Consider for a moment the joy you can bring a less fortunate family this holiday season by providing them with an off-lease or even totally used PC preloaded with Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuSE or PCLinuxOS.
You would potentially be in a position to provide students, who likely go to school with others that have computers at home, a chance to compete on an equal playing field thanks to now having computer access. Even better, imagine the surprise if the person you donated a Linux pre-installed PC showed an aptitude for using a Linux system as if they had been using it for years!
You might very well get someone on their way to a worthwhile career someday, assuming you stick around to answer questions as they come up.
For the adults in the family, having access to a PC means being able to connect to a low cost external modem for dial-up Internet or, if possible, DSL, as there are a number of great deals going on right now.
This can translate into resumes being submitted, job postings being reviewed and in some cases, new talents being discovered through blogging.
After all, I know a number of people who are finding themselves without work right now that have taken on the idea of blogging about themselves and their abilities. Two of them have actually found work this way. The others are making a little extra to supplement their unemployment income from various ad and affiliate programs.
In the end, that low powered PC you have sitting in the corner of your office being used to entertain the cat, could very well change someone's life. The only thing missing is your motivation and a little open source magic.
Based on sheer volume of readership at this publication, the odds are better than fair that some of you may very well be among those finding yourselves laid off during these turbulent times. If this is the case, then this article, despite it coming across as over-simplistic to those of you already in IT, should allow serve as a guide for making the best out of what you already have.
This holiday season, instead of taking out the last little bit you have left on your credit cards to buy the kids that new gaming system or Vista notebook stop. Instead think for a moment about using the existing hardware you already own and bundle it with something most families seem to be missing out on these days your time.
This might result in a highly customized desktop Linux gaming rig with painted designs that the whole family contributed to, a PC with nothing more than hours of learning behind it or a once defunct notebook that has been brought back to life with a $25 USB Wi-Fi dongle and few hours of your time.
In any case, it is through efforts like this that fantastic holiday memories are made of not the latest gaming box that is being advertised on the television.