Contributor: Graeme Sturrock of Edinburgh Computer Repairs
From the beginning of the project, Graeme Sturrock, owner of Edinburgh Computer Repairs has contributed in many ways to the development of the Ragged University project. Having no equipment, he made computers available, and has donated several over time to this and other projects which have been in need of access to the digital.
Being given laptops, desktops, advice and guidance on how to use them – and maintain them, has been invaluable in this age of the internet. He provided the community with the opportunity to get to grips with what computers can offer. Not only this, but he has actively made connections with various other people who run small businesses in the Edinburgh area, and who have helped by chipping in their kind offerings. Two examples being Chris Behr who did the graphic design for the project, and Scott Porter – owner of Digital Engine – who at various points developed and managed the Ragged University website.
Understanding what technical solutions are available is a complex thing unless made easy by the likes of Graeme. His generosity and community spirit have been a comfort in many areas, from identifying software solutions for achieving something creative, to getting the drivers to run a computer. None of this technical knowledge comes easy, and that is why it is the bread and butter of his business.
Where he could have legitimately put his attentions other places, he has unerringly ensured that the Ragged University project has stayed on the road in equipment terms. Taking the smoke and mirrors out of achieving digital feats is something he obviously enjoys doing, and it is obvious that he takes pleasure in imparting information on other people.
His trade as a small business is an important one which keeps computers from going to scrap whilst saving people money. He vividly and pleasantly illustrates a part of the circular economy we need to move towards. Not only this, but he actively encourages people to get to grips with managing their computer environments themselves so that they do not break down. It is a very valuable quality of a person not to exploit the need of others, but instead to build good business by providing a way forward for others. This creates an economy where people know where they can go for reliable and honest advice, and also find a reasonable price.
Lastly, he has been generous in giving use of his whole shop on the weekends when there is a need for computers and space to do digital teaching. By providing use of the computers and space for free it enabled the community to do IT sessions where people’s computer questions could be answered, website creation could be taught, and knowledge could be shared. Also, and most importantly, when an answer about computers and the digital was not known, he has always been a fountain of knowledge.