If more of us were willing to do small acts of kindness like this, the world would be a better place.
I’ve had a laptop computer “parked” at home for a long time. It fell into disuse about 7 years ago, and every now and then I would come across it stored in a closet, gathering dust. Theoretically, it was supposed to be useful in case of emergency if my newer laptop ever broke down.
Recently, I learned that a local non-profit called Petits Detalls, which works in Uganda, recycles old computers. Quico Germain, the young man who started it in 2014, and his team give the old computers new life as learning tools for the children of the orphanage-school the charity has built.
It occurred to me that I could donate my laptop, so I took it to my local Media Markt in Lleida, Spain. (Media Markt in Europe is comparable to Best Buy in North America.) I put on my face mask, cleaned my hands with hand sanitizer, and waited in line. After a while, I was served by a young man. Due to his face mask, I’d only be able to recognize him in the future by his voice, hands, eyes, glasses and long, black, curly, rocker-like hair.
Worth the extra cost
I asked him how much it was going to cost me to reset the computer and clean all my personal data, and he told me that a superficial cleaning would cost 8 euros, but if I wanted my data to be unrecoverable in any way, it would take about 10 hours and would cost me about 20-30 euros (about $24 – $36). I’d have to leave it and pick it up another day.
I thought about it and eventually decided that it was worth spending the extra money: I prefer my data not to be floating around out there.
As we talked, he mentioned that he was surprised that I had brought him a laptop of that particular brand, which was unknown to him and wasn’t even listed in the Media Markt’s price database anymore because it was so old. I told him that it could still be useful, and I explained to him my intention of giving it to a non-profit in Africa.