Computer Fundraising Update

Quite a few people have been asking for an update on the Fundraising/Computer front so I thought I would create a post for those wanting to know. (See my “Help Needed” Post)

As part of my search for help a friend donated an older generation Motherboard & Intel i7 Processor. This was not going to be as fast as my own machine that died but it was still reasonably powerful so I decided to use it. I combined it with the Graphics Cards, RAM & Hard Drive from the old Machine and a Case and PSU that I had in the garage, that I couldn’t bear to throw away last time the other half made me do a clear-out last summer! I’m glad I didn’t now, it had been taken to the tip…. but didn’t make it out the car, I must have forgotten it, somehow! I had intended this to be a supplementary machine for my other half as it wasn’t built with any money from donations for The EGXWinfo Group and we had a pressing need for computer access for my other half at home due to her work. I was also concerned my health wouldn’t allow me to build a PC from scratch and I didn’t want to get in a position where I bought a load of parts from your kind donations and couldn’t put them together. So this would be a good test, can I build one myself or should I spend about £100 +10% extra and have someone build it for me?

So bit by bit I did a few things on it, had a rest, returned and before long I had something running. A friend had donated an Operating System Licence for a few machines, so that went on and I started checking this build was stable. Once it was built it became apparent it was capable of a bit more than simple Office applications so I changed tactics and decided to see how it would cope with tasks. I was surprised how well it coped and I kept giving it a few more bits to do and soon decided to run it as a dedicated tasks server, as it’s not powerful enough to do both tasks and live use, but could do one or the other. It’s taken about a week, but pretty much all of the background tasks for EGXWinfo are back up and running.

You may have seen on Twitter I decided to take £18 out of the donation kitty to buy an SSD Hard Drive for my bedroom PC. It runs a split screen by my bed with 360radar local view on one side and another application on another. It’s only an Old Dell Optiplex 755 Intel Core 2 Duo and it’s been crashing all the time. I hoped with an SSD improving system speeds, reformat and more modern OS it just might be able to cope doing these two things! That got upgraded yesterday and I’m pleased to report it’s working well so far.

While this has been happening I’ve also had some conversations with some developers about new features I can bring to The EGXWinfo Group. I have been really overwhelmed by all your support and even though I asked for small donations, quite a few of you chose to ignore me!!! So, I would like to pay you back in some way and the only way I can is with features and information. So I picked a few “in my dreams” features and had a few conversations with folks more skilled than I at programming/developing to see if I could persuade them to do a bit of Free of Charge work for us all. Surprisingly they were quite receptive, so I am hopeful that these might happen! Due to me having very little control over their success I’m not going to announce what these features are yet. I’ve also not decided if they need to generate a small income to cover their running costs or if they can be free for all, certainly those donating sizeable sums will be getting them as a thank you from me, but quite what the model will look like I don’t know.

Which brings me to the main fundraising. The question; Have you reached your target? Well, as you can probably tell from my ramblings so far, nothings ever simple with me and I don’t have a simple answer. I certainly have a sizeable sum and I would say we are certainly most of the way there. However I am not yet 100% what specification of machine is required, it needs to be good enough for general use and when I say my general use I mean 4 HD Displays of up to 16 active windows in view whilst also making up maps and graphics etc, as well as some light photo/video editing when I’m blessed with the health to generate some media. Then the current unknown is what other stuff it may have to run alongside all this 24/7. There are three projects in the pipeline and these could require things like virtual machines, web servers, live databases, live aircraft tracking and alerting etc etc and if you know anything about PC’s you will know those tasks could dictate I spend more in some areas of the machine than others. Then altering the specification of the machine then alters the price! So because I have no price, I have no target and thus I can’t assure you all the target has been met! So what I am prepared to say at the moment is we have raised a sizeable sum that will cover the majority of the cost of replacing the old machine, whilst also ensuring we can run the group for the few years to come. Also rest assured no money will be wasted, the more spent the longer it will last (to a point) and there are also some miscellaneous expenses such as new cables, new power supplies etc that will be needed alongside. If those are covered then any surplus will be saved for EGXWinfo Group purposes as promised, as something is bound to go bang again in the future. So what I’m saying is, in the unlikely event there is a surplus, it will only be used for EGXWinfo Group either now or in the future.

It is important at this point to say a huge thank you to all of you that have donated. It didn’t come easy for me to ask but I’m glad I did. I am quite a private person (as you probably figured out from my attempted anonymity) and because of this I’m not plastering everywhere how much I need, how much I have, etc etc. I will say that I have had over 100 people donate, which is fantastic. You have all been so kind. PayPal also gave you an option to send a little message with your donation and they have been lovely to read, very supportive, very positive and quite overwhelming. As a thank you I put my frequency and Callsign data online, so make sure you have saved a copy as they may have to come down at somepoint, but it was the least I could do. I will continue to do as much as my health allows, mostly from bed and I will focus on providing as much information as possible, in one place, that isn’t easily available elsewhere. Hopefully as part of all of this there will be some new features coming when one, two or three of these projects actually happens, so watch this space!

Thank you for all your support

The EGXWinfo Group of Twitter Accounts