The Sao Paulo Telecentros provide service to 150,000 users. Each Telecentro is running a small cluster of computers: a high-end server and 20 diskless workstations (Pentium class machines).
The diskless Linux workstations are hooked up to the server with a 100mb network, and each workstation boots in 20 to 30 seconds (this is from memory). Very fast. All applications run on a pretty big server, and OpenOffice is pre-loaded, so it starts in no time.
Each Telecentro offers service to about 3,000 users; People schedule time on the workstations in slots of half an hour or an hour.
They have written lots of tutorials in Portuguese in each of the Telecentros and cover the basics: the Gnome desktop, Star Writer, Star Calc, Galeon and Gnome Paint.
Today there are 72 telecentros open for a total of 107 planned. The cost of setting up a telecentro is 10,000 dollars.
During my visit to the Telecentro's headquarters, I heard a few new arguments I had not heard before about the advantages of free software:
Posted on 29 Aug 2003