This idea is based on the fact that people replace their laptops once they slow down. Windows machines will show their age after three years or so, which prompts people to replace their laptop. We would take these laptops securely re-format the hard drives and put on the Linux OS Ubuntu. This is fairly lightweight OS that is very user friendly and more importantly, free. By installing this OS onto the old laptops, we are able to bring these computers back from the brink into fully functional machines again. The laptops would need to have no hardware problems, broken screen, dodgy power connections,microwaved motherboard etc, so that they will still have some years use for the schools they are sent to.
One of the factors that could put people off sending in their old laptops would be the hassle of sending it to the other side of the country. To tackle this we will try to set up collection points and have volunteers in most cities. If the local volunteers can collect the laptops, format the drive, install the Operating System and basic programmes before sending batches to a centralised location that would be ideal. Universities will be a good place to recruit these volunteers.
Sending off the machines around the world will cost money. So will the promotion and collection of the laptops and the operational costs of our partner in Malawi.
We need to have schools that we can send these out to. The schools selection and the operational side of Malaptop will be undertaken by our partners in Malawi, the Centre for Youth and Development Malawi. The school would need to fit the following criteria for before the laptops could be sent out: