Science and technology

Making computer systems extra accessible and sustainable with Linux

There are many causes to decide on Linux on your desktop working system. In Why everyone should choose Linux,’s Seth Kenlon highlighted most of the greatest causes to pick out Linux and offered a number of methods for individuals to get began with the working system.

This additionally bought me fascinated with how I often introduce people to Linux. The pandemic has elevated the necessity for individuals to go surfing for buying, doing distant schooling, and connecting with household and mates over video conferencing.

I work with quite a lot of retirees who’ve fastened incomes and should not notably tech-savvy. For most of those people, shopping for a pc is a serious funding fraught with concern. Some of my mates and shoppers are uncomfortable going to a retail retailer throughout a pandemic, and so they’re utterly unfamiliar with what to search for in a pc, whether or not it is a desktop or laptop computer, even in non-pandemic instances. They come to me with questions on the place to purchase one and what to search for.

I am all the time desperate to see them get a Linux pc. Many of them can’t afford the Linux models bought by name-brand distributors. Until lately, I have been buying refurbished models for them and refitting them with Linux.

But that each one modified after I found Free Geek, a nonprofit group based mostly in Portland, Ore., with the mission “to sustainably reuse technology, enable digital access, and provide education to create a community that empowers people to realize their potential.”

Free Geek has an eBay retailer the place I’ve bought a number of refurbished laptops at inexpensive costs. Their computer systems include Linux Mint put in. The proven fact that a pc comes ready-to-use makes it simple to introduce new users to Linux and assist them shortly expertise the working system’s energy.

Keeping computer systems in service and out of landfills

Oso Martin launched Free Geek on Earth Day 2000. The group gives lessons and work applications to its volunteers, who’re skilled to refurbish and rebuild donated computer systems. Volunteers additionally obtain a donated pc after 24 hours of service.

The computer systems are bought in Free Geek’s brick-and-mortar retailer in Portland and online. The group additionally gives computer systems to individuals and entities in want by means of its applications Plug Into Portland, Gift a Geekbox, and organizational and community grants.

The group says it has “diverted over 2 million items from landfills, granted over 75,000 technology devices to nonprofits, schools, community change organizations, and individuals, and plugged over 5,000 classroom hours from Free Geek learners.”

Get concerned

Since its inception, Free Geek has grown from a employees of three to virtually 50 and has been acknowledged all over the world. It is a member of the City of Portland’s Digital Inclusion Network.

You can join with Free Geek on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram. You may also subscribe to its newsletter. Purchasing objects from Free Geek’s shop straight helps its work and reduces the digital divide.

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