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Re: [plug] Re: Computer Bank - please dont give them away.

Paul Wilson wrote:

> > What I'm looking for with our doco project, is a set of manuals that can
> > be used directly as training manuals -
> > something that a technically knowledgable person could follow as a
> > course...
> There seem to be two different target audiences here - technically aware
> and absolute beginner. Both of those need different manuals, the beginner
> migrating over time (hopefully) to become techically competant.
> Soemone who is interested in the idea of Linux/UNIX but knows little or
> nothing will need an enormous amount of hand-holding, via manuals and
> possibly one-to-one as well. Can that be done successfully ?

The idea is to give them a basic intro course that gives them a feel for the
system and where to look for info (machines should have a copy of html'd LDP
doco wherever possible)... need to encourage mindset of experimentation and
willingness to mess-about... a bit of RTFM training might not go astray
too... however, after that, it's preety much up to the recipient to take it
further (as it would be with the rest of us who have discovered linux and

I think it is possible, but I don't really think it's necessary - The
computer bank project is about acheiving the following goals:

Number 1 goal. Giving computers to people who otherwise would not be able to
afford them.
Number 2 goal. Give them some basic trainng so they are not completely lost
(thereby  effectively relegating the computer to boat-anchor status), and
have a chance to get _somewhere_.

Having acheived goal number 1 and 2, they have the resources to aquire skills
in a very employable area... however like with anything, it's up to them to
get into it...

This would be the same with any new computer user....

I think a major error would be to try to do _too_ much - or to miss the major
focus of this, which is simply to give people without the resources to get a
computer, a computer so that they are less disadvantaged by their inability
to afford the technology that is becoming more and more a part of our

Where _possible_,  I am thinking that we should get them on the net and show
them how to use it - a quick lesson in using usenet searches and web-searches
would be handy - also feed them into existing support networks - such as
linux user-groups etc... we are wanting to give people a kick-start, but like
with anything the only way to learn computing is to just get in there and
mess around...

Can't see a "helpdesk" happening - it seems to me to be too hard to
organise... (other than feeding into existing user-groups...)

Yes... we will need to target the manuals at a really low-level... explaining
background as much as possible, so they have an idea of what's happening in
the background as well as simple instructions to enable them to actually do

My thinking is our strategy should be to give basic training - (maybe 6 or 8
1 or 2 hour sessions) via a "computer club"), with an aim to getting them
comfortable with the system, and to make sure they are actually
interested (before we give them a computer)

> Not just writing manuals, but also providing ah detailed and understanding
> help desk ?

Don't think it's necessary... give them enough to get started, after that,
they can learn for themselves - having now got the equipment to be able to do

That's my $0.02 anyway....