The Harlem Computer/Internet Access Programme

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The purpose of The Harlem Computer/Internet Access Programme (THCIAP) is to empower the underserved, senior citizens, and disabled members of the Harlem, New York City community, a community historically excluded, by providing open computer/Internet access. Through the program seniors and other participants will be able to access and learn about the new advances in Internet technology. Up to this point, the teaching facility familiarized students with basic computer applications and terminology, but without Internet connectivity. The Borough President also supports this project.


  • Merle Bush: Instructor and Resource Coordinator | merlebush at | 347 603 8829
  • Garnell Smith: President of the Board at Gen. Chauncey Hooper Towers
  • Gertha Stephens: Service Coordinator
  • Langlee Stubbs: Technician | langlee at
  • Simeon Johnson: Technical Assistant, resident and student


General Chauncey Hooper Neighborhood Networks Center
10 West 138th Street
New York NY 10037
Telephone: 212-491-6389


In November THCIAP was awarded a grant of $9,700 from the ISOC Community Grants Programme. The programme has also received a pledge of $5000 from Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer.


  • Upon receipt of funding: procure equipment, organize space, technician set-up of lab
  • December: Registration, entry questionnaire; 12/18/09 Open House
  • January - June: 1/04/10 Classes begin; lab will remain open hosted by Mr. Simeon Johnson during non-class hour; monthly themed projects will document participants accomplishments on the Internet; exit questionnaire and final project due 6/18/10
  • June: 6/25/10 Graduation Certificates Celebration; during summer break there will be limited access to lab

Meeting 1-13-2010

plaque in hallway

Merle Bush

Gertha Stephens
A meeting was held on Jan 13 2010.


  • Joly MacFie
  • Gertha Stephens
  • Merle Bush


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  • Current plant
    • 2 PC's - Dells with flat screens - have been donated.
    • 2 older machines and a printer need to be recycled.
    • banquet tables are available


  • Name
    • Merle now prefers Harlem Internet/Computer Access Programme as it can be easily abbreviated HICAP
  • Required to be purchased
    • 8 more PC workstations
    • large wall mounted screen for demonstration
    • network color laser printer
    • 10 comfortable/ergonomic chairs
    • 20 flash drives for users (4GB?)
  • Connectivity
    • Ms. Stephens has Verizon broadband in her office next door.
Question: How much bandwidth is needed for 10 workstations?
Question: Is wireless or wired networking preferable?
Question: What options are there for connectivity? Is there a cable provider in the building?
Question: Might a provider be prevailed upon to donate connectivity?
  • Administration
    • The facility is, since 2008, a member of HUD's Neighborhood Networks Initiative.
    • Under a recent re-organization the building management and existing programs have been taken over by HUD, working through an agent - Wavecrest Management.
    • Attempts to reach HUD's representative, Susan Camarata, to arrange setting up of a bank account have been unsuccessful.
    • It is hoped that ISOC-NY should take responsibility of disbursement of funds on capital purchases in the current phase - (likely but pending ISOC-NY board approval).
    • It is noted that the ISOC project grant comes in two parts. So the first installment will be $4,850.
Question: What about Borough Pres. Stringer's contribution. Can it be followed up?
Question: Should ISOC-NY set up a seperate HICAP account for easier administration /transparency?
  • Purchasing
    • Merle Bush has arranged a discount with Compumania Inc of Woodside Queens. Company does not have a website. (718)476-9230
Question: Is this the best deal available?
  • Insurance
    • Ms. Stephens attended a recent Chauncey Board meeting where the question of liability was raised, as in "What if one of the seniors gets hurt going down the stairs to the computer room?"
Question Is this a realistic concern? Does the existing building insurance cover HICAP or would further insurance be required?
  • Website
    • The establishment of a website was discussed.
    • A homepage for the community.
    • Location for classwork etc.
Question What domain name? Both and are taken. is available. is taken.

Email 1/24/2010 Merle Bush / Joly MacFie

  • $3500 was pledged in July 2009 by Council Member Inez Dickens letter

Question Can this be followed up?

  • $5000 was pledged by Borough Pres. Stringer in Sep. 2009 letter

According to Ms. Stephens this has now been withdrawn due to budget cuts.

  • Provisional quotes have been received from Compumania.

All of the computers will be brand new laptops with wi-fi, dvd burners, Microsoft Office Suite loaded, PDF, and whatever else we request.
Question While we have anecdotal evidence from O.A.T.S. that seniors prefer laptops, will the screens be of sufficient size for those with less than perfect eyesight? Might some combination of desktops/laptops be preferable?

  • Merle has a router, but with less than 12 ports.
  • A deal on a scanner/printer will be further researched
  • Technician Langlee Stubbs is ready for consultation.

Skype 1/26/10 Langlee Stubbs / Joly MacFie

  • Langlee has concerns about WiFi interference and is yet to inspect the site.
  • Langlee works days in Jersey City, and is not available before 6.30pm.
  • Langlee has good experience setting up wireless LANs and maintaining same.
  • Security appears to be a factor in Merle's preference for WiFi laptops - they can be locked up when not in use.
  • While Merle has a G router, N will likely be preferable.
  • The big screen need only be a tv not a monitor since it will be viewed at a distance. Master machine will need HDMI out.
  • We will meet at the site at 5.30pm Tuesday Feb 2 2010.