About a month ago I rereleased my OLPC back into the wild, with the original intention of it going to a deserving person who could put it to better use. I had an intermediary in the United States handle the actual distribution, because logistically speaking it was more convenient.
The intermediary tested it for a few days and thought it worthy of donating to a worthy recipient, but both of us were a bit leery of that sticky key issue. It would be a rather dubious gift if it were given away gratis to an underprivileged user, only to have it lapse again. And if the new user was a child, as we both originally intended, that would be disappointing for everyone involved.
Because of that, and because of the costs of relaying the machine between Japan and America, we both decided it was better to offer the machine for sale, with proper mention of its standing defects. It was auctioned on ebay and found a new home, along with many of its accessories, at a school in Connecticut. Judging by the buyer’s history, the school uses these for its students, and has plenty of experience working with them.
So I am satisified with that outcome. I am reasonably comfortable in the thought that it is being used for an educational purpose, and that there’s an IT staff on hand to manage it if the machine misbehaves again. Both issues solved.
The second epilogue is either heartening or disheartening, depending on your perspective and mood. The horrid K6-2 struggling with Windows XP which was pulled out of retirement — more like pulled out of the garbage, really — was supplanted this week by a giant eMachines J4482 armed with Vista Home Premium.
The staff is pleased again, since this moves exceptionally faster than its crudware-infested precedent, but of course, since it came with Vista, it took a technician — a professional technician, this time — two days to connect the thing to our network and our array of printers and copiers. I pitied him after the first few hours.
Which means by extension that the K6-2 has returned to its retirement home, atop a pile of papers on a shelf in the corner of the office. Whether I bring it home again or not remains to be seen. It might be needed once more, if the planets are not in alignment, if the temperature drops below 19C, or if any other random occurence interferes with Vista’s function.
(As a side note, I tried to convince the boss that he should give me the old desktop so I could rehab and donate it to charity, a la the Sony VAIO I gave away around the turn of the year. However, I think he wanted to sell it to a recycle shop, in hopes of recouping some of the price. Good luck with that.)
The last epilogue is really only halfway complete, and not much of an epilogue at all. That battered Thinkpad is in the shop now, having a new screen transplanted into it.
The final price for parts and labor will no doubt be much higher than what I would pay if I were to replace it myself, but for some reason I feel the need to support my local computer store. In this day and age, sending a little business his way might keep him afloat a little longer. And I enjoy window-shopping in his store, even if I never actually buy computers.