Posted by Garth on Friday, December 19, 2008

The other day I decided to give a little something back.  Googled "volunteer computer phuket" and the first hit was Phuket Has Been Good To Us Foundation - a group of English teachers made up of paid staff and volunteers.  They have a small office with a handful of computers which were in various states of disrepair.  I emailed them and set up a time yesterday to go take a look at their situation.  All in all things weren't in horrible shape, but they were suffering from standard small organization issues - lack of anti-virus, lack of Windows Updates, etc.

One issue they had which required hardware work (blech!) involved a computer that would power on but not do anything.  Monitor never came out of suspend.  HDD light was on solid.  Nothing happening.  Cracked open the case and tried a few things and even managed to get it to boot up once... but it was kind of flaky.  At one point I put my hand on the case and I actually got a shock.  Not a static shock, but a continuous flow of electricity through my hand and up my arm.  Something was obviously amiss.  Tried out a different PSU but had the same current flowing through me.  After some trial and error it turned out to be a faulty powerbar which, I suppose, was improperly grounded.  And had obviously caused some irreversible damage to the motherboard.  Unfortunate, but the electrical situation in Thailand is less than stellar.

At any rate, I'll probably be doing a little more work for them in the future, and maybe trying to find other organizations that need my help.  I find it odd that a lot of the "volunteer" work around here (at least according to the 'net) requires me to pay them.  I mean, I'm living here, I have free time which I'm willing to donate, but I'm quite unwilling to pay someone so that I can then give them free time.  Doesn't make a lot of sense.

If you're reading this and know of someone in Phuket that is giving back to the community and needs some IT help, drop me an email and I'll see what I can do.


Mom said...

Yay, Garth, Awesome wisdom in that logic! Merry Christmas!

Gillian said...

I'm proud of you Dos! Good on ya!

Merry X - we'll miss you in the Loo!

Anonymous said...

woot! I am proud. Its a good feeling.

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