Reacting to jono's post about using Linux to recycle computers:

This is a great idea, of course, and really valuable project. Nevertheless, I think you largely understimate the load of work to complete to achieve such a thing. Personnally speaking, I have been involved during a full year on a non-governemental organization which, every year with a new team[1], collect computers from industry, upgrade/repair/trash them (we received a lot of garbains, which can't work with current standard desktop) and then ship them in schools from Africa.

With this non-governemental organization, Africedu, my team set up 60 computers with Ubuntu 5.10 (project 2005-2006: Lome, capital city of Togo), shipping in a school 60 computers set up with Ubuntu 5.10. At the end of the year, we made some training there during a month. Since my decision to take Ubuntu and ship it there, the organization continue to use this GNU/Linux distribution.

Despite communication and pratical issues in shipping and going to another continent, which is an additional problem that those kinds of organization targets have, taking old computers from industries, triaging them, doing some set up and creating a good network is very time consuming. I really think that is not something that LoCo team can handle, as most of them have relative limited human ressources[2] (yes, even French one ;)).

I believe the best thing to do is that LoCo teams provide some support to those kind of organizations, but shouldn't add to themselves this extra load. Some coordination is possible though, and I think that helping those organization is one of its duties (in promoting them, adressing some technical issues, requesting for company's help to have some computers and annoncing important events).

Being an active member of the French LoCo, I am really eager to help my "old" non-governemental organization, even if this one is not on the same town (Lyon), I usually redirect them company requests when they get in touch with us to tell that they have old computers to provide, but I believe than more efforts, in both sides, are possible.

So, I would just rename Jono's great post in "LoCo team: help in using recycle computer" and let's concentrate on what LoCo team do the best: promoting ubuntu and let people using this GNU/Linux distribution get in touch to shape this rocking community!

Notes

[1] because the organization is linked with the engineering school where I studied

[2] I really don't like to say that people are "ressources", but can't find any other good term