Hello readers and supporters of the Jesse Higginbotham Technology Trust! We wanted to provide some updates on what we’ve accomplished on the technology side as well as some other interesting tech news. First we’ll talk about the local issues.
As of last week, we have delivered our 78th computer to a deserving family through our Mindtriggerz project. We are on schedule to deliver our 100th computer this year. We would like to give a special thanks to the Spencerian University students who by way of their Computer Hardware Independent study program assisted us in the refurbishing process on several machines recently. In order to help further our progress and expand the scope of the Mindtriggerz project, we have created a wish list on Amazon.com for items such as surge protectors, flash drives and computer speakers. These items will allow us to better serve our clients. If you are interested in making a contribution by way of the wish list, please click the link below.
Jesse Higginbotham Technology Wish List @ Amazon.com
On another note, we have been tracking the progress of the Broadband Coalition (Free Lexington Public Wifi). The project began in 2010 as a collaboration between several groups such as the Blue Grass Community Foundation, LFUCG, UK, LPD as well as the Lexington Public Library System, Connect Kentucky and the Urban League. The project was primarily funded by John S. and James L. Knight Foundation by way of a $560,000 grant.
The project was proposed in order to provide free internet/wifi access to residents of Lexington’s East End and Cardinal Valley neighborhoods as well as to offer computer training classes. By providing Free Wireless access, this project would offer residents of these areas greater economic prospects and opportunities such as being able to apply for jobs online or take online classes. This internet access would also be useful to the public safety sector such as police, EMT’s and emergency responders.A good deal of progress has been made thus far such as the installation of wireless access points in all target areas as well the fiber optic cabling needed to carry the internet signal to the access points.
However, the process has not been without issues. The main bulk of the project was slated to be completed by August of 2010. At the time of this writing, connectivity has been spotty and while some have reported success in connecting, many others have not been so fortunate. We have been corresponding with the projects leaders and organizers and we’ve been told that they are very aware of the problems and are working diligently to solve them. We will be continuing to update you on the progress as we continue to monitor it. The hope is that functionality will increase dramatically in the coming weeks and months.
Finally, we would like to leave you with an exciting piece of news related to expanding the availability of low cost computing technology in classrooms and economically challenged areas of the world. You may have heard of the One Laptop Per Child initiative. The goal was to create inexpensive, durable and sustainable computers that could be distributed to third world countries. A problem encountered however was that in order to keep the price per unit down, large volume orders would be necessary – something most countries and aid organizations could not afford to pay. This problem might become a thing of the past thanks to Raspberry Pi.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has worked to create a low-price, bare bones computer that could be used in classrooms to reduce the cost of computer assisted learning as well as being a tool for teaching programming and computing basics. They envision this not only being useful in the United States but also in third world countries. They recently started taking orders for their first version which costs $35. There was also an announcement from Seneca College that they have developed a full alpha version of Fedora Linux that runs on a 2gb sd card. By pairing the Raspberry Pi machine with Fedora, a fully functional pc could be had for less than $50.