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Gwendolyn Andersen Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 6:51 PM To: Jeff Wishnie; ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com; Sanjay Jain Subject: RE: [ICT4D Principles] OT? Reuse of older hardware

Jeff,

What are your thoughts on combining Chromebooks with the BricK? (www.brck.comhttp://www.brck.com/)

G

Gwendolyn S. Andersen, MBA, MA | Senior Clean Energy Economist| Abt Associates
4550 Montgomery Ave Suite 800 | Bethesda, MD 20814-5342
O: 301-347-5978 | Twitter: @gsa0939http://www.twitter.com/gsa0939 | Gwendolyn_Andersen@abtassoc.commailto:Gwendolyn_Andersen@abtassoc.com
[Description: Description: Description: Description: http://abtnet.cam.abtassoc.com/downloads/AbtBrand/abt_assoc_logo_tag_web/abt_assoc_logo_tag_2line_web_277w96h.png]
www.abtassociates.comhttp://www.abtassociates.com/

From: ict4d-principles@googlegroups.commailto:ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com [mailto:ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Jeff Wishnie
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 5:22 PM
To: ict4d-principles@googlegroups.commailto:ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com; Sanjay Jain
Subject: Re: [ICT4D Principles] OT? Reuse of older hardware

Hi Sanjay,

In my experience out-of-tech computing equipment tends to be more of a cost than it’s worth. Inveneo did a great white paper on the topic called “Cheaper than Free” that laid out the costs associated with donated computers compared to buying new ones. Old computers tend to take more power (which is expensive when it comes from generators or solar), are difficult to repair (lack of parts), certainly are closer to end-of-life on expensive and hard to find parts (like batteries).

In addition, most of the places I work, steady reliable Internet is still a long way off, so depending so heavily on Internet connectivity as Chromebooks do can be a deal breaker.

I’m sure there are cases where a Chromebook like device makes sense—maybe a lab environment with a local proxy server with the needed content so terminals can be stateless and just contain browsers.

Though I suspect in those cases, buying a state-of-the-art (and very cheap) Chromebook would be more cost effective than repurposing old laptops.


Jeff

On March 25, 2015 at 1:13:45 PM, Sanjay Jain (sanjay@aghstrategies.commailto:sanjay@aghstrategies.com) wrote:
Hi all,
Not sure if this is off-topic for this group… More and more, things are now being done on the web. The popularity of the Chrome-Book proves that there are many people who mostly use their laptops on the web.

I’m not seeing any major effort to repurpose older computers for Chrome-book type systems. I was able to install the Chromium Browser with hangouts on Puppy Linuxhttp://puppylinux.org, and created a distro that would give new life to 10 year old laptops.
Wouldn’t these work in poorer countries and help bridge the digital divide in richer countries?
I tried a while back, to get some Washington DC non-profits interested in doing this to save eWaste, but didn’t get any traction. Any ideas from this group?
~sanjay


Sanjay Jain
Nonprofit Database Specialist
AGH Strategies
(202) 248-6400 phone
(202) 521-1363 fax
aghstrategies.comhttp://aghstrategies.com/

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “ICT4D Principles” group.
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This message may contain privileged and confidential information intended solely for the addressee. Please do not read, disseminate or copy it unless you are the intended recipient. If this message has been received in error, we kindly ask that you notify the sender immediately by return email and delete all copies of the message from your system.

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#6

Here’s an article to add my thoughts: http://www.inveneo.org/2014/07/the-e-waste-dilemma-where-do-broken-computers-go/

··· From: ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com [mailto:ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Ernest Ostro Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 8:44 PM To: Gwendolyn Andersen; Jeff Wishnie; ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com; Sanjay Jain Subject: RE: [ICT4D Principles] OT? Reuse of older hardware

Hi Gwendolyn and Jeff and Sanjay:

It depends on what you want to use them for.

