I know the frustration...
Being so, so close to success...only the smallest of obstacles in front of you. It would seem just a simple maneuver would complete the mission.
One simple thing to be accomplished and the whole thing falls together.
And then it stalls...and stalls.
Until the opportunity passes. Days, months and in this case, years of effort and sweat pass, only to go straight into the crapper.
No, I'm not talking about anything we've done. This isn't going to be about anything I or HeliOS Solutions has done. This isn't about us. And as given to hyperbole as I can be...I am serving you notice now, It stands in the best interest of the entire Linux Effort to pay attention here.
His name is Chrisian Einfeldt and he, along with others from a San Fransisco LUG have done a remarkable thing. A thing you and I need to get behind.
4 years ago, yes...4 years ago; Christian made friends with some people in a post-secondary school and within those friendships was able to begin advocating the use of Linux in that school. Now Lobby4Linux has had its successes with schools. Most of those degraded into running gun battles with school SysAdmins and MSIE's, but through it all, we were able to plant the seeds of freedom in a few of them.
Success is relative...at least in our case. We lost many more than we won and most of those victories were small administrative offices and inconsequential divisions of the district.
What Christian has done so outweighs anything we've accomplished, I have to stop what I am doing and tell you about it. Everything aside from LINdependence 2008 comes to a screeching halt here until we see this through.
First off, I have been asked by Christian not to name the school. Microsoft is terribly sensitive to the loss of any school in California, as they have to pay for millions in replacement equipment and software due to a court order. Christian is a professional film maker and has documented the effort digitally. You can get the full story of what he is doing and what he needs to do by clicking this link.
Slashdot's report on how Microsoft has to pay for much of this can be found here.
Thank You Iowa.
Here is the long and the short of it...and thusly the title...Standing On The Edge.
The school is at a crossroads. While he has the interest and even the sympathy of many decision-makers in the school, he needs to show results and potential. Currently, he has set up a lab with a couple dozen thin clients. These thin clients are fine for research and surfing...they've even built pre-P4 computers for the under-privileged to take home. At the same time, Apple has supplied 15 MacBooks for the student use and when the kids and teachers/administrators compare the abilities of the MacBooks to these rather old and under-performing Linux thin clients...well the opinions aren't favorable to us.
Linux looks like a second-rate poor-man's answer to the desktop computer in comparison to what Apple has provided.
Now this can be fixed. Remember, the school has money that Microsoft is providing via the decision posted above. These computers ARE going to be purchased/built. Christian has gained the aid of a San Fransisco LUG in order to pull this off but they need our help.
Folks, they need P4 computers with hard drives of 40 gigs and a minimum of 512 RAM.
They are truly standing on the edge of success....and failure.
Now, I have a few computers and a bunch of ram but it belongs to The HeliOS Project...things YOU have paid for in order for our local kids to use. I can't use that stuff but what I can do is this.
I have three P4 computers that are being used for HS business and as file servers. In the next 10 minutes, I am pulling them down and out of service and I am going to box them and get them ready for shipment.
Those machines are going to Christian. I don't expect you to cannibalize your computers but I am asking you to help these guys out with machines or donations so they can get these machines in place. Fry's is selling 500 Gig external drives for under 100 dollars right now...They can use the hard drives to fill in the machines they already have around...and they can always use 512 sticks of RAM.
It's just a matter of giving a crap about more than our personal cpu needs. Sure some of us are struggling to get by and for those of us who are, that pass is fully given. However there are many of us who have some black ink on the right side of the ledger. More than enough to aid this effort.
They stand on the edge. 4 years of cultivating this school towards Linux Migration stands in a harsh, unforgiving wind.
Who is going to let the winds of apathy topple this effort?
You can contact Christian personally at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Righty Then
Edit - I had originally reported that Christian needed just hard drives and RAM but I had mis-read his email to me. No matter...most people would not send parts anyway but donations. for those who do send the hard drives and RAM, I will personally see to it that a P4 computer gets built around those parts given out of the goodness of your hearts. You have my personal word on it. Here is a comment by Christian that I've culled from the bunch and posted below so as to clarify any misunderstandings:
Thanks tons for everyone who is offering parts! We can use the parts, because it very well might be that we will be cobbling together machines that we get from a wide variety of sources!
Today was the last day of school for our 6 - 7th graders. 8th graders' last day of school was Friday, and tomorrow will be the last day of school for 5th graders, so any parts should please be shipped to my law office (yes, I'm a lawyer, and supporting this public middle school is my way of giving back to the community). The school will be closed or on a skeleton staff, as most of the staff heads out for the summer. Parts should therefore please be shipped to
580 California Street, Suite 1600
San Francisco, CA 94104
I do appreciate the kindness of everyone who has replied!
If you would like to get more information about our middle school project, you can either email Christian Einfeldt at email@example.com, or you can go here to the SF-LUG list to read the archives, as we discuss it a lot there:
or you can read my twitter blog, where I talk a lot about the school:
Thanks again for your show of support!
Monday, June 09, 2008
blather and mumbling provided by Ken Starks at 6:03 AM