The HeliOS Project is now.....

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

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

It's that time of year...

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, and all who reside within the Linuxsphere.....

We gather here this Autumn to kick off our Annual Reglue Fund Raiser, or more commonly referred to as, The Reglue Tin Cup Challenge. As many of you know, it's been a rough 17 months for Reglue. We suffered two "storms of the century" within a 21 month period. During the first horrible flooding Taylor suffered in May of 2015, we lost 85 neighbors in our small county. Over two times that number lost their homes or farms. 

This little town was physically and psychologically decimated...shaken to our 140 year old core. We were hammered with 19.5 inches of rain in a 24 hour period. The thought of losing this much life and property still hangs over our collective heads.

Then came the 2016 flood and many of us had to relive the nightmare all over again, although it wasn't near as bad. Be that as it is, many people just couldn't live with the threat of a third "flood of the century" and a lot of our residents moved to higher ground. The majority of them moved closer to relatives so they had a secure place to rebuild their lives. In a small town, that's a significant number of residents to lose, especially when 17 of them were teachers, law enforcement or first responder families. And the FEMA response? Don't get me started. I tend to deploy my potty-mouth when I get white-hot angry.

I've linked to some of the horror experienced first hand. NSFW at present volume. headphones or mute. Visual is fine if others pass by your cube.

Fortunately the Army Corps of Engineers had built flood water redirection systems between the two storms and that spared most of the town from the worst of Round Two. But still, the pounding rain flooded our Reglue facility once again via failed roof. The workshop ceiling gave way after hundreds of pounds of water accumulated in and on top of the insulation. It all crashed down into the shop, washing stuff from shelves onto the floor and flooding large containers full of laptops, motherboards, some especially expensive power supplies and a large box of new speakers. At this time we do have the soaked insulation replaced one the inside. Unfortunately, our portable air compressor failed impressively the first time we plugged it in to use it. 

Thankfully, that roof is now fixed. 

I'm sure it will come up so I'll head it off here and folks won't waste their time bringing it up. We will not bother the city of Taylor about this damage. They have graciously given us that building, rent and utility free since 2012. We're not going to bring this forward to Taylor. Diane and I want as far as to replace a small number of destroyed hardware pieces out of our collective pocket. We did that just to get through until time for our annual fund raiser.

  Then came the flood in 2016 and we got our collective teeth kicked in.
So needless to say, this year's fund raiser is more important than the last five years combined. What you see to the right is from scraping the  bottom of the proverbial barrel, as far as desktop hardware goes. We are down to equipment numbers seen to the right. It's been a tooth and nail battle, trying to meet the needs of this community and we've done the best we can with what we have. Our project to provide computers to the kids within the Taylor Housing Project placed 72 computers into those homes in the past 100 days. But at this time, we are finding ourselves rebuilding and providing circa Windows XP single core computers. You know as well as I do, that isn't going to work. Most of these old desktops max out at 2 gb of RAM. DDR  PC2700. Really? You can make a computer work, but that doesn't mean that you can make it useful. That being said...

I want to pass along an incident between one of our hardware donors and me a few months ago. And no worries, we've discussed publishing about the incident and as long as we do not divulge their company name, it's fine to pass along and they now see the value such hardware brings to our efforts.

I received an email from the tech guru of one of our most generous hardware donors and he talked about this and that, then told me that he almost dumped a bunch of junk laptops on us. He went on to say that during an inventory, he discovered 23 "old" laptops at the back of the pile. He stated that he was glad he did not encumber us with that kind of garbage. They were early win7 Dell Inspiron 6510 "dinosaurs" and when he got enough "decent" laptops to donate, he would forward me the time and date to pick them up from the trucking terminal where they were delivered.

At first, I thought he was kidding. This grade of laptop is considered to be solid 24K gold to us. When or in what world is an i7 core dual or quad laptop considered "junk"? I responded (as civilly as possible) that in the future he could feel free to ship us that kind of "junk". Honestly, I felt that I could just sit and cry about such a loss. Especially given our current circumstance. 

So this is what we would like to happen. If you cannot donate to our organization at this time, take a look around on your closet shelves or under various desks and see if you might have the mentioned "junk" hanging around. We can use it for either Reglue needs at present or we might offer a decent laptop as one of our perks for the upcoming Indiegogo campaign. And don't fret the overall condition. We can refurbish or use your donation for badly-needed parts Feel free to specify if you want your hardware donation to go to either one of those places.

We want to do a "pre-fund raiser" in the next two weeks.  We will revive the Tux Donation-O-Meter at the top left of the page for that period. We want to kick off the first two week segment of a six week event as a PayPal/check/money order extravaganza. Then we will begin our Indiegogo effort after that. Let me tell you what would work the very best for us and as sure as I am sitting here typing this, this model of donation could literally save our Reglued backsides.

