[K12OSN] The HOSEF Way

R. Scott Belford scott at hosef.org
Tue Feb 8 08:24:48 UTC 2005

Steve Hargadon wrote:
> Scott:
> I feel a little betrayed.  
> You asked me to donate a server for use at your recent conference.  It
> cost me $300 to ship it to Hawaii for you, and it will cost me the
> same to get it back.  You asked me to cover those costs.  If I can't
> make a profit from Linux thin client, I can't afford to supply a
> demonstration server.  Are you only comfortable accepting donations
> from companies making a profit outside of schools?

I asked if you wanted to provide a server for the thin-client email 
garden HOSEF set up for the Pacific Telecommunication Conference.  These 
were business attendees at a business conference using Linux as thin 
clients.  A UH professor and friend started this event 24 years ago, and 
they let us do this to promote the use of recycled computers.

I thought that it would be of economic value for your business, and I 
was eager to include your logo in the flyer that we distributed.  The 
server certainly benefited us, but I really thought that this was of 
economic value to you.  This was not about a freebie for us, Steve, this 
was about brand identity for your business.

At the end of PTC, and prior to TPOSSCON, we actually had John Terpstra, 
Bruce Perens, Jon "maddog" Hall, and Robin 'roblimo' Miller hanging 
around this email garden and interacting with the delegates.  The 
thin-client technology was a big hit, and I really wish you had taken me 
up on my offer to join us.  This was all about business so that kind 
people like you can afford to do what you do for schools.

> only way we will be able to do so it to find a way to work
> together--the "for-profits" and the "non-profits."  I think you have a
> cadre of "for-profits" on this list who are interested in playing a
> thoughtful role in the development of LTSP.  Please don't alienate us.

It is obvious that for-profit companies and entrepreneurs will always 
fill inefficiencies in the free-market.  Thank goodness.  I am not 
talking about this year's earnings or 10-year business plans.  I am 
talking about changing how we think about servicing and sustaining 
commodity hardware and software solutions in education.

The for-profit focus needs to be on the 'middleware', the 
education-enhancing curricula, adding value to generic OSS solutions, 
and writing alternatives to the popular must-have titles.

> Steve


R. Scott Belford
The Hawaii Open Source Education Foundation
PO Box 392
Kailua, HI 96734
808.689.6518 phone/fax
scott at hosef.org

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