EqOpTech launches Computer-in-a-Box at Egan School

 Computer-in-a-Box Refurbish Workshop

Computer-in-a-Box Refurbish Workshop

By Terence Lee

Following a successful roll out of a Refurbished Laptop Program at Egan School, EqOpTech of Los Altos is launching a Computer-in-a-Box Refurbish Workshop to refurbish old laptops benefiting students in need.  

EqOpTech, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, promotes equal opportunity learning through technology. The Company refurbishes and deploy old laptops to students in need to enable access to the cloud (Google Drive) to complete homework and projects.

One person's Trash is Another person's Treasure

EqOpTech team seeks to revive and reuse MacBook models 1,1 and 2,1 that would otherwise go to e-waste. The MacBook Model 1,1 and 2,1 are old technologies from 2006/2007 that are obsolete and cannot access Google Applications. Refurbishing old MacBooks with Linux operating system not only extends the life of old technology but is also good for the environment. 

Google Drive and Other Apps on the Linux Operating System

Google Apps are available on Linux Ubuntu or Lubuntu as most of Google tools work within a web browser. Ubuntu/Lubuntu is a free, open source Linux operating system with bundled free applications such as Firefox, LibreOffice, etc. 

Depending on the MacBook model, either Linux Ubuntu or a light version called Lubuntu can be installed. Light versions of an operating systems are pared down so that unnecessary applications and processes are not included, reducing the space and processing power required.


Dual Booting is a process that allows for multiple operating systems to be installed on the same hard drive, in this case, Linux allows for the computer to have Google Drive capabilities while still maintaining the original Mac OS. 

Reviving Old MacBooks 2,1 with Linux UbuntU

Under this program, White MacBooks 2,1 will be refreshed by installing Linux Ubuntu to enable students to access a web browser to use latest technology such as Google Drive to do homework and learn in the cloud.

Revive old macbooks 1,1 with Lubuntu - Lightweight Linux

MacBooks 1,1 will be refurbished to dual boot a lighter version of Linux called Lubuntu that is especially designed for low hardware specifications/older machines and fast performance. This is ideal for older laptops but can be used for modern laptops as well.

Computer-in-a-Box Project

“Computer in a Box” project is open to all students at Egan Junior High School. Under this project, each student volunteer will be provided with a MacBook in a box and a kit consisting of a power adapter, installation guide and an installation disk to install dual boot Linux alongside Mac OS. For Refurbish Instruction, a Youtube and/or live training will be given to help walk students through the refurbishing process. 

"We are very grateful to Mr. Peter Swenson for opening up the computer lab to host EqOpTech's Computer-in-a-Box program", said Terence Lee, Founder of EqOpTech. "Your support to refurbish and reuse older technology will provide "equal opportunity" to foster STEM education and to minimize unwanted computers going to e-waste."

The workshop will take place in Room 29 at Egan School for 4 consecutive Mondays (2/27, 3/6, 3/13, 3/20) starting February 27, 2017 from 3 to 4:15 pm. 

Students who are interested can sign up with Mr. Swenson. Live instructions will be provided at the workshops by instructors Daniel Lim and Terence Lee from EqOpTech.

Community service hours are awarded

EqOpTech is a company of the students, by the students and for the students. EqOpTech aims not only to mentor and train students in computer engineering skills, but also to inspire students’ involvement to give back and be a role model to needy students in under-served community. Community service hours will be awarded to all participants.