As Jeff notes, old computers are typically way more trouble than they are worth, especially once you start to add in linux (which is fantastic but not familiar and known by most end users). They can be a godsend under certain tightly controlled conditions (such as single use computer labs) but the whole industry is dedicated to pushing and driving down the cost of the latest, not extending the lifespan of older machines. So you get into incompatibilities with supported operating systems, which means you have security vulnerabilities for malware, especially if they are connected to any internet, which means…which means….

I know I’m speaking as someone with an IT background which gives me a bias but I would ask if all that worth it when you can get really good Android tablets and other devices now in the < $100 or even less than $50 range which have cellular connectivity options? I guess it really depends on what you are trying to do, where, and how it will be supported. There are plenty of examples of great intentions for older equipment becoming complex paperweights.

In terms of Chromebooks with Brick (and other local server solutions like Brick) the question is what is the server doing that the Chromebooks can use? If its running web-site based applications, how will you deal with the moving data out of the Brick? It could provide some advantages for a team that needs to work together in a specific area but what if they are out of range of the Brick – that’s where the Chromebook limitations come in. MSF is looking at Chromebooks for DHIS2 FYI – that is a perfect use case for them.

Be interesting to hear more about what you are trying to do…

Ernest

Ernest Ostro | Director, Software Systems
International Rescue Committee
122 East 42nd Street, NY, NY 10168 | Rescue.org
M. +1 347 688 2225| skype. ostro.ernest

From: ict4d-principles@googlegroups.commailto:ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com [mailto:ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Gwendolyn Andersen
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 6:51 PM
To: Jeff Wishnie; ict4d-principles@googlegroups.commailto:ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com; Sanjay Jain
Subject: RE: [ICT4D Principles] OT? Reuse of older hardware

Jeff,

What are your thoughts on combining Chromebooks with the BricK? (www.brck.comhttp://www.brck.com/)

G

Gwendolyn S. Andersen, MBA, MA | Senior Clean Energy Economist| Abt Associates
4550 Montgomery Ave Suite 800 | Bethesda, MD 20814-5342
O: 301-347-5978 | Twitter: @gsa0939http://www.twitter.com/gsa0939 | Gwendolyn_Andersen@abtassoc.commailto:Gwendolyn_Andersen@abtassoc.com
[Description: Description: Description: Description: http://abtnet.cam.abtassoc.com/downloads/AbtBrand/abt_assoc_logo_tag_web/abt_assoc_logo_tag_2line_web_277w96h.png]
www.abtassociates.comhttp://www.abtassociates.com/

From: ict4d-principles@googlegroups.commailto:ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com [mailto:ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Jeff Wishnie
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 5:22 PM
To: ict4d-principles@googlegroups.commailto:ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com; Sanjay Jain
Subject: Re: [ICT4D Principles] OT? Reuse of older hardware

Hi Sanjay,

In my experience out-of-tech computing equipment tends to be more of a cost than it’s worth. Inveneo did a great white paper on the topic called “Cheaper than Free” that laid out the costs associated with donated computers compared to buying new ones. Old computers tend to take more power (which is expensive when it comes from generators or solar), are difficult to repair (lack of parts), certainly are closer to end-of-life on expensive and hard to find parts (like batteries).

In addition, most of the places I work, steady reliable Internet is still a long way off, so depending so heavily on Internet connectivity as Chromebooks do can be a deal breaker.

I’m sure there are cases where a Chromebook like device makes sense—maybe a lab environment with a local proxy server with the needed content so terminals can be stateless and just contain browsers.

Though I suspect in those cases, buying a state-of-the-art (and very cheap) Chromebook would be more cost effective than repurposing old laptops.


Jeff

On March 25, 2015 at 1:13:45 PM, Sanjay Jain (sanjay@aghstrategies.commailto:sanjay@aghstrategies.com) wrote:
Hi all,
Not sure if this is off-topic for this group… More and more, things are now being done on the web. The popularity of the Chrome-Book proves that there are many people who mostly use their laptops on the web.

