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MRC Donates PowerMac Labs to Two Area Schools

October 4, 2014

STEM SchoolSILVER SPRING, Md. – The Mac Recycle Clinic (MRC) got the school year off to a good start with donations for two area schools:

– 12 complete PowerMac systems went to the Cheverly (Md.) STEM Education Center located in the Cheverly United Methodist Church.  The school provides Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) classes for area home schoolers.

– 6 additional towers went to the Chance Academy, which is located in the Michigan Park Christian Church in Washington, D.C..  This school provides the homeschool network in Maryland and the District of Columbia with academic programs in the sciences.

Chance AcademyAll of the machines (including monitors, keyboards and mice) from the MRC are donated Macs that are reconditioned to make sure everything is working properly. We have a “master” hard drive that we clone (copy) so that all machines have the same set of software when they go out the door.

Since all these machines were PowerPC Macs (pre-Intel chip machines), the software is all optimized to work with OS 10.5.8 – the last OS version that works with PPC Macs.

So what do we put on these machines? Open Office (or NeoOffice) is a suite of programs much like Microsoft Office ™ that allows the user to accomplish many of the same tasks. Files can be saved as .rtf files compatible with Word. We also include older versions of Apple software that the company no longer supports including iLife and iWork. If the client wants to do video editing, we include an old version of Final Cut Express. In most cases, however, all the software is public domain. Browsers include Apple’s Safari and Firefox.

One problem with these older machines is that they are not able to run the latest version of Flash – which YouTube and other sites need to work properly. That said, most sites work fine and we install a patch that can help.

As MRC volunteers, we are thrilled to make these donations to both schools and continue to look for opportunities to donate our refurbished Mac computers to the DMV region and beyond.

We ask that school counselors (or representative government agency representatives) make recommendations about students or families who need a computer (and perhaps a printer). We can not take direct requests from the public.

Occasionally, we have refurbished machines that we can sell for a donation to our non-profit. All funds received go to help continue our operations. The MRC is a volunteer organization with its roots going back more than a decade to the Washington Apple Pi User Group.

MRC holds a weekly clinic (based on the MCPS calendar) on Mondays at the Four Corners Campus of Silver Spring United Methodist Church (the old Marvin Memorial) across from Blair High School. Hours are 7 to 9 p.m. We do take donations of late model Macs and printers. Older machines should be taken to the Shady Grove Transfer Station for recycling.

Learn more about the Mac Recycle Clinic online at http://macrecycleclinic.org

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