The Hidden Cost of Computer Donations

Computer Donations

The hidden cost of donated computer equipment is TIME.

Another Donation!

We are very fortunate to have a community that thinks about us when their offices are getting new equipment. Often parents of students at the school will convince their workplace to donate unwanted computer hardware to the school. This is how we acquired the recent donation of monitors. Today, I am looking at a group of computer towers.

As much as we appreciate the free equipment,
there is a hidden cost to computer donations.

I thank the parent for their generosity. It is very kind of them to think of the school. I smile on the outside, but inside I sigh. WOW! This is going to be so much work!

I wheel the donations down the hallway. Once in the office I assess the situation. The towers are all different models. It appears that a few of them have had parts replaced (video cards, network cards and sound cards). Oh and did I mention, the hard drives have all been wiped clean?

The hidden cost to computer donations is the time it takes to get them ready for use. This job is literally going to take me HOURS. Not only do I have to format the hard drive but I also have to search for drivers after finding out the type of cards that are installed. This is LOTS of work!

In the end, it took me at least 8 hours solid to bring one machine back to life. I had to first install the operating system with all its service packs and updates. Then I needed to install all the software, get all the updates, add printers, customize the registry, and join the domain.

Let’s hope the school gets at least 3 years of use out of this equipment. It was lots of work to get these machines up and running. But they are much better than the old machines. Speaking of which, I need to recycle them.

What are Other Hidden Costs to Computer Donations?

Are computer donations really free? What are the hidden costs? Do the benefits of the donation outweigh the hidden costs?

Other Articles about Computer Donations

Computer Donation Checklist
The Hidden Cost of Computer Donations
The Latest Computer Equipment is Not Required
Old Technology is Good Technology
Computer Donations and Recycling Old Computer Equipment

TechnoLaurie

About TechnoLaurie

Laurie Gerard, Research and Development - Laurie Gerard is responsible for the research and development center at John Knox Christian School (JKCS). Many years ago, TechnoKids Inc. formed a partnership with the school community to have teachers test our instructional materials. This relationship ensures that the projects are developmentally appropriate, meaningful to students, integrate into the curriculum, and have clear instructions. Laurie works with the staff and students at JKCS to help them operate their technology program. Her duties include curriculum support, computer lab maintenance, and upkeep of the network and server. As a key member of the Information Technology Committee at the school she provides advice regarding the technology program. Her devotion to the school community and their technology program makes her an invaluable member to our team. Laurie's contribution to the blog includes entries about the challenges of integrating technology in a school environment. The technical issues she overcomes related to hardware, software, and networking will be passed on to you in the form of practical strategies. In addition, she writes about the real-world problems faced by a school as they struggle to offer a quality technology program with a limited budget.