Ketchikan Indian Community has donated more than 100 computers for the local Alaska Native Brotherhood/Alaska Native Sisterhood to refurbish and distribute to people in the community.
KIC Information Technology Director Rod Short said the donation followed a technology upgrade at all KIC facilities last year.
“KIC has a kind of a regular replacement schedule as we update computers, and we’ve had a number of critical core applications that help run the clinic that have been updated and they had have different requirements,” he said. “They needed a little bit more computer power than our existing desktops so we started a program to start updating and replacing those. Along the way, we discovered that we were going to have this large amount of excess computers, and trying to determine what to do with them. They were perfectly fine computers. They’d be great for surfing the Internet and home use and whatnot.”
Short said one of the IT Department employees, James Llanos Jr., suggested that KIC donate the computers to ANB/ANS, which then could distribute them to the community. Short said he and KIC management thought that was a great idea.
“So, over the past six to nine months, as we’ve been collecting these computers, taking them out of operation and putting the new ones in, my staff has been wiping the hard drives, which is required for our policies, and just making sure all the hardware is operational, that they’re good computers,” he said.
Short said after the computers are wiped clean, there is nothing left, so Llanos has been donating his time to install an operating system on each. The MPC All-in-One model computers will have the Windows XP operating system in addition to basic software.
“I think he said he gets about ten done a weekend, which is actually, he’s working very hard if that’s how fast he’s moving on it,” Short said. “It’s quite a bit of work. I’d would estimate it’s anywhere from probably three to four hours per computer to do that. If you line them up side by side, you can kind of do it as a bulk batch and move pretty quick, but it’s still quite a bit of work.”
A KIC news release states that anyone in the community is eligible to apply for a free computer, and you do not need to be a member of KIC or ANB/ANS.
Applications for a free computer are on the ANB website: www.camp14.com.
The donation follows a recent smaller donation by KIC of computers to the North Tongass Volunteer Fire Department, which will be used for training purposes.
Short said KIC would have collected the computers for recycling if they hadn’t chosen to donate them.