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General Chat Thread, Article: Tux USB Keys Can Make Your Donated Computers Greener, Cleaner,.... in General; Some opinions not all of us will agree with. Nevertheless I thought it warranted posting here. Might spark a new ...
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    DaveP's Avatar
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    Article: Tux USB Keys Can Make Your Donated Computers Greener, Cleaner,....

    Some opinions not all of us will agree with. Nevertheless I thought it warranted posting here. Might spark a new Windows vs Linux discussion?

    Tux USB Keys Can Make Your Donated Computers Greener, Cleaner, More Ethical, and More Educational

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    Little-Miss's Avatar
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    hmmm, interesting.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveP View Post
    Might spark a new Windows vs Linux discussion?
    I was thinking about this a bit today. I was standing in a queue at Tesco, waiting to pay for my lunch, when I saw a poster next to the till asking for donations of school equipment to go to a school in Africa that some people were going to out and build. I started by thinking "hmm, maybe I could ask around and find some IT stuff for them...", and started picturing small, smiling African children cheerfully using a bunch of donated machines.

    Then I realised I have absolutely no idea whatsoever what children - small, smiling ones or indeed larger, sulkier ones - in Africa actually want or need by way of computing equipment. Indeed, I then realised that Africa is actually a whole varied continent and doesn't consist entirely of emaciated 1980s-era Band-Aid waifs wandering around a dustbowl to a sorrowful soundtrack, which I then realised is actually my perception of Africa. If I scrambled around to find some screens, thin clients and an Ubuntu server to donate to a school in Africa, I have know idea if:

    - A school can provide power for half a dozen screens, thin clients and a server?
    - Half a dozen workstations is enough for a class, or would half a dozen workstations just cause masses of scheduling problems?
    - Owning snazzy IT equipment would make the school a target for thieves?
    - The school can get Internet access? Do we try and provide some kind of wireless connection?
    - The school would laugh at the crusty, outdated second-hand junk and carry on using their shiny new IT labs they purchased from their local reseller, along with their leased line Internet connection?

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    David Hicks

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    A couple of the "Donate Computers" organisations do have minimum spec machines they accept iirc. With regard to individual schools in Africa, I expect it's the same as over here - some schools have good funding/resources, some struggle to find the cash to buy replacement mice.

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    That article got more and more worrying as I read through it, then seemed to go completely off the deep end after the quote from Richard Stallman.

    I picture the author typing on his little computer, custom built from components hand-crafted in order to avoid corporate surveillance, connected to the rest of the world through three different firewalls to prevent government snooping and seven different secure proxies. Cursing the evil companies who actually dare to profit off work that they do and laughing about the day when the perfect Linux will replace Windows (inevitable apparently).

    There were some good points in there, but overall I found it turned me away from his cause rather than towards it.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    With regard to individual schools in Africa, I expect it's the same as over here - some schools have good funding/resources, some struggle to find the cash to buy replacement mice.
    Yes, I expect / imagine the same thing, but that's not the same as actually knowing. I'm with the OLPC people here - specific regions need specific solutions, designed to work properly for their situation. I think rejuvinated second-hand PCs are great, but will probably get better used if kept in the country, if for no other reason than I know this country and know better what people in this country expect from IT.

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