Monday, August 3, 2009

Idea Library: Spread Linux by revitalizing slow computers

I create lots of ideas. I'll think up a plan to accomplish a goal or start a business, ponder it for a couple of days, think of a problem with the idea, and move on to the next idea. However, I occasionally develop an idea that stands up to my scrutiny.

Until now, I've summarized these ideas in a Remember the Milk to-do list, planning to implement them myself "after this assignment" or "once I finish this project". However, I've now realized I simply don't have time to work on all of them, so I'm sharing them with you.

I'll publish the ideas here with the tag "idea library" so that you can easily find them. My idea posts won't have the same quality as the rest of my posts, and it's possible that my ideas will be full of glaring oversights or obvious flaws. Nonetheless, I think that some of my ideas have real potential, even if I don't have the time or resources to implement them.

That's why I chose the tag "idea library": I wanted to give other people the chance to use my ideas. If you'd like to implement one, please contact me at [redacted] so that we can discuss terms. Because I won't publish ideas I can execute myself, I will probably give you any published idea you ask for. I'm publishing these ideas not to entertain you but to give you a chance to use them.

My first idea addresses a problem for the open source community: Windows has a stranglehold on the OS market. Far too many people have no idea that they can leave Windows without buying a new computer, and most of the people who are aware of Linux don't have the skill or incentive to install it.

I propose that the Linux community should offer to speed up people's slow, obsolete, or damaged Windows computers by installing Ubuntu (or another desktop-focused Linux distro). People will agree to risk their computers if the computers aren't usable.

A flyer on a bulletin board could promise to redeem old computers by dramatically reducing start-up and loading times, allowing quick web browsing and email access, and eliminating malware of all types. The customer could pay $20 for installation plus $10 for the recovery CD and $40 for data preservation (through dual-booting). Many people would gladly pay $20 to give their old computer another chance at usefulness.

I would charge that little because I need the Linux experience and I'd like to encourage the adoption of Linux.I would also write a quick tutorial to show the new users how to use the essential functions. Ideally, I would convince a computer repair shop to refer customers with hopelessly obsolete computers to me. I don't think this could be a money-making project, but I would enjoy the experience.

Obviously, you don't have to contact me to use this idea, but I would still appreciate a comment if you decide to try it.