At PCF, we spend most of our time inside Philadelphia public school classrooms. Over the course of the last couple of years, we have spent countless hours inside roughly 150 classrooms in schools all over Philadelphia. While many rooms are OK, or even ‘fine’, quite often we experience:

  • rooms without enough power to operate a vacuum cleaner (not that we offer cleaning services but you get the point)
  • outlets that are so old that you have to bend the powerstrip plug prongs to get the plug to make contact
  • 4 or 5 power strips in series (daisy chained) supplying the entire room with various devices (such as mini fridges, microwaves, fans, pencil sharpeners, clocks, radios, air fresheners, etc.), and…PCF computers
  • rooms without power altogether except for an extension cord coming through the ceiling tiles from an adjacent room
  • lack of physical space or furniture for our computers

Surprisingly, more often than not, Ethernet is in pretty good shape and the schools we’ve worked with have had decent, good, or even great internet speeds.

Despite these conditions, PCF has almost always been able to install our computers into a classroom.

For all the time we spent in the classrooms, we never paid much attention to the front office…

But recently, at one of the last schools we did, we were shocked to find out that front office personnel has to use command line interface (think mouse-less IBM pre Macintosh) to enter daily attendance records! (For those people using Macs, you may have accidentally opened the “Terminal” application. Think about having to use that application to do all your work!)

So front office personnel has to use the Terminal program to enter daily attendance records and more. If you inspect the image below, you see commands like (P) for paging, (*) to exit, (E) and line # to enter attendance, and so on. These schools truly put up with a lot all around…

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)