The HeliOS Project is now.....

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

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Monday, April 09, 2012

This Just In.....Hell Froze Over

Probably the last thing you would ever expect to see on this blog...

We've been donated an older Gateway dual core for which we have a specific use.  It will be the mounted laptop that does some of the wheelchair work for one of our kids.  Michael Dean, a software engineer for a large, well-known company wrote the software on his own time and is in the process of trying to release it as FOSS.  He's traversing the legal minefield which is his employment contract, attempting to get them to let go of any of his "work" that he does for charitable reasons and on his own time.

He's not optimistic.

The Software works great, unfortunately it was written for Vista as were all the drivers.  He simply doesn't have the time to update it to Win7 and given the chance that it his company would lay claim to any continued work, he probably wouldn't anyway. 

What we need is a legitimately-licensed copy of Windows Vista so we can get this great kid on the road.  Of course we initially contacted Microsoft via email and phone and to this date, they have ignored us....but they always do.  The best MS has ever offered us in the way of Licenses for any of their systems is 50.00 a license for Windows XP SPI.

Anyway, I know that we have a large readership of IT directors and admins that might have a good copy of Vista floating around.  If you do, Please contact me via email or comments here and we can see what we can get done.

I appreciate this.

All-Righty Then


Jim W. in Ladson said...

It really is a shame that it's based on Vista. Mainstream support expires tomorrow (4/10/2012). Only security patches until 4/11/2017. Any other support of any kind gets real expensive real quick, if available at all.

* said...

Skip, check with a local library or school, but with their computer people. They may have a CD that they can install for you, and a special ID code to activate it.

Theo said...

Hi, I have a few Vista licenses from when I was a member of MSDNAA with my university. I have keys for Vista Enterprise and Vista Business, 64 bit and 32 bit.

I don't think I'll ever need any of them so let me know if you'd like one and I can email it to you.

Theo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Amenditman said...


Those licenses are for student use only, and they expire 2 years from the date they are issued.

I don't think they will be any help to The HeliOS Project.

ShawnDBruce said...

..from what I have experienced, most Vista drivers/software will work on Windows 7 due to NT 6.0 vs NT 6.1.. I could be wrong for something as specific as this, but still, I've done this before with Intel Video drivers for certain chipsets due to shared memory presets.. worked fine on my Latitude D630. Hell, Vista to 7 upgrades are usually pretty straightforward even.. might be worth testing, unless your guy's done that mess already..?

Swift Arrow said...

Hey! I'm a student in Sweden and pulled an old laptop out of the trash with Vista professional.

I can run the computer (it runs, but barely), connect to the net and create a new "hardware profile", peel off the sticker and give it to you, or scan and email to you. Will it work?

Unknown said...

Hey we've tried already. The Drivers for that specific machine need to be written for Vista. I thought the same thing you did but unfortunately, it isn't working for us at all.

Unknown said...

Swift Arrow - That could work. email me by hitting the contact us banner on the top left and we can go from there.


Swift Arrow said...

Those licenses are for student use only, and they expire 2 years from the date they are issued.

Well, not according to this site:

Amenditman said...


I was talking to my Unix Admin professor tonight about this.
He made a suggestion that you contact the PR dept. at the company to get them to give The HeliOS Project the rights to the software, or at least rights to use.

The PR dept. might be more willing to help a charity than the tech or legal dept.

konaya said...

How complicated is the software? Perhaps a complete rewrite by someone whose soul hasn't been sold, as it were, would be more feasible than liberating the old software. Perhaps the old developer could give some casual roundabout pointers to the new one -- without breaching contract, of course.

Theo said...

I wasn't aware the keys expired after a couple of years. That's a big shame, I thought they'd at least be useful for something.

Dr Loser said...


If you haven't got the man fixed by now, contact me at I have a spare Vista Home (yes, I know) disk hanging around, unused. Alternatively, I'd pony up the bucks for a new one -- just send in the specifics. (BTW in that case I'd recommend Windows 7.)

Amenditman said...


I attend a two-year Community College, with two year degree programs.
It is possible that if you are enrolled in a four year university that MSNDAA gives four year expiration dates.
Regardless, when you are signed up by your school and "check out" with your license keys you are given an expiration date for that license.
Mine was two years, your might be four.
Also, you will be unable to get another Vista license key through the program until after that expiration date.