Thomas and I flew from the United States into Oaxaca City and met up with Fernando, Gustavo, Hermes, Luis, and Jose. Combined, we brought in 7 laptops, 21 Raspberry Pi3s, 2 Intel Turbots, 4 large hard drives, heat sinks, and 1 24-port switch from the US in our luggage. We also both had personal laptops as well. We got the green light in customs and thankfully made it through without any trouble!
Fernando and Gustavo purchased peripherals (monitor, keyboard, mouse, headphones, cables, projectors, and routers) for the Pis and the servers ahead of time.
This morning, Fernando, Gustavo, Jose, and Luis brought all of the peripherals and met us at the hotel at 9am. All of us then piled into a large truck and took all of the equipment to both of the schools and started setting up.
We first unloaded everything at Jose Vasconcelos. This will be our first lab of all Raspberry Pis. The school then did a small flag ceremony and sang the Mexican flag anthem. They then served us a huge breakfast of soup and chicken. We then split up. Gustavo, Fernando, and Luis stayed at Jose Vasconcelos and begin setting up the Raspberry Pi3 workstations.
Hermes, Thomas, and I headed to Benito Jaurez. But not before we stopped at a parent’s house and had a second huge breakfast. We then made our way to the school and unloaded all of the donated laptops that we had brought and started installing Ubermix on them. I am writing this blog post from Benito Jaurez which has Internet!
We are half way through setting up the 2 labs. Both schools have rooms for the labs that are secured with bars on windows; they’ve also procured desks and chairs for the computer labs. Benito Juarez is also planning to purchase a screen for the projector.
Tonight we will work on finishing the XSCE server setup and installing Ubermix on our older laptops.
We are all having fun meeting the local folks here and excited about the work we are doing. Thank you to everyone who donated a Pi3, laptop, helped with software and hardware setup.We are very grateful for our volunteers, donors, and partners and their continued support to make KOC efforts a success! I am proud to be part of such an awesome community.
As we explore using the Raspberry Pi 3 in some of our future labs (including the upcoming lab at José Vasconcelos!), we have been testing multiple client OSes on the RPi 3, including Fedora 22, XCSE, and and Raspbian. We will be going with Raspbian for the upcoming trip as it seems to be the most lightweight and functional on the RPi 3. César Octavio López Natarén is working actively on preparing a distribution with KOC selected educational applications for us to use.
We also received a donation of 5 MinnowBoard Turbots from Intel and beautiful custom fabricated cases for them by Intel employee John Hawley. Thank you Intel and John Hawley! Javier Henderson is currently working on setting up two Turbots as XSCE servers with Internet in a Box content for the two new labs we are working on this year.
One of the challenges Kids on Computers faces is having regular contact with our schools. As our KOC trip to Mexico approaches, we wanted to have a phone call with all of the teachers at our Huajuapan and Oaxaca City schools.
Towards that goal, two members of our team, Hermes Ojeda Ruiz and Laura Judith Bravo Sumano, volunteered to travel from Oaxaca City to Huajuapan, Mexico and visit three of the schools where KOC computer labs are set up and get principal and teacher contact info! It was great to get updates on the schools and how the labs have been working out for them. Hermes and Laura visited Gittes Family Lab at Escuela Manuel Gonzalez Gatica in Saucitlán de Morelos, Escuela Ricardo Flores Magon in San Marcos Arteaga, and 18 de Marzo in Huajuapan de León. Thank you to Hermes and Laura for taking the trip, getting contact info, and reporting on updates!
At Escuela Manuel Gonzalez Gatica, they were able to get in contact with the school principal and the computer teacher. The principal was very happy with the visit from KOC members. They reported having issues with the older computers related to elements of the computer’s UI. Currently, they also have a projector and a MacMini server.
At Escuela Ricardo Flores Magon, they learned that the lab was undergoing repairs completed but was functional before the construction. They planned to have a student from UTM come to reconnect the computers once the repairs were complete. This should happen before our June trip.
At 18 de Marzo, Hermes and Laura got contact info for the school to get updates and plan future visits.
For the second year in a row, we were at the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE). We had a lot of fun, received awesome donations, made new partnerships, and met amazing new volunteers this year. We also won the Youth Spirit award – Go KOC!!
KOC volunteer and Board director, Gustavo A. R. Silva, recently posted photos from our trip on our Flickr account. Check them out!
Thank you to everyone who helped with KOC’s efforts at SCALE and made it such a huge success.
April is wrapping up quickly which means that our trip to Mexico is drawing closer and closer! Our trip dates are June 18 – July 2, 2016 and we are getting everything ready to set up two new labs in Oaxaca City at the following schools:
- Escuela Primaria Vespertina “Benito Juárez”, Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán, Oaxaca, México
- José Vasconcelos school in Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán, Oaxaca, México
We are setting up the Benito Juárez elementary school with donated laptops. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have working laptops with at least 1 GB RAM that need a new home. We are also looking for other peripherals such as keyboards and mice. To see the full list of what we need, head over here.
We are excited to get these labs set up and welcome volunteers to join us. There are also other ways you can help:
- Join us. We invite volunteers to join us on site so if you are looking to roll up your sleeves and help us get the labs up and running, let us know! We also offer travel sponsorship for volunteers who would like to join us on our trip. Learn how to apply here.
- Donate cash. We are a small 501(c)(3) non-profit organization fueled by volunteers and donations. Every dollar counts! Rest assured that your contributions will go towards providing children with technology access which otherwise they would not have had. To make a donation, head over here or contact us for for information.
We appreciate the support from our volunteers and donors – we live by it. We’ve had an awesome start to the year so far with new partnerships, exposure, collaborations, and donations. Let’s keep the ball rolling!
Here’s what KOC is currently working on:
- The Linux Foundation has partnered with Kids on Computers – we are incredibly excited about this partnership and the potential it has to help KOC grow. We thank the Linux Foundation for their support and look forward to working closely with them. Read the full Press Release and the Blog Post about the partnership published on The Linux Foundation Web site.
- The KOC Web site is undergoing a big overhaul. The Web site team (Bill M, Ritvik P, Sastry P, Jeff P, and myself) has been meeting regularly to work on the new site and review new themes, structure, and content. We are excited about the new site and this long overdue change.
- We had 21 Raspberry Pi 3s donated or purchased for the new Jose Vasconcelos Lab we are setting up in Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, Mexico. Volunteers are currently testing the Pis and determining the best distribution and applications for them.
- The Mexico subcommittee is planning our trip to Mexico this coming June. We are excited to set up two new labs in Oaxaca City this year and visit as many of our 10 other labs as we can. Our trip dates are June 18-July 2, 2016. We are always looking for more volunteers to join us on trips. Join us!
Thank you to our volunteers, donors, and partners for your efforts and support! Kids on Computers is successful because of you.
- Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0 GHz Quad-Core Processor
- 16GB DDR3 Memory
- Micron 480GB SATA SSD
- Western Digital 6TB SATA Hard Drive
- Nvidia GTX 960 4GB PCI-E DVI/HDMI DisplayPort
- 12x Blu-Ray Burner / 16x DVD+R
- Mid-Tower Chassis with 665W Power Supply
- Intel Z87 Express Chipset
- 3 year warranty
We discussed utilizing the workstation in one of our labs, but decided it would be more than what our schools need. In lieu of that, we have set up an eBay auction to sell the workstation to the highest bidder with all of the proceeds going to Kids on Computers.
The winner will get credit with a blog posting. If the box sells for the “Buy it Now” price of $10,000 or higher, the donation will fund a new computer lab and the winner can name it after the person of their choice. They will also get a plaque in the school and permanent credit on http://kidsoncomputers.org/labs.
Kids on Computers is a small 501(c)(3) non-profit and we appreciate your support. Thank you!