Wednesday, April 18, 2007

New initiative - Project MORSEHACK

I am starting a new initiative in improving students' computer access in schools all around Malaysia. I've just thought up a plan and thus this plan is still in at the earliest possible stage and it might not even occur depending on how things go here in UK.

Here is the plan and it is not copyrighted, so just copy it and make it happen if you think you can. Feel free to send in comments, no matter how destructive/constructive it is, I just want you to speak and tell me whether something is right/wrong.

Don't ask me how I got the name.


Objective: To recycle old computers which could possibly end up in poorer countries as junk and install them in schools all around Malaysia.

  • We need to obtain old unwanted computers mainly through donations.
  • We need a team of volunteers to
    • Fix the computers
    • Build the computers together
    • Transport the computers to schools
    • Do some extra-coding
  • We need to set minimum specs for computers, I am thinking in the line of processors running below 1Ghz and with 256Mb of RAM etc.
  • The computers will be installed with Strictly Open Source softwares:
    • OS: Ubuntu Linux
    • Office: OpenOffice
    • Browser: Mozilla Firefox
  • We need to get some funding to start the project off, a place to act as our warehouse, a method of transportation and a philosophy that would keep us working.
  • We need to think of a sustainable income source to fund the running of the project, still we strive to be non-profit.
The Idea: Build the systems, give to schools, get students to maintain with our help, get students to start hacking the system. I feel that by exposing them to linux(the OS for hackers), we would be able to let them explore the real world of computing and possibly make us the next "nerd" nation.

To make things interesting, I also propose to include in classrooms a common slogan for all the schools under the MORSEHACK project. I have in mind:

See it, Hack it, Fix it

Pretty corny yea? Anyway let me know your suggestions either by leaving a comment here, or an email to me at

Currently I need to get some information from all of you:
  • What is the situation in the local schools like in terms of IT and computing?
  • Are there enough computers allocated by the Ministry of Education to schools already?

Spread the word. For a brighter tomorrow. For more info on similar initiatives, visit freegeek. Remember it's strictly non-profit, how much are we going to get anyway?

Let's start planning, who's with me?


freethinker said...

Noble idea. VERY ambitious. But open source ? With people too comfortable with Microsoft, it'll be hard.

Plus the fundings and donations that you need, ain't no easy.

Honestly, I doubt few Malaysians techie would do all this without much financial backing.

Mentality of Bolehland ..

Boss Lepton said...

the advantage of open source is

1. they are students, it's better to expose them to an appropriate program that allows them to be able to explore everything

2. it's free, therefore doesn't require that much funding

3. it runs well on PC with low specs

Philip said...

well im not sure bout other schools but my school alone has 2 computer labs. 1 set up by the Ministry of Education and the other by the PIBG of my school.

Besides that each special room. ex disipline room, library has its own computer facilities.

Boss Lepton said...

where are you studying?

I'm actually thinking of my old school in alor star. KL schools i think dun need this ler, think about the schools who can't afford it or the ministry of education didn't allocate enough

Hor ny Ang Moh said...

Noble idea, BUT it wouldn't work in Boleh Land. First no 'fanancial' gaint. Secondly most of the teacher know nut about computer. Thirty where is the old computer???Maybe your idea could work on case to case, location to location basic but nationalwide???!!!Have a nice day.

Boss Lepton said...

I think I am able to hook up with some e-waste disposal companies to have them supply or I could personally go from companies to companies to appeal to them. It wuld look good for the companies anyway in terms of corporate social responsibility.

As for the financial gain part, I intend to probably sell ready made computers at really low price just to break even. Have a nice day to you too :D

Boss Lepton said...

Oh, for the teacher part, I hope to be able to directly allow the students to use the computers without the contraints from the teacher. Meaning it would be a bunch of interested students (possibly computer club) that are responsible to learn, teach and maintain the computers. It's a good way to train them to handle responsibility. Hope that answers your questions.

Philip said...

im from smk bandar utama damansara 4. if you know where's that. BU area. I would love to help out if i have the time. I'll do my best to help la.

boringest said...

I can imagine most students will use it to surf porn, social networking sites and whatnot.

Furthermore, when you first install them in their computer labs, you might need to teach the teachers 1st how to use Linux & also the students, and you know how unfriendly it can be to a beginner.

Boss Lepton said...

hehehe, the most important aspect of this is that they are finally able to surf the web and access emails, type documents, design their posters to be posted in the school etc.

There are some minimum functions that we must ensure they can access easily. I don't think even the teachers can be as creative as the students and certainly they can't learn as fast. That's y I though it would be better to teach some interested students and let them run their own help sessions.

Surfing porn: It would be ideal if we could somehow write a code that would restrict them from surfing porn. I would however hope that they are able to hack the program and get thru watever firewall we set. Either way, it would make it a challenge for them so that they can't get things that easily ho ho ho.

I really don't think linux is too unfriendly to beginners so long as they know some basic functions(more like msdos). the desktop interface is as easy to use(or possibly easier) than windows in terms of accessing programs, honest.