Update: Updates are in Red below.


  • CBT Nuggets account manager responds with the suggestion we buy their $24K NAS.
  • Glenn sends a letter to the CEO of CBT, and Prep Logic.
  • Tutsplus looks amazing, and their terms of use allows download and free use. Anyone up to getting a subscription and scraping their sites? I can pay the $9.
  • Johnny emailed vtcusa@vtc.com about a partnership.
  • Johnny emailed iman@trainsignal.com about a partnership.
  • Arenlor’s “taking” totaltraining.com
  • Barak Sofer (the founder of http://www.free-training-tutorial.com says: “You have my approval to download and use my site in an offline version in Uganda only. I don’t allow do distribute it anywhere else. Is it fine with you?” Is that alright? That’s AWESOME! Thank Barak! =) OK, we need someone to grab free-training-tutorial.com. Any takers?

As many of you know from our previous posts, we’re opening an Internet cafe and a training center. We’re really short staffed, and although it would be great to have trainers, it’s easier (for now) to set up CBT and video training stations.These training stations will give us a stream of sustainable income for our organization and also provide a much-needed training opportunity to help locals get a leg up on poverty.

There’s a ton of really good computer training courses on the Internet, and I want to try to get as many as I can for our opening in February. Our first focus is on free training courses, but with our bandwidth, I can’t run them from the Internet. I need to have them copied and mailed to us.

That’s where you can help. What I need is for a small army of people to swarm the net in search of training courses (Office, Graphics packages, just about anything).

We need to:

  • Find sites that offer training
  • If free, search for a terms of use prohibiting downloading
  • If terms restrict downloading, send an email explaining what we’re doing and ask permission to download for our training center
  • If pay, send an email requesting free use in our community center
  • Download (if allowed or you can’t find the terms) the content in a format that’s usable on a non-Internet connected machine.
  • Email me for a US-based shipping address for the DVD’s. Our friend Ashley is coming in January. She can hand carry them in time for the opening in February.

Here’s a rundown on the sites I’ve already found, and the status of each:

http://www.free-training-tutorial.com: This site has tons of Flash videos, and supporting word docs. I need the content of the site including all the associated office documents. Updates: Jamison is working on this site. Are we violating a terms of service? The owner says we are. Work halted.

http://www.learningelectric.com/terms.htm: This site has limitations on copying. Email sent.

http://www.gcflearnfree.org: I contacted them and they gave us permission to use their content: http://video.gcflearnfree.org/Downloads/DVD. Sam is downloading and mailing this one.

http://www.cbtnuggets.com/webapp/videos: Updates: Glenn contacted Korey, the account manager at cbtnuggets. The response in a nutshell: copying their videos is strictly prohibited, and they suggest we buy their NAS at $23,999.00. We will pay a tenth of that price to stand up our whole cafe!! This first email isn’t a promising step towards helping the destitute, but Korey’s doing his job. Glenn emailed the CEO.

http://www.preplogic.com: Updates: Glenn emailed the CEO. Brilliant. Whether it’s because they have big hearts or sense a great marketing opportunity, a CEO is much more likely to make big things happen.

http://www.trainsignaltraining.com/free-video-training/ Updates: emailed iman@trainsignal.com


http://www.lynda.com/home/otl.aspx: This site has a few freebies, but the “subscription” side is staggering. I’d like to pitch a free subscription and / or the ability to download for offline viewing. I’m willing to pay for a subscription is we can offload the videos. Updates: Glenn emailed co-founder Bruce Heavin.

http://www.palaestratraining.com/freevids.htm: Another staggering selection, many require subscription.

http://www.techtransfer.berkeley.edu/videos/: I know, not tech, but could be useful.

http://www.totaltraining.com: Huge selection. Again, we’ll pay. Can we download? Arlenor “taking” this one. Any progress, Arenlor? Until Arenlor gets back to us, let’s assume this one’s untouched. We need to know terms of service, if a letter’s been sent, etc.

Addition: MIT’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/MIT. Ross says “MIT’s stuff is already available for download, from their site (I guess that means distribution is fine?): http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/courses/courses/index.htm

Addition: Net Tuts: http://net.tutsplus.com Ross says “The effects and techniques demonstrated in tutorials on the Tuts+ network can be used in whatever manner you wish without attribution.”

Addition: http://www.vtc.com has lots of video training courses and few free videos. Johnny emailed sales@vtc.com.

Update: CP is mailing us a collection of 1000+ security conference videos from Defcon, Shmoocon, Phreaknic, Notacon, etc.

So that’s a starter list. There are many more.

When it comes to convincing these companies to help us out, we need someone with the gift of (e-)gab to help them get past our “hacker-ness”. We’re looking for partners to offer their training to make a difference in people’s lives. It’s that simple. Here’s some text you can use in your email pitches:

Hello! My name is ______. I am volunteer working for a group called Hackers For Charity (http://hackersforcharity.org). Our founder, Johnny Long, has relocated to Uganda, Africa with his family to help some of the world’s most disadvantaged citizens learn computer skills which can help shatter the cycle of poverty. Computer training in Uganda is VERY expensive, and one thing we’re trying to do is make high-quality training like yours available to anyone that wants it. To that end, Johnny is opening a training center to make high-quality computer training available and an Internet cafe to bring in tourist money to fund more training centers. The cafe/training center opens on February 1st, and we would like to partner with you to mke your training resources available to those that could not ordinarily afford it.

Your courses are an amazing weapon in the battle against poverty. Every student that takes the courses here in Uganda will get jobs that keep them out of poverty’s grip. Our goal is to provide that education free of charge, to anyone that wants to take it. Your website has many excellent resources, but bandwidth in Uganda is VERY limited (less than dial-up in most cases), and Johnny is having trouble properly accessing your content from Uganda at those speeds.

I’m writing to ask permission to “copy” your website’s content to a local server in our community center. Our goal is to keep your resources intact, including all disclaimers and advertisements, and will gladly generate a press release (if you desire) that will announce your partnering with us, and offer any other recognition you may desire.

I hope you will consider partnering with us in this way. Thanks for your consideration, and your interest in helping us break the cycle of poverty in one of the world’s most vulnerable regions.

You can read more about us on our website at http://hackersforcharity.org.

Thanks so much!

If you send some emails, find another site or make progress with a site, post a comment below, and I’ll update this post with our progress.

Thanks guys! This will make a real difference for us in terms of training and boosting the reputation of the cafe, which will drive income for our centers and other programs!