[Durham] any volunteers for an installfest / skill-share?

David Walland davidwalland at googlemail.com
Fri Mar 21 16:48:48 UTC 2014

Hi Mark,

While I'm such a newbie in Linux that I won't be much help with the
programming side yet, I have a lot of experience of updating ancient
computers (mainly laptops) to run far beyond expectation!  I'm typing this
on a Toshiba SPA10 from about 2003 which is now dual boot XP/Xubuntu 12.04
with a P4m in place of the old Celeron chip and running 1GB memory (alas I
can't persuade it to read 1GB memory sticks, even after updating to the
newest BIOS!).  It's not much good for the latest slam-bang games but fine
if you want to use it for just getting on the internet or office type work.

I have two even more ancient laptops I'm "tweaking" at the moment a Samsung
VM8000, which is currently waiting for me to fit a P3m chip (*should* work
according to my web searches) and a GB of memory which some people seem to
have fitted in the past.  It's currently running Xubuntu 12.04 with 512MB
memory and an ancient 30GB SSD!  A bit slow with an 800MHz Celeron, so
here's hoping...

I've just unearthed a Toshiba 1710CDS (from the 1990s no less) and tried
loading a really ancient Ubuntu (5.04 - I just happen to have the fancy
sleeved version that was available back in 2005).  The screen is poor, the
machine is slow (160MB memory!) but it runs and can be used.  I've a P3m on
order for this too and am going to try pushing the memory further, when it
arrives (this will cost me the "princely" sum of less than £5 - CPU *and*
memory update - to try!)

I have a number of sticks of memory, mostly small SoDIMM which I can make
available if needed, and slowly I'm acquiring interesting experience
messing about with computers/laptops which are no loss really if I break

This I could bring (together with a few old 2.5 IDE HDDs, the spare memory
chips and a reasonable collection of tools) to meetings like you suggest.
I'll happily swap my "experience" for others' Linux knowledge.  Most of the
chips and bits I have are freebies so no issue making them available.

If this is worth working on further, I could also ask my next-door
neighbour's son-in-law, who mostly works on desk-tops/servers and is into
that side of Linux.  He might well be interested too...

We live in Billingham and while I'm semi-retired, he's just come to the UK
and has just found work, so might not be able to come, if his working time
clashes withy meetings.

Sorry I couldn't come last Tuesday - I was unavoidably detained in Spain at
the time - I'd love to meet the gang.


David Walland

On 21 March 2014 15:05, mark <mark at aktivix.org> wrote:

> Hash: SHA256
> Hi all,
> It was great to meet you on Tuesday evening.
> I've been thinking for a while about getting some sort of community
> project going in Durham, with a primary aim of helping people to get
> started with Linux using unwanted old desktops & laptops.
> I did this when I used to live in Leeds and it worked pretty well; the
> necessary ingredients being a room in a community centre (or anywhere
> really) with decent wifi, a handfull of volunteers who would enjoy
> liberating windows users for a few hours, a bunch of installation
> media (perhaps offering a choice depending on different use-cases /
> age of hardware) and a bit of social media plus traditional forms of
> publicity to get to the target audience.
> This seems like an ideal time to do it, with WinXP nearing the end of
> its life, people wondering if they can afford a new machine just
> because the OS is dying, not to mention the increase in awareness of
> privacy and security issues due to Snowden, etc.
> So, who wants to join in? Has anyone tried this kind of thing around
> here before?
> Cheers,
> Mark
> Version: GnuPG v1.4.10 (GNU/Linux)
> Comment: Using GnuPG with Icedove - http://www.enigmail.net/
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