‘Dead’, ‘Does not connect to the network’, ‘Doesn’t work’ …

Many of the computers we collected had these labels on top – if you have been using Windows, you probably know the feeling ;). We decided to instil a new life onto these laptops, donated by our awesome supporters at the Drapers Brookside Primary School in Essex (just a little bit east of London).

We have simply installed Ubuntu (a popular distribution of Linux) and they all came back to a sparkling life. If you would like to do the same, you are more than welcome to use our script available here. It’s always better to recycle.

We have been using these laptops for a number of projects, including Create, held at the Waltham Forest Music Service offices (congratulations for winning London Borough of Culture!!!), and for some Saturday sessions we ran at the Camden School for Girls. Here’s what one of the parents wrote to us:

My daughter Jo (not her real name) joined Super Strings for the first time this half term and
my son, Max (not his real name), did the conductive music course.
Both of them had a great time but I wanted to say that my son in particular thought the
course was excellent and loved the teachers. I had to persuade him to do it but he was so
thrilled when he came back on the first day. I’m not sure where the funding comes from but I
hope other children will have the opportunity to do it again.

In January, we kickstarted a new partnership with the Rotherham Music Hub, in Yorkshire.
After an excellent kickoff, we have also realised that they are involved with a Charity called Amigos de Gillian Banks

The Amigos de Gillian Banks are a voluntary organisation raising money on Tenerife to support under privileged children , who deserve a better start in life. Supporting families and children to raise aspirations and career possibilities through vocational training as well as pastoral care and support for the basic requirements for daily life.
We had a few extra laptops around, so we refurbished 14 more and they are now sitting in our office, ready to be shipped to Tenerife, to help other young children to boost their paths. We sincerely hope to be able to deliver a workshop there, very soon!
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Enrico Bertelli