I’m not seeing any major effort to repurpose older computers for Chrome-book type systems. I was able to install the Chromium Browser with hangouts on Puppy Linuxhttp://puppylinux.org, and created a distro that would give new life to 10 year old laptops.
Wouldn’t these work in poorer countries and help bridge the digital divide in richer countries?
I tried a while back, to get some Washington DC non-profits interested in doing this to save eWaste, but didn’t get any traction. Any ideas from this group?
~sanjay


Sanjay Jain
Nonprofit Database Specialist
AGH Strategies
(202) 248-6400 phone
(202) 521-1363 fax
aghstrategies.comhttp://aghstrategies.com/

You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “ICT4D Principles” group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to ict4d-principles+unsubscribe@googlegroups.commailto:ict4d-principles+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
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This message may contain privileged and confidential information intended solely for the addressee. Please do not read, disseminate or copy it unless you are the intended recipient. If this message has been received in error, we kindly ask that you notify the sender immediately by return email and delete all copies of the message from your system.

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#7

Thanks Everybody,

In my original post I didn’t mean to imply that we dump our unwanted
equipment in the name of charity/development. I’m in favour of leapfrogging
where possible.

I was advocating extending equipment life in general, and use existing
equipment where ever it may already be. Having been to many places in the
world including Somalia, I understand not all situations are the same, but
there are many cases where equipment is being replaced that could remain in
use. Tens of millions of computers (around the world) could be kept in use
by a few more years.

Lets say an organization delays buying 500 laptops by 4 years, each year,
at $500 per laptop that saves $1M that could be used for their development
work. Using Linux or FOSS may be unfamiliar now, but the ability to modify
code is an empowering process. We should encourage our development partners
to be active in finding solutions themselves, instead of waiting on us,
because they can’t get in to the code.

I mentioned the Chromebook approach because most people who need equipment,
already know how to use a browser. A lab could easily be converted to use
browser based forms to enter data on a local server.

The eGranary http://www.widernet.org/egranary/ approach could be used for
educational purposes.

~sanjay


#8

Hi Neelley,

The photo in your article sums up the situation nicely - I have seen that
so many times.

Great article.
Sanjay

··· On Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 10:28 AM, Hicks, Neelley wrote:

Here’s an article to add my thoughts:
http://www.inveneo.org/2014/07/the-e-waste-dilemma-where-do-broken-computers-go/

From: ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com [mailto:
ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com] *On Behalf Of *Ernest Ostro
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 8:44 PM
To: Gwendolyn Andersen; Jeff Wishnie; ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com;
Sanjay Jain

Subject: RE: [ICT4D Principles] OT? Reuse of older hardware

Hi Gwendolyn and Jeff and Sanjay:

It depends on what you want to use them for.

As Jeff notes, old computers are typically way more trouble than they are
worth, especially once you start to add in linux (which is fantastic but
not familiar and known by most end users). They can be a godsend under
certain tightly controlled conditions (such as single use computer labs)
but the whole industry is dedicated to pushing and driving down the cost of
the latest, not extending the lifespan of older machines. So you get into
incompatibilities with supported operating systems, which means you have
security vulnerabilities for malware, especially if they are connected to
any internet, which means…which means….

I know I’m speaking as someone with an IT background which gives me a bias
but I would ask if all that worth it when you can get really good Android
tablets and other devices now in the < $100 or even less than $50 range
which have cellular connectivity options? I guess it really depends on what
you are trying to do, where, and how it will be supported. There are
plenty of examples of great intentions for older equipment becoming complex
paperweights.

In terms of Chromebooks with Brick (and other local server solutions like
Brick) the question is what is the server doing that the Chromebooks can
use? If its running web-site based applications, how will you deal with the
moving data out of the Brick? It could provide some advantages for a team
that needs to work together in a specific area but what if they are out of
range of the Brick – that’s where the Chromebook limitations come in. MSF
is looking at Chromebooks for DHIS2 FYI – that is a perfect use case for
them.

