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Justification of Technology Choices

In considering the technology requirements of the computer lab at Opal’s House, we first consulted Essie to assess the needs of the users.  We learned that the crucial needs included (1) access to the internet to enable online job searching and (2) access to a word processing program to enable resume and cover letter writing.  Essie also informed us of one major technological glitch in the mix:  a severe lack of ISP options for the neighborhood of Opal’s House.  In fact, this sad state of affairs turned into a temporary nightmare due to the high prices and limited selection of ISPs for a non-profit business like Opal’s House in East St. Louis.  The justification for our ultimate choice of ISP – Charter – is primarily the fact that they will provide service *period* to Opal’s House.  (This is in contrast to AT&T which did not provide actual service, but did charge Opal’s House an actual fee for non-existent service for a number of months in 2010.)  We will be installing six new-used Dell computers, all with Windows XP and Microsoft Office Suite as well as Adobe Reader.  We will also be installing one computer with Linux and a number of downloaded children’s educational games.  We chose to use Linux as the OS for the children’s computer because we learned that there is a wider variety of freely-available downloadable children’s games for Linux compared to Windows.  Overall, our technology choices were based on first, the needs of the users, and second, the cost of the technology.