The HeliOS Project is now.....

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

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Time to Face Some Facts

First off...

Thank you.

From the deepest part of my being, the place where all the Love and the Hope and the Joy within me dwells...

Thank you.

The outpouring of support and Love has been tearfully humbling and I cannot, in my most emotional and creative moments, express to you my gratitude. All I can do is promise you that I will live up to your expectations of me.

Notice the emphasis on "Live".

When I lost my job months back, I spent a lot of time in prayer and thought...through those mechanisms, I came to realize that trying to run The HeliOS Project from behind the wheel of a truck wasn't getting the job done. I knew we could do more.

With a leap of faith, I just started doing it full time. I am divorced with minimal child support, and that is thanks to my still-loving ex-wife Debbie. And no...I can't 'splain just is. My needs are meager and I live as such. I would rather devote what I have to what I do. My deepest thanks go to David and Dee Rodriguez for making this possible.

I only have one real focus:

I want to make sure that every disadvantaged kid in Austin Texas has an up-to-date and Linux-Powered computer.

It's just that simple. It is my is my passion.

But, as I have recently found out, even passion must be metered in moderation.

So it's time to face some facts.

I can no longer build/repair and deliver 3-5 computers a day. I've been professionally warned and that warning was dire.


I believe I will heed wise counsel now.

So...The HeliOS Project is going to be making some logistical changes. Here is what we are going to need if we are to survive.

I need some truly dedicated people. And please, not to be flippant, look up "dedicated" before you commit to working with us.

See...we're not just giving computers away, we are brutally smashing open an opportunity that has been locked away from these kids. Be it through locked-down and proprietary software, lousy parenting, mismanaged finances or just being plain poor, I personally don't give a damn.

They will have a Linux-Powered computer...and they will have it just as soon as we can get it to them.

Now I need your help to do it.

Qualifications and rules.

*Commitment - let me know when you are available so I can coordinate the installation.
Being there means being there.

*No child-related misconduct convictions. We must check to protect ourselves.

*Absolute knowledge of Linux Distributions and networking procedures.

*Installers are never alone in the home or the room without one of their parents or guardians present.

Those are not tough things...I spent 6 hours in a large installfest with 50 local folks who easily matched them.

I don't mean to come off as authoritarian or being a jerk...these are just the things that have to be in order to keep what we do alive.

If you want to be part of the best thing someone could ever do, email me I am inviting you to come join the most joyful and fulfilling endeavor I have ever experienced. The pay sucks...

And oh...but we'll pay your gas most times.

All-Righty Then


Grant Johnson said...

I wish I lived in Austin. I am dumb enough to sign up.

That said, I live in Wyoming. I would like to do what you do, but on a smaller scale, as I still need to keep my day job. My biggest challenge is finding the kids. Any suggestions? I have 5 PC's here, waiting for a kid to take them.

Anonymous said...

You could begin the search for children who could benefit from a computer in the home by contacting the local churches. I would focus on the churches in low-income areas of town first. Maybe even form a partnership with the churches and local businesses to source both children in need and computers available for donation.

Unknown said...

We have no shortage of children who need them. I have a list two pages long of pending installs.

What I need are people that care enough about what we do to help me do it so I don't kill myself trying to keep up.


Unknown said...

We share a have lasered in on yours..I'm leaving mine a little more wide open. I'm actually in the process of putting all of my stuff together. So far I have 7 computers going to a school for poor kids, 2 to an inner city abused women's shelter, and a couple more going to some underfunded day care centers. It's a huge undertaking, but the kids are worth it. You can see my progress at Good luck! and thanks!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the best thing those of us far from Helios can do is to emulate his fine work in our own communities, in ways that are suited to local needs and resources.

Don't forget, the same 12 hours you might put in for a neighbor or PHB, restoring a windows system and user data taken down by malware could give some needy kid lifelong skills and open the door to a better future.

Is this forum an appropriate place to share tips and success stories?

Unknown said...

"Is this forum an appropriate place to share tips and success stories?

You may fire at will.


Unknown said...

I live in Michigan. There is a cafe here that allows free use of it's conference room as long as you reserve it in advance.

I was thinking of getting it reserved to bring my laptop and show off Linux, hand out some live cd's. Maybe get a LUG started.

Right now I'm short on hardware donations, but there is a guy I did some computer work for a while back who said he has some old computer stuff for me. Perhaps from that and parts I have lying around I can build a complete system.

It would only be one, but you gotta start somewhere right? I already have a kid in mind.

Chad said...

I have one success story/couple of tips.
I've always been a church-goer on some level and that, as I was doing my own version of Ken, I realized was probably your best bet for this.
I ended up posting an ad on craigslist. I don't have the ad handy, but I called out needy single parents who were in need of a computer. I get a couple of replies and I just said that the first one whom I thought actually needed it would "win." That one turned out to be a grad student who was writing things by hand! She said she had a kid, but I never saw him (which is fine, I don't really care). It wasn't any crazy fast machine, but it could do papers and walk the web.
One thing I found odd, she tried to offer me money. I don't have a lot, but I wanted to just give this computer away. It was one of the coolest things I've done this year.

RRunner said...


I admire your commitment and your positive view on life. Unfortunately I don't live in the US so I can not help you, but will use my social network to get the word out.

Hope it will help.

Anonymous said...

First, I hope you're doing better.

Second.....Damn! I wish I lived close enough to you to help. I'm just that kind of person that loves kids and Linux enough to give up my free time to help out. Unfortunately, I would have a hell of a commute from Indianapolis.

You do great work and I'm sure you'll get help from folks in the Austin area.

Anonymous said...

You may not remember me, I'm the guy who translated into Spanish your article "The Thin Line Between Victim and Idiot". I just knew about what happened to you today, and I was shocked. I hope you recover soon. Take care of yourself, and take your time to fully recover, recurrences are awful and dangerous.

Kind regards.