VectorLinux
October 24, 2014, 09:41:01 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Visit our home page for VL info. To search the old message board go to http://vectorlinux.com/forum1. The first VL forum is temporarily offline until we can find a host for it. Thanks for your patience.
 
Now powered by KnowledgeDex.
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Please support VectorLinux!
Pages: [1] 2
  Print  
Author Topic: Another hello from Canada  (Read 6830 times)
Rusty Guy
Member
*
Posts: 17



« on: June 06, 2007, 01:31:56 pm »

Hello from Peterborough, Ontario Canada. I've been dealing with computers for FAR too many years - teaching, writing, working in publishing, etc. I did a stint on the exec of the local (now defunct) computer users group. A friend of mine - also a former exec - went on to create PLUG (Peterborough Linux Users Group) and finally got me to try a few flavours of Linux. On my own I bumped into VL and have been a newbie supporter since then. I do many things but primary is looking after technology needs for a local non-profit that works in adult literacy. Part of my interest is looking at Linux as a cost effective alternative to the "high priced spread". I've set up some dual boot systems with different distros as a trial and hope to have the latest VL and VL SOHO on soon. We often have to work with computer hand-me-downs so VL has a lot to offer.
Logged
JohnB316
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 1346


Registered Linux User #386728


« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2007, 08:34:48 am »

Rusty Guy,

Welcome aboard! You'll be interested to know that two of our forum regulars, lagagnon and Lyn, work with charities that recycle computers. lagagnon has gone so far as to do a re-master of VL for the charity he works with. He's posted somewhat about it in the forum.

Cheers,
John
Logged

VL 6.0 SOHO latest alpha on one box, VL 5.9 Lite on the other.
metvas
Vectorite
***
Posts: 311


« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2007, 08:57:22 am »

Hello rusty guy
I am in Winnipeg, MB. Do not see a lot of Canucks. Ottawa lost that sucks. Welcome aboard. will be spearheading with, I the Lions Club a similar recycling program here soon.
Regards
Darrell
Logged

Knowledge is Power, share it.
Be the change you want to see in the World
Rusty Guy
Member
*
Posts: 17



« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2007, 01:24:06 pm »

Thanks John and Darrell for the warm welcome. I've been lurking for a bit so I knew this was a friendly crowd.   I'll have to look around for that re-master that lagagnon did since I've had some thoughts along those lines myself. And I've been paying attention to Darell's efforts similar to my own re introducing Linux. I think Linux and the non-profit sector have a lot of potential together.

Bryant
Logged
Lyn
Vectorian
****
Posts: 651



« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2007, 11:09:56 pm »

Thanks John and Darrell for the warm welcome. I've been lurking for a bit so I knew this was a friendly crowd.   I'll have to look around for that re-master that lagagnon did since I've had some thoughts along those lines myself. And I've been paying attention to Darell's efforts similar to my own re introducing Linux. I think Linux and the non-profit sector have a lot of potential together.

Bryant

I would agree, the not for profit sector and linux are a match made in heaven :-)  Unfortunately the charity I worked for and I have now parted so I am no longer in that game (and neither is the charity I worked for :-(   )
Logged
Rusty Guy
Member
*
Posts: 17



« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2007, 06:53:04 am »

Hi Lyn. I was expecting a hearty Croeso! from you Wink. Re charity - sorry to hear about the parting of the ways. Been there, done that too.

Bryant
Logged
Lyn
Vectorian
****
Posts: 651



« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2007, 02:03:14 pm »

Hi Lyn. I was expecting a hearty Croeso! from you Wink. Re charity - sorry to hear about the parting of the ways. Been there, done that too.

Bryant

:-)   Croeso I Chi :-)    With things like the EU directive on Electronic Waste finally coming into effect in the UK (at long last) I expect there to be a huge increase in opportunites to reuse computers, that and a large number of now redundant but very usable CRT monitors should enable some enterprising groups to put together very good packages for those looking at cut price/free machines.  And indeed there are some excellent Charities doing just that.  I regret that the one I worked for will not be and that the other computer recycler in Cardiff is firmly in the Microsoft camp, offering machines with cheap Windows 98 installed under a charity scheme sponsored by Microsoft. 

One of the barriers to people having these machines is that most people are now on broadband and the cheep USB routers provided free by the ISPs are a pain to configure and get to run under linux.    The other is support - continuing support - the target group are frequently computer newbies in every sense.  So apart from getting them used to Linux you have to support them in their everyday computer usage.  The Blackpool recycler scheme provided classes where the "reward" for completing the course is a linux computer is an excellent way of going someway to solving that problem.  There is a lot of talent out there.

Sorry for the diversion :-)

And once again welcome.
Logged
Rusty Guy
Member
*
Posts: 17



« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2007, 09:51:52 am »

Lyn

While some things are different here on this side of the pond (USB routers aren't common locally) the rest is pretty well right on. Surprised re the Win 98 since the recycle programs I know about have an unlimited license for 2000 installs via MS!

Does anybody know of a good group for Linux and non-profits aimed at the front line support people? Sorrry if this is OT here.

Bryant
Logged
lagagnon
Global Moderator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 1922



WWW
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2007, 10:21:02 am »

So apart from getting them used to Linux you have to support them in their everyday computer usage. 

IMHO that is a very dangerous and time-consuming policy to get involved in. I too work for a computer recycling charity. Our policy is a such: they each get one hours instruction on basic use of the Linux box and then they are on their own. We also provide a very comprehensive Linux online tutorial (in HTML), written specifically for newbies and at the VL5.8 Standard Gold (slightly modified) which we provide. We could not possibly hope to provide ongoing user support as there are only two of us doing this work. We do however, provide ongoing hardware repair support for our clients.

I may be politically incorrect in saying this but what I say is true: most of our clients are disadvantaged citizens in one way or another, and some (but not all of them) are very lazy. They cannot be bothered to read nor to work things out for themselves and prefer to "have their hands held all the time". Such users are ultimately unsupportable because no matter how many times you answer their questions and offer support they would keep coming back with small issues for you to solve. They do not want to learn for themselves and thus supporting them only depowers them. IMHO it is better to show them where all the resources are and let them work it out. Most of our clients are able to do that with the documentation we provide but it is the small minority that won't who will ultimately clog up the time, resources and phone lines of any recycling charity.

I suppose if you are able to find a number of good, well-trained in Linux and patient volunteers willing to offer help desk service at any time of the day or night then such a policy might work.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2007, 10:23:09 am by lagagnon » Logged

"As people become more intelligent they care less for preachers and more for teachers". Robert G. Ingersoll
GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2007, 06:27:41 pm »

I may be politically incorrect in saying this but what I say is true: most of our clients are disadvantaged citizens in one way or another, and some (but not all of them) are very lazy. They cannot be bothered to read nor to work things out for themselves and prefer to "have their hands held all the time".

You're probably describing about 85% of all computer users, not just the disadvantaged and the very lazy. Face it: most people using computers just want them to work. They're not interested in knowing how or why. The fact that they prefer to have their hands held all the time provides an opportunity for making a nice living for the more technical minded. Yes, people do pay to get out of fixes.

Of course, the clients of a computer-recycling charity can't afford to pay to get out of fixes. You're correct that people who volunteer to make the hardware ready and keep it functioning can't be expected to offer 24/7 tech support, too.
--GrannyGeek
Logged

Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
Lyn
Vectorian
****
Posts: 651



« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2007, 12:27:14 am »

Well its now a year since I was in the business, so things may have moved on, but Microsoft were offering cheep Windows 98 to charities, I think at £5 to £10 a pop.   However it would seem sensible for them to move onto offering Windows 2000 instead.  The charity that I worked for looked at this and there were just too many regulatory hoops to jump through for us to be involved (in practice it would mean a lot more work for me). 

As for long term support, well people came back to us constantly for help and we found that a problem, we didn't have the resources to provide anything other than basic help and they they were told they were on their own.  The Blackpool Computer Recycler project with its 1 week of computer tutorials seemed a good way of getting people "trained up" before letting them take a computer home with them.  This was funded by an European Union grant for deprived areas.  This paid the wages for the person to run the week long course.    After that they were members of the Blackpool Linux Users Group and could get (to a degree) on going support from other members of the group.

I agree most computer users will not even check help files before asking for assistance.  That is sometimes the fault of the help systems, that they assume too much prior knowledge or are written too technically, but this is not always the case.  The reality is that most computer programs and all operating systems are big complex things and take a fair bit of learning.  People (in general) just want to know enough to get what they want to done.  Even my hardware students did not want to understand what they were doing when they partitioned a hard drive and formatted it, they just wanted to learn the required sequence of keys to press to do the job.  Exercises when they partitioned a drive into more than one partition left them bewildered.  They could never see the utility of doing this for Windows and because this was a requirement for Linux it rendered Linux in their eyes as obtuse and unnecessarily convoluted and thus of less utility than Windows. 

After a while you become jaundiced to the human condition.  This is one of the reasons I like this place.  There is such a patience with people, like me, who has "stupid" questions and who need hand holding.
Logged
Colonel Panic
Vectorian
****
Posts: 526


« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2007, 03:46:10 am »

Plenty of room for thought here, thanks for the good and insightful posts above. I'd like to work for a computer recycling charity (I don't at present).

I think FreeGeek in Portland (Oregon) have a good plan. They get people to build or renovate six computers and install Linux (Debian) on them and the first five computers that the volunteers build and set up get given away, the sixth one they keep for themselves. That way they are learning how computers and Linux work, and have also earned the machine they take home with them.

http://www.freegeek.org/

It's easy to forget how long it took to learn even the things you take for granted though. I'bve been using Linux for more than three years now and there's still an awful lot I don't know (I've got a disk partitioning problem at the moment, for example, though it's not critical).

Edit: I can't see anywhere on the FreeGeek website where they say whether or not they make a charge to the end users (other than volunteers) for the computer systems they supply, so I can't say for sure either way.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2007, 05:51:27 am by Colonel Panic » Logged
Joe1962
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 2499



WWW
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2007, 07:53:23 am »

Many people can't even use a VHS or Betamax player beyond Play-Stop-Rewind. And IMO, computers are not something you can/should use without knowing what you are doing. They are not a TV set, but rather a very complex piece of machinery + firmware + software. That is why dedicated word processors were very popular at one point, they are made for one function only and people who needed it could grasp that better. Flexibility brings a lot of complexity, like the difference between automatic or manual gearchange in a car (I know people who learnt to drive on auto and can never get the manual changes right). Regarding computers, no amount of "dumbing down" the user interface is going to help, so this state will probably never change until AI becomes smart enough to understand "I want to write a letter to my Mom" or "play the movie we were watching last night, from the point where we left off"...
Logged

O'Neill (RE the Asgard): "Usually they ask nicely before they ignore us and do what they damn well please."
http://joe1962.bigbox.info
Running: VL 7 Std 64 + self-cooked XFCE-4.10
metvas
Vectorite
***
Posts: 311


« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2007, 09:20:50 am »

Never seen a "stupid", question before, ever, anywhere.
Take it up a notch to inquiring question.
Regards
Darrell
Logged

Knowledge is Power, share it.
Be the change you want to see in the World
tomh38
Vectorian
****
Posts: 913



« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2007, 10:58:09 am »

" ... computers are not something you can/should use without knowing what you are doing." - Joe1962

C'mon, man, I said I was sorry I put the wrong king of thermal paste on!  Cheesy

Welcome aboard Rusty Man!  As you can see, the people here are great.
Logged

"I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones." - Linus Torvalds, April 1991
Pages: [1] 2
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!