Be interesting to hear more about what you are trying to do…

Ernest

Ernest Ostro | Director, Software Systems
International Rescue Committee
122 East 42nd Street, NY, NY 10168 | Rescue.org
M. +1 347 688 2225| skype. ostro.ernest

From: ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com [
mailto:ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com
ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com] *On Behalf Of *Gwendolyn Andersen
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 6:51 PM
To: Jeff Wishnie; ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com; Sanjay Jain
Subject: RE: [ICT4D Principles] OT? Reuse of older hardware

Jeff,

What are your thoughts on combining Chromebooks with the BricK? (
www.brck.com)

G

Gwendolyn S. Andersen, MBA, MA | Senior Clean Energy Economist| Abt
Associates

4550 Montgomery Ave Suite 800 | Bethesda, MD 20814-5342

O: 301-347-5978 | Twitter: @gsa0939 http://www.twitter.com/gsa0939 |
Gwendolyn_Andersen@abtassoc.com

[image: Description: Description: Description: Description:
http://abtnet.cam.abtassoc.com/downloads/AbtBrand/abt_assoc_logo_tag_web/abt_assoc_logo_tag_2line_web_277w96h.png]

www.abtassociates.com http://www.abtassociates.com/

From: ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com [
mailto:ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com
ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com] *On Behalf Of *Jeff Wishnie
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 5:22 PM
To: ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com; Sanjay Jain
Subject: Re: [ICT4D Principles] OT? Reuse of older hardware

Hi Sanjay,

In my experience out-of-tech computing equipment tends to be more of a
cost than it’s worth. Inveneo did a great white paper on the topic called
“Cheaper than Free” that laid out the costs associated with donated
computers compared to buying new ones. Old computers tend to take more
power (which is expensive when it comes from generators or solar), are
difficult to repair (lack of parts), certainly are closer to end-of-life on
expensive and hard to find parts (like batteries).

In addition, most of the places I work, steady reliable Internet is still
a long way off, so depending so heavily on Internet connectivity as
Chromebooks do can be a deal breaker.

I’m sure there are cases where a Chromebook like device makes sense—maybe
a lab environment with a local proxy server with the needed content so
terminals can be stateless and just contain browsers.

Though I suspect in those cases, buying a state-of-the-art (and very
cheap) Chromebook would be more cost effective than repurposing old
laptops.


Jeff

On March 25, 2015 at 1:13:45 PM, Sanjay Jain (sanjay@aghstrategies.com) > wrote:

 Hi all,

Not sure if this is off-topic for this group… More and more, things are
now being done on the web. The popularity of the Chrome-Book proves that
there are many people who mostly use their laptops on the web.

I’m not seeing any major effort to repurpose older computers for
Chrome-book type systems. I was able to install the Chromium Browser with
hangouts on Puppy Linux http://puppylinux.org, and created a distro
that would give new life to 10 year old laptops.

Wouldn’t these work in poorer countries and help bridge the digital divide
in richer countries?

I tried a while back, to get some Washington DC non-profits interested in
doing this to save eWaste, but didn’t get any traction. Any ideas from this
group?

~sanjay

Sanjay Jain

Nonprofit Database Specialist

AGH Strategies
(202) 248-6400 phone
(202) 521-1363 fax

aghstrategies.com


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"ICT4D Principles" group.
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This message may contain privileged and confidential information intended
solely for the addressee. Please do not read, disseminate or copy it unless
you are the intended recipient. If this message has been received in error,
we kindly ask that you notify the sender immediately by return email and
delete all copies of the message from your system.


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"ICT4D Principles" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
email to ict4d-principles+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
To post to this group, send email to ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com.
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You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"ICT4D Principles" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
email to ict4d-principles+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
To post to this group, send email to ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.


