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Re: Proposals and information

Re: Tel's post -

> Does that mean setting up as an ISP or having a small internet cafe?

Probably setting up an ISP service or linking in with other ISP's who
will provide subsidised internet access for users. If we set up a few
our selves (for state groups) we could charge a yearly / or other
subscription fee depending on user ability to pay...That way we could
develop the community / support/ training functions. Anybody know of
some ISP's that provide subsidised access for people on low incomes? 

> This bit seems a bit vague, I guess that's why it asks for further consideration.


> > The computer bank will not accept anything faulty, and would prefer to receive computers that are EPA compliant. Thus equipment that emits 'radiation vibes' is considered not useful, however it may be that parts from those computers have functionality.
> The only choice is to accept everything and test it yourself, with no idea of where it's comming from there is no way to guarantee quality of supply. Most dealers of NEW equipment can't guarantee quality of supply!

Yes i realise this, however some companies will know if a particular
component is not working (eg: a blown monitor) and if it can not be
fixed easily then it is not worth our while to be left with having to
discard the junk - 
> You mention 286 machines below. They are usable, they can run either minix or an open-source DOS clone, also the NCSA TCP/IP stack is freely distributable(maybe source is still available?) and works with SLIP (not PPP but I may be wrong
> here). We have to decide whether to chase up the 286 machines, there are plenty of potential technical hassles and they are more maintenance headache that the
> 386 machines. Whatever way people want to go on the 286 machines, the organisation aims should not be wishy-washy about it.

The other proposal is from Ken and Grahame and was for when they were
putting an idea re: youth training to a local council in NSW. 286
machines may be good as terminals for small networks. However i think
you are right - we need to way up the pros and cons of the 286.

> One of the advantages of open-source software is that having visible source code is an aid to learning. I realise this is understood but it's not made clear by this document.

Probably not...which is why the document and proposals need work. Some
people may not want to learn - they may just want to use GNU/Linux as a
means to an end.

> Another suggestion of becoming an ISP, I would suggest this is a bad distraction from the main activity and aims.

In some ways it is a distraction - yes - but if we are going to give
compys out to people that generally cant afford them (with internet
access as key) we need to be able to provide some reassurance that
people will get access (even groups that cant afford to pay anything)
Definitely needs much more consideration and development - perhaps over
the long term.

> The bounties on <http://visar.csustan.edu/bazaar/> might make useful fodder for Computer Bank clients who are learning to program and want to turn it to profit. The bazaar is still pretty new so who knows if it will
> take off?

Also the SEUL project may be very useful here in terms of education and
resources...as well as for the provision of software...I was contacted
by a member of the project who said that they would be interested in
helping us out with software issues. http://www.seul.org/

Re: distribution

> This is a difficult area. What other social institutions have a distribution model which can be adapted to the Computer Bank purpose? I was thinking something along
> similar lines to TV and video rental with rental rates being determined on a case by case basis depending on ability to pay. This gives it a bit of a commercial
> direction but still gives some concession to the needy. It's unlikely to be abused by high income folks because they want the latest and greatest machines.

Certainly is difficult - I will try and find out if  other social 
institutions have similar models. 

Certainly some people will not be able to pay much (or anything) at all.
Many of these people live hand to mouth...just scraping through..however
perhaps we could encourage voluntary donations from users - (for
instance say a user learns how to be a sys admin, gets a job - maybe
they would be inclined to give a donation then)
> Maybe rental companies might be a source of parts, it would be good to get a few onside. Computer Bank doesn't really compete with their market because it is offering lower grade equipment at lower prices, most rental companies aren't too interested in gear that's more than a few years old.

Have you seen Perry Tait ? (on the Good Morning show) - he is selling
486 for about $500 dollars...and for an extra 39.95 (or ?) he will throw
in a Printer....isnt he generous? (sarcasm intended)...

The president of LUV had suggested to me that maybe we could charge
people some small amount of money if they wanted a better system (other
then say a basic 386 type system)...I don't know - again something we
need to consider.

Okay the second proposal is from Grahame and Ken (re: a particular
program and not a general one) here so I wont comment too much...except
to say that it was for a more specific activity. Some of the points they
raise about certain issues should be incorporated into local
"computerbank" type projects.

Cheers - Kylie