Help people without broadband around the world

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Mrkvonic, Mar 27, 2009.

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  1. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hi all,

    This is a somewhat unusual article, different from what I usually write.

    The idea of this article is to raise awareness to the fact there are approx. 300 million dial-up users around the world, in China, India, Brazil, and other countries, who cannot so easily download 300MB worth of missing codecs, plugins and whatnot to get their Linux distros to work. Or hop a distro every two weeks.

    So, the goal of the article is to try to help the fellow Linux users around the world: create custom, remastered versions of existing distros, already containing everything they might need (codecs, games, extra packages) and send them to people around the globe, saving the hassle of long hours of slow downloads via dial-up.

    Canonical are already doing this, but as a company they can only ship the legal versions, stripped of proprietary thingies. As individual users, we could do more.

    What do you think?

    http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/help-broadband.html

    Cheers,
    Mrk
     
  2. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    I like the concept in broad strokes.
     
  3. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    Another thing to consider is that as these people are on dialup, they will not like downloading lots of updates, so security and stability should be a high priority, when picking a Distro/software pacakges. So don't necessarilary go for the latest and the greatest, but go for the latest known stable/secure version.

    And if they are on dialup, there is a good chance they are not using a router, so a user friendly GUI firewall.
     
  4. raakii

    raakii Registered Member

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    "When you think more deeply, the truth becomes rather harsh. More than a billion people on this planet do not have enough food or water or medicines to maintain the most basic life standards that we find so trivial. More than billion people on this planet do not have electricity in their homes, let alone Internet. It's nice to live in USA, Europe or Oz, but what about China or India or the entire African continent? Chinese and Indians alone constitute almost half the world population and only some of them have access to the Internet. In China, it's 20%. In India, it's 5%.
    According to different sources I've read, approx. 30% of Indian Internet users use dial-up. China may have as many broadband lines as USA, but it also has five times more people. Approx. 55% of Chinese people are connected with dial-up lines. And those that do have broadband pay dearly for it."

    yes this is wat linux and software developers should remember.linux develoeprs should not use codecs that require an online install(rather provide offline install), that means only those who have good internet connection can use it.Again prices of software is very very high for those in underdevloped and developing countries.This is the main reason for software piracy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  5. bktII

    bktII Registered Member

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    As a dial-up and linux user my recommendations are (in addition to the above suggestions):
    (1) mini-distro (puppy, dsl, etc.)
    (2) openSUSE (has delta rpm's for oss)
    (3) debian stable (less downloads than ubuntu) would also be good to pre-package with a light desktop/wm (xfce, windowmaker, etc.)

    Also, a friendly way to setup ppp.

    Fedora and CentOS are good distros, but currently have too many updates for dial-up. The next release of Fedora may have delta rpm's by default. This may also be incorporated in the next CentOS release.

    Edit: Approx. 4 minutes per MB download here.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  6. Searching_ _ _

    Searching_ _ _ Registered Member

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    So basically, an army of doops is needed.

    1. Who is getting the distro's?
    2. People to create the updated distro's and post at say drop.io or some such.
    3. Other people to make copies of the distro's and mail to 1.

    Is that the plan?

    Doesn't Debian have a Live updater similar to remastersys?
    What other distro's offer this type of thing? I'm not an Ubuntu fan myself.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  7. Arup

    Arup Guest

    A very noble cause Mrk, one that I am already indulging in frequently as I install Linux on many of the underprivileged users around the city and the rural areas. Few corrections, Internet broadband in India, when and where available in its basic 256kbps form is dirt cheap, far cheaper than in US or Europe. Average cost is around US$10 for 256kbps unlimited which is well within reach of average lower middle class, problem is awareness of Linux in general, everywhere you go, most people use assembled PCs which usually come with pirated Windows. The mere mention of Linux scares away many and thats where we have to demystify Linux along with distros like Ubuntu Ultimate which come with everything installed.
     
  8. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    Nice suggestions, I'll see how I can update the list.

    Searching, everyone can make a distro at their home, using remastering software. PCLinuxOS also comes with remastering software, for example. But I suggested Ubuntu cause it's probably the easiest choice. Also most common, so software is likely to work on it, good forum support, etc.

    Arup, I'm not sure what classifies as broadband, but I was thinking along the line of 750kbps or more. I pulled my stats off the web, so very well could be wrong. If you have access to accurate databases, I'd be glad to hear.

    Mrk
     
  9. Arup

    Arup Guest

    Sadly Broadband is defined as 256kbps min in India, MBPS is costly although getting cheaper and GBPS is pipe dreams. One good thing is no data caps or torrrent ban.
     
  10. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

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    Problem here is mainly high cost of broadband. I pay US $ 85 monthly (incl. Vat) for a 4096 kbps (= 500 KBps) ADSL line.
    It is the top option and is capped at 3GB ( thereafter only local up to 30 GB).

    Things are expected to improve by the time we get to host the soccer
    World Cup... for obvious reasons.

    For most, owning a PC is unaffordable and even dial-up costs US $ 10 per month,
    plus a high charge for telephone calls - one of the highest in the world.
    We have something called the 'Freedom Toaster' in most major centres, where
    you bring your own CD/DVD, select the distro you want and let the machine burn the iso.
     
  11. bktII

    bktII Registered Member

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    For Linux (as for any OS) used for internet browsing, email, media streaming, IM, etc., OS and application updates are very important. If you are leaning towards Ubuntu, I would recommend the LTS version.

    Regarding your "Programs' list:
    o Firefox/iceweasel includes incremental updates (minimize downloading time). This is offset somewhat by XUL.
    o Opera includes an email client
    o Claws-mail is a good alternative to Thunderbird.
    o RealPlayer for Linux is also very good

    Wine, Java JRE, xVM VirtualBox, VLC, etc. mean lots of "moderate" size updates. For dial-up users, it would be better to select a distro that includes these packages in the repositories. A user can then decide whether or not to install and, thereafter, maintain with updates. Otherwise, they may not get updated. Or they will spend lots of time updating applications that are not used.

    Also:
    o Minimize application redundancy (include one default web browser)
    o If Opera is the default web browser, there is no need for an additional email client
    o Select a distro that supports updates for the included applications to increase the likelihood that they are updated

    Your objective is to help people. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to keep their OS and applications patched/updated. Part of being a dial-up user is learning to "live within your means".

    Note: As an aside, I currently run openSolaris without support from Sun. This means I do not receive updates/patches. It is, thus, a snapshot of the OS and included applications from late 2008. I manually update JDK and Opera (and Netbeans less frequently). I do not use this OS as a "surfboard"; although I could probably get away with it as I have disabled Java, Javascript and iframes in Opera. And Solaris is even more obscure than Linux, if you believe in security by obscurity.
     
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