More to the point...there is so much more that needs to be done.
The HeliOS project is proud to make two announcements. We have committed to two projects in the near future that promises to have a great impact not only on the Austin Community but the Linux and Open Source Community-at-large.
It's not the best part of town. Fact is, I was stabbed repeatedly while working in this very neighborhood in 2001. Nothing life-threatening fortunately...mostly unimpressive arm and shoulder wounds and a stolen wallet to show for my trouble.
Much has changed since then. Our new Police Chief, agree with his methods and politics or not, has made it a priority to clean that cesspool up. Chief Acevedo has pointed his force with laser intensity on this area and it has started to make a difference. Where once laid used syringes and condoms, are now swept and painted curbs and gutters. The "crakshax" have been torn down and neighbors actually wave to one another as they stroll during the evenings. They can do so without fear. They take pride in their homes and it shows. The past year has transformed that bad place into something good.
One man saw a chance and took it.
His name is Sam Lee and he runs the community center in that area called Space12. Their website will be up shortly. What used to be a violent and often deadly bar is now a place of hope and friendliness. This is a place where latch-key kids can come until their parents get home or just hang out at instead of on the street. Currently, they have two computers there.
We are going to see to it that they have at least 12-20 in the near future.
We are in the early planning stages of setting up a technology learning center at Space12. We have the room, we have their blessing...now we just need to do it. We need to build a completely open sourced learning center.
We spoke of this learning center earlier in one of our blogs. If we can come to agreement with the folks at Space12, it will be the Thomas M. Edwards Technology Learning Center. I don't anticipate any problems in getting that named as such.
This is an exciting opportunity for both The HeliOS Project and the community. All involved will benefit greatly. People like Thomas Edwards who live a life of helping others should be recognized for their kindness and open heart. If we have our way, Thomas Edwards will be recognized in just such a way.
And if that wasn't big news, then we have it for you here.
Lynn Bender, a long-time open source advocate and organizer has announced an event for Sunday, the 19th of April...It will be what Lynn describes as "The Mother of All Install-Fests".
And that it shall be. The event is titled simply "Linux Against Poverty".
Lynn has both honored and humbled us by asking The HeliOS Project to take care of all things tech for this event. Tom King and Darrel Raynor, both Austin Residents and Directors with The HeliOS Project, will be on hand with me to make this thing work. If we can swing it, we'll get Larry and Bob here as well.
Shortly before announcing this event, we got a special surprise.
We needed a server to take care of this massive event...and no, my Pentium II 450 gig gateway wasn't going to cut it. We needed an industrial-sized, bigger-than-a-1976-Buick server. Before we could really ask anyone for help, we got a phone call.
It was from Robbie Williamson at Canonical. Yeah...THE Robbie Williamson from Canonical. I had no idea he lived in Austin. Neither had I any idea that he was going to donate us a server that belongs on the Tier One Rack at Nasa. It is now in the capable and talented hands of Tom King who is preparing it for service. Thank you Robbie...Thank you very much. I don't think you realize just how much good your gift is going to do.
The Linux Against Poverty event is going to produce many computers from corporate donations and after the event, The HeliOS Project will be the recipient of many of them. In turn, we will give them to disadvantaged kids in the Central Texas area. They are all going to sport different distros, different environments and different organizations behind them. Lynn is also getting the ball rolling on making this day Austin's official Linux Day.
If anyone can get it done, he can.
So aside from our almost daily deliveries of computers for disadvantaged kids in Central Texas, we have this to look forward to. If you live in the Austin area and want to participate, contact helios at fixedbylinux dott komm and we'll get you signed up.
We could use some help. We are in almost desperate need of wireless pci cards, external cd/dvd roms, hard drives and 4 gig thumb drives. We are going to incur some added expense for preparation as well. If you could drop by the HeliOS Project website and drop a buck or two in the account, we would appreciate it. Lately, we've struggled to simply have enough gas in the cars to go do our installs...any help you could provide would be appreciated.
So...off we go. It's going to be an interesting year.
Thanks for being part of what we do...and a special thanks to Gene and Wanda Lake...for being there when we need them.