Grandma Online feat. Microsoft

    I continue to talk about the grandmother-online social project for free training for pensioners and computer literacy veterans.

    It so happened that teaching in our classes is based on Microsoft products (Windows XP and Office 2003).

    There are several reasons, and all of them are associated with a high degree of their prevalence in Russia. Firstly, the volunteers who train our grandmothers for free, almost everyone knows only Windows (XP +). Secondly, the children and grandchildren of grandmothers who give them computers and set them up and help them if something happens, also know the vast majority of Windows. Thirdly, Windows XP is quite fast and easy to install and configure, and it works on Pentium 3, and even more or less decent works on Pentium 2, and it is these computers that overwhelmingly give us for our project.

    However, we do not intend to piracy, and therefore, negotiations were held with the representative of Microsoft in Russia Leonid Klyuyev in early 2009. The following information became known from them - for non-profit organizations (NOCs) there are two ways to get software.

    The first opportunity is to join the Infodonor program"(this is not a Microsoft project), and get the software at a price of about 4% of the regular retail price. The discount, you see, is very substantial :) The conditions for receiving darken the joy of the discount - firstly, you still have to pay, though not a lot, and secondly, under the Infodonor program, you can get only 80 licenses of one software product at most, and only once every two years, that is, after two years you can apply again and get another 80 licenses, but two years - this is the deadline. And we may not have enough quantity - pl at least 20 classes are annotated by the opening, and in each - from 4 to 8-10 computers.

    The second option is the Cybergrants program from Microsoft itself. If I understand correctly, then you can get any number of licenses _free_, but also only once every two years, and only for existing equipment. Considering that computers and spare parts arrive gradually, and classes open in stages, this option also does not quite fit.

    Thus, the issue of conducting additional negotiations with Microsoft to solve this problem is being resolved, as well as thinking about moving to OSS.


    As for the use of Linux in training, this question is interesting in itself. On the one hand, we have a hardware-software complex donated by Arutek, and it consists of one powerful system unit, four monitor-keyboard mice, and Ubunt rotates on it. The experience of training at this complex showed that Linux grandmothers and other open-source software are pretty tough / artificial jaws :) The obstacle is different. Firstly, volunteers - they need to be trained on Linux first themselves, so that they can teach it to their grandmothers. Secondly, you need to rewrite the manuals. Thirdly, it is necessary to solve the problem of optimizing the kernel / os for the third pentiums (I heard that Linux slows down on them). Fourth, we need to collect training materials (manuals, videos) so that grandmothers can continue their self-education after our courses. Fifth, Need technical support, thinking in Linux. Sixth, you need a person who organizes all this :)

    In fact, we really do not have enough normal responsible organizers in different directions - we cannot pay money for now, and it’s difficult to find responsible people for free.

    This is about the situation with software. Who has any suggestions / tips / comments - welcome to comments :)

    Well, traditionally the project accepts as a gift any computer and laptop components and spare parts, dead or alive, in any quantity :)

    See also in my blog:
    1. Overview article about the project (April 3, 2009).
    2. What is happening in the project (April 17, 2009).
    3. This note :) (November 10, 2009).

    About us in Startups (April 27, 2009).

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