Pittsburgh Nerds in Need

What are we?

'Pittsburgh Nerds In Need' is a project seeking to provide long-term computers that are 100% upgradable to Pittsburgh local disabled for intensive online work - such as multimedia encoding and editing.

Today, more and more work-at-home jobs require more power than hand-me-down computers most other organisations provide.  For the physically-able whose income can be achieved through manual labor work and alike these computers are fine.  However, work-at-home jobs are the primary income of many disabled people.  Those computers cannot be upgraded thoroughly, thus in many cases they end up recycled or (if the computer has broken in some way) in the trash.

Pittsburgh's disabled deserve the same chances for online employment and communication as any other applicant - and in fact require it for self-sustainability and equal footing against the able-bodied applicants who often do the same jobs as side-work.

I'll try to keep this brief, as I know you're likely anxious to move on with your day.

After going through the current hardware options, it's possible to build a fully upgradable computer for each person that can do the require work - as well as allow them to livestream to Twitch and YouTube platforms for extra income, for a little over $300 a piece - not including donated monitors, keyboards, and SATA hard drives.

Referrals can come through contacts at SOAR, Goodwill, and Pittsburgh Mercy as well as online applications, detailing the physical/emotional disability so need and urgency can be assessed and sorted into tiers.

Hardware Donations

Hardware can also be purchased directly through an Amazon wishlist I'll set up, so that donors who'd rather do that have the option.  Used monitors of at least 21", USB keyboards & mice (non-wireless), hard drives of 1TB+, solid state drives of at least 256GB, and DDR4 RAM of at least 2400mhz can be accepted (although because of AM4 architecture, DDR4 3000mhz is more helpful).

Specifications for Curious Nerds

Because Intel CPU chipsets update every generation and are generally restrictive in terms of upgrades, we will be using the AM4/Ryzen hardware platform.  The Ryzen 5 2400G provides optimal integrated video, superior to Intel's, and thus is the CPU of choice for the project.  Video cards can be purchased by the clients as they increase their income, and in fact will likely be necessary, but to keep costs down I had to focus on bare-minimum specs.

Each PC will feature an 256GB m.2 boot drive and a secondary SATA storage drive.  These can also be upgraded by clients.  Software HDDs will be at least 7200RPM, while additional storage will use any 5200RPM drives we obtain.  Motherboards will feature at least three PCIe slots for optimum upgradability.

Cases will be low-cost, but will feature additional fans for positive airflow throughput for the sake of cooling and increasing the lifespan of the hardware.  650w 80+ bronze PSUs will be used for the sake of future upgradability, especially in the case of Ryzen 3 power requirements in addition to a graphics card.  No CD/DVD drive will be added, as most software is obtained via download, and a majority of companies handling multimedia either offer their own external drives, Google Drive downloads, or thumbdrive/SD card to handle data transfers.

SD card readers will be supplied.  ONLY wired USB keyboards and mice will be offered with initial systems, as batteries for wireless models would cost the clients or us additional funds.  Since wired offers maximum output, lifespan, and the lowest costs we will be going with this.  At least one HDMI will be supplied so they can connect their TV if they have one, as this increases desktop space/digital work area.

Finally, manuals detailing the specs will be produced by someone who has volunteered their time toward the project.  I will offer reduced cost upgrade labor for those who can afford an upgrade later, 'cost' going into back into the program rather than to pay myself.  However, we do seek to enable our clients to upgrade and troubleshoot their own hardware, as well as increase the comfort-level and confidence of doing so.

Legal Stuff

It should be noted that some of the initial income will go toward any legal filings related to becoming a legitimate non-profit organization.  I do seek to take the program to other areas of the US and, eventually, national.  As for now, all donations simply go towards the benefit of the disabled in the Pittsburgh area - specifically Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.  We will expand as people and resources become available, and with client demand.

Currently, the only online personalities with permission to use the Nerds in Need name for fundraising is Jack Blackadder (on Twitter, YouTube, and Twitch platforms).  Anyone else fundraising must link directly to this page, unless we're contacted directly beforehand regarding fundraising activities.  Reports regarding funds raised are available to the public upon request.  We embrace a stance of clear and open communication with the public regarding our activities.

In Closing...

Thank you for taking the time to look into our organization.  I truly appreciate it, as do the future beneficiaries of Nerds in Need.  If you have hardware you'd like to donate, or are an organization wishing to sponsor us, you can reach me via the campaign communication link GoFundMe provides.  Thank you, again, for your time and support.

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Organizer

Jack Blackadder 
Organizer
Pittsburgh, PA
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