A discourse for Technology Mutual Aid

Apple’s devkit situation made me think about a way for open source/free software developers to get or share the Apple store credits in a show of mutual aid.

Thinking about that made me realize it’d be better to just make it available for anyone, for any mutual aid purpose. So I am thinking about starting a discourse forum for mutual aid to help with technology requests for everyone.

This would cover:

  • software sharing. I guess everything is so locked down now that won’t be hugely popular but it’d be great to point to free and open source software and help make it easier to access
  • hardware sharing, people could offer hardware they don’t need any longer for others to use, could donate discounts, and others could also make requests.
  • help, and planning: people could request help using software or hardware, and making repairs

What this wouldn’t be:

  • A charity. These are often limited by their donors and local governments in who and how they help.
  • A front for big business to pretend to save face. When I worked at retail they would request donations from customers at the point of sale system in order to throw a big dollar amount at a charity and pretend to be concerned so that they can have a better public appearance, escape regulation, and improve employee morale when they are obvious corrupted by the profit motive and they also treated their workers poorly. Accepting donations is OK but I would want to avoid that “charity facing” for awful non-union big businesses.


  • there would be no way to guarantee that hardware shared isn’t exploited and I imagine the site would have a problem with being focused on the English speaking world, at least at first
  • with the other organizations I’ve set up and some years of community management experience it’s clear that it is very difficult to help make people aware of not for profit/non commercial resources without spending money on some kind of advertising campaign.

My main inspiration is Food Not Bombs and the more local mutual aid org here in Hawai’i, Coronacare. FNB in particular has a fantastic mission:

When a billion people go hungry each day, how can we spend another dollar on war? Food Not Bombs is an all-volunteer movement that recovers food that would otherwise be discarded, and shares free vegan and vegetarian meals with the hungry in over 1,000 cities in 65 countries in protest to war, poverty, and destruction of the environment. We are not a charity but dedicated to taking nonviolent direct action.

Help needed:

  • do you think this is a good idea?
  • could you help manage the community and work on the project?
  • how could it be improved?

Thanks for reading, I love discourse and appreciate that this community is here.


What are apple store credits useful for?

1 Like

People or businesses that borrowed an “apple silicon” Dev kit (for an upfront $500 cost) last year are getting a $500 apple store credit when the Dev kit is returned. The credits can supposedly be used for anything in apple”s retail or online store. It is unclear yet if they will be applied to developer accounts directly or distributed as codes. I’ve heard from developers who don’t plan on using them and would prefer to give them away. Either way, credits expire at the end of 2021. If they’re distributed as codes they can be easily shared.


It’s official, the apple devkit returns will get a $500 promotional code that could easily be shared:

1 Like

It’s very early but after I learned that sendgrid just seems to be broken and moved on to maligun, I’ve now got Tech Monsters set up: