partners / technology grants

Woodburn Computer Lab

Dick went out with Amador to the Woodburn Computer Lab a few weeks back to do an assessment.

Dick’s Notes

Proyecto de Educacion Arte y Cultura Latina

1274 5th St Suite 1E

Woodburn OR 97071

Computer Lab Survey

Computers:  10 Student computers, 1 Instructor Station

Gateway MATXHRN MDW E4100:  512 Megabytes of RAM, 40 Gigbyte Hard drive – Maxtor 6E040LO (L0?), Built-in Floppy disk drive, Optical Drive, Operating System – Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3.  One student computer (#8) runs Windows Vista Enterprise

Other hardware

1 Gateway computer (server): Operating System – Windows 2000

2 Spare computers (not connected): 1 Compaq Presario 1487, 1 Dell Optiplex GX240

Printer:  HP LaserJet 4200tn

Network: High-speed Internet Connection, Provider unknown

1 Linksys EZXS 55W v4.1 5-port switch.  No other network devices visible

Misc :  Belkin F6C120-UNV UPS

Notes

The Gateway computers are able to boot from the built-in optical drive. They appear to lack the ability to boot from a flash drive. They also have to ability to boot from the network. I was unable to determine if the computers could boot from an external (USB) CD drive.

One computer (#7) failed the hard disk utility checks run from a Lubuntu Live CD.

One computer (#9) repeatedly shut down due to overheating.

According to the System Information provided by Windows XP, The activation status of the machines is Pending, with 30 days remaining for activation.

I asked if they would like to have the lab set up in Spanish. The lab director that the lab was there to help people learn English.

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Amador’s additional comments

The lab will be used by people of all ages for learning English, basic Spanish literacy (for Hispanic community), computer literacy.  It will also serve children as a homework and educational resource.

The lab will function as a public computer lab, as a classroom, and an environment for future ENLACE Community training (community involvement and cross-cultural leadership).

Office programs, graphics, video and photo editing for future projects, educational software for kids and adults, keyboard practice, etc., finances management.

Analysis

The hardware is still usable!  The lab has the following problems:

  • A few components (e.g., optical drives) are malfunctioning, but are easily replaced
  • Most run Windows XP ok, but the operating system has many flaws:  high maintenance, susceptible to malware, and slower than other options. 
  • Furthermore, Windows XP security updates end in April 2014, which would require an upgrade to Windows 7 or 8.  There are two problems with this:
    • High cost
    • Incompatibility or insufficient hardware resources to run the operating system effectively

By focusing on general computer and technological literacy, we can use a modern but more efficient operating system such as Lubuntu that makes better use of the hardware resources available, and provide both social and environmental benefits in the process by keeping these older computers in use.

The workflow for this project is fairly simple:  replace any faulty hardware, and then install and setup Lubuntu.  Fun!

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