Sanjay Jain
Nonprofit Database Specialist
AGH Strategies
(202) 248-6400 phone
(202) 521-1363 fax


#9

Sanjay – great points and apologies if there was an implication in what I wrote. But I do think it’s important to look at the total cost of ownership and the tradeoffs beyond the headline purchase price. It’s an interesting question whether in that additional 4 years, the laptops will start to break down in ways that cost more than $500, both in parts, in support time, in shipping/transporting for service and, most importantly, in the wasted time of end users and consequent frustration.

Cheers,
Ernest

··· From: ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com [mailto:ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Sanjay Jain Sent: Thursday, March 26, 2015 8:41 AM To: ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com Subject: Re: [ICT4D Principles] OT? Reuse of older hardware

Thanks Everybody,
In my original post I didn’t mean to imply that we dump our unwanted equipment in the name of charity/development. I’m in favour of leapfrogging where possible.
I was advocating extending equipment life in general, and use existing equipment where ever it may already be. Having been to many places in the world including Somalia, I understand not all situations are the same, but there are many cases where equipment is being replaced that could remain in use. Tens of millions of computers (around the world) could be kept in use by a few more years.

Lets say an organization delays buying 500 laptops by 4 years, each year, at $500 per laptop that saves $1M that could be used for their development work. Using Linux or FOSS may be unfamiliar now, but the ability to modify code is an empowering process. We should encourage our development partners to be active in finding solutions themselves, instead of waiting on us, because they can’t get in to the code.
I mentioned the Chromebook approach because most people who need equipment, already know how to use a browser. A lab could easily be converted to use browser based forms to enter data on a local server.
The eGranaryhttp://www.widernet.org/egranary/ approach could be used for educational purposes.

~sanjay


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#10

I believe depending on the purpose of the device. One can re-tool the
system to make it run much efficient and reliable than acquiring new ones.

··· On 31 Mar 2015 14:21, "Sanjay Jain" wrote:

Hi Neelley,

The photo in your article sums up the situation nicely - I have seen that
so many times.

Great article.
Sanjay

On Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 10:28 AM, Hicks, Neelley NHicks@umcom.org wrote:

Here’s an article to add my thoughts:
http://www.inveneo.org/2014/07/the-e-waste-dilemma-where-do-broken-computers-go/

From: ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com [mailto:
ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com] *On Behalf Of *Ernest Ostro
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 8:44 PM
To: Gwendolyn Andersen; Jeff Wishnie; ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com;
Sanjay Jain

Subject: RE: [ICT4D Principles] OT? Reuse of older hardware

Hi Gwendolyn and Jeff and Sanjay:

It depends on what you want to use them for.

As Jeff notes, old computers are typically way more trouble than they are
worth, especially once you start to add in linux (which is fantastic but
not familiar and known by most end users). They can be a godsend under
certain tightly controlled conditions (such as single use computer labs)
but the whole industry is dedicated to pushing and driving down the cost of
the latest, not extending the lifespan of older machines. So you get into
incompatibilities with supported operating systems, which means you have
security vulnerabilities for malware, especially if they are connected to
any internet, which means…which means….

I know I’m speaking as someone with an IT background which gives me a
bias but I would ask if all that worth it when you can get really good
Android tablets and other devices now in the < $100 or even less than $50
range which have cellular connectivity options? I guess it really depends
on what you are trying to do, where, and how it will be supported. There
are plenty of examples of great intentions for older equipment becoming
complex paperweights.

In terms of Chromebooks with Brick (and other local server solutions like
Brick) the question is what is the server doing that the Chromebooks can
use? If its running web-site based applications, how will you deal with the
moving data out of the Brick? It could provide some advantages for a team
that needs to work together in a specific area but what if they are out of
range of the Brick – that’s where the Chromebook limitations come in. MSF
is looking at Chromebooks for DHIS2 FYI – that is a perfect use case for
them.

