Computerbank’s low cost computers are available to concession card holders, students and community groups to assist to cross the digital and economic divide in Australia. Computerbank is a self funded not for profit, volunteer run community group.
Our refurbished, low cost computers come complete with monitor, keyboard/mouse and a full user guide. You can view more about our shop or see the available options via our stocklist.
Computerbank User Guide
You can download a copy of the latest version of the Computerbank user guide by clicking the icon below. The user guide is supplied with each of our computers and includes user guides and image tutorials for popular tasks and software.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here’s the frequently asked questions we are asked at Computerbank. If you have any questions not answered below, please feel free to email or give us a call.
The operating system is a customised Linux NOT Windows OS. If you have any questions please contact us.
Bring your Australian Commonwealth Concession Card, Health Care Card, Student Card or proof of Asylum Seeker status to Computerbank during our open times to buy a machine.
We will give you a one page application to fill out so we can support you if something goes wrong.
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.
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.
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.
- The warranty is extended to six months if the original operating system, Linux, is still installed on the computer.
- If you have a problem with your computer bring it back to us.
- After the warranty period, the charge for repairs to machines 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 do not install Windows only the Linux operating system.
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 North Melbourne.
Depending on volunteer availability, we can sometimes offer one on one basic training in store. We can show you:
- How to use our Linux computer.
- We show you how to create documents, browse the Internet and to use our games.
- We show you how to use 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 that could be 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 offer Microsoft Windows software or training.
- You must book with Computerbank. Email or contact us to arrange.
Free training can be offered in North Melbourne if you qualify and get a Computerbank computer.
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 offer advanced Linux software training for free. Advanced training and computer building workshops are offered to groups or in a one on one setting. We charge an hourly rate plus a call out fee if at your place, please contact us fo
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 information There are also many open source software user groups where you can meet people and learn more.
Not all printers work with a Computerbank computer. Computerbank computers have a Linux operating system on them not a Microsoft windows system.
Check this list of Linux compatible printers at Open Printing.
- Linux for Epson Printer Drivers
- We recommend HP printers for our Linux computers. Check this website for compatible Hewlett Packard printers
- Recommended HP printers fully supporting Linux
Where to buy a printer
We no longer sell or stock second hand and new printers in our shop. You can purchase printers from Officeworks, JBHiFi, BigW, Computer World, Kmart, IT Warehouse, IT Supermarket, MSY and other local retailers. You can buy a multi function printer compatible with Linux for under $60. Look out for specials, we’ve seen inkjet printers go for as low as $15.
You can also buy from second hand dealers, computer swap meets, and individual sellers from second hand trading publications, they will have lower prices than retail stores. When buying printers from second hand dealers, it is always good practice to check you can return the printer if it does not work with your system.
Check the cost of ink cartridges
Check the cost of ink cartridges before purchasing a printer. Cartridges for some models cost as much as $90. Sometimes a cheaper generic cartridge could be used. Also there are refillable ink kits available which are a cheaper option again.
Printer Set Up is not Automatic
After purchasing your printer, it will need configuration to work with your computer. The printer doesn’t just plug in and work*. Discs that come with the printer are for Microsoft Windows printer drivers and will not work on our computers. Don’t panic.
Instructions for setting up a printer can be found under “How do I set up my Printer?” which is included in the computer guide we gave you when you bought the computer. There is a copy of these instructions included in the documents folder as well.
Will Computerbank Repair my Printer?
Computerbank does not repair printers. Each printer manufacturer unfortunately makes hundreds of different models and it is not possible to stock parts for them. It would be nice to see some standardisation within and between brands to cut needless waste.
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.
Computerbank has many recycled computer parts and equipment for sale. Volunteers have taken the trouble to separate these items so they don’t end up in Ewaste.
We know geeks and creative people will find these recycled parts very useful, you can check out a common items list on our shop page, please contact us if you are after anything specific or have any inquiries.
Don’t forget to check our Ebay Store.