In case you haven't seen this on DesktopLinux.com or Slashdot.org,
Steve Hargadon (who recently spoke about K12LTSP thin clients at SVLUG)
is putting together a project to get public internet kiosks setup for
victims of Katrina.
Please feel free to pass this along to LUGs or other ORGs that you think
can help with this project. The ISO is out, to feel free to seed it
on BitTorrent, too!
----- Forwarded message from Steve Hargadon <firstname.lastname@example.org> -----
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 2005 07:51:22 -0700
From: Steve Hargadon <email@example.com>
Subject: [vox] Call for Help: Katrina Public Web Stations Project
Hurricane Katrina has left individuals and families with many needs,
and relief agencies will work hard to prepare food, clothing, and
shelter for them. Many will be unable to return home for weeks or
months. Free, readily-available public access to the Internet during
this time can provide a crucial lifeline for them during this time.
Ultimately, the goal will be the ability to create an instant
volunteer network of public web stations after any major disaster
anywhere in the world.
Older computers, Pentium 2 level or above, can run as a Firefox web
station (or kiosk), requiring only 128mb or ram, a network card, and
access to an Internet-connected network. Schools, libraries,
agencies, and businesses could easily and quickly provide free public
web stations to assist those displaced by the hurricane.
The computers needed are available in abundance for free or minimal
cost, and many organizations have an excess of these older computers
with no use for them. The technology needed to turn them into web
stations is both free and effective, being based on the Linux
operating system and the Firefox web browser. A single file is
downloaded and burned to a CD-ROM, placed in the CD-ROM drive of the
computer, and then the computer is booted from the CD-ROM. The
computer boots up directly to a Firefox web browser window in less
than a minute, not requiring any keystrokes or skills to get there.
A working web station would take no more than 5 minutes to set up, and
requires no ongoing maintenance except in the case of hardware
failure. In case of any difficulties, the machine is just rebooted.
(More information on LiveCD's for web stations is given here.)
What is Needed (9/2/05):
1. Volunteers to set up the web stations. This involves someone with
the ability to download a small (60MB) version of a "LiveCD"--that is,
Linux that runs from the CD-Rom drive and doesn't require the hard
drive--burn it to a CD-Rom, connect a monitor, mouse, and keyboard to
the computer, and then connect the computer to an Internet-capable
network. Sign up here to volunteer to help.
2. Organizations who will donate the computers, monitors, keyboards,
mice, and network cables. DIY Parts is acting as a clearinghouse for
the used equipment. As well, CompuMentor in San Francisco keeps a
list of non-profit computer refurbishment organizations that could
assist in locating used equipment.
3. Organizations to provide mirror sites for downloading the .iso image(s).
4. Web page help:
Someone who can build a quick database of volunteers--name,
phone, cell, email, city, and state--and a few simple php pages for
others to locate local volunteers.
Someone to keep a Katrina portal page updated
Someone to write up easy instructions for setting up a public
5. Someone to create a graphic file for a standardized banner/sign
that can be printed at Kinkos which easily identifies a public web
6. Someone who can monitor the LiveCD and LiveKiosk projects and make
sure we continue to provide the most effective versions.
7. Grass-roots publicity volunteers: anyone willing to post a note
about project to mail-lists, news organizations, friends and family,