Re: .au developers, charity, good publicity
On Wed, Jul 25, 2001 at 05:54:14PM +0200, Nils Lohner wrote:
> Try to find a contact address for them, and then we can talk to the
> people at debian-jr or maybe at SEUL as well to see what kind of simple
> kid-friendly installations they offer and how much functionality we can
> offer as compared to their current installations.
My ears perked at the mention of debian-jr, so I just signed up to
debian-project to contribute my two bits ...
On 25 Jul 2001 17:39:59 +0200, David N. Welton wrote:
>Here is a wonderful publicity opportunity, if we worked things right:
>From the way it is worded, it sounds like what we're talking about here
is 486 systems ("old, secondhand machines") running, likely as not,
either Windows 3.1 or Windows 95. I have dealt with machines of this
class and donated one to a needy family. However, I decided that the
lowest cost for support was to leave Windows 3.1 and the few games it
had on the system. It just wasn't worth it to:
1. shoehorn Debian onto the small hdd (40M)
2. deal with ongoing support issues on behalf of the family that
received the system from me
Mind you, I did upgrade the processor and memory as far as I was able
and the hdd as well as the parts became available to me (486dx/66, 32M,
and 160M respectively, iirc). And at that point I even considered
whether I might be ready to take on the burden of being their "remote
sys admin" for a Debian system. But by that time, another friend had
convinced them to buy a Compaq "web ready" system with Win/ME on it.
They are now happily using that, and I hardly ever get calls from them.
(Last time was when someone cracked their web-based mail and sent out
offensive messages to everyone on their address book with it. :)
Does it sound like I'm pro-Microsoft, here? Sorry if it came across that
way but no, I am most definitely not. I am just trying to be pragmatic
about it. Had I installed Debian on that first system, who knows where
we'd be today with the Compaq box. But I'm pretty sure it would be
many, many hours later with me doing the hand-holding all the way. I
might, in a very generous mood, have actually weakened and committed to
doing that. And perhaps in the end, I would have more warm fuzzy
feelings from the whole experience. I could hold up my head high and
boast proudly of my conquest for the cause of free software. But no, I
wasn't conquest-minded that day. I just looked at her $30 for the box,
and the cost of my time, and the fact that the box worked fine the way
it was ... and succumbed to reality.
Where Debian Jr. fits into this today:
The Debian Jr. project at this stage is focused on experienced Debian
users who want to use Debian with the children in their lives. That's
quite a different thing from pressing pre-installed Debian boxes into
the hands of random children.
Don't get me wrong. I'm eager to see this sort of thing work. Now,
maybe these people are willing to do all the support that would be
necessary, and maybe they have more capable systems than I was dealing
with. I guess I'd want some answers to these questions before I'd go
recommending promoting Debian as a solution here.
Then there's the time factor, too. Who knows where we'll be in another
year or two? I guess there's still a publicity opportunity if you want
to talk to them about what *could* be done with Debian. But I feel it's
kind of weak unless we have the goods to back it up today.
 If you had the time to listen to me ramble, I could tell a success
story about installing Debian for a non-tech fellow as a SOHO
system and how I continue to support him remotely, a couple
of hundred miles from where I live. But that's a tangent for
nSLUG http://www.nslug.ns.ca email@example.com
Debian http://www.debian.org firstname.lastname@example.org
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