Sunday, January 16, 2011

Australian IT Flood Relief Program

A group of people from the IT industry have set up "Queensland IT Flood Relief Program" to provide free second hand computers to organisations which lost equipment in the January 2011 Queensland floods. They are asking for donations of PCs, printers, servers, from across Australia. They will service and distribute them.

This appears similar to the work of the Australian Computer Society (ACS) PC Recycling Scheme and the Anne Mac Rae Technology Scheme (AMTRS) by the Deaf Society and TAD NSW. Running such schemes is now simple. Disks must be cleaned of old data and licensing of software installed checked. Both the deaf society and ACS schemes charge a small fee for the computers (partly so that the people who get them appreciate what they are getting). The Queensland scheme is addressing organisations, including for-profit ones, whereas such schemes are usually for individuals and not-for-profit organisations.

One point which business need to consider before re-equipping is how to re-equip and where. It might be prudent to place servers in a less flood prone location. One option is to use a "cloud" service. The business may decide to have no data stored locally and just have some computers with network for accessing the remote service (allowing for the risks for cloud computing).

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