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

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.