Sunday, February 22, 2015

Doing Good the IT Way



I started and ended the last post with a little therapeutic whinge about my stupid computer, and then out of the blue got a call from my friend Jen. Jen and I were fellow homeschooling parents about a hundred years ago (that's about right, isn't it Jen?), but Jen moved from Tasmania up and down the entire east coast of Australia, while I stayed right here. Occasionally we catch up by phone and chat about what we are doing, and it's great that we can just pick up and chat from where we left off the year before.. anyhow, Tuesday I got a call from Jen to say they are going to post me a spare laptop!!

Chris, Jen's lovely husband, works in IT, and in many work situations has found himself  'rescuing' old, unwanted laptops that are about to be binned. He brings them home and does highly technical things to them (was 'reformatting' one of those technical words he was bandying around??), assisted by his clever son, then rehomes them with folks they know who can use them. And they thought of me! And they are sending me one! Sqeeeeeeeeeeee!

I love every part of this story, the way Chris is saving 'outmoded' electrical gadgetry from landfill, using his skills to make them useful again, teaching his son to do the same, and spreading kindness and good cheer around his community (and now mine). He is like a lovely IT angel.

Even better, when Chris heard what was wrong with my laptop, he was able to give me a bandaid solution over the phone, which means I can use it again for now, and told me that I could get the battery reconditioned, a process I had never even heard of, so possibly this one may be usable again for another little while... always great in a houseful of girls doing homework that always seems to require access to the internet.

So here is to kind friends who are doing good things by using their skills to reclaim some of the Great Waste that is the curse of our society. It makes me think... how can I do the same with my own skills in my own community?

9 comments:

missmaudy said...

That's awesome in so many ways!

I discovered I could re-calibrate my laptop battery. It took a few goes, but my laptop's stopped with the annoying messages telling me I needed a new battery and a new computer and a pony and and and definitely a pony.

Tracy said...

Our IT people are modern heroes, are they not? I adore our favourite IT friend. Of course, a lifelong friendship which began with play dates as little tiny people has something to do with it, I'm sure. But right now he's my computer hero...he got us back online when we couldn't stuff out on our own. We're good...but not PhD-good!

Jo said...

Miss Maudy, I agree about the awesome. Also, yes, my computer wants a pony as well.
Tracy, I do hope Chris is reading this and does realise he is a modern day hero:)

Lynda D said...

My home and garage is a computer graveyard. When one is updated the parts are passed down until they finally reach the garage and if they cannot be gifted they are left "for parts". The parts section has grown and grown and grown until im sure that they are now breeding. Last hard waste day we actually threw out two working CRT monitors because we couldnt give them away. Even charities these days want flat screens. Rob's IT hobby saves us thousands.

Same electrician tradie husband is not only IT guru but today turned into plumber and fitted my new stove top.

theroadtoserendipity said...

What a gorgeous family of friends Jo and "SQUEEEE!" all the way from Serendipity Farm in solidarity! I think you could let your pony needy lappy do the hard yards with your daughters while you enjoy the bliss of a reconditioned lappy with impunity. I am in love with the idea that people are taking up reconditioning technology again. It might be moving at light speed with everything heading towards 'wearables' but taking back the massive amount of detrius that is generated by the technological sector and making it useful again is the ultimate in recycling. We are learning about future trends in our Interactive Digital Media course at the moment and there seems to be a HUGE push for dumping computers all-together and just making mobile phones the new internet medium. I guess they are much cheaper to produce and use a whole lot less valuable resources but there is something very comforting about tapping away on a decent sized keyboard and looking at a monitor. Call me 'last century' but why can't we just re-use the huge dumping pile of old bits and pieces that are laying around fallow? Lets call them "Steampunk PC's" and get them trending all over again. This post has made me happy in so many ways Jo. Cheers for sharing your good news :)

missmaudy said...

There's things I loathe doing (or attempting to do) on my phone screen or even the tablet. I suspect it's my old lady eyes, to be honest. And liking the sensation of bashing out a terse email. It's not the same mincing about on your touch screen.

Plus, apps often don't have the full functionality of an actual website (again with the old lady eyes) and scrolling around is annoy.

Jo said...

Lynda, you have a Treasure. IT AND plumbing!! He's a keeper! I think it is so great that you have your own spare parts workshop. Perhaps he could start a business on the side? I know dozens of people who prefer to use a reconditioned computer than buy a new one.
Fran, I don't even own a phone that can connect to the internet. So far my phones have been ones that no-one at The Man's office has wanted anymore because they are so old and unfashionable (but I am old and unfashionable, so it's all good!). I don't like the idea of being 'connected' all the time. The fact that people expect me to answer their texts is appalling enough. If I could publish my blog on a typewriter, I'd use one of them. Yes, I will pop back into my cave now..
But yes, I do think we could probably all manage to do everything really necessary with the hardware already built, discarded, and sitting in the attics of the world. I mean really, people went to the moon with less computing power than the average person could muster in their living room..
Miss Maudy, I know not of which you speak. But watching my 10 and 14yo daughters staring slack-faced at their (hand-me-down) tiny screens makes me very annoyed indeed. The few times I have attempted to use them, I gave up in disgust, and then sulked because I am so technologically incompetent I can't even use a touch screen. Then I shrugged and went back to my book, because I really don't think I am missing anything..

e / dig in hobart said...

I am currently giving away lots of tomatoes and zucchinis. Do you think that counts as sharing some good about with my community?

Blogger said...

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Take the Battery Reconditioning Course.

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