Saturday, November 06, 2010
That's the number so far.
As of today, that is the number of Linux-based computers The HeliOS Project has placed in the homes of disadvantaged Austin kids.
That number will reach 1168 as this weekend comes to a close.
From a relative point of view, I suppose that might represent the proverbial drop in the bucket.
Until you consider what forming that drop entailed.
Each of those machines represents at least 4 man hours. From the time we receive a machine until the time we walk out of a fresh computer install, we've invested a substantial amount of time into it.
That doesn't touch on the fuel and parts costs involved in making it happen.
So in the larger scope of things, yeah...I suppose it is a drop in the bucket.
But try telling that any of the people we've served.
And as a brief aside...that raging argument about Linux not being a drop-in replacement for any other desktop OS?
Let it die here.
It's worked for our kids, and it works for the majority of people who use it. You can nitpick the small details all you want. The fact remains that our kids have been able to successfully use Linux as their Desktop from elementary school up through graduate school.
Granted, there are times when our kids do need a specific MS application and for that we try to find a legitimate copy of XP SP3 to run in VirtualBox. Unfortunately, Microsoft's best offer to us comes with a price tag of $50.00 per license. We are on pace to consistently place 400 computers annually. The math is simple...we cannot come close to meeting that cost. In a way, this has been a good thing. It has led us to explore viable Open Source alternatives to these MS-specific apps and for the most part, we've been successful.
We announced recently that I-Tech Electronics is sponsoring a computer drive for The HeliOS Project on December 11th.
We are out of computers to fix and give away. The holiday season brings us dozens of requests to be filled from the middle of November right up to Christmas day.
We've submitted PSA's to the major radio stations and have even invited AISD to get involved. So far, quite a few people have dropped off early donations for that event. We've gotten some fairly good stuff.
Unfortunately, many of these donations are laptops that are either missing power adapters, have depleted batteries or have 256 megs of RAM.
We're not talking dinosaurs either...at least from a usability perspective. We have HP and Dells with large single core chips up to core duo's. These are machines well worth fixing or upgrading.
But we need some help getting them serviceable.
We've needed to spend some money recently in getting our new vehicle registered, past an emissions test and inspected in order to get it legal and on the road. Unfortunately, that's left us little to work with. I wanted to make a point in letting you know about our computer drive and that we could use a hand in getting these donated computers up and running so we can deliver them during the Holiday Seasons.
or just click here. We have also set up a HeliOS Project storefront on Amazon. We have offerings on ebay as well. Picture to the right shows our offerings there so if interested, email me for details. We might have something you want and your purchases go to support what we do.
We will be spending money this year primarily on batteries and DDR 400 SODIMM RAM in 512 sticks or above. If you have any laying around, you can ship it directly to us. You can find our contact information here.
As well, if you'd like to help with the drive or just come hang out with us, let me know. This won't be anything but a computer gathering event so no L337 skillz needed. We'll just hang out and have a good time.
I am looking forward to it.
blather and mumbling provided by Ken Starks at 11:21 AM