Nov 25, 2014

Forty Donated Computers, Safe, Dry and Awaiting Rescue in Costa Rica

Yes, that shipment of used PCs from Florida arrived in October, safe and sound. Many thanks to Mike Rappaport of Logistics Management Services, S.A. in Cartago for the tremendous break on shipping fees and help at the FL dock getting things palletized. My Tico neighbor, Luis Valverde, lent his truck and driving skills for the pickup of two pallets loaded with PCs and equipment and delivery to my workshop here in Perez Zeledon.

Actually, they had to sit outside, but under cover wrapped in plastic, for a month while I was tied up most days putting the finishing restoration touches to my truck that was demolished last March. And then, I had to face the daunting and much procrastinated task of re-organizing and cleaning out my neglected workshop. Finally, I was able to make space and build sturdy shelves to hold all the machines and parts.

shelves of donated used PCs and related equipment
Donated PC equipment organized and stacked

The shelves also include recent donations and materials I already had and a few new spare parts that come with the shipment from FL. In total, there are about 19 laptops and 21 desktops plus monitors, new keyboards and mice (thanks Harry Heist!), a couple of printers and networking gear. There is also a box containing the guts of 3 P3-era machines muled in by a couple visiting the country.

Another donor, who just arrived here for retirement, bought us 10 new USB sticks, which we'll use for diagnostic software, OSs and application software. Much handier, quicker and more reliable than using CDs/DVDs. Thank you!

I've already cleared a workbench, but it needs a few shelves, tools, power strips and so on before we can dig into the stacks. Even so, I already found a laptop that I was able to quickly refurb and donate and have two pending "orders" for a couple more machines. I'm sure we'll find homes for the remainder as fast as we can restore them.

I need to run a fixed ethernet line to the workshop from the house because the Wi-Fi link is flaky and slow and no matter how much software you put on USB sticks there is always many, many megabytes of stuff you need to download or online info to gather.

My son's summer school break (2+ months) begins after this week, and I will enlist his help in restoring machines. He's sharp with computers and it will be excellent work experience for him.

Thanks everyone for your continued support and patience!

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