Jason on Fri, 11 Jul 2003 15:18:10 -0400

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

On Friday 11 July 2003 11:37 am, Jon Nelson wrote:
> > The key with this project is going to be, as stated by others, supporting
> > the effort down the road.

Have we heard from the guy who goes by "multiple seriousity"? Isn't this what 
he does a good portion of his time. I'm sure he has some valuable input. If 
I'm totally off base, I apologize.

> I whole heartily agree.  We can't just dump the computers on them and walk
> away hoping they'll figure it out.  Not only should they be provided with

Seems to me that this is the most important and most overlooked issue here.

<rant on>
I'm not sure why some people seem to think that Windows is even an option 
here. These people need a support group, gee kinda like a LUG... Anyone know 
where we can find one of these? Well, isn't this what we're here for. PLUG 
Jr, great idea.

This is what Free Software (speech, not beer) is all about. People sharing 
software, ideas, help, etc. This is an area that providing Windows would be a 
significant DISADVANTAGE. And these people need a support group probably more 
than anything else. They can't pay M$ technical support, etc. They can't even 
pay CompUSA or BestBuy, or the MicroCenter to fix these things. Not even the 
local computer store. Computer stores are not in the business of fixing older 
hardware or configuring software for it for free.

Not to mention that many underpriveleged families have a lot more important 
things to buy than OS and Application license fees that are totally 
unnecessary. Recommending this path is sending these people in the completely 
wrong direction!

We're not responsible for the education of these kids, but we can teach them
a very important lesson: They can support each other and end up better off 
than with whatever crappy support they can't afford to purchase. And we can 
help support PLUG Jr. The biggest help is just showing them an example of how 
the Linux community is about sharing ideas and helping others, in direct 
contrast with greed-driven, price-fixed, anti-competitive, software licensing 
schemes. Just dumping computers in their laps would be a huge wasted 
opportunity to really provide some needed help.

To me, underpriveleged families are the purest example of a bunch of people, 
that as a group don't have any other legal option available to them but Free 
Software. Suggesting anything otherwise is insanity.
<rant off>

Sorry, but I had to get that off my chest. And, in case it wasn't obvious, I 
have absolutely know interest in helping configure systems with proprietary 
software to give to people that can't afford it. IMHO, that's a very 
inconsiderate thing to do.

So, Free Software community effort, I'm in. Just let me know where and when to 
show up and I'll do my best to help out. If it's a project that pushes 
proprietary software donated to people that can't afford it, I'm definitely 

Having said that, KDE and a number of other Open Source projects also have 
some very promising early education-focused software. But, I'm not that 
familiar with this stuff.

> the computers but the resources to grow with that computer.  That's why I
> think PLUG, Jr. is such a great idea.  I have to look into low/no coast
> dial up connections for them as well.

I believe that there have been efforts and programs to provide Internet access 
to the underpriveleged, but I'm unfamiliar with these and can't point out 
anything specific. I just know that these types of projects have been 
attempted by many, including local schools, government, etc. This would be a 
very good possible tie-in project.

> Jon

Jason Nocks

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