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Our Next Young Computer Wiz: Dadrian Tran

October 8th, 2009 by John Stephens

computerkid4Temple City’s Dadrian Tran loves “The Simpsons,” and if this shared love (obsession) of ours’ were reason enough to give him a new computer, it surely would have been good enough for me. But of course, there are better reasons why this bright eighth grader from Oak Ave. Elementary chose to send us an essay in hopes that we might help him out by providing him a tool that so many of us take for granted.

Dadrian’s parents both work for the California Department of Motor Vehicles and in his essay he explained that, due to the state budget woes and the highly-publicized furloughs and workforce reductions at the DMV, his family’s budget had become tighter than ever this year.

“My mom has to work 24 hours less in a week, 96 hours in a month,” said Dadrian in his essay. “It has hurt our budget and my parents need to save every penny for my older brother to go to college.”

What the Trans are facing is a story similar to that of so many hard working families around the state, the county, and here in our local communities. When they sent their eldest off to the University of California, Irvine, they wanted him to have all the best tools necessary for a modern education. So naturally, they sent their son off to school with what had been the family’s shared laptop computer, leaving the four members of the Tran family to share one desktop computer which, in Dadrian’s words, “has tons of viruses and runs really slow”.

The Ubuntu Linux computer that we, with the help of local computer parts retailer Priceless Computer, were able to give him won’t uncover the secrets of the human genome, or land a man on the moon. But there are two other things it won’t do: It won’t get viruses or spyware (Linux, though by no means perfect, does not share the weak immune system known so well to trouble Microsoft’s Windows OS) and, more importantly, it won’t go off to college until Dadrian is ready to take it with him. Until then, we hope this little machine will help him complete his school assignments without “having to stay late at the public library to do my homework every time,” as he told us in his essay.

It’s a drop in the bucket, this one computer, towards helping out not only our struggling economy but our equally underfunded public schools. But, at least in my humble opinion, it’s a drop in the right bucket, one that we’ll one day fill with the achievements and knowledge earned by what my favorite college professor called his ever-growing “Linux Army”. Welcome, Dadrian, to the Linux Army. Your sword will be your keystrokes; your shield, the community of Geeks who believe that access to the whole of human knowledge obtained and recorded thus far is a right, and not a privilege. Simpsons episodes included.

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