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crazy solution for EGLUG activities

Alaa's picture

Mobile LUG

EGLUG been stagnant for a while now, one of the main problems facing us is lack of a suitable space for activities.

we haven't done seminars lately either, and sometimes this is due to our requirements of the kind of space we can present FOSS in.

we need a space that has a handful of PCs, the PCs should be powerful enough to run livecd distros comfortably, we should be able to mess with the harddisks and install distros and software the on a whim, and it would be nice if the pcs are properly networked.

add an internet connection and you have a perfect space for an eglug course, session, workshop, presentation, seminar or even installfest.

now if we reduce the requirment a bit I'm sure we can find spaces to host our activities.

how about just asking for a place that can provide enough electricity for a handful of pcs and enough space/furniture to accommodate the handful of people with pcs?

with careful planning we can avoid the internet requirement (we don't really use the net in all our events do we?)

but what about the pcs and the network and all that jazz? well here is my crazy and expensive solution, build a mobile computer lab.

mobile computer lab

the idea is to have a handful of cheap computers, they don't have to be very powerful, celeron 400mhz with 256MB RAM and 5GB Harddisk is good enough, network them with a wireless notwork and you can fit them in any kind of layout or space.

so where to get these mobile computers? maybe the famous MIT 100$ laptops, maybe a used laptop or maybe expensive small form factor desktops like the mac mini, etc.

or maybe assemble a small/lightweight pc

the market has small motherboards and small cases, unfortunately I doubt we can find one that would take old CPUs so we'll probably have to live with buying an expensive processor. for monitors we can get a small LCD they're not too heavy.

how much would this unit cost? no idea I need to go out to one of our many computer malls and ask around, but if we can build a full easy to transport pc for less than 2000LE, this means that 15000LE can get us a 6 node lab.

where to get the money from?

EGLUG doesn't have access to this kind of money, and we are not a legal entity we can't actually collect this kind of money, but maybe an eglug member can collect donations (I've been successful in fund raising 5000LE for my server manalaa.net, there are people in Egypt who would be willing to finance something like this we can demonstrate it will be of benefit to a wider community), or maybe apply for a personal grant from some international donor organization, or find an ngo partner that has the funds to purchase the equipment and trusts us enough to handle it.

what do you guys think? let's try to figure out how much it would really cost first and think of ways to reduce the cost then let's see if it is feasible.

meanwhile we still need a space for EGLUG activities.

Comments

phaeronix's picture

I agree

Very nice collection of ideas. I had a similar idea about a month back, but never got the time to write it down.

However in my idea I wanted the members themselves to pledge resources to eglug, kinda like when we are preparing for an event, but on a more permenant basis.

For example I pledge my own computer / monitor / 5 port hub to any upcoming event I participate in ( or not as long as someone is responsible for them ), but I will need transportation to move them.

Combining those two ideas I think we can start moving out of this stagnation. What do you think ?

Alaa's picture

the point is to have small

the point is to have small portable equipment, big crt monitors and big cases are not easy to lug around on a regular basis.

laptops maybe, but not desktops.

also bringing your own equipment will probably be tied to you attending the event, what I'm proposing is to have resources that can be used on a more flexible basis.

however what you propose is what we can do right now, it's more feasible (and it's what we do on installfests).

Alaa


husband of the Grand Waragi Master

MSameer's picture

I'd say 5 OLD laptops,

I'd say 5 OLD laptops, This'll consume the least space possible IMHO + a small ATX server powerful enough to run a thin clients lab.

I'd say this can be around 13,000 or so, This is a rough estimation from someone who's just woke up.

YoussefAssad's picture

To reiterate

To restate what I said from IRC...

EGLUG's problem at the moment is inactivity. This inactivity is not due to lack of computers, it's due to lack of events.

The lack of events isn't due to lack of computers and I don't think it's due to lack of places either, it's due to lack of initiative and hence volunteers.

When there's volunteers, the computer and place problems solve themselves magically.

You've wanted to make this mobile lab for a while now; it's a fine idea but it shouldn't be posited as the magical bullet to end EGLUG's inactivity. It certainly isn't.

--

Alaa's picture

no it isn't, I just think

no it isn't, I just think the prices now mean that it is doable, last time we checked it was 30000LE for a lab that can only run thin clients.

but I repeat, we did have instances where we got volunteers but no space (ikhnaton2 wanted to do a couple of sessions, someone else too).

and instances where we had space but no equipment (the funky jesuit fathers lab for instances).

I'll admit they are rare and isolated incidents, your basic observation is correct. we need more volunteers and more initiatives (but we still lack a space).

Alaa


husband of the Grand Waragi Master

Bassist Of The Fall's picture

How about creating an

How about creating an official Paypal account for collecting donations, and putting that "Donate now" button directly on the home page? This way EGLUG can finance installfests, seminars, the distribution of Linux Distros and other actions. Just an idea..

-A

YoussefAssad's picture

Not a bad idea

Only problem is, in whose name is the account?

--

Bassist Of The Fall's picture

That's probably something

That's probably something the admins should agree on. I think it should be monitored by everyone in charge. I'm not sure, but I though Paypal accounts can be in the name of organizations or groups? Dunno..

-A

MSameer's picture

It can't be done, EGLUG is

It can't be done, EGLUG is not an NGO and we can't collect donations.

Another problem is the unavailability of paypal in Egypt.

The lack of activity can

The lack of activity can be also as there are no interested volantures.

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