Once again I wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone for reading the blog and giving us a chance to talk about what MacRecycleClinic is all about. The stats say we have had more than 7,000 hits – just amazing for an occasional blog. So thank you!
The Clinic is only open Mondays (save holidays) from 7 to 9 PM which makes it a challenge for folks to find us or take advantage of our services. We only work on out-of-warranty machines but love to answer questions and can help install software or hardware on any Mac. We have also been asked to help grab information from older machines (going WAY BACK in fact to original Macs and even Apple IIs and ///s) or just help keep older machines working.
As I have time – I will reprint some articles about recycling that I (or others in what is now the MacRecycleClinic group) wrote about our efforts over the years to refurbish and return Macs back into the community. I’m doing this not only to preserve the articles but to show just how far back MRC and our old Washington Apple Pi Tuesday Night Crew goes – how our efforts to recycle have gone back to Apple II days in fact. I’ll add photos as well when possible.
Note that in 2012 MCPS – Montgomery County (Maryland) Public Schools – basically only supports PCs these days. That said, MRC has had luck working with school counselors and PTSAs to get computers to students and families that don’t have computers. If you have a group that is trying to recycle computers, be sure to check and see what your local school district will – or won’t – accept. But there are many non-profits, students and families who would appreciate a refurbished computer. I just read the newspaper, work with local churches and school groups and never have a problem finding someone who could use a recycled Macintosh.
The first “personal” computer I ever used was at CNN’s original Washington, DC Bureau in what we called “Upper Georgetown.” At that time (likely 1983) we still typed on IBM Selectric typewriters to write our scripts. We also had access to dumb terminals connected to a central server – running a news program called “Basys” that allowed us to send internal text messages and check the wires, rundowns and other information (CNN was the first to use it, if I remember correctly).
But I still went in every morning at 3 A.M. for years and pulled stories for the morning shows from the teletype machines so my writers could write their stories on the Selectrics.
One day I noticed that our assistant bureau chief was trying to work with a computer called an Apple ///. She was actually taking it home to learn how to use it. I’m not sure how that went, but I happily ended up with it when I started doing the intern program for the bureau. That initial experience ultimately led me to purchase my own Apple ///, an external hard drive and a set of ten floppy disks – at $10.00 each! I could have purchased an original Macintosh instead for about the same price – but since I’d worked with the ///, I felt I would get better use of it – and I did for many years.
(From an original post to Tumblr)
I joined Washington Apple Pi or WAP for short) in 1983 or so. Like many, I needed some support from fellow users and WAP was the answer. (That’s me second from right with a group of SARAsaurs as we were called – the /// was named after the designer’s daughter.)
A group of us started holding tech sessions on Tuesday nights – folks would bring their sick computers in for repair help, to ask questions, get upgrades – you name it. Some left old machines behind. And that was the start of our recycling efforts.
Early-on, the focus was on the Apple II – Apple’s first real success story. We tried to recycle many donations to schools that did not have any – like the two elementary schools in West Virginia in 1996.That’s a picture at left of all the computer equipment ready to be set up in a lab.
As Apple moved from IIs to Macs, we slowly made the switch ourselves as the mix of donations changed. The passion was still there – we just had a different machine to work with. There is a real challenge in taking a donated machine and turning it into a tool that is useful again. But for most of us, there is just great satisfaction and joy watching the faces of those who receive our donations.
Note: I am consolidating my RecyleYourMac blog to WordPress from Tumblr. This original post was actually on TwitWall.
Originally published: September 9, 2010
It’s exciting to tell you that we are finally back in business – helping Mac (and even Apple) users in the Washington, DC area with their Mac problems. MacRecycleClinic is the new name for the old “Tuesday Night Crew” that was hosted by Washington Apple Pi in Rockville for many, many years.
As fewer folks joined user groups, WAP downsized to the point where we no longer had space to work so we took a step back, put our tools into storage and started looking for new space.
It took awhile – but we have found a new, welcoming home at Marvin Memorial Methodist Church across from Blair High School in the Four Corners area of Silver Spring. This is an ideal location for us and working with the church, we have big plans on a number of fronts.
1) We are going to establish a Mac lab for Blair students to use for after-school homework.
2) We hope to establish ties with Blair to train students to repair and help us recycle Macs.
3) We have already established some ties with various Veterans groups and will work to recycle Macs into the hands and homes of our Wounded Warriors. These are special men and women and we look forward to honoring them by helping them have the tools they need to move on to productive lives.
4) We will continue to work with Mac (and Apple) owners in the Washington region who need a little one-on-one help in a friendly atmosphere. As a non-profit, all fees are tax-deductable as well.
5) Clinics will now be on Monday nights from 7 until 9 PM or so.
Please check out our website for more information, instructions on how to get to Marvin Church, hours of operation, fees and more. And if you’re interested in working with us, let us know!
From time-to-time, we’ll post blog entries here to let you know what’s going on, some of the challenges with repairs we’ve faced (or are facing!) and maybe even to ask for your help or suggestions.
Directions to Marvin Church: http://www.gbgm-umc.org/marvinchurch/directions.asp
You can leave a message on our new phone at: 301-593-4004 or email us at email@example.com