Call for ageing Microsoft XP computers for those in need

20 Jan 2014

Donated computers are refurbished in Camara's workshop

With Microsoft’s 13-year-old XP operating system being phased out in April this year, Camara Education is calling for donations of old computers so they can be used in education centres across the globe.

Users of the popular operating system, particularly the estimated one in three businesses still using it, will be required to move to the newer Windows 7 or 8, or else face serious problems as Microsoft ends all support for XP by 8 April.

Now Camara Education, a charity that educates disadvantaged communities, is asking for old units so they can be refurbished and re-used to help provide students with digital skills.

According to Camara Education’s figures, up to 500,000 computers are discarded each year in Ireland, half of which are suitable for reuse.

Changing children’s lives

Through their refurbishment centres in Dublin, Belfast, London and San Jose, California, Camara Education erases all data on donated computers’ hard drives to US Department of Defence standards before re-installing a Linux-operated software on them.

The key software that will be installed on the computers is Edubuntu, a free educational program for kids of all ages to learn a variety of topics through their computers. When the computers are re-furbished, they will be sent to countries like Ethiopia, Jamaica and Uganda.

The computers with a whole new lease on life will also have Open Office and Wikipedia available to them, giving children access to a range of tools and resources.

If you or a company would like to donate old computers to Camara Education and help disadvantaged children across the world, visit Camara’s website, where you can find all the information you need to give your old PC a new life.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic