#StayHome🏠 - Equal chances in distance work and learning: a desktop computer for 130 USD!

With COVID-19 halting public life worldwide, many schools, businesses, and organizations turn to distance work and learning. However, access to public infrastructure is lost, and not everyone has a computer at their disposal at home.

There are many excellent initiatives to collect and distribute laptops as fast as possible to tackle this. Nevertheless, laptops are scarce, and there is often much preparation involved to make them ready for use. As there is often confidential data to be erased, and there might be software licenses required.

An alternative is the Raspberry Pi 3B+, a computer the size of a bank card. It allows the reuse of peripherals such as monitors, USB keyboards, and USB mice. Moreover, these computers can connect to wifi networks and also have an ethernet cable connector.

Rasperry Pi 3B+
Rasperry Pi 3B+

That doesn’t have to be an expensive HDMI monitor. You can also connect the Raspberry Pi 3B+ to DVI-D monitors with an adapter or a special cable.

DVI-D connector
DVI-D connector

DVI-D to HDMI cable
DVI-D to HDMI cable

An additional benefit is that there is very little preparation involved. It is sufficient to prepare the system once and to create an image of that. That is an easy process in which the user makes one file that contains a copy of the filesystem. This image makes it possible to install the system in one click to other microSD cards.

Finally, no licenses cost as all the software can be open source. The operating system can be Linux, and the office software can be OpenOffice or Libre Office.

A quick calculation shows that it is possible for 115 Euro (~ 130 $). Moreover, this can be much lower, as many companies and organisations still have discarded screens, keyboards, and mice available—an excellent opportunity in combatting E-Waste.

Our project KUBO at Afrodidact has been running a computer class at the primary school The Swallow in The Gambia since 3 years. It works like a charm.

Computer class at The Swallow
Computer class at The Swallow

The recuperation of second hand peripherals in combination with Ultra Low Cost Computers is a huge opportunity to combat inequality. Consider it!