The HeliOS Project is now.....

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

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Linux Community - Bringin' it...

I don't know if you realize it or not, but you are doing some pretty good things.

It took me a while to grasp it...this "global community" thing.

It took longer than it should have.

But about 3 years ago, I got it.  We're all tied together, separated by land and sea; surely, but tied together none the less.  I used to see us as individual pockets of people doing stuff, some great stuff...still I didn't see the connection.

Silly me.

The HeliOS Project, some would argue, is a local effort in Austin Texas, fueled by a handful of people who want to make a difference.  Their ability to do what they do may noteworthy but after all, it's still local.

Is that what you think?

Silly you.

See, just one of our efforts, a 25 computer learning center in East Austin was put together by local people who volunteer for the HeliOS Project.  And trust me, the people that worked that day to make this center happen busted their near 100 degree heat and carrying 90 pound CRT's over 100 feet to get them set up.  But we got it done.

In order to do that, we not only had to count on caring volunteers, we counted on a world-wide community to put together the distro that works best for us.  That would be Linux Mint.  We had to count on donations provided by The Linux Community to fuel the vehicles needed to transport the equipment...something we still count upon.  We had to rely upon scripts written by people around the world to do the network installations.

See where I am going with this?  Sweat and time are not the only factors in making something like this happen...Its the caring and dedicated members of Our Community that give us the ability to do what we do.

It's as simple as that.

And now YOUR efforts continue to pay off.  Children as young as 3 years old spend two to three days a week with  volunteers...learning, absorbing...possibly becoming the next Linus Torvalds or Richard Stallman...Maybe the next MadDog Hall or Bruce Perens.

And it's not just the kids.  Adults are signing up to learn...and I mean learn from the ground up.  We teach classes during the week to insure those who do not know how to use a computer learn what they need to know.  What the functions of mouse buttons are, how to copy and paste...what an operating system is in relation to the applications within it.  People who barely speak English in some cases.

And they are grateful.

They are grateful to you.

I make sure of it.

So take a look at what you have done...the faces of these kids...the attentiveness of the adults.  They want to learn, and learning they are.

But then again, that's what you make this happen.  You are The Linux Community...

Now Bring It.

All over the world.

All-Righty Then...


Anonymous said...

Ken, listen to me. While everything you say is true, it is you that have kept that operation going by sheer force of will. Don't write yourself out of the equation like that. You not only inspire me, you humble me.

Let me know what I can do for you.


Randy Meyers said...

But then again, that's what you are The Linux Community...

Now Bring It.

All over the world.

After reading this blog, how can I now do anything else? Consider me inspired helios.

Anonymous said...

As much as I appreciate you giving "The Community" credit, we should realize that your organization has done some very good things. I look on this project as a work in progress and you do that work by using the tools available to you. A pile of lumber and a work bench full of tools remains just a pile of lumber and a work bench full of tools until someone picks up a hammer and starts working.

The Linux Community has more than its share of unfinished or abandoned projects. It's good to see something that has been around for several years still working and providing amazing results. I will give you one thing, you are consistent and focused. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Ken, thank you for the clickable pictures in this blog. Seeing them full-sized is nice. I have to mention, you look much better than when I saw you last summer. You look good with your hair cut and you have certainly gained some weight. Your rebound was nothing short of miraculous. It pained me to see you so sick last year.

It took strength to overcome what you did. Now I guess it's our turn to "bring it".


Gavin said...

Haha! Those kids look like tiny office workers! So serious and studious - and growing up with choices for a change. It is certain that they will know the value of pay-for software when they get older. They will know that Windows and other proprietary software is an option rather than a rule. I dare say that none of us here will realize the difference that Ken is making every day until these kids are grown. They are destined to be called "sir" or "boss" before they are 18!

They must learn quickly, too...

Day 1 : "I learned about a mouse today. This one goes with a computer. I can move it around and makes things happen on the computer."

Day 4 : "The mouse has 2 buttons and the keyboard has over 100! I am learning what they all do. I can put messages into the computer and let other people see them!"

Day 17 : "I added all my friends to my contacts list and adjusted my offline mode so that I can receive messages from them when I am not here. That was really bugging me. I am glad I finally figured out how to fix it!"

Day 28 : "I found a file size limitation with email, so I am looking into some file sharing options. Also, something about collaboration? More research required."

Day 42 : "I had to adjust the permissions on some of the folders in my home directory so that they are not traversable through an NFS export. Luckily, I can shortcut this process with Samba exports as long as I am careful. Currently researching something called ACL."

Day 78 : "Having difficulty setting up Drupal from scratch. Currently learning PHP scripting to help with this. Or would PERL be better? I will have to ask on one of the forums."

Day 113 : "The collaboration site is up and running finally. Had to roll up a new DNS server from scratch, though. I just put Slackware as a virtual machine on one of the servers and piped the network activity through the secondary NIC. Firewall rules are in place for the internet-facing connections, but I had to fiddle with the routing tables on the managed switch and servers in order to optimize the network for UPnP. Hopefully the podcast streams will work properly now to all devices."

Day 121 : "Happy 8th birthday to me! I got some more RAM!"