Los Angeles city council donates refurbished Windows XP computers to charity

Nonprofit organizations require support in numerous forms, including both monetary and hardware. Los Angeles city council has refurbished and donated a total of 8,000 Windows XP machines after an upgrade program taking public sector workers up to Windows 7 was completed back in April. Having the PCs in storage and not in use was a burden for the council, easily remedied by refurbishing the units and handing them to charities.

City councilman Bob Blumenfield proposed the move, determining it would be best to donate to nonprofit organizations serving disadvantaged communities. Units that could not be refurbished (due to damaged components and whatnot) were recycled. The council has gone one step further, however, and is also looking to take into account private sector donations to maintain a steady stream of donations even after the first batch has been distributed to nonprofit organizations.

It's an interesting way to help support charities and bridge the gap between communities. In other related news, Los Angeles County is also looking to move 100,000 employees to Microsoft Office 365.

Source: Los Angeles Daily News, via: WinBeta

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

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  • Fu cking bi tch
  • Love how my posts get routinely pruned but this crap is alive & well. Thanks for that
  • Agreed. Ridiculous that this stuff is at the top of the comments.
  • And, hotraia, does anyone give a s**t?
  • You by posting this comment
  • That's a good move.
  • Send one of them to me, i still accepted xp :P
  • This is all well and good assuming the charities don't then send them to "recyclers" that strip the profitable parts and then send the rest to land fills in China or India.
  • Wow somebody is feeling cynical.
  • Or realistic. A lot of the time this is what actually happens unfortunately. The same is true for clothes.
  • Nice gesture, but it's kind of like donating 10,000 rotten bananas to the food bank isn't it? Was the time spent refurbishing them also donated or did the taxpayers get stuck with that? Where I live there is an ewaste pickup service that recycles the stuff with proceeds going to fund breast cancer research. Seems to me that's the better way to go. And why does the city of Los Angeles have that many employees to begin with? What do they all do???? Argh, I'm going back to sleep...
  • Los Angeles is huge. Now what they all do is still a mystery
  • "Nice gesture, but it's kind of like donating 10,000 rotten bananas to the food bank isn't it?"   Wow, how cynical can you get? If the LA Council is donating virus-infected or defective PCs to these NGOs, then yes, the analogy applies. But they refurbished those PCs so the most they're getting are hand-me-downs or old tech, which is way better than getting the former.   Besides, if those NGOs receive defective PCs, I'd bet that they'll complain and it will go public. Bad PR for the council if they do that.
  • The cost of owning a PC doesn't stop at the cost of the machine. The recipients of the old computers will incur maintenance and repair costs that will be excessive. Even if the computers are delivered clean they will be infected within minutes of connecting to the internet. If they don't connect them to the internet then they can be of some value I suppose. Kinda like the food bank could use the rotten bananas to make banana bread.
  • Not even charity deserves Windows XP. That's like giving 13-year expired soup to a homeless shelter.
  • LOL! Well they follow something is better than nothing i guess... but seriously Windows XP... :P
  • Well, at least you don't get sick from using Windows XP now, do you?   If I was a really mean head of that council, I'll just leave it at DOS and donate them to these NGOs. Can't wait to see the bad rep that follows sooner or later.
  • Maybe Microsoft could donate updated software?
  • Maybe that PCs are pre-SSE3 and just can't run 7?
  • I was unemployed for a while. In 2004 I did a "work for the sole" program in Australia. I was working in video editing but in the same building were people fixing up old computers for families who couldn't afford PC's. Work for the dole - aka killing low paid work by getting a class of people to do it for nothing.
  • I wonder what can be so damaged in a desktop PC that can't be fixed. PC can get unactual due to computing capabilities, sure, but unabled to refurbish... Someone just has hands from the wrong place.
  • Spending $100 in man-hours to trouble-shoot and repair a computer that's worth $5 doesn't make much sense now, does it?
  • Sure, applying to a laptop in the USA or where are you answering from. But there where the PCs gonna be obviously addressed man-day costs maybe $5 or lesser. Africa or smth. Give em as is, they will reconstruct what they need. And another point: Want to feed someone once - give him a fish, want to get him fed for the whole life - teach him fishing.
  • The SDRAM perhaps
  • If these PCs are older than about 5-6 years the price of replacement parts would be enough to buy brand new. In my experience as a tech volunteer for a nonprofit, intentions may be good, but the white elephant factor usually makes the equipment not worth the extra time, effort, extra support, and ongoing staff complaints about slowness.
  • It costs $6 to pay for a charity license for Windows 7 on refurbished computers. I agree with all the comments that this donation was like giving rotten food to a food bank.
  • I'm assuming these machines will mainly be used to access the internet. If they doubled the RAM by harvesting RAM from half the machines, provided limited user accounts as the main account, installed a freeware antivirus and a browser like Chrome or Firefox, these could make decent machines for that purpose. They're being donated to organizations which likely have few or no computers. It's better than nothing.
  • +100500
  • Because poor people deseve access to computer viruses and being hacked too. Honestly,it would be better to just recycle the components
  • Whoever suggests propagation is a rite deserves a back handed slapping. As for recycling... very good for society.
  • I'm looking for the Windows Phone Central website, they have Windows Phone information & stuff... It was here last night...
  • Very ingenious and at the same time helpful and resourceful to those who need. I think more governments and countries should start refurbishing old computer systems in order to help upcoming companies and organizations. I have seen one such containment of old and unused dell computers.Now only if I could post a picture! I also feel that there could be exchange or refurbish programs where computer manufacturers accept old computers when an individual purchases a new one. These old computers could then be refurbished and donated to those less fortunate.
  • Lol we had 95/98 era ibms when i was in school that they put xp on wonder if their still in service. Dont know what the public schools there currently have but that would've been perfect for them
  • I wonder how many hard drives weren't erased properly and will contain peoples information. Just wait for it.
  • Unless the machines have been upgraded to Windows 7 then all they've basically done is hand over 8,000 shitty sticks that are guaranteed to get viruses. They should have been wiped and let XP fuckin' die.
  • Pass the crap...buck...crap...
  • I really like the articles on wpcentral but sometimes comments make my day and sometimes  while reading the comments I totally forgets what the article was about?  :P  
  • As long as they don't take those PCs online, great. Word processing, training, but keep those off the internet for safety.
  • Microsoft donated Windows 8 to several charities last year. Maybe they would do it again for this?