I wrote about the computer lab we are trying to set up at The Lighthouse. We used Windows XP and it went about as poorly as expected. Residents changed the settings, stole the wireless dongle, took the speakers, and basically trashed the system. For version two, Chris Powell suggested we use Joli OS which is a Ubuntu fork that is designed to create a fast version of Linux to run on netbooks. The interface is similar to iOS which he argued was different enough from Windows to avoid confusion. We installed it on a Dell Optiplex P4 and while the installation wasn’t smooth, it did work.
The other alternative that people set up was Chromium and it was too difficult to install to be an option.
With this option hopefully working better than Windows, the next project has been to do some resume and employment search help. In addition to writing a resume, we will be helping anyone who wants to set up a profile on About.me. It only takes a couple of minutes to set up and guys like Jeff Jackson use it really effectively as a personal website. Employment will be the first step that many of our residents will need to take to leave the emergency shelters and any help we can give them makes a difference.