Currently, we have a few supporters who donate to us on a monthly basis. Most of them have it set up so it happens automatically, without the donor having to remember to do it each month and other send checks like clockwork. We have come to count on those who do so. I know how many people read this blog, and I thank you from the bottom of my being for reading about what we do and supporting us. I've done the simple maths. If 20 people donated 20 dollars a month on a monthly basis, that would pretty much wipe out our overhead and let us channel that normally-taken money into stuff that is mission-important. Of course, those who wish to can donate any monthly figure they choose. You have no idea how much stress this would take off of me.

And yes, I've had some, issues but we'll talk about that later, along with a miraculous story of K I R T. Oh, that stands for Karma In Real Time (relatively). I've been returned to "light duty" from my doctor. Right now, it's my job to see to the needs of Reglue and those we serve. I'm not sure what exactly constitutes "light duty" but I guess I'll know what it is soon enough. 

In the mean time, let me share something with you. 

I watched a documentary on Youtube a few weeks ago, that told the story about a non profit which travels to Africa every year and administers highland and lowland gorillas a serum that boosts their chances of having healthy offspring and mothers alike. They also have a small contingent of people that rotates every year. Those people slash through triple canopy jungle to administer medical services to those gorillas as needed. They are set up to do on the spot surgery as it is needed. 

It was surprising to watch these fabulous beasts figure out how to find their way to the veterinarian clinic by themselves. Maybe to have cuts stitched or thorns pulled from their feet. One huge male Silverback had his eyeball knocked out from a blow to the side of his head by another Silverback. It was hanging by the tendrils that fed the eyeball from the brain. They preformed that procedure right on the front veranda. Others have even signaled that they have tooth aches. A few of them have even had dental implants when they were necessary in keeping the gorilla alive and healthy. Freakin' wow.  Every now and then, male gorillas will travel together to the vet's door to have injuries treated after whipping each other's asses in a territorial/mating grounds dispute.

Now, I am sure that this is important to others...Mostly to the gorillas I'm guessing, but they seem to never run into funding issues. The organization receives  millions of dollars in personal donations a year. They do not receive grant money of any significance since the donors are too strict on how the money can be spent. We have experienced the same restrictions when applying for most any cash grants.

All I am trying to do is keep an organization afloat, an effort to help insure that every child within 50 miles has a fair chance at accessing technology via Linux computers. And yeah, the welfare of gorillas might be important to some...but I am doing my best, cheating Peter to pay Paul and working 60 hour weeks to get computers into the hands of tomorrow. unfortunately, the Silverbacks won't be in our sphere of influence. Unfortunately. We'd surly receive funding then, or so I'm thinkin'.

Those gorillas will not cure diabetes or put the first foot prints on Mars. They won't cure heart diseases. They won't make cancer a nuisance instead of a death sentence. They won't save the future of earth and the human race by creating the means to deflect the next extinction-event asteroid. We could operate Reglue for the next four years on the interest the money "Gorillas-r-Us" folks receive in six months.

And that, being the fact, it has me second-guess myself. Is it overflowing ego on my part? Is my organization and mission really that important in the scheme of things? Maybe not.

So ya'll within the Linuxsphere talk amongst yourselves. I'll be out and about, trying to get stuff done. My stint into madness and hospitalization put me way behind. You can support us via our paypal address: You can always make a one time monthly donation by clicking the yellow paypal donation button on the top left of this page.

And I cannot express it enough, just how important a $10.00 or $20.00 monthly donation is to our efforts.

Please don't post this to LXer. They refuse to post any stories that are fund raising in nature. That's fine,  Linux Today is a great vehicle for this story. And I don't bear any ill will toward LXer. That's how they operate and I respect that. If you need additional information or have questions, you can email me at the above address as well.

And you will not lose out by donating before our Indiegogo campaign. All of you who donate to the 12 month Paypal section of the campaign will receive the entire Blog of helios in book form. Those will ship 2 weeks after the campaign is finished. And the cool part? Only those signing up for reoccurring monthly donations will receive this perk. I have stripped out many of the most popular posts so those of you who donate monthly will receive the entire book.

And I want to close by saying thank you to people that have presently chosen to support reglue silently, on a monthly basis. My thanks goes out to - Gene, Shawn, Dr. Ed, Richard, Charles, J.D., My Favorite Unicorn, Samuel, Walt, Thomas and others I am not able to bring to mind at the moment.

So with decisions of great importance to Reglue pending 90 days away, I want to ask you a personal favor and support the work my volunteers and directors do. My team busts their bums so that the kids in this area receive a computer if they cannot afford one. I don't want to see Reglue go down until her duty is done. I will put everything I have into doing the job you entrust me to do. I simply need the funding to do so.

A child's exposure to technology should never be predicated on the ability to afford it.


All Righty Then