[Dirvish] Dirvish for "community backup"

Keith Lofstrom keithl at kl-ic.com
Mon Feb 20 06:54:04 UTC 2006

I am developing an idea, and the folks on this list may have some
useful suggestions.  One of the organizations I am involved with here
in Portland, Oregon is Free Geek (www.freegeek.org), "Where the Needy
get Nerdy".  Among Free Geek's activities is providing low cost 
recycled Linux computers to Portland's poor people, along with quick 
training in how to use them.  Everyone is sent home with an identical,
light version of Ubuntu on their minimally equipped machines.  The
complete systems can be purchased for $80 or so, or they can be earned
with volunteer hours (sorting computer and electronics for re-use or
material salvage).

The "Freek Boxes" are sent out without backup hardware - that would be
too expensive.  But they all start with the same load, and the users
rarely touch the basic distro, just adding user data over time.

This seems perfect for Dirvish's branch approach, with an additional
Perl program to do "on demand" backups for particular machines, 
perhaps starting by scanning the DHCP tables to see which machines
are there.  Clients can bring their computers (or just the hard drive
in a swap cage) to Free Geek from time to time to back up their
machines, for pennies worth of disk space.  

This approach might also be a useful addition to projects such as
the OLPC "one laptop per child" project that that Mary Jepson is
running at MIT - a village backup server might be a really handy
adjunct to all those mini-laptops.  

There are a lot of creative people on this list, so I hope this
will kick off some ideas and improvements ( note:  my definition
of "improvement" is "increasing usability by reducing complexity").


Keith Lofstrom          keithl at keithl.com         Voice (503)-520-1993
KLIC --- Keith Lofstrom Integrated Circuits --- "Your Ideas in Silicon"
Design Contracting in Bipolar and CMOS - Analog, Digital, and Scan ICs

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