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Who We Are, The Story of Learn Ubuntu Org

section iconThis narrative describes who we are at learn Ubuntu Org Inc. It describes how we formed, our mission,our goals and our dreams to make the world a better place, one student at a time.

Course: More About Learn Ubuntu Org
Book: Who We Are, The Story of Learn Ubuntu Org
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Date: Monday, 21 September 2020, 1:00 PM

1 Our Beginning

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Bringing Technical Skills to Developing Countries

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AVU LogoIn the early 2000's I was personally involved with a project that was funded by the World Bank for the African Virtual University. Fortunately it was then that I met one of our Board members, Sidiki Traore, who has inspired much of this project by his example of never giving up.  During that period we delivered a series of IT based course for the AVU through NJIT as Outlined below:

  • A+ PC Repair and Help Desk Training

  • Web Author – An intro to basic HTML

  • Visual Basic 6 Programming

  • Web Developer additional web programming using ASP, Perl, Java and JavaScript

  • Web Graphics and multimedia

NJIT LogoThe project ended in 2006 due to lack of funding. This was unfortunate as many students benefited from this and some are now working in the IT field on the continent of Africa and elsewhere. One of the problems we encountered was that most of the students could not afford to purchase the commercial licensing for the operating system and many of the programming applications that we were teaching. In the years that followed I have discovered Linux Ubuntu and its associated applications, all of which are free. Since then I have been working on a series of courses that could be run for the AVU or for any developing country, based on the Linux Ubuntu system.

All of our courses are categorized as Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced.

You can view our Course Outlines in the  Section of this Series coming up next.

All of our courses are based on the Ubuntu Linux system which is freely available to anyone at no charge. All of the applications we teach that are used on Ubuntu are also GNU based software and are made available freely by the Free Software Foundation. The basis of free software is that it supports a foundation of a learning and sharing society where the tools we all use are free to share, study and modify. This makes the user free and unencumbered by expensive software licenses and patents.

Furthermore this does not have to be limited to Africa as these course could be used in any developing country, such as the Philippines, where I shall be moving in less than 4 years. Courses such as these can bring this technology into the hands of people in countries such as this without the high price tag of commercial software licensing.

For example, from my personal experience in visiting the Philippines, I noticed that they are severely lacking in technical knowledge and a simple point of sale system. It took me 3 hours to purchase supplies at a local distributor to paint my in-laws home last year.

Here is a list of some of the things that we take for granted here that could all be implemented through the use of Ubuntu Linux in developing countries:

  • Point of Sale Systems for Stores

  • Inventory control Systems

  • Medical records

  • Government Data - Census and other information

Items such as the above mentioned could lead to jobs under some of the following categories:

  • PC repair and maintenance

  • Networking support and infrastructure

  • Programming

  • Media

  • Green Technology Management

  • Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Initially we are looking for funding to cover the cost of publishing the course materials for the courses and distribution. We could offer each course at a low cost per student with the money we raise to be divided among ourselves and other contributors to offset the initial startup costs. Students could apply to our foundation for scholarship based on their grade scores. A majority of these courses could be delivered by a combination of web based technology and Instructor led courses. In my previous experience we ran courses where we trained the instructors who oversaw the grading and attendance process to keep everything manageable and accountable.

We are also looking for accredited learning Institutions who may be interested in offering certificates for students who succeed in passing these courses. Having an American Educational Institution involved lends further credibility to the course value for the students.

The mechanics of getting all of this started is still to be determined but once established the ongoing costs can be structured as such via web based technology so that a cost per student can be low enough to have this system fully self sustainable within 2 years. So far I am a like a one-armed paper hanger but the project continues nonetheless

For more information please contact us,

2 Our Courses

Moodle courseware on learn ubuntu logoAbout our Courses at Learn Ubuntu Org

Our Philosophy

  • Learning Should be fun as well as interesting.
  • All courses are based on Linux and GNU based Free and Open Source Applications. If you learn a skill here you will never have to held handsome for an expensive software upgrade as often happens with Commercially Licensed Software
  • There are many flavors of Ubuntu Linux as well as applications that are available to get just about any computer based task done. Whether you are into multimedia production, application and web development, or you just need some basic applications to run your business, Ubuntu can help and our job is to help you learn how to use it.
happy linux chef
what came first the chicken or the egg

We understand that trying to learn about computers can be a daunting task and often it is hard to find the starting point. Sometimes it feels like the chicken or egg syndrome and you are just not sure where to start.

