March 21st, 2pm Face-2-Face

Eric Weir eeweir at
Sat Mar 14 17:15:07 GMT 2009

On Mar 14, 2009, at 10:51 AM, arxion wrote:

> I would argue that the Emory Law School venue is hard to beat,
> especially since we are fairly certain it is there for the asking
> and it is a familiar location for a lot of the folks who support
> or participate in these events.

Agree totally.

> Still, if you want to consider the Clarkston Community venue, I
> have developed a rapport with Frederick Earl, the guy who techs
> the place as a volunteer and who we met at the U-8.10 Install Fest.
> James Kinney and I helped him get an LTSP server / client setup
> going, though I'm not sure how well he's been able to maintain it
> over the past few months on his own.  While the Community Center
> IS fairly close to the 285 exit, it is "across the tracks" on side
> streets and a little hard to find. The main lab space is about 30'
> by 15' and has about 10 computer stations, mostly old dells -- we
> would probably need to bring in a couple more tables.  They also
> have other spaces we might use, though probably not wired with
> inet -- I believe they have one Cable Modem line for access in
> the building.
> Would need to fish to find any contacts into Georgia Perimeter
> College, but that would be a good venue as well if someone
> can get us in there.

And I recognize all this, too. I didn't mean to be making a hard sell  
for the venue. The multiple complications aside, it is a nice  
facility, and it was primarily the advantages of open source to low- 
income populations, advantages of open source on its own aside, that I  
had in mind. I gather open-source/linux is a big deal in the  
developing world, possibly more so than in the developed world, where  
cost is less of a consideration. So why not promote it among low- 
income populations here?

And I don't really think simply holding an Ubuntu install-fest at the  
site would have the kind of impact I envision. It would probably  
require a special event, something more than an install-fest.  
Something more like an ongoing initiative focused on collecting old  
machines, making sure the hardware's in working condition, installing  
linux on em, teaching people how to use it, giving them machines to  
take home, etc., etc. Pretty much what the Frederick's -- Earle, his  
son Jason, and Opal, his mother -- have been doing with XP.

Possibly not enough people's "cup of tea" to make it feasible. It  
would require a commitment.

[Now that I've gotten my juices flowing here, young people popped into  
my brain. Helping them learn about technology in a hands-on way with  
support from a community of tech savvy users and professionals. Down  
the road I could see tying it  to their formal education, and getting  
funders interested in supporting, which, depending on how it shaped  
up, would not be difficult. Lots of interest in STEM -- project-based  
learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.]

Forgive my hyperactive, out-of-touch, impractical brain. Go ahead and  
have a great weekend.

Eric Weir
Decatur, GA  USA
eeweir at

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