The HeliOS Project is now.....

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

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Takin' 5...

Before anything else, I want to extend my warmest and most sincere wishes to everyone during this holiday season.  Regardless of whether you celebrate a traditional holiday or are just along for the ride, I want the best for you this season.

This comes at an unfortunate time but it is necessary.  The HeliOS Project will suspend our current operations as of Monday.  We will take the next 30 to 45 days to re-evalute many aspects of what we do and how we do it.

At this time, we are without a vehicle to make our deliveries or donation pickups.  We are still 1300 dollars short of taking delivery of our new one.  Often, pickups or deliveries are scheduled or necessary when volunteers are simply not available and the stress of trying to get things scheduled with little to work with has given me pause.

Let me be more honest than some people will be comfortable with...aside from ending a sentence with a preposition.  The HeliOS Project serves the city of Austin and the surrounding area.  It is that city and that area that benefits from our labor.  To this point, the Linux Community has largely supported our efforts and for that I am extremely and forever grateful...but you are not being directly served.  The people of this area are.  We are going to talk with key elements of this population and seek funding.  If they don't see the value of what we do, then maybe it's not as valuable as we thought it to be.

We do have obligations to teach classes at different learning centers and will honor those.  As well, Our Texas Grandchildren, a foundation built by Carole Keeton Strayhorn, will take delivery of the 30 computers we promised them.  Aside from those commitments, we are going to stand down for a bit to see if we cannot find alternative ways of getting what we need in order to do what we do.

Of course, the Blog of helios will continue...probably at a greater rate now, so those who have noted the sparse postings, let me catch my breath and we'll get 'er done.

Again, please take a minute to enjoy this season.  We don't always have the luxury of catching up with the next one.

All-Righty Then


Michael Hall said...

HeliOS may be taking a break, but those of us you have inspired will carry on.

Next month QuinnCo, along with the Ubuntu Florida LoCo, will be installing a Linux lab at a boy's home, and preparing 50 Dell towers for kids who would otherwise be entering college without a computer.

Kevin (Whizard72) said...

Entering a College without a computer is horribly, horribly disadvantageous. Imagine Maldanado entering Baylor without that Acer Travelmate Helios gave her.

The ability to do a lot of advanced coursework in college DEPENDS on having access to a computer and it's far easier to get things done with a computer of your own than it is to utilize the campus computer labs which aren't available 24/7 and frankly are not always a great environment for working.

FWIW, I personally feel a laptop is better for college students but that's as much a personal choice as it is an aesthetic or practical choice.

Josh Kimball said...

This is a damn shame Ken. At least you knew enough to just stop this time instead of working yourself into a hospital bed.

There is a ton of money out there in the private sector. I know you've struck out on the grants applied for but keep on plugging my friend. Good works are always rewarded.


PV said...

Happy holidays to you to, and I wish you the best of luck for continuing Helios. I also look forward to more frequent blog posts.
a Linux Mint user since 2009 May 1

Kevin (Whizard72) said...

Happy Holidays to Ken Starts and Helios Initiative volunteers. It's been a pleasure to read this blog over the past year and knowing that people are competing academically who may not be otherwise thanks to your efforts.


Unknown said...


I hope Santa inspires the locals to give you the support you need. It will be their neighbors who will benefit if they do.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Alessandro Ebersol said...

Sad, very sad if go out of business. Don't give up. Local government couldn't help you ???
Hoping for the best. Best regards

Blogging around the Pacific Northwest said...

12/21/09 1:14 PM Blogger A said...

Sad, very sad if go out of business. Don't give up. Local government couldn't help you ???
Hoping for the best. Best regards"

A, I am not sure how Austin TX is doing financially but across the United States there are a fair amount of different cities that are near the brink of bankruptcy or near the point they have cut back so far there literally is no money to help people out like Ken.

Now there might be a way that his communities might be able to help him with donated pcs. But I doubt there is much cash at the government level to help him with the actual physical costs if what he is doing.

Now someone said that here that there might be some private granting opportunities? I would love for that person to share their knowledge with Ken? If they know where some hanging fruit is, I bet he could use all of the help.