Assistance for Remote Learning and Virtual Gathering

Services offered by Niles Donegan

With the encouragement of the team at CommunityCare of Lyme, I’d like to offer to help anyone who is having trouble using their computer for remote learning, working from home, video calls or any other issue.  This is kind of a nerdy hobby of mine that I’ve been doing (inflicting?) for family, friends and colleagues over the years, so there’s certainly no fee or anything in this.  It’s “free as in beer,” as the saying goes.

There are a few ways that I think I can help:

1.  I’m happy to talk with you about the problems you’re having getting a computer to function better in this new remote work/learning environment.  Sometimes these issues will be due to your internet connection, and may be largely out of our hands for the time being (sign up for LymeFiber at   But more often, there are a bunch of little fixes that we can go over by phone or email to make your computer begin to work for you again.   It might take a few days to get through, as there’s often this thick digital crust of bloatware that (intentionally or not) progressively slows things down.  There are also larger fixes (more memory, etc) that we can explore over the phone once the more common problems are worked out.

2. I have several modernized iMacs and PCs that are free to anyone who needs them.  Many families have had to make a difficult choice as to whether a computer should be used for for school or work.  To assist in this, I’ve revivified a set of older iMacs and PCs (digitally- and biologically-virus free) which are *free forever* to any individual or family that needs them.   These now capably run current operating systems on speedy solid-state hard drives, and are set up to do video conferencing like Zoom.  Alongside these computers, I also have a small supply of printers and scanners that can be sent out to households to assist in printing or scanning homework for remote learning.

If your household could benefit from one, please contact Community Care of Lyme by email ( or phone (795-0603) and we will arrange a time for a safe drop-off.   For everyone’s safety and peace of mind, I’ll maintain a biological safety protocol where these computers will be stored sterilely in contractor bags in my garage for one week before redistribution.

3. To support getting these free computers out to people, I need help from the rest of you. If you have an old (2007+) computer that you aren’t using (either obsolete or /lightly/ broken), *please* consider giving it a new life in a new home.    I can update it and with the help of CCL, send it out to those who need it.  Similar to above, we’d arrange a safe method of pickup, after which the computer would sit in a contractor bag for a week before I work on it. I’d then wipe it of any information, and modernize it with a solid state hard drive, additional memory and all the necessary programs.  It’d then have a new life helping families in the area (after another week of biological cooldown in a bag).   Likewise, I’m also also looking for dependable/toner-friendly printers and scanners that can be re-homed, which are especially useful for the remote learning environment.

Relatedly, if you have a dead computer that could still be of use in your own house, I’d be happy to do that as well, using a biological safety protocol similar to that above.

If any of this would be of help to you, please call CommunityCare of Lyme at 603-795-0603 or email OR (!) if you’ve got the time and tech skills to help in this effort, the more the merrier!  Contact me and we can team up.

Niles Donegan