Over the summer, we met with Pan American School’s Director of Technology Zach Brown to discuss a possible equipment donation to PCF. Earlier today, we were delighted to pick up 12 iMacs that were already wiped clean and factory reset by Mr. Brown.

The iMacs are particularly useful for job/career training and graphics-heavy training. To that end, at two of the community centers we outfitted with computers over the summer, they are planning to do career training using Microsoft Office. PCF includes LibreOffice on our Linux machines, which provides similar functionality but the look and feel (user interface) is quite different from Microsoft’s Office applications.

Then two of the iMacs were configured as web servers to teach our Web Development classes. After installing MAMP, these servers include My Apache, mySQL (database), and PHP, thus enabling us to run WordPress sites, allow students to connect via FTP, and all the other services you might expect from a web server. Being able to run web servers inside the Districts’s network gives us a lot of flexibility (by circumventing the firewall) and these iMacs makes administering student accounts much easier.

Finally, six (6) of the iMacs were gifted to another StartupPHL grant recipient, Onyx Valley who seeks to connect youth of color with skills needed to join technology companies. The iMacs we/Pan Am donated will let Onyx Valley set up workshops on User Experience (UX). This type of training requires applications that will only run on Apple OS computers.

Thanks again to Pan American and especially Zach Brown for these great machines!