George Gallen on Fri, 11 Jul 2003 11:13:05 -0400

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RE: [PLUG] Community Service Project (Devil's advocate)

Title: RE: [PLUG] Community Service Project (Devil's advocate)

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Jon Nelson []
>Sent: Friday, July 11, 2003 8:44 AM
>Subject: RE: [PLUG] Community Service Project (Devil's advocate)
>I had this same argument with my wife.

Hope the couch wasn't too uncomfortable. :)

>One of my main reasons for putting Linux on these machines is that the
>families are very economically challenged.  If we keep win98 on these
>machines, it's already outdated.  At some point Microsoft will stop
>supporting win98, programs will stop being written for it and
>then where
>will they be?
>As someone pointed out it's not so much Windows as it is Office, which
>they definitely can't afford.  If we're talking about using
>Star Office,
>then there is no reason not to use Linux.

The key with this project is going to be, as stated by others, supporting
the effort down the road.

5 years from now, whether they are running linux or windows,
they will be obsolete, and if still usable, probably won't get used
very much.

>As for the job market, these kids are in elementary school.  I
>have only
>been messing around with Linux for about four years, but in that time I
>have seen it grow by leaps and bounds and I believe that it
>will continue
>to grow exponentially.  By the time the kids reach high school I think
>that their skill set in using Linux will be in high demand.

but as well, these are grade school kids, with patience levels that usually
aren't that great, and with probably not going to be able to get a lot
of help from their parents if they don't understand something (I remember
that feeling - not knowing many people that I could ask programming
questions to when I first started).

So, again, support, key issue.

>Another key reason in using Linux for this project is the
>social awareness
>it will bring these kids, as it has done for me.  They will
>learn that the
>free exchange of ideas and information really does benefit
>themselves and
>their society.  They'll learn to collaborate with others and
>be apart of a
>team and when they win the teams wins.  Along these lines
>Paul's idea for
>PLUG, Jr. is just stellar!

Depending on the number of PC's, for a small amount of investment,
but still an investment, a few could be setup as a mini network within itself
with a 2 or 3 dialup lines for them to access. Possibly you could get
the schools involved as well, but this might be more difficult
that sounds. But you still would have the cost of the dialup lines.

>I think the kids could be taught so many valuable lessons
>using Linux on
>both the technical and social front it would be a shame not to use it.

Possibly as also stated, offer a choice.

1. Beginners, a MS windows environment for access to run lot's of games
   and/or educational software, for those who really don't care about anything
   more than that.

2. more advanced, a linux client (with programming)

3. getting even more advanced, a linux server (for their Windows PC to hook
   to), and/or webserving programming

Options 2 & 3, have the child/parents possibly be involved in the installation

I was assuming that the W98 that was preloaded was one with a valid EULA, if
that's not the case, then...well looks like linux is the only choice.

Maybe really geek out, and have them setup some inter neighborhood wireless
networking :) having the kids choosing option # 3 to really have something
to work on.

>Trooper Jon S. Nelson, Linux Certified Admin., CCNA
>Pa. State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigation
>Computer Crimes Unit
>Work: 610.344.4471 Cell/Page: 866.284.1603

Good luck, whatever choice is made, it can't hurt.