iFixit.org article How One Teacher Built a Computer Lab for Free tells an interesting story. The problem? An underfunded school needed computers for the classroom. Budget? $0. How One Teacher Built a Computer Lab for Free article tells how just one sixth-grade teacher got those computers at that budget.
In 2007, Robert acquired 18 donated computers, but their operating systems were slow and some computers had viruses or malware. Most of the computers’ problems could be fixed by wiping the disks and reinstalling the operating system—but buying new software for every donated computer would be prohibitively expensive.
So Robert began to research more affordable options. With the help of his local LUG, he got Linux up and running on his 18 donated machines. Suddenly, they were fast. They were clean. They worked well in the classroom.
“Many computers people say are broken are actually experiencing software problems,” he found. When he’d install Linux, many of the supposedly broken computers would work just fine.
In the next video Robert Litt explains how he brings discarded computers back to life using open source tools like Ubuntu GNU/Linux. Litt is able to create full, usable labs at his school for zero cost with these machines.