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Sun Ray Deployment at IS195

19 November 2005

3 of us have been helping set up some Sun Rays at a local school. Click the more link to read the 'press release' summary. A more tech-oriented summary will be coming soon.

As our economy becomes increasingly information-based, schools fight to keep pace with the rapid growth of technology to give students the access needed to learn skills critical to their success. Yet more and more, a gap widens between those who can access and use new information and communication tools, such as computers and the Internet, and those who cannot. In low-income areas, schools struggle to get even a few computers with basic software and Internet access, feeding the disadvantage for underprivileged students as they graduate into a workforce where effective computer usage is essential for education, training, and jobs. Since June, three volunteers out of BearingPoint's New York office have spent many weekends and evenings trying to bridge the digital divide for a city school in need. Their commitment to the success of their community is a true example of integrity in action, teamwork and leaders who serve.

BearingPoint Brightens School with Sun Ray System

Located in Harlem in New York City, Roberto Clemente Intermediate School educates approximately 900 students, in which more than 90 percent are enrolled in the school's Free Lunch program, a major indicator of the economic status of a school's student population. Limited access to technology and computers further compounds the learning curve, as the school's test scores slip further behind city and state-wide standards. In an effort to increase the students' access to IT training, Dave Goodwin, Fredrik Hallgrade, and Mark Rossiter have worked during their free time over the past five months to complete a deployment of 20 low-maintenance, desktop terminals. The system is based on Sun's Sun Ray ultra-thin desktop architecture (, with desktop clients powered by a single, centralized server.

Sun Microsystems had donated the Sun Ray system to the school, but as students and teachers were unfamiliar with the UNIX environment, these terminals were never effectively deployed. While participating in a previous BearingPoint volunteer initiative at the school that teaches basic computer usage to students' parents (, Dave, Fredrik and Mark uncovered the potential of these Sun Ray terminals. They discussed their intent with the school's IT administrator and made a plan to re-introduce the terminals to service. "It's important for BearingPoint employees to be active in their community," said Dave. "It shows that we can not only deploy point solutions, but also help people develop IT skills that will support them for the long term."
Dave Fredrik and Mark in fron of some Sun Rays

Computing the Solution for Success

The volunteers upgraded the hardware and software resulting in two systems, each capable of supporting 20 desktop terminals. The system was architected so that it could co-exist with the school's current network infrastructure and is easier to maintain than Windows-based PCs, as there is no need for hardware or software upgrades at the desktop. In the next few weeks, the volunteers will deploy the second set of 20 terminals, as well as train the school's IT administrator with the goal of enabling the school to fully operate the system on its own.

Implementing Support for the Next Generation

Currently, the school provides students computer access via laptops that are deployed to classrooms based on a schedule. After the project is complete, 10 classrooms will be equipped with four terminals each, greatly increasing the students' exposure to IT. The system enables the students to learn necessary computer skills and perform Internet research, as well as participate in online activities, quizzes and tests. "Volunteering provides an opportunity to share your skills with the community, as well as gain new perspectives. Such projects challenge your mind and allow for creative thinking and fresh approaches," said Fredrik. "Plus, seeing the results and how you've positively changed people's lives is gratifying. It's fun to turn time and knowledge into smiles."

Replies: 2 Comments

Great to find your site, even if it was by accident! Very interested to see your photos - now I'll carry on and try to locate your Dad's e-mail address.
Marcia and Richard

Marcia Goodwin said @ 02/07/2006 12:50 PM EST

do they need more help doing this - sounds like a great project?

karma said @ 12/07/2005 09:44 AM EST


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