There are so many acronyms and terms and it is easy to get hung up in one particular area unnecessarily.

Each course is laid out with sections in a specific order so that you can build on your knowledge and understanding as you go.

  • Use the readings section to take your time and study the material. Read it more than once if necessary that is perfectly OK and normal
  • Then use the lab sections to roll up your sleeves and get some real hands on experience with what we are trying to learn
  • Finally, to see if you have really learned and understood enough of the material, before moving on to the next section, perform the self assessment exercises to test your knowledge.

course sections logos illustration

In each of these sections we use detailed descriptions as well as many demonstration video clips that you can view to see how things are supposed to work. Each lab exercise has a video demo to view first so you know how it is supposed to work for you, followed by detailed, step by step instructions that cover the material we are trying to learn.

Below is an outline of courses we currently offer and courses that are a work in progress

course logo Learn Ubuntu Basics for Beginners is an introductory, Beginner Level, course for the student who has no experience with a PC or the Ubuntu Linux desktop PC system.
course logo Ubuntu Internet Fundamentals introduces the student to the Internet and covers basic HTML skills in programming web pages.This is a Beginner Level Course
course logo Ubuntu Programming Concepts with JavaScript is a course that has two goals. First to teach basic programming concepts to students in an environment that is both simple and inexpensive. Second is to prepare the student for web development as in our courses Ubuntu Lamp Web Developer I and Ubuntu Lamp Web Developer II. In this course we will learn basic programming techniques that span many popular programming languages. All you need for this course is a basic text editor and a web browser. This course is currently under development 
course logo Ubuntu Introduction to Java Programming is a course for learning entry level skills of programming with the Java Language. This course or equivalent is a necessary prerequisite for the Android Workshop II course. This course is currently under development
course logo Vidiots Guide to Multimedia Production with Ubuntu Studio teaches high end production skills for web based, and streaming  audio / video media production.
course logo Ubuntu Android Workshop I is a course that teaches the basics of how the Android Operating system works. Demonstrates how to use the ADB (Android Debug Bridge) to get into the underpinnings of your android device. This course also teaches basic repair techniques for Android devices including ROM flashing and rooting skills for the Android Operating system and devices. This course is currently under development.
course logo Ubuntu Android Workshop II picks up where the first course left off and continues with demonstrations including how to install the Android SDK and how to setup the Eclipse Integrated Development Environment and begin to learn how to create apps for Android devices. We also cover the Android Virtual Device creation and management for development. A good pre-requisite for this course is our Java Programming I and II courses or a previous knowledge of the Java Programming Language. This course is currently under development.
course logo Running Oracle Virtual Box on Ubuntu Linux is a course that is a pre-requisite for  the Administration courses. In that course we actually create a small and fully functional Virtual Computer Lab with several machines networked together within the VirtualBox System. Techniques learned in this class will be helpful for students who may only have a single workstation but would like to learn more in an environment where several Linux machines work together.
course logo Ubuntu Administration I  is a course for the intermediate level student. This course covers some more advanced topics on the Ubuntu Linux operating system, on a workstation, as well as describing some of the basic administration tasks. It can also be followed by the Ubuntu Administration II course that focuses on more advanced administration techniques and Ubuntu Servers. This course is currently under development.
course logo Ubuntu Administration II course picks up where the Administration I course leaves off. This course deals more with networking and client server applications and advance Administration Techniques such as repository management, building an application from source code, and much more. This course is currently under development.
course logo Ubuntu PC Repair is a course which is more oriented to hardware repair and upgrades of the PC as a preparation for a support PC technician career. This course is currently under development.
course logo Ubuntu Web / ISP Manager is a course that teaches administration skills for managing an Internet Services company that hosts web sites for clients and also may provide Internet connectivity for businesses and secure WAN connectivity and transactions.
course logo

Ubuntu LAMP Web Developer I Introduces programming basics to the student / reader to the basics of Linux, Apache, MySql, and Php programming skills for advanced web site creation. This course is currently under development.

course logo Ubuntu LAMP Web Developer II adds to the previous Ubuntu Lamp Web Developer I by adding basic skills in Java, Perl, and JavaScript programming skills for advanced web site creation. This course is currently under development.