Be interesting to hear more about what you are trying to do…

Ernest

Ernest Ostro | Director, Software Systems
International Rescue Committee
122 East 42nd Street, NY, NY 10168 | Rescue.org
M. +1 347 688 2225| skype. ostro.ernest

From: ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com [
mailto:ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com
ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com] *On Behalf Of *Gwendolyn Andersen
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 6:51 PM
To: Jeff Wishnie; ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com; Sanjay Jain
Subject: RE: [ICT4D Principles] OT? Reuse of older hardware

Jeff,

What are your thoughts on combining Chromebooks with the BricK? (
www.brck.com)

G

Gwendolyn S. Andersen, MBA, MA | Senior Clean Energy Economist| Abt
Associates

4550 Montgomery Ave Suite 800 | Bethesda, MD 20814-5342

O: 301-347-5978 | Twitter: @gsa0939 http://www.twitter.com/gsa0939 |
Gwendolyn_Andersen@abtassoc.com

[image: Description: Description: Description: Description:
http://abtnet.cam.abtassoc.com/downloads/AbtBrand/abt_assoc_logo_tag_web/abt_assoc_logo_tag_2line_web_277w96h.png]

www.abtassociates.com http://www.abtassociates.com/

From: ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com [
mailto:ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com
ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com] *On Behalf Of *Jeff Wishnie
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 5:22 PM
To: ict4d-principles@googlegroups.com; Sanjay Jain
Subject: Re: [ICT4D Principles] OT? Reuse of older hardware

Hi Sanjay,

In my experience out-of-tech computing equipment tends to be more of a
cost than it’s worth. Inveneo did a great white paper on the topic called
“Cheaper than Free” that laid out the costs associated with donated
computers compared to buying new ones. Old computers tend to take more
power (which is expensive when it comes from generators or solar), are
difficult to repair (lack of parts), certainly are closer to end-of-life on
expensive and hard to find parts (like batteries).

In addition, most of the places I work, steady reliable Internet is still
a long way off, so depending so heavily on Internet connectivity as
Chromebooks do can be a deal breaker.

I’m sure there are cases where a Chromebook like device makes sense—maybe
a lab environment with a local proxy server with the needed content so
terminals can be stateless and just contain browsers.

Though I suspect in those cases, buying a state-of-the-art (and very
cheap) Chromebook would be more cost effective than repurposing old
laptops.


Jeff

On March 25, 2015 at 1:13:45 PM, Sanjay Jain (sanjay@aghstrategies.com) >> wrote:

 Hi all,

Not sure if this is off-topic for this group… More and more, things are
now being done on the web. The popularity of the Chrome-Book proves that
there are many people who mostly use their laptops on the web.

I’m not seeing any major effort to repurpose older computers for
Chrome-book type systems. I was able to install the Chromium Browser with
hangouts on Puppy Linux http://puppylinux.org, and created a distro
that would give new life to 10 year old laptops.

Wouldn’t these work in poorer countries and help bridge the digital
divide in richer countries?

I tried a while back, to get some Washington DC non-profits interested in
doing this to save eWaste, but didn’t get any traction. Any ideas from this
group?

~sanjay

Sanjay Jain

Nonprofit Database Specialist

AGH Strategies
(202) 248-6400 phone
(202) 521-1363 fax

aghstrategies.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"ICT4D Principles" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
email to ict4d-principles+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
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This message may contain privileged and confidential information intended
solely for the addressee. Please do not read, disseminate or copy it unless
you are the intended recipient. If this message has been received in error,
we kindly ask that you notify the sender immediately by return email and
delete all copies of the message from your system.


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"ICT4D Principles" group.
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Sanjay Jain
Nonprofit Database Specialist
AGH Strategies
(202) 248-6400 phone
(202) 521-1363 fax
aghstrategies.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
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