Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s the frequently asked questions we are asked at Computerbank. Hopefully this will answer your questions.

Computerbank computers

  • Desktop computers start from $30, or $20 if you don’t need an LCD screen.
  • Computers include an LCD monitor, keyboard, mouse, connecting cables and power cords.
  • Laptop computers start from around $100 up to $350. Laptops are ONLY available to concession card holders and community groups.
  • All computers are refurbished and quality assured.
  • Three months back to base warranty.
  • Have Ubuntu Linux and other useful free and open source software including Google Chrome, Firefox, Adobe PDF Reader, Skype, Libreoffice, VLC, Audacity and much more.
  • We DO NOT put Microsoft Windows on our computers.
  • A free user guide.

See our shop for details and costs of our faster machines.

What is on the Computerbank computer?

  • All our computers come with over 70 open source software programs.  Programs include word processing, spreadsheets, pdf maker, presentation slides, typing tutor, maths games, kids games, solitaire, sudoku, chess, web camera software, GIMP graphics, Firefox, Google Chrome, Skype, GRAMPS genealogy, GnuCash Finance management, VLC, Audacity and much more.
  • The operating system is a customised Ubuntu Linux NOT Windows OS.
  •  If you have any questions email

What is Linux and why haven’t I heard of it before?

Ubuntu Linux is a free Unix based operating system. It is often referred to being open source, because the code is freely available. Some well known examples of open source software used in Windows/Mac include Firefox, Thunderbird mail, Audacity and VLC. 

Because Linux is freely available, it isn’t marketed by anyone in particular. Despite this, Linux is used to run most of the internet, is installed or embedded into many devices (eg routers, TV’s, fridges), and is the operating system included in Android based smart phones and tablets. You might already be using Linux and not even know it.

Who is eligible for a low cost computer?

  • Our low cost recycled computers are available for community groups and  Australian Commonwealth Concession Card or Health Care Card holders, asylum seekers (referral or card) and students.
  • Bring your Australian Commonwealth Concession Card, Health Care Card, Student Card or proof of Asylum Seeker status to Computerbank on Friday between 10am-5pm and Saturday between 12.30- 5pm.
  • Choose a computer from our shop.
  • We will give you a one page application to fill out – so we can support you if something goes wrong.
  • There is no waiting list you can take your computer with you.

Do we have Laptops?

Laptops are only available to concession card holders and community groups. They are available on a first come first served basis. Laptops start from around $100.

Will you put Microsoft Windows on a computer I get from you?

  • No we will not put Microsoft Windows on one of our computers,  some of our refurbished pc’s have a Microsoft Licence Sticker. This means you can legally install the version of Microsoft indicated on the licence sticker. All Computerbank computers are tested and refurbished with the Ubuntu/Linux free operating system we have included lots of useful software.
  • You can surf the web, create documents, play games, work on graphics on our computers.
  • We are committed to using free and open source software.

Our computer warranty

  • Our restored computers come with a three months back to base warranty. For desktops, we extend the warranty to six months if the original operating system, Linux, is still installed on the computer. If you have a problem with your computer you can organise an appointment to bring it back to us on a Friday or Saturday.
  • The charge for repairs to machines after 3 months is $25 plus the cost of parts.
  • There will be charge if a Computerbank computer has been tampered with and items replaced or removed.  We charge $25 if the machine has become faulty after a Windows installation. We will not install Windows, only the Linux operating system.

How do you help me if my Computerbank computer becomes faulty?

  • If you have a problem with your computer bring it back to us on a Friday or Saturday. Ring us before you come so we can give your problem priority.  Most repairs in the first three months after purchase are free.
  • There will be charge if a Computerbank computer has been tampered with and items replaced or removed.  We charge $25 if the machine has become faulty after a Windows installation. We will not install Windows only the Linux operating system.
  • The charge for repairs to machines after 3/6 months is $25.

Opening hours

  • Only open two days a week. Opening times 10am-5pm Friday and 12.30pm-5.00pm on Saturday.
  • Don’t forget to bring along your Concession Card.
  • Our address is 483 Victoria St (near Dyrburgh St), West Melbourne. This is the very west end of Victoria St.

Will you deliver my computer?

  • No we are not able to deliver computers.  We don’t have any volunteers available to drive around Melbourne.
  • If you don’t have transport you will have to organise a family member, friend or social worker to pick up your computer from Computerbank in West Melbourne.

Do you provide free training?

We will try to show you some of the basics when you purchase the computer from our store.

Depending on volunteer availability, we can sometimes provide one on one basic training on Friday and Saturday afternoons. We can show you:

  • How to use our Ubuntu/Linux computer.
  • We show you how to create documents, browse the Internet and to access our games.
  • We show you how to access the software on the computer.
  • We show you where your documents and files are stored.
  • We discuss the major differences between the Linux/operating system and Windows.
  • We explain that documents and spreadsheets created on a Computerbank computer can be read and used on a Windows pc.
  • How to assemble the computer when you get it home.
  • Trainers are advanced Linux users who have a range of experience in the field.
  • We do not provide Microsoft Windows software or training.
  • You must book with Computerbank. Email or call us on 9600 9161 to arrange.

Who can attend your free training?

  • Free training is offered in West Melbourne if you qualify and obtain a Computerbank computer.

What other training do you provide?

We sometimes have Show Me How Days.  These are scheduled on an ad hoc basis.  This is perfect for people who have some specific needs. If you have a Computerbank computer and wish to add a camera, a printer or have a question about any aspect of your computer,  bring your item in and we can show you how it works with your computer.

We do not provide advanced Linux software training for free. Advanced training and computer building workshops can be provided to groups or in a one on one setting. We charge an hourly rate plus a call out fee if at your place.  Contact us at for more information.

There are also many free open source resources on the internet to further your knowledge.  You could try these links: Open Source Software and Linux Ubuntu information   There are also many open source software user groups where you can meet people and learn more.

What printers do you have available?

  • We sometimes have both new and low cost second hand printers available in our shop.

What printers work with your Ubuntu computers?

Not all printers work with our Ubuntu operating system. We recommend HP printers for our Ubuntu Linux computers.  See here for further information.

Computers for overseas countries

  • We are a voluntary run organisation and have no funding for transportation to overseas countries.
  • Overseas groups applying for a computer/s will have to pay for and organise the pick up, transportation of the computers to another country and delivery at the destination.
  • Preference is given to people supporting Linux and open source software.
  • Computers are not always available for overseas submissions.