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Donation Transparency (Laptop edition)

Posted in Life

I recently traveled to Houston for the 100 Year Starship Symposium. See a recap of my posts and some final thoughts on this event soon.

Around the time of my trip to Houston, I received $34.50 in donations (WePay took an addition $0.50). This money went to cover my travel expenses to Houston and back, including food and travel fares. An anonymous donor also contributed a hotel room to me so that I could cover the Symposium without commuting.

In August and September I began raising money for a new laptop because I needed a reliable tool to write and tweet for the next few years. I set an initial goal of buying a refurbished machine. However, due to enthusiastic support for the fundraising, I ended up raising enough that, along with my own savings, I could purchase a brand new laptop along with a repair plan. In total, I raised $335.00 via WePay (before they subtracted their fees). I received an additional $100 via Paypal.

Initially, I purchased a Lenovo e531 Edge. This was a total disaster. After waiting weeks to receive the laptop, it arrived broken. I shipped it to the repair depot in order to be told it would not be repaired for literally months, and then spent weeks fighting for a refund. I summarized the issue here.

In the end, I purchased an ASUS A55VD-NS51 via I am very happy with this laptop, which arrived quickly and is a joy to use. My final cost for this laptop was $639.99, not including the additional warranty I purchased. Since this was more than I raised, I dipped into my own savings to pay for it.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to my recent trips or my laptop drive — you’re keeping me writing and productive. Much love to everyone who shared links to my fundraisers, too.

Most of my work does not appear on this blog these days, but rather appears on Twitter (@KitOConnell) or on Firedoglake at MyFDL and The Bytegeist.

Up next, I am traveling to Art Outside late next week.