It’s taken me over a month to do the write up, but Digital Divide had our first success! The event took place on February 28th at the Palmer Munroe Community Center. We taught 6 kids how to build 5 computers (2 of them were sisters).
We started off with a quick overview of the computer parts, since we had each computer taken apart on each table next to a monitor. Then 5 of our volunteers teamed up with each kid and began helping them put the boxes together.
Luckily we had med up a couple days before to test out computers and wipe harddrives. This assured us we would have 5 working computers on the day of. Nonetheless we had a few rough spots with miss-aligned jumpers, a bad CDROM drive and a failing harddrive. Luckily we had enough expertise and replacement parts on hand to smooth things over!
All five kids are running xubuntu, and loving it. One of the more amazing things I saw was a little girl, who couldn’t have been older than 10 figure out how to draw a polk-a-dot picture and set it as her desktop. Without any help. She of course had never used linux before. The little guy I was helping immediately set about configuring his screen saver and enjoying the various animations. It’s amazing what kids can learn just by playing.
I would say the event was a complete success, the kids had a great time, the volunteers had an amazing experience and we gave away as many computers as we had parts for! We still have some extra parts but require more to build complete machines.
I would like to thank everyone that made this possible, Ms. Aurora Hansen for giving us the space and the kids to work with. The amazing instructors Robert Lam, Nathan Crock, Michelle Lam and Erik Hazzard. Our historian Nikki Velasquez, and burninator Dana Kwiatkowski. I want to thank the volunteers who helped prepare the donations, Raymond Mak and Ana Ng. Last but not least I would like to thank John Marks for coming out and supporting us! Of course good karma to all those who donated, you know who you are!
We will give it another go in the summer, we need to do another round of donations so tell your friends!