The HeliOS Project is now.....

The HeliOS Project is now.....
Same mission, same folks...just a different name

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Linux - Fostering Hope


When Lynn Bender came to me with his grand plan for Linux Against Poverty, I never in my 56 years imagined the impact his efforts would have on not only us, but the disadvantaged kids of Austin and the surrounding area. Through Lynn's efforts, we were able to put together over 200 workable computers and give them away to those needing them most.

I don't know if many of you know or understand the numbers that are in need...I mean true need, not just a matter of bad family budgeting.

But it's like one of those troublesome dreams.

The faster you run toward your goal, the farther away it gets.

The goal posts moved on us again today...

but that's a good thing. They were moved by Carole Keeton Strayhorn. I have followed and supported her politically and always admired her strength and courage...not to mention her tenacity and thick skin. But after an hour and a half meeting with her today...

I'd charge the Gates of Hell with a bucket of ice water for this woman.

See, she's not just a politician, Carole is a person who takes personally the fact that many kids are in a hell of their own. As we saw at The Settlement Home, there are kids who's lives have been so disturbingly disrupted by death or disaster, through unspeakable abuse or neglect, that they need every break they can get. Not all foster children are like that...but enough of them to completely turn my insides to ice when I hear the stories.

They need to be shown that they are loved.

Carole Keeton Strayhorn has given us a shot at giving them just one of those breaks. We agreed today to be their computer supplier and technical support for her Foundation, Our Texas Grandchildren.

And we do so with a mix of pride and humility. Two attributes that are not necessarily mutually exclusive. We will start with a group home and a few individual home installs...I will personally attend these to give guidance until her volunteers are comfortable with the process. Her volunteers will take over the physical install of the Linux operating system and performing the installs.

We are honored to be a part of Carole's work.

So... This is as good of time as any to announce our Christmas Season hardware drive.

We will be needing P4 computers, flat-screen LCD monitors, keyboards, mice, decent Nvidia or ATI video cards, usb wireless devices and sound cards. Of particular need are DVD/CD rom drives and PCI wireless cards.

If you care to donate computers or equipment, contact me via helios at fixedbylinux dott komm. We are also posting a PSA with KUT radio, the public radio affiliate here in Austin.

We have earmarked 30 computers for Carole and her Foundation and have those machines on hand. That will leave us enough to finish Space12 and about two weeks of individual installations for kids who need a computer. After that...

We'll be out of machines.

So...

Here we go folks. Like my dad was fond of saying when life threatened to get chaotic...

"Hold on boy, things are fixin' to get western..."

It does indeed appear that this may be one of those times. We welcome it.

Now if you will excuse me...I need to go make sure I have a good supply of ice water.

All-Righty Then...

4 comments:

FelixTheCat said...

Yep, things are about to get interesting! There are a few other agencies we've talked to about providing computers for families with true need, we just need to have a consistent stream of computers to provide that need. I'm personally working on local engineering companies since they usually need a big refresh with each update to their CAD software. "Once more unto the breach...!"

Chilly said...

Bravo!! It's a lot of work, but it's fun! I used to feel so guilty when I'd do any work at inner city schools and the kids would be : a) computer illiterate b) their only exposure was through an old, slow computer.

These kind of stories are what pushed me to start helping out where I could...I only hope I can help out 1/10 of the kids that you have

If you have any tips... mrchilly.net

/-djs-/ said...

Find out if there are regular electronic waste collection drives done by local governments in the area. Get them to let your organization to participate and take all the systems that look decent enough for your work. Then work on them between drives and recycle the unsalvageable items at the next drive. They'll save money on the recycling and you'll get lots of machines for the kids.

WE ARE *NIXED! said...

@/-djs-/:

That is absolutely brilliant! I may do that myself next week! Thanks for the tip. By the way, would you be able to shoot me an e-mail? I started a project that just might interest you.

thomas@freedomwareproject.org