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[Computerbank] Re: solving the conundrum of the bush


I must be a poor explainer, Tony. I have always, well, since around about
September last year or earlier, meant that each town or city wanting a
branch should do it all, except having the insurance coverage,
constitution, documents and manuals and (now perhaps) access to the
potentially national help support being discussed. All that nationally
available stuff.

Of course, with Cairns for example, I did have different ideas a while
back. But I've learnt from all that.

My current mind model is No.14 or later.   :-)

I *am being very proactive about stirring interest via my Australia-wide
list in the way you suggested, ever since Kylie took the brakes off.
Currently there's quite a bit of discussion about Linux on it, several on
the list know it well, enough to open the eyes of the others a bit.

I appreciate your very full detailing of what a town might need to be able
to do, and how little outside help those in many such places an expect,
these days that's simply a fact I've accepted.  

Can I have your permission to post a version of your posting you OK to my
list, please? It says so much better than I ever have what I've been trying
to get across to my people.

Regards, Bruce

At 10:02 8/01/02 +1000, you wrote:
>Hi Bruce,
>While I am sure that Computerbank would love to help set up branches in
>other regional areas I think the reality is that there are not many
>resources available to do this. This is particularly true of new state
>branches, most of which are only about one year old. I think you would get a
>much more positive response to forming regional branches if you take a more
>proactive approach and get locals to do the branch setup.
>In many ways this process would be similar to the way you would start any
>community organisation. Gather local support, hold some meetings, discuss
>goals, look for a core group of maybe 5-6 people who will run the
>organisation locally. At this point the group would probably need to write
>formally to Computerbank outlining their intention to become a branch,
>provide a list of contacts and some background on the group.
>Next you would need to do more planning: where are you going to get PCs ?
>how are you going to solve transport problems ? what will be the service
>area for the branch ? who is going to do the technical support ? You might
>start looking for pledges of support from local business and industry. You
>will need to start looking for storage and workshop space. You will need to
>come up with a solution for who provides the technical know how. Finally I
>would see you coming back to Computerbank with a formal proposal to form a
>regional branch. This would probably look like a short business plan.
>Looking at the various state branches as examples and the time it has taking
>to get where they are today, it is not unreasonably to expect it to take 12
>months to establish a regional branch. If you can do it faster - cool !
>Previously I mentioned that I think your best option to secure linux
>technical expertise for the bush might be to train local volunteers. If your
>baby branch can find some volunteers willing to spend the time to learn
>linux then I think Computerbank could support them. I would think that
>Computerbank could provide some PCs, CDs, and maybe text books. Computerbank
> could maybe team these people with one or two mentors. There are numerous
>resources available on the net, such as LUGs, email lists, IRC, newsgroups
>and web sites dedicated to linux - and our mentors could point these people
>in the right direction. The time for such a person to reach a basic level of
>proficiency will vary. For a highly skilled person, in full-time employment,
>doing a few hours a week around other commitments, you could be looking at a
>6 month linux familiarisation period.
>You might ask what support can the regional node expect from state branch ?
>Lets taking Queensland as an example. Currently we are looking at running
>our first large project that will commence in February and run for 3 months.
>Further ahead we will need to be planning for running our own work for the
>dole project, looking for permanent accommodation, fundraising, managing
>volunteers etc. In general I think we will be pretty busy and will not have
>many resources to spare for starting a new regional branch. Sure we would be
>happy to offer encouragement and answer questions. We should be able to find
>some people to act as technical mentors if needed. At the moment we have no
>cash, so you should not expect any money. From time to time we may have some
>spare PCs but I can't guarantee anything. Depending on exactly how regional
>you are talking I might be able to take a drive one weekend and wave the
>flag. Does this paint a better picture for you ? Maybe in 12 months when we
>have wftd funding, our own place, a full-time staff, grants and funding
>coming from all directions, then it might be a different story.
>Hope this is constructive.
>Tony Joblin,
>Convenor - Computerbank Queensland
>A Branch of Computerbank Australia Inc.
>Box 1423, Coorparoo DC  4151
>Tel: 07 3371 1311 (W), Email: cbq-exec@dstc.edu.au

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