Inveneo Computers Archives

The E-Waste Dilemma: Where Do Broken Computers Go?

  1. Posted by Inveneo on July 2, 2014 in the categories: Healthcare, News
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That question gets pretty complicated based on where you live, and whether you’re talking about individually-owned computers or those held by large corporations. If you live in a country where there are electronic waste facilities nearby and you don’t have overseas relationships, you may want to stop reading this article now.  But what if you’re a tech enthusiast helping start-up programs in low-resource parts of the world?

OldComputersMy name is Neelley Hicks and I work as the Director for ICT4D Church Initiatives at United Methodist Communications, the communications agency for The United Methodist Church. We have relationships with people and ministries around the world and have a moral mandate to care for the earth. So this is an important question to ask, in this era of emerging technologies, that can make a big difference in quality of life for those who’ve been most left behind by the information age. I’ve been reaching out to colleagues who are fluent in e-waste policies to look at how we can be environmentally responsible, while still promoting the use of technologies for social good in low-resource areas. Here are some good practices I’ve found:

1) Determine What Is Right for the Context

If you think that the computers that work well in your regularly air-conditioned office are going to benefit the program you’re supporting in Africa or Haiti, think again. Instead, look at newer low-energy computers that survive high-heat, humidity, and dust and that run on batteries for extended periods of time. They’ll last longer, fulfill intended purposes better, and keep some of the toxins found in old computers out of areas that don’t have local e-waste management. If you still want to re-use an old computer, consider using it in a similar context – there may be a program right down the road from you that will really appreciate the donation!

2) Local Repair, Local Maintenance

If you donate or install technology overseas, what’s going to happen when you leave? Have you connected reliable ICT specialists with your program, or will users have to wait until you visit again for questions to be answered and repairs to take place? You can find certified specialists through Inveneo in 25 different countries. Also, NetHope provides a good network of in-country technicians, and they have an ongoing program to build field capacity. Consider strengthening in-field capacity and ICT knowledge during installation – not only will equipment be used to greater capacity, but you may also spark some new income-generating ideas for the programs you care about.

3) Rebuild Computers and Build Local Workforce

One broken component doesn’t mean the whole computer is bad. Maybe this is a good opportunity for a local university to dissect, test, and retain the good parts. In time, there will be enough good parts to make a whole computer that could be sold locally or used at the university. Along the way, knowledge will be gained – helping local workforce development.

United Methodist Communications is hosting an ICT4D conference September 3-5, 2014, focusing on how to implement successful tech projects in low-resource areas. Join the discussion with others who care about living into this technological era equitably and responsibly. Go to www.umcom.org/gamechangers to learn more.

Have other e-waste tips to share? Add comments below to be considered for inclusion during the conference.

ShopUMC Product Evaluation Report

  1. Posted by Inveneo on May 13, 2014 in the categories: Publications
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ShopUMCReportCoverRecently United Methodist Communications (UMCom) asked Inveneo to test, rate, and recommend IT equipment suitable for the diverse environments that ICT4D practitioners work in. Inveneo staff conducted several tests on laptops, tablets, desktops, and monitors/projectors. During the testing stage, the engineers rated each piece of equipment in terms of battery life, power consumption, performance, and several other components.

To share the results and offer recommendations, the team published the “ShopUMC Product Evaluation Report” for UMCom’s audience and the larger ICT community.

The “ShopUMC Product Evaluation Report” was commissioned by UMCom. The equipment is available at the Shop UMC store.

Inveneo Buyers Guide to Sustainable ICT Infrastructure in Low Resource Settings

  1. Posted by Inveneo on January 18, 2012 in the categories: News, Publications
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The Inveneo Buyers Guide to Sustainable ICT Infrastructure in Low Resource Settings is intended to serve as a planning tool for deploying information and communications technologies (ICTs) in low resource settings – i.e., communities lacking basic support infrastructure, such as grid power and broadband connectivity, and where computer skills among users and facilities managers are often limited.

It highlights the most important considerations in the selection, design, deployment and support of general facilities, ICT tools and supporting power systems. We have intentionally not addressed the complicated issue of mobile computing devices, opting instead to focus on the challenges facing those planning to deploy and operate shared access computing facilities such as school computer labs, community knowledge centers (CKCs), process outsourcing facilities, etc.

The ICT Buyers Guide is divided into two sections. Part 1 covers the key factors to consider in selecting major infrastructure components, from buildings and facilities to computers, peripherals, software and connectivity. Part 2 discusses infrastructure support and logistical issues around deployment.

Because there are many topics to cover, and to keep this resource as short and accessible as possible, each section starts with a brief introduction, followed, where appropriate, by a simple bullet list of key points to consider.

We invite you to provide your feedback on this document and ideas for improving it via email at info@inveneo.org.

Classmate PC: Inveneo Mobile Computing Solutions

  1. Posted by Inveneo on January 19, 2011 in the categories: News, Publications
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Inveneo Mobile Computing Solutions are rugged, energy efficient netbook computers designed for use in rural and other off-grid locations where electrical supplies are limited or unreliable.

Inveneo now features two full-featured netbook reference designs from Intel Corporation that have been carefully selected and integrated into two configurations optimized for durability: the Classmate PC Clamshell & Classmate PC Convertible.

The benefits of the Classmate PC designs include:

  • Mobility: Lightweight design with handle, screen that rotates from laptop to tablet PC, and up to 7.5 hours of battery life.
  • Ruggedness: Durable construction with water resistant keyboard, touch pad, and LCD screen, capable of withstanding a drop from 70cm.
  • Versatility: Convertible transformation to table PC for multi-modal input: ergonomic stylus for writing directly on screen, built-in speakers, microphone, and rotational camera.

Inveneo Mobile Computing Solutions can be further optimized for education. Pre-loaded with education-focused content and software, they are powerful enough to support a wide variety of educational applications and activities.

Education-specific features and software can be combined with Intel® Learning Series solutions to support interactive, individualized and peer-driven learning environments.