[Ubuntu PA] MALT CVG Laptops for School Market Program

Kevin Valentine kevin.valentine at gmail.com
Sun Dec 9 15:47:06 GMT 2007

Hi everyone,

Greg Jenkins of the Mt. Airy Learning Tree Computer Volunteer Group
(MALT CVG) has sent another project in our direction.  Here's a
description of the project provided by Greg several weeks back:


*** Situation ***
Kids at 5 local schools run a fresh produce market on a rotating basis.
The Weaver's Way Food Co-op, sponsors this and has a program coordinator
to supervise.  The co-op members work in the store as part of their
dues.  When in the store they use a MS-Excel spreadsheet to calculate
the sales.

*** Our Mission ***
Configure 6 laptops (1 spare,1 for each school) to do the same thing. 
The laptops will not have hard drives, but will have CD-ROMs and USB
ports.  Have couple of volunteers demonstrate using the laptops to the
kids at each school.  CVG will supply the laptops and Flash drives, if
necessary.  The only program that needs to be run is Calc.

*** Outcomes ***
1. The kids get to work in way that more closely resembles the adult run
2. A few kids at several different schools get familiar using ubuntu and
3. We get some use out of the laptops that don't have hard drives.
4. A small donation to CVG & the LoCo Team.


OK, now to discuss our roll in this.  As of yesterday (Saturday 12/8),
some of the information needs to be modified.  For starters, we are not
using Ubuntu or OpenOffice's Calc on these laptops.  They're simply not
powerful enough to run them.  It will be either Puppy or Damnsmall
Linux.  I picked up two of the laptops yesterday, proceeded to burned an
afternoon and a portion of the night testing them out.  I'll send
detailed results of that testing in a separate post.

Here's a brief overview of the rough PA LoCo plan to support this project:
1. Install Puppy or DSL to CompactFlash for use with CF to IDE adapter.
2. Test this installation on two of the laptops.
3. Verify that the spreadsheet works well with Gnumeric application.
4. If 1-3 are good, purchase 6 CF cards and adapters from Microcenter
and eBay, respectively.
5. Install to rest of laptops at next meeting with MALT CVG classroom on

The schedule may seem aggressive but much of it already done.  More
details on the testing is coming in my next post.

Best regards,
Kevin Valentine

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