Friday, July 31, 2009

The Tale of the Computer Donation: Part VI

Previous Installments

The Tale of the Computer Donation

Friday morning at 9am Cale, Naita (the Methodist Board of Education driver) and I went to PFL. They didn’t even ask to see any papers. Four palettes of computer equipment (three palettes of monitors and one palette of boxes full of keyboards and mice) were loaded into the back of the truck. We drove them the Cale’s school where his students unloaded them from the truck. Naita and I return for the second of three trips, while Cale and his students went through all the boxes, inventorying the mice and keyboards (how many USB, how many PS/2, how many optical, how many with scroll wheels, etc).

The Tale of the Computer Donation

The Tale of the Computer Donation

Naita and I returned with three more palettes of monitors. The students unloaded them. And back to PFL. We returned with another palette of monitors and two palettes of cases. When it is all unloaded the classroom next too Cale’s lab was filled to capacity with computers. It looked pretty damn nice.

The Tale of the Computer Donation

The Tale of the Computer Donation

That afternoon Cale, Tetsuya (the JICA volunteer teaching automotive at Cale’s school) and I move all the cases to Cale’s computer lab so they can be locked up for the night and tested all the monitors to make sure they were working. I took a break to install programs on Naita’s computer, while Cale and Tetsuya continued the monitor testing. In all there were 173 monitors. Two needed some fixing. The metal around the video connection on one was bent and would not fit onto the back of the computer. The other had a broken power button. The monitor is on, but cannot be turned off. Not too big a deal. Easily fixed.

The Tale of the Computer Donation

Saturday morning Cale had a computer lab full of students who had come to help install operating systems. They started just before 9 am, but the power went out at 10:20 am after they had only completed installs on two or three machines. While the power was off, we started opening all the computers and noting the amount of RAM in each. We tried to put 512 in every computer with a DVD drive so schools can use those as servers and we tried to minimize the number of computers with only 128MB of RAM. The power was back on in an hour. Most of the students continued to check RAM, but some stopped to learn how to duplicate hard drives from computers that already had Ubuntu installed to computers that did not have an operating system.

The Tale of the Computer Donation

The students slowly started to leave around 1 pm to make sure they caught the last buses, though two students stuck around until about 2:30. When we finally left just before 4 pm there were 21 computers with operating systems and all of them had the amount of RAM indicated (Or so we thought. Later we discovered several mis-marked cases). In our sorting we had only come across two computers that were not be fixable at that point.

The Tale of the Computer Donation

We also had one school pick up their donation. Gore and his school van came by around 2 pm to pick up his 15 computers. It took two trips to get all the monitors and cases back to his school.

Sunday Cale, Tetsuya and I were back in the computer lab checking system summaries to mark the cases with RAM and hard drive sizes and cloning Ubuntu from one hard drive to the next. We were starting to come across some problems at this time. Some hard drives we could not install an OS on. Some faulty RAM. We sorted the computers into stacks of ones with 256 MB of RAM and ones with 128 MB. We also separated them by HD size (10 GB, 20GB, the occasional 40GB and the odd sizes of 13GB or 15GB and that one 6.8GB). We further broke them down to ones with and without CD drives.

The Tale of the Computer Donation

Jordan came by with his principal and a truck to pick up his 25 computers. He was able to fit exactly the 25 into the truck. One monitor (the gigantor 19” that was his gift for helping so much on Thursday) and two cases had to go in the front of the truck, as did the keyboards and mice. Everything else fit in the bed of the truck.


— Sara

Tune in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion to The Tale of the Computer Donation...or...How I Spent My Swine Flu Vacation.

2 comments:

Barb Carusillo said...

Wow! Just wow!

Anonymous said...

Big Faamalo to you and Cale for a job well done.

Keep up the good work guys.

Regards
Leah