ZDLT Workshop #1

Getting started – the 1st Za-nič kišta session with refugees (March 6, 2012)

On Tuesday, March 6, we held the first session of the Za-nič kišta (Zero Dollar Laptop) workshop with nine refugees from Sudan, Somalia, Iran and Iraq, all of whom live in Maribor. The purpose of the 1st session was to demystify computer technology, explain the difference between licensed software and open source software, “break the Windows”, and install Ubuntu on laptops so they would be ready for use in the 2nd session.

Opening a PC and explaining its “guts” – directly involving the participants, having them touch different parts of the computer and understand their particular functions and the different connections between them and, in the end, letting the participants reconstruct the PC themselves – is a powerful method to demystify technology and dissolve the “fear” of technological devices. Finally, making people comfortable with technology, and themselves, is achieved by turning on the “reassembled” PC and seeing it work again. This feeling is something that we can not measure, but the smiles on the faces of the participants said it all.

The second step was to discuss the difference between “corporate” programs (licences, terms of use) and free software with the participants, thus explaining the importance of autonomous digital practices. By answering questions such as “Why we don’t use Windows for the workshop?” or “Why is Ubuntu better than Windows?” we started a debate on e-waste and the “making of” obsolete technology. E-waste and obsolete technology is – in short – the result of consumerist logic perpetuated by the technological industry, which creates new programs that need ever more powerful computers to run them on. But once we “break the Windows” and install Ubuntu (or Xubuntu, or any other open software) a 5 year old laptop or 10 year old PC has the “autonomous” life breathed back into it, and it works again.

The final step of the 1st session was to then install Ubuntu on laptops using USB flash drives, CD’s, and directly from internet, to show the different methods it could be installed. Together, we installed Ubuntu on 3 “different” laptops: one with Windows, one with Debian GNU/Linux and one without an operating system. So, the 1st session was concluded by getting the participants comfortable with the installation process and seeing a recycled laptop live again.



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Spletna agencija Arhit