Got Mac? You can help C.A.N.

by Alan Graham

Related link:

I don't normally ask for help, as I prefer to give it. You won't find Pay Pal links in my blogs, there are no Amazon wish lists, but this is a situation where all I can do is make an appeal. In fact, we're not asking for a penny, but you can still help.

You Could Make A Difference

My wife, Dana, recently became the Director of a non-profit organization called The Children's Art Network (C.A.N.). It serves thousands of children each year in the Shenandoah Valley, by bringing art programs to schools who always get those programs cut at the State and Federal level. It was founded 11 years ago by our friend Brenda Papke, who unfortunately lost her battle with cancer last year.

Due to Brenda's illness, she was unable to apply for the grants that help keep the network afloat. My wife had been a volunteer for the network for the past three years and the board unanimously voted to have her take over the mantle and responsibility of saving C.A.N. However, when she took over, we realized they were not only facing a budget crisis, but a technology crisis as well. In fact to make photocopies, the receptionist has to drive 6 miles.

They currently have no usable computing gear (their one Dell is ready for pasture). So I donated a lot of my personal gear, time, and software...including one of two iBooks I plan to donate (one now and the other, once I can afford a new PowerBook).

Well this morning my wife fell and injured herself (she's okay)...and the clamshell iBook I donated now has a cracked screen and cannot be used. The replacement cost of the screen alone is more than it is worth. We're not asking for one penny...but are looking for some folks who might help, out there in the blogosphere, to turn those lemons into some lemonade. I don't have the money to repair the machine (and not asking for any), but I could use a little word of mouth.

What We Need

If you have ANY Apple gear capable of running OS X or possibly a working replacement screen for an Apple clamshell iBook, we would not only be eternally greatful, but you'd get a great tax deduction.

Not only does the administration of C.A.N. need computers, but C.A.N. would like to introduce computer art into classrooms as well. So, we'll take whatever you can give, as long as it doesn't require a lot of money to repair or get running. I'm willing to dedicate some sweat and spare parts if that is all it needs.

For more information or to help out, please follow this link.

If you don't have any gear to donate you can still help by getting the word out on your blogs.


Alan Graham


2004-01-21 12:59:08
Why limit your request?
PC hardware is cheaper and more plentiful. Asking for donated Mac hardware is like asking for down comforters at a homeless shelter, or windsor chairs at a home for battered women.

I don't mean to sound callous, but I don't understand why the (arguably) most expensive hardware on the market is what you're requesting, when less expensive PC equipment is capable of running just about any art program you could ask for.

There are hundreds of charitable organizations in need of reliable computer equipment, if they won't settle for inexpensive hardware, then they're limiting their ability to meet their goals.

I wish you and your wife the best of luck, but suggest that you broaden your request,
Chris McAvoy

2004-01-21 13:59:31
Why limit your request?
I have more than a full-time job as a writer. Providing free support for CAN is part of my donation. I am not interested in supporting five or six different machines (vendors) with five or six different hardware configurations and five or six different operating systems. I also want to keep support questions and networking issues consistant. Lastly, as a writer I have literally hundreds of free software applications that may be outdated by one version, but would work just fine for their needs. Those are all Mac OS X based.

You may have noticed that we aren't asking for the most expensive gear, but gear that folks may be willing to donate. Macs may be more expensive (to purchase - but a better value), but the cost of ownership over time (my time) is worth it.

I understand your point that beggers can't be choosers...but what we need is Macs...not PCs...simple as that.

2004-01-22 03:00:46
Why limit your request?
I share Alan's attitude towards costs. To have a network with disparate machines and operating systems might not be desirable. It depends on the business that is being run. As for Alan, my cost is measured in man's days, where the man is myself. At the time of Mac OS X 10.0, I had a small network with Macs running Mac OS X and PCs running Linux. The fuss of maitaining an heterogeneous system proved too costly, and not needed after some time, when all my Unix and Java development tools were running well on Mac OS X. I am now installing Mac OS X Server in a main machine for a related cost-saving aspect: the convenience of GUI administrative tools and the availability of open source services out-of-the-box that I had previously had to install on Mac OS X. The upfront hardware cost of Macs might be higher than standard PCs, but the integration that it enables at the network and software layer is better and probably cheaper than having an heterogeneous system.
2004-01-22 05:48:01
Why limit your request?
Personally I'm not against having more than one OS on a network/office...and I don't think it is more expensive per se...but for me...all my software and resources are OS X based.

Due to that reason, it just makes more sense to keep it simple. I just personally don't want to handle both when professionaly it isn't my paying gig.