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Old 12-11-2003, 01:50   #1
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Free Manuals (Donate yours)

From another forum:

Sailors are often on our own for repairs, manuals and help with older gear. For 20 years I have taken older software and operating systems and distributed them freely to kids in free classes. Now our organization is collecting old and outdated manuals which we will offer free to the sailing community as a community service. We are accepting ripped, torn, poor, good and great condition works and will tansfer them to CD and make them available free online. If you have anything from Perkins manuals to old MicroLogic GPS manuals, please send me an email or visit:

for the physical address to send the manual to or send an email to

We also accept PC's for our free pcs for kids program. Thanks, have a great day and keep sailing!

Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 12-11-2003, 12:16   #2
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I got a program like that going locally a few years ago. Rollouts from local industry & business are rebuilt & given away. The purpose being to keep toxic hardware out of the local landfill & to utilize that resource ("scrap" computers) for education & training.

While it was fun to give them to kids I personally find some of the most rewarding experiences to be with seniors that simply would not have stepped up into the computer age without the ice breaker of a freebie machine. Without exception, those that I've given machines to are finding personal growth & learning that many haven't experienced in decades. They're in regular, cost effective contact with far-flung friends & family & have a generationally appropriate conduit to grandchildren. This is a good thing.

Another local project started up awhile back that focuses on school children & I was happy enough to back off & do other things, thereby avoiding competition for resources. Though I don't solicit donations by the truckload as I once did people do still bring me hardware that I repair & upgrade, then give away (almost exclusively to seniors & NFP Orgs because the kids are covered).

I also donate tech support time to NFP Orgs, I'd much prefer that they be able to use their program money for programs and not for administrative requirements like computers & support. I do this very informally without the hassles of maintaining my own "org".

One consistent problem … operating systems, software & manuals. Too many don't understand that software is typically transferable. The vast majority of the hardware I receive has a hosed drive with no OS, no disks, CDs or docs of any kind. This makes installing a legitimate OS w/ software very difficult, time consuming & all to often expensive for me personally.

I can, of course, simply default to linux but part of the purpose is to give people an opportunity to learn to function in a world that's primarily dominated by M$ operating systems & apps. Whatever we all might think of that situation, that reality is inescapable & simply installing linux would defeat one primary purpose for fooling with the whole thing to begin with.

So, to those others that are reading this ... when you upgrade please consider donating your hardware & software to some similar operation. It's usually good for a tax deduction & I can tell you from personal experience that you'll never get the deep down satisfaction from shiny new high tech hardware for your own use that you'll get from some old doorstop that can still fulfill a purpose for others.

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