Great to see a community computer project get going on the Wight.
Park Computer at 65 High Park, Ryde is selling computers at low prices to anyone who walks through the door.
This is all the more encouraging to see as it’s a project that we’ve been keeping at the back of our minds for a while, but haven’t found the time to do. Making computers available to all is vital to minimise the digital divide.
By taking in disused computer equipment and applying volunteer computer technician labour to doing them up, The Park Centre is able to do all-in-one starter packages – computer; monitor; printer; mouse and keyboard – all for £120.
For the more advanced user, there’s stand-alone, high-end computers also available for £100.
All of the computers have been donated by members of the public, so if the machines arrive with Windows on them, they’ll be sold with it. Other machines will be sold with a free alternative to Windows installed – Linux.
New kit too
It’s not just recycled computer equipment that they’ve got at the shop. For example they’ve currently got quite a number of 17-inch flat screen monitors that they’re selling for £60 each.
We chatted to Barry Kemp, the project’s manager, to get more details.
He explained that it all started when they were having lots of people dropping computers around to the main office of the Ryde East Community Association and found that they were running out of room to store them.
It appeared completely logical that with this much demand, they start a separate shop and when one came up at the right low rent they jumped at the chance.
There’s a paid manager running the shop – Simon – but all of the people assembling and fixing up the computer are volunteers.
Computer donations welcome
The success of the venture will depend on the flow of unneeded computer to them, so they can continue to refurbish them for potential purchasers.
Anyone who has spare computer-related equipment is encouraged to take it to the shop, where it will be gratefully received, refurbished and recycled to new owners.
Well worth doing, especially after the recent news that the Islands rubbish tips could be full in just seven years.
Best luck to them all.
To call Park Computers call 811 813