Buck and his Barn

Some of you might know my day to day is faculty development at a university. I help faculty become more innovative and creative with the way they teach, and the tools they do it with. And most of that time I’m doing it with 100% Free and Open Source Software. (Why teach students with proprietary software, that costs the taxpayers money, and that the student can’t take home? I can teach them the same things for free AND they get to take the software home and give it to others!) From time to time, I get invited into the class by faculty to talk about Open Source Software and the Open Source Mindset. Here is a response and then a follow up email by a student. (used with students permission)

Hello Mr. Beck,
My name is Buck Schroeter, I was in the BCIS class that you just gave a presentation in. First of all, I would like to thank you, the [Open Source Software] names are very benificial and I enjoyed learning about the software. Secondly, I had a few questions for you in regards to Linux OS. I have used windows since I have used computers and am very used to the GUI and all the quirks of the system, however, the bloat ware, and general strict nature of the system have led me to explore alternatives in an attempt to have some sense of freedom as you were mentioning. Any tips for someone switching to Linux? I have an Alienware MX 17 gaming laptop that I want to run it on…. ….Thirdly, you mentioned that you did work with non-profits to get kids in [need...computers]? Where can I get more information on that?

Thanks a bunch for your time, attention, and presentation,
I look forward to hearing from you, reply at your convenience, none of these things are time sensitive,

Buck Schroeter

And then a follow up email from Buck:

…I would love to set up a time to make the switch, about time for a change I suppose! Perhaps Thursday evening on campus somewhere? My schedule is pretty open.


As for the TexOS project, I am very intrigued. I happen to have my own non-profit organization called Buck’s Barn that is held in Austin on the first weekend in December What we do is collect gifts all year, transport them to Dell Children’s Hospital of Austin, where the kids inpatient there are able to shop through the gifts and pick them out for their family and friends for Christmas. So basically, we provide a free in-hospital “mall” that the kids who are being treated can shop through. Medical bills and suppressed immune systems keep many kids there from being able to have a conventional Christmas and our goal is to get them a bit closer to what we take for granted. Check us out at bucksbarn.org
As a matter of fact, we had our event a mere two days ago! As founder, or CEO, or general facilitator, or whatever I am, I am constantly on the look out for different ways in which we can help kids have that sense of Christmas and I would be very interested if there could be some prospective collaboration between TexOS and Buck’s Barn, seeing as though yall are used to working with non-profits, though mine is in Austin If for no other reason than to provide the TexOS people with another opportunity to volunteer to help others!

TexOS will gladly make sure Buck’s Barn not only receives free computers with Open Source Software on it, he’ll also receive training to teach others the Open Source Mindset. Buck’s Barn will then be able to pass along the powerful software that can impact peoples lives!

Kudos Buck!

Here are some videos on the Open Source Mindset being applied to Cancer Research and other medical areas:

Pay It Forward

A few weeks ago I had a booth setup at the San Angelo EcoFair where I was showcasing a number of donated computer systems with Linux and Open Source Software installed on them. Towards the end of the day I was approached by this lil’ Filipino lady named Martha.

She immediately goes into all of these ideas that she had about traveling and blogging about it, but she wasn’t that tech savvy at all. I was asked to be her consultant and teach her how to journal her travels and such with modern technology. I agreed.

She invited me to and bought my ticket for the Asian-American Woman Cultural event of San Angelo. Over 500+ people were there. Great event. For the fun of it she also bought me 5 raffle tickets to the for the prize giveaways that night….I won a 40″ TV.

I already have a TV and don’t have needs right now for another one. So after talking with Martha, and gladly telling her she could have it seeing how she bought the ticket, she refused. I believe in Paying It Forward, so I’m donating the TV to the Heart Gallery of Northwest Texas which is a non-profit organization where I am a member of the board. They take photos of kids in foster care that are in need of adoption. The actual Gallery is of large portraits that get taken to events to showcase to others who might be looking to adopt. The problem is that sometimes there isn’t enough space for all the portraits to be setup in one location. So a 40″ TV with a slideshow running saves space and can provide more information on each image rather than having to get more photos printed.

If you have a location or organization that would like to have the Heart Gallery on display, either in Photo Frames or now in Digital Display. Please contact me or the founder Samantha Batten Crumrine.

Samantha Batten Crumrine