ellohay! West Michigan

An incredible vote of confidence (at Christmas)

Posted in donations, fundraising, good news by forgr on December 26, 2008

My brother-in-law, Alex and his girlfriend, Anna gave us $200 towards our startup ChipIn fund this Christmas. I was quite overwhelmed with this donation and teared up on Christmas morning.

It’s still incredible to me that others could believe in this project (and have confidence in me) to give money to us.

I am thankful to Anna and Alex for their incredible vote of confidence in us. This new year will no doubt be filled with new opportunities for the organization, and in turn the community.

ellohay! West Michigan ChipIn

If you’re feeling like you might have a few extra dollars burning a hole in your pocket, chip it in here. We’re working to make something really cool happen in the community, and your dollar can be a part of it.

$1 is the minimum amount, and trust me when I say that every dollar makes a genuine difference.

Thank you again Alex and Anna,  have a Merry Christmas, and a happy New Year.

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A Conversation with the Macatawa Media Center

Posted in benchmarks, conversations, players, research, sustainability by forgr on December 13, 2008

I hadn’t forgotten about my conversation with Barb Pyle from the Macatawa Media Center, honestly. I met with her back in early May in their office on E 19th Street in Holland. We discussed their current computer refurbishing program, their television and production programs, and outreach programs.

Barb was very interested in what we are starting here in the Grand Rapids area, and wanted to know how we planned on cultivating and maintaining a genuinely sustainable “business”.

If by sustainable, she’s asking if we might have the capacity to preserve a complex set of programs (earn-a-laptop, digital literacy, technical support) indefinitely, then we’re on the right path.

If being sustainable means promoting stable and healthy communities, restoring environmental quality, and increasing long-term profitability, then yes we’re pointed in the right direction.

We have a lot of planning to do, but if we at least if know what we want and what’s important to us, that brings us closer to determining how we plan on getting it, and knowing once we have it.

Thank you Barb.

OpenSolaris and Dismantling The Digital Divide For People With Disabilities

Posted in accessibility, education, programs, research, software by forgr on December 12, 2008

A recent post from Sun Federal (creators of OpenOffice, Solaris and OpenSolaris) on the digital exclusion of individuals with disabilities, information on Section 508 and a crazy statistic about unemployment.

The digital divide does not stop at mere access to IT and online information though; it is also about being able to afford access. Over 70% of blind and low vision citizens in the United States are unemployed. People with other severe disabilities have similar employment statistics. Assistive technology software costs as much as $1,095 for a screen reader that enables blind people to use their computers, which means that access to computing is out of reach for the majority of Americans with disabilities.

Read the full article here.

Brush up on Solaris, OpenSolaris, Xeon and Intel’s work with me:

Solaris

OpenSolaris

Intel’s Xeon

Section 508

GNOME Screencasts

Jaws Screen Reader

Next post: Project updates

Connecting Grand Rapids, the WiMax saga continues

Posted in Uncategorized by forgr on December 8, 2008

Wireless broadband company hired by Grand Rapids battles merger, lawsuit.

“When Clearwire turns on its network, it is expected to offer high-speed mobile Internet access throughout the city’s 45-square-mile limits.

The city’s contract with Clearwire calls for it to provide high-speed mobile connectivity to police, fire and city operations. But it also is expected to offer high-speed services to local residents.

Clearwire has not posted consumer prices, but plans are to offer a variety of competitively priced services. Discounted service of $9.95 per month will be offered for up to 5 percent of the city’s low-income residents.” Read the entire article on mlive.com