Another way to give back...

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Another way to give back...

Postby Fred on Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:34 am

Greetings & Salutations,

I thought I would post a way some of us older or disabled users especially, can give back to our communities and youth.

Over the years I have become the go-to guy for a number of my friends, relatives, and acquaintances for computer help. I am sure many of you recognize how easy it is to get into this position. :-)

Well several years ago I just had to admit to myself that my failing eyesight and loss of manual dexterity made working with hardware to difficult to be fun anymore. It was just too hard and slow.

My wife made a suggestion that it turns out has brought me much pleasure and satisfaction over the last couple years. To make a long story short, I arranged with a local high school computer class teacher to utilize some of his students to build and service computers. He keeps a list of students that wish to sign up for extra credit. When I have something for them to do; fix a computer, build a computer for someone, etc. I give him a call and he sends someone over to my house in the evening to work with me.

Actually this has been a very beneficial relationship for everybody involved. The student gets hands-on experience building a computer from scratch and setting it up. All with my supervision of course. I give him/her the nominal fee that I charge for building the computer and they also get extra credit in their computer class. After the computer is built and is put into use it is theirs to maintain, so to speak. If there are problems or questions with it he/she takes care of it with my help if needed. So they can continue to get a small revenue stream for their efforts and the continuing satisfaction of a job well done.

The friend or acquaintance gets a nice computer tailored to their needs at less than they could ever purchase it in a store and with built in local support, kinda. :-)

And me? Everybody, like it or not, gets at least a dual boot with Linux. :-) The biggest reward though is the light you see come on in a young person's eyes when they accomplish or learn something that they really didn't think they could do. That is priceless. :-)

Fred
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Re: Another way to give back...

Postby exploder on Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:50 am

Fred, looks like you have come up with a real win, win solution for everybody! Nice idea.
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Re: Another way to give back...

Postby Fred on Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:05 pm

Thank you exploder. It just seemed to me that others might find themselves in a similar situation and some variation of what I am doing might be attractive to them too.

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Re: Another way to give back...

Postby jokersloose on Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:22 am

Now that is cool. You have found a way to expand the ones you help by including the high school students in your projects. I'm sure in years to come they will be telling there family about you and how you helped them out. Todays youth need as many positive role models in there lives as they can get. Way to give back to your community.

Thanks,
James
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Re: Another way to give back...

Postby JAK on Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:58 am

That's a very nice idea Fred, though I must ask; if you are helping these kids build a dual boot system from scratch, doesn't buying a license of Windows significantly add to the cost of each system? A bare bones box and a Linux CD would be a heck of a lot more cost effective.
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Re: Another way to give back...

Postby Fred on Sun Mar 30, 2008 12:54 pm

JAK,

Keep in mind that this isn't a business. It is a friends, relatives, neighbors, acquaintances thing. I'll give recommendations on what we need to build what they want. The materials are usually brought to me or ordered and shipped to me. Some times they already have a box I can use or salvage from.

If they want Windows, they have to bring me a Windows disk. This way they can see the Microsoft tax right up front. I won't install Vista. I don't know anything about it and have heard too many bad things. I don't need the aggravation. The only copy of Windows I own is an old Win98 disk I bought several years ago. At least I think it is still around here somewhere.

Like I said, what I am doing is very ad hoc. Not at all run like a business. :-)

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Re: Another way to give back...

Postby deadguy on Sun Mar 30, 2008 2:09 pm

@Fred,

that's very cool!!! 8)

it is great that you share your knowledge with so many people,
not only here, but in your community as well :D

you have my utmost respect.

Erik
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Re: Another way to give back...

Postby JAK on Sun Mar 30, 2008 5:24 pm

Fred wrote:JAK,

Keep in mind that this isn't a business. It is a friends, relatives, neighbors, acquaintances thing. I'll give recommendations on what we need to build what they want. The materials are usually brought to me or ordered and shipped to me. Some times they already have a box I can use or salvage from.

If they want Windows, they have to bring me a Windows disk. This way they can see the Microsoft tax right up front. I won't install Vista. I don't know anything about it and have heard too many bad things. I don't need the aggravation. The only copy of Windows I own is an old Win98 disk I bought several years ago. At least I think it is still around here somewhere.

Like I said, what I am doing is very ad hoc. Not at all run like a business. :-)

Fred


That's a good way to handle it. Let the people supply everything, one less thing for you to have to deal with. I tend to fall into that same category for Windows support, friends, relatives, neighbors, etc... Now my brother-in-law has a Mac so I'm helping him with that as well. I don't have a Mac but it's very similar to Linux so I sort of know what to expect where things would be.

I like your "No Vista" policy :lol:
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