Feeds

Help a hack: What's in your ultimate Windows XP migration toolkit?

El Reg is going walkabout to stave off deep desert XP-ocalypse, needs your help

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Keen Reg readers may remember that last year we visited the remote Aboriginal community of Willowra and its new Wirliyatjarrayi Learning Centre.

We went because we wanted to know how technology makes an impact in a remote community. What we found was a wonderful facility with enormous potential to help locals, but it was struggling with a slow internet connection and in urgent need of an upgrade from Windows XP.

We pointed out those issues to the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education, which runs the Learning Centre, and offered to help.

They agreed, and in two weeks The Reg is going back to Willowra to address the XP situation on the centre's eight PCs.

Which is where you come in: what would YOU take to Willowra to do an XP-to-Windows 7 migration?

The Batchelor Institute IT team will provide us with Windows 7 and Microsoft Office disks. Before we go we'll get a list of the apps installed on the PCs and bring the very latest versions of those to town with us because the anaemic satellite connection means downloading patches is very undesirable. We plan to make another disk (or USB stick) full of all the software we know is already on the PCs. We imagine we'll be in sneakernet mode: walking from one PC to the next, clutching our disks and watching hourglasses tumble.

So here's what we need some tips on:

  • Tools to automate the installation of multiple applications from a USB stick or optical disk
  • Suggestions for apps that will help PCs be at their best in a very bandwidth-constrained environment
  • Software you think could assist people with low literacy levels

We need your help because this is a job worth doing.

Remote Aboriginal communities are among Australia's most impoverished. Literacy levels are low (it's a four-hour drive to the nearest High School), jobs are scarce and all manner of public services scanty. Life expectancy is low by Australian standards. Leaving town is an option, but being absent from ancestral land means spiritual poverty for many Willowrans.

The Wirliyatjarrayi Learning Centre is a $3m investment that tries to address those issues by giving locals a chance to acquire new skills that can lead to work in the community. The Reg hopes that by speeding up internet access just a little, we can make it possible for locals to tap into the wealth of online resources that can help them get ahead. And maybe, just maybe, one day Willowra and other remote communities will be able to find work online. Online marketplaces like the Amazon Mechanical Turk do not care where their workers are, and we figure that if we can make the internet easier to use, we can help the community get a step closer to opportunity.

Which is why we are going and why we need your help.

So here's some extra detail about the setup in Willowra.

We know there are server-based automation tools for this kind of thing, but we're not yet in the position to put servers in place, because we're not yet entirely sure what lurks within the Learning Centre's comms cabinet. That's another reason for this visit: once we know more about the Centre's networks we can plan another trip to wring every possible bit out of its satellite connection.

Batchelor Institute's IT folk want to work with us on that, too, so they can learn what it takes to provide the best possible internet experience in the other remote Learning Centres it operates.

That's for the future. For now, your tips on how to get a mighty fine Windows 7 upgrade done in about 48 hours will make a difference.

So get to it, readers: let us know how we can make this upgrade quick and easy. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.