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Laptops for Linux Users program: Update from Sky

In January of 2011 Partimus partnered with ZaReason for a Laptops for Linux Users program where we sought to “assist people who have tremendous potential to do good in free and open software education, but who may not have the funds to meet their computing needs.”

Our pilot was with a woman named Sky in Washington State, a retired programmer and system analyst who now helps people get set up with computers running Linux-based distributions. More details about her work can be found on our Laptops for Linux Users program page.

We were delighted this month when she sent us an update of her work, facilitated by this donated laptop and gave us permission to share it.

Two years ago in March of 2011, you graciously gifted me with a beautiful ZaReason laptop through the efforts of Cathy Malmrose of ZaReason Computers. I am writing today to catch you up on what I have done with the much appreciated machine.

Since March of 2011, I have collected through donations over a dozen old laptops. I clean them up, put a Linux OS on them and then give them either to low-income people who need to search for employment and/or housing or I give them to low-income “tech-adverse” seniors.

The machine you gifted to me is perfect for the job. I normally put a Puppy-Linux OS (Lucid family) on the donated machines. Often times the laptops are missing hard drives. I am able to make live CD’s and live USB sticks with the ZaReason because if it’s many ports.

I use Puppy Linux for the operating system as it runs well and fast on old laptops. And, Puppy can be easily customized to suit the user. For example, when I set up a machine for “tech-adverse” seniors, I put two big buttons on the desktop. One says, “browse the internet here”, the other button says, “get your email here”. Works every time.

I am grateful to Partimus, Barry Kauler, the creator of Puppy Linux and to the John Murga Puppy Linux forum for providing resources and good humor in this endeavor.

If anyone has any questions about how I go about doing this, please do contact me. This small effort to further the Open Source community is most rewarding.

Keep up the amazing work, Sky!

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