When a piece of equipment comes in through the warehouse gate, the first priority is re-use: if there's a reasonable expectation that it can be given a second chance at usefulness, a piece of gear will get cleaned up, tested, and sent out again to a volunteer or a grant recipient, or sold through the thrift store.
There are several risky aspects in re-use – for example, those universal Windows stickers bearing serial numbers. If a machine is sent out without that sticker being removed, it could be used to install a pirated copy of Windows. The Windows license remains with the original owner and cannot be transfered. This potentially puts Free Geek Vancouver in a position of legal liability.
Another common example is hard drives. When a machine is received at Free Geek, it almost always contains a hard drive with software and user data on it – and on a typical machine, that is almost certain to contain private information, from names to resumes to credit card information to who-knows-what. One of the most common questions asked by donors is – what happens to all that data? How can Free Geek Vancouver be sure that it's treated responsibly?
|40GB IDE hard drives, clean and tested and ready for Ubuntu to be installed|