3 Learn Ubuntu in a Nutshell

Here is the short list of Projects that we have planned and in progress for Learn Ubuntu Org Inc.

happy student

First and foremost our goal is to bring up to date and useful courses to students in order to teach them new technical skills that they can put to use to better their community and to provide support for their families.

If you are a student then scroll down the main page to see the courses. Many of these allow a guest login. Use the password ubunturocks to get to view the courses for free and see if they interest you.

moodle logoWe are currently porting our course content to the moodle format in order to make it more accessible to students around the world. Moodle is a learning platform designed to provide educators, administrators and learners with a single robust, secure and integrated system to create personalized learning environments.
aaace network logoBy combining new Internet VOIP technology with existing college campus analogue CATV systems we can deliver course content and lecture series at a fraction of the cost of using traditional Satellite and Broadcast Systems. We can effectively recycle lots of equipment from the US and other countries that have gone to digital broadcasting protocols and frequencies. 
DE Africa LogoWe  have already shipped two appliances to Nairobi Kenya and Kaduna Nigeria. Initially Learn Ubuntu Org will provide programming for the network which eventually will head-end in Nairobi, in cooperation with our partner DeAfrica. This will facilitate television conferences and programming to be originated from among the pool of participating college campuses throughout Africa and eventually expand to Asia and the Americas.

The AAACE project has begun and participants can now begin training by signing up for the following courses on our virtual Server:

vidiots guide course logoThe Vidiots Guide to Multimedia Production using Ubuntu Studio will cover the basics in support technology for Media Production and Streaming Distribution, using the Ubuntu Studio Workstation as a platform. This is an Intermediate Level Course. If the student is not familiar with Ubuntu Linux then they could take the  Learn Ubuntu Basics Course to get up to speed on Ubuntu Linux. You may click on the image, on the left and login as guest with the password ubunturocks to preview the course material.

Video Production ConsoleThe AAACE Project course describes in details how to construct and maintain the many available AAACE Modules for Television Production. This course is divided into sections which cover each module that comprise a full AAACE Head end Media System. In Layman's terms this is a television studio built to use the Internet for content delivery. In addition to support of clients, including Laptops, Tablets, and smart phones media distribution is  also supported on legacy distribution systems such a Close Circuit (cable) TV, CATV. You may click on the image, on the left and login as guest with the password ubunturocks to preview the course material.

visayas relief org logo

Through our partnership with the Visayas Relief Fund we will be setting upemergency and educational system an emergency Relief and Emrgency Communications system for the San Carlos Area in Negros Occidental as well as a virtual classroom to bring technology and excitement to young students in that area and provide rudimentary as well as technical skills to people in the area. The system shown on the right uses Ubuntu Linux Servers and workstations to provide the backbone storage and control of the communications system. It is designed to work with Smart Phone SIP clients as well as laptops and PC's. When not being used for emergency communications the system can be used for education via the Moodle Virtual Classroom Server along with the Apache Open Meetings Whiteboard Server for live, on line interaction between Instructors and Students. With this a student can do all of their homework on their tablet or PC and the cost savings versus text books is quite favorable in terms of education per dollar cost is quantified.

As part of this project we will be training local teachers to use the moodle system to create fun and exciting course-ware to engage the young and talented minds in that part of the world.

logoWe currently are working on plans for an Ubuntu Technology stire, along with community outreach. this model can be implemented in developing countries, as well as inner cities in the US to help bring property and technology to these areas.  There is a separate section in this book on our beginning that describes the store plans in detail.

rachel systemAs a joint project with deAfrica we are working on a course and media delivery system for rural areas in developing countries that may not yet have full Internet access. You can see the section titled RACHEL project here for more details. This is a scalable system which can start with a small community in a rural area and eventually be scaled up to service larger and metropolitan inner cities.

learn ubuntu tech support

Our Organization can help others. These days technology in the areas of Communications, Media, Computers and Networking can be a real challenge for most non-profit organizations. Learn Ubuntu Org offers technical support packages for other non-profits such as producing a fund raising video, setting up computer systems for business and education, managing Telecommunications systems, such as Asterisk and support for delivering content to Social Networking Systems, such as Facebook, Google+ and YouTube. This helps everybody because as we train new students this affords them an opportunity to apply their new skills, under close supervision of learn Ubuntu Instructors,  and provides extremely cost effective technical support for other non-profits.

We have already help organizations such as the Loyal Order of the Moose and Veterans of Foreign Wars. If your non-profit needs help contact us at for more information.

Learn Ubuntu Green Initiave

Through our green initiative we recycle technical equipment such as cell phones, tablets, computers and other AV equipment for use by our student and instructors as well as to provide refurbished equipment for other non-profit organizations throughout the world.

If you have equipment to donate it can be claimed by you as a tax deduction. To contact us to donate equipment please email us at:

If you represent a certified non-profit organization and are looking for technical equipment, as described above then please contact us at:

If what you have read so far is enough for you to make a donation then you can use the PayPal button, above, to donate any amount you can. No donation is too small and every donation helps us to achieve our goals.

4 About Our Founder

About Our Founder

Tom Judge

Husband, Father, Instructor
Tinkerer, Writer, Good Deed Doer

Who is Tom Judge?

Thomas B. Judge

1203 Arthur St.

Toms River NJ 08755


Learn Ubuntu Website

The wall 2012 MSG

Music Lover, Pink Floyd Enthusiast

Malverne High School Graduate 1971
RCA Institutes 1972

Summary of Qualifications:

Highly motivated technical and managerial skills with over 30 years experience in high tech areas including Broadcast Television engineering and management as well as 15 years in IT management and engineering. Experience includes:

  • Television Studio and production systems design and maintenance
  • Software development
  • Internet development and administration
  • Personnel management and supervision
  • Founder of Learn Ubuntu Org.

Besides having a strong technical background I am also very good at interacting with people, dealing with difficult situations when necessary and getting the job done. I am good at writing technical documents for non-technical people and explaining high tech issues in plain English. I enjoy love a project where training and course development could be part that project description.

My experience includes Win9X, NT, Netware and Unix Platforms. I am well versed in all networking technologies including WAN technologies such as Frame Relay, ISDN and DSL. I have a lot of "in the trenches" experience in all of these areas. I have developed several Access based applications and several web based interactive projects as well. I am well versed in Visual Basic, Perl, JavaScript and ASP. I have been involved in the IT Industry since 1996.

smile "...The most important thing I've learned is that I don't know everything." 

factory imageIndustry Certifications:

  • Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. Certified by Microsoft since 1994 NT version 3.51. currently updating my certifications to include 2000 certification.
  • Netware Certified Administrator version 4.11
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate since 2000
  • Cisco Certified Acadamy Instructor since 2001
  • CompTIA A+ certification since 1995
  • CompTIA Inet + certification since 2001

televisionTelevision Manufacturer Training:


  • Ampex Videotape Machines
  • Sony Videotape Machines
  • Grass Valley Switchers 300, 1600, 3000, 2100 Master Control Switcher, Kalypso
  • Ikegami Cameras
  • Non Linear Editing systems
  • Digital and Analog systems
  • Graphics Production Machines Dubner, Chyron, Abekas
  • KaleidoX, Ross Automation Systems, Camera Robotics Systems
  • EVS Prodution Systems
  • Avid NLE Systems

teacherTeaching experience:


  • Sussex County Tech Center. Developed and taught Network engineering technologies for NT and Novell operating systems. Developed courseware and supporting website for courses.
  • Adjunct professor - Cisco Networking for NJIT and Sussex Community College
  • Chubb Institute - Alpha Class on Netware 5 Administration
  • NJIT Webmaster series Instructor for both in-class and on-line courses. Developed courseware and supporting website for courses.
  • Introduction to Unix administration for the IT staff at St. Peters College in Jersey City, NJ
  • Published author for Syngress Media (1998) where I was a co-author for an A+ certification study guide.
  • Rutgers University Apache Web Server Administration and Implementation

open workstationProfessional Experience:


Retired with disability from back injuries due to auto accident. Otherwise devoted full time to Learn Ubuntu Org Projects and Courseware. No more heavy lifting for me but working on developing Learn Ubuntu courseware and this website.

2003-2016 ABC Television Network NYC

Technical support for World News Tonight, Nightline, Millionare, and various other ABC shows. Also developing, an educational website dedicated to those who would like to learn and become proficient in Ubuntu Linux.

2001-2003 -TBJ Technical Services ConsultingLLC

Working as project developer for Below the Line software. Project includes software design of an Access front end and a SQL back end. Project also includes Web collaboration development to be used along with the software for sharing of information on Venues, services, crew personnell and production job costing. Also Instructor for NJIT / African Virtual University in online courses for students at learning center throughout the African continent.

1996 - 2001 Simple Solutions Help Desk, On LIne Community Inc.

I was President of both companies. My duties include managerial and technical administration of systems, customer development, software development, Internet production, Network systems consulting and engineering including WAN and LAN technologies. My duties also include the development of business plans and overall responsibility for welfare of both corporations. Business sold in 2001.

1988-1996 ABC Television

ABC Sports field operations. Television field engineer for remote sports television production including Monday Night Football, College football, PGA / LPGA golf, Pro Bowlers Tour, Pan Am Games

ABC News Convention and election coverage.

Television Operations Control maintenance 66 St. facilities NYC

1982 - 1988 Madison Square Garden Network

Assistant Vice President, Chief engineer. My duties here included managerial responsibilities of television crews, design and implementation of production facilities, development of technical support staff and maintenance of systems, development and responsibility for engineering operations budget for TV facility.

1980 - 1988 All Mobile Video

Field production and maintenance Engineer. My duties included remote engineering for television production around the world including Kenya, Africa, Osaka, Japan and throughout the US. Specialties include fly in and build production packages for remote Television production. Worked with clients including ESPN, CBS, ABC, PBS and many corporate client as well including Sony Corp, IBM Mobil Oil and others. Represented All Mobile Video as main engineering / production facility coordinator for various television shows.

1976 - 1980 JC Penny Co NYC

Corporate communications and training. My duties include meeting services technical support for NYC corporate offices as well as remote technical support for stockholders meetings and remote corporate sales meetings. I managed the corporate Audio Studio and cassette duplication facility and was responsible for developing and maintaining the operations budget for that facility. I also worked as a television production, editing and maintenance technician in their in-house television facility.

5 Our Green Initiative

Lern Ubuntu Green Initiative LogoThe Learn Ubuntu Green Initiative

Wait, don't throw out that old PC, cell phone or tablet!  We can help someone else with that old stuff and you can qualify for a federal tax deduction for your generous donation.

All around the world are brilliant young minds that are thirsty to learn. All they need is a little opportunity and a chance to learn. Our goal is to afford them that opportunity through your generous tax deductible donations.

young man with laptop
Landfill Dump
Look at the picture above and the one on the left. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to realize that recycled, used equipment can be put to good use rather than ending up in a landfill somewhere. True, many areas now have a recycling program for old electronic gear but after the environmentally elements of a device has been removed, you can bet this is where the rest of it will end up.
Shown on the right is a pile-o-computers that have been spared the fate of the landfill above. Many times we can recycle these for our students and teachers but that's not all. WE also have helped other non-profit organizations by providing them with recycled computers, such as the Moose Lodge in Jackson, NJ.  pile-o-computers

We have also been in working with a prominent Asset Management Company here in South Jersey that specializes in recycling of used PC's and laptops from corporate clients. For a starting cost of less than 100.00 per student we could provide a fully functional Ubuntu Linux PC for their studies.


ubuntu laptopIf you are a student or an instructor that wants to obtain Ubuntu laptops for your students click the icon on the left or follow this link for more information.

6 Donations


Learn Ubuntu Org LogoLearn Ubuntu Org Donations

Here you can make a donation to help our cause. All donations qualify for  federal tax deduction under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code. Following your donation you will receive a confirmation email from PayPal as well as a follow up thank you email from Learn Ubuntu Org Inc. Please allow 7 - 10 business days your thank you letter from Learn Ubuntu Org Inc.

All donations are made through Paypal to guarantee your security and safety.

You may donate any amount you wish. Even a modest donation will help bring the opportunity to learn to a student. Help us to cultivate and inspire the Einstein of tomorrow!

Youn student woth Ubuntu Laptop

7 Abount Ubuntu Linux and FOSS

The GNUAbout Linux and the GNU

Our Experience with Ubuntu, Linux and FOSS

As far as the word Ubuntu here is what we know of what the word means...

An anthropologist proposed a game to children of an African tribe. He put
a basket full of fruits under a tree and he told children that the one who reaches it first will win the sweet fruits. When he told them to run, they all took each other by the hand and ran together, then sat