The plastic sheeting on Level 4 was finally pulled down this morning, and the new Community Technology Center is officially up and running. It's been a long time coming, and we're not finished yet, but we are excited to kick off fall in our new space.
We're starting relatively small with only 22 computers available at open today, but will be gradually adding public access computers, and will have nearly 100 available by the end of the year. All of these computers offer Office 2007 software as well as Internet access. Also coming soon are:
- a new 36-PC technology training classroom,
- a renovated smaller (12-PC) technology training classroom,
- two computers with updated assistive technology,
- a collaborative work area, and
- a space for gaming
In addition to the computers we've provided, we have put in a WiFi lounge, where you can bring your own computer and surf the web comfortably.
What will the new CTC offer? Everything we've been offering - only more of it. Computer training classes, one-on-one computer assistance, and help from our friendly, knowledgeable staff and volunteers will continue and grow. See you there!
Congratulations! I will be there next week to take a peak... And I can't wait!
It looks beautiful--congratulations on your hard work, everyone, and the vision to bring such a comprehensive scope of services to our city!!
I was up stairs on the 4th floor this past Sun. afternoon.
I was really impressed! Very nice! Thanks DPL :) Looking forward
when you install more computers.
What is -- or will be as soon as operational -- the availability of your 36-PC and 12-PC training classrooms for non-profit, special interest computer user groups and/or independent advocates/evangelists of Open Source software?
I am especially interested in helping to demonstrate and train the interested public on free and popular Open Source alternatives to proprietary Microsoft Office software. (I use MS software myself, of necessity at work, but think taxpayers in this economy should be offered training on use of work-alike free alternatives, such as Ubuntu Linux, Open Office, and Firefox.)
For example, I can see the following two-hour training sessions enabling anyone with access to even a throwaway PC to utilize it at home at absolutely NO software cost:
1. using a USB to download PortableApps.com for zero-install use of Open Source Windows applications, such as Open Office and Firefox browser, and scores more, on any host Windows PC -- see PortableApps.com
2. using Zotero, a Firefox browser extension for academic bibliographic citation management -- see Zotero.org
3. using a Live CD of Ubuntu Linux (most popular Linux distribution, with recent Open Office and Firefox applications, among thousands of other free applications) to use most popular Linux distribution on Windows host machine, with zero install of software or data on host PC, and with USB &/or cloud for storage of personal files. Train to use take-home Live CD (or USB) to install on cheapest throwaway home computer, optionally as dual-boot (Windows/Linux) machine or as virtual machine under Windows. -- see Ubuntu.com
Live CDs and USBs would ensure that absolutely no software or user data is installed on public computers, even temporarily.
Use of only such widely well-regarded and professionally vetted Open Source software, with MD-5 checks for integrity of official source, would ensure industry best practice security standards, demonstrably well above those of Microsoft.
Any fees for non-profit use of our publicly-funded workstations and training facilities for such public purposes?
Thanks for the comment. The 36-seat training room will be ready shortly, the 12-seat is still a few months off. We have partnered with other agencies in the past to provide a training space such as you suggest, and are interested in similar partnerships once we open back up fully in our new space. I see you provided your email address when you commented - I will contact you directly soon and we can see if/how what you're interested in fits into our space.