For those that don't know yet, The HeliOS Project is raffling off two killer laptops plus some other cool stuff. Drawing is on the 3rd of July so get your entries into the hopper soon. You can click the TEXT link on the left side of the page or you can click here to enter. Details of the raffle can be found here.
I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. ...Helen Keller
Quoting Helen Keller in a Linux blog may seem strange, but there are many parallels between this magnificent woman and Free Software/Linux. We both started way behind the competition with handicaps and hindrances that made it almost laughable that we would compete.
First they Ignore you
Then they laugh at you
Then they fight you
Then you win...
Of course you can only win if you compete.
Common sense. And not being afraid.
We've given much thought and study to the dynamics of change...personal and sociological dynamics. None here are scholars in the matter but some of us have had the educational background to at least pursue the rudimentary aspects of the topic. We've collected some extremely good empirical data, Our assessment of the situation? Getting Linux as a viable alternative to Windows on the desktop?
We're in for a slog.
But we can win, in time.
Personally, I have all but written off the current generation of computer users. We have had and will have our victories, but the genius of Bill Gates was not in keeping an operating system cobbled together. His genius was understanding human nature and behavior.
He only had to hold monopoly status long enough to ingrain Microsoft Windows into our society. We would do the rest for him. The Anti Trust sanctions leveled against him pale in comparison to the profits realized by his monopolization of the desktop.
We are lazy, and as a rule, most of us would rather deal with the devil we know than the devil we don't. We detest change.
Gates understood that...and built the most powerful business and political lobby in our history based on that knowledge
So how do we win?
We start with a clean slate...the minds of those not yet corrupted. Minds that can understand freedom without a mental boat anchor tied around their leg.
Linux Against Poverty is much more than an installfest. It is an effort between the Free Software Community in any given place and the greater community that holds it.
Lynn Bender is a professional organizer and the brains behind Linux Against Poverty. When Lynn first heard about The HeliOS Project, he immediately wanted to help and began outlining a plan to do so. He would gather Geeks, Community Leaders, Corporates and City Leaders together to accomplish one goal.
Collect enough computers and money to give organizations like The HeliOS Project some breathing room. Materials and funding for one year.
Lynn's contacts are impressive. He's been doing this for 20 years and he's either friend or acquaintance with mayors, City Administrators, Council Members, Police Chiefs and other leaders for at least a decade past. Lynn has had some ragingly successful events and he hopes that Linux Against Poverty can be one of them.
Here's the plan. It all comes together on August first, 2009.
Lynn's people will now begin soliciting companies and corporations in the Austin area for physical donations. He has secured the swank and popular nightspot known as Union Park for both the actual event and the party afterward. The Park will be full of volunteer Austin Geeks, ready to accept the incoming machines, triage them and place them into different staging areas. One of the brightest tech guys I know, Andy Krell from nFusion will be there in person to lend a hand. There is a place to sign up as a geek extrordinaire if you want to be part of this event. Email Tom at the above link and he will get you scheduled.
Tom King - HeliOS Project Network Guru and volunteer coordinator
While LAP has been scheduled for a while, we went through some changes in getting to the point to announce the event. Initially, it was planned as a global event...several cities on 4 different continents would be doing the same thing at the same time. We had the resources together to do it. The HeliOS Project, being the technical arm of the project had built the servers to feed the different project sites ISO files and distro manuals...we were all ready for it.
It didn't take long to realize that there were just too many people that didn't have the tools or know-how to do the actual organizing. That's when Lynn wisely decided that we would do the Austin event first, painstakingly document the process then let other cities digest the information and do their individual projects as they felt comfortable in doing so. Rushing this would not have ended well.
It was a smart call.
Mayhem would have surely ensued. This type of project, marrying the various components of the city to the techs in that city is brilliant in concept but not the easiest plan to successfully execute.
It's the kids that need these computers...and folks, having done this for several years, I am still in awe of the number of children in Austin Texas that do not have a computer or internet access in the home. We've barely made a dent. I can hardly imagine what it is like in LA or New York City or London. I receive emails on a daily basis, asking how to set up projects like The HeliOS Project and by those numbers, I am encouraged. These kids are the future of Linux and Free Software proliferation. It is up to us to see to it that they know they have a choice.
As of now, they do not.
A child's exposure to technology should never be predicated on an ability to pay for it.
If you are a member or owner of a company and wish to schedule your donation or become a sponsor, contact Lynn here
If you have immediate hardware to donate and cannot drop it off at the actual event, contact Ken here.
We can make a difference...if we care to, and keep the quotation of one of the most famous Americans to ever live in our forethoughts:
I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
blather and mumbling provided by Ken Starks at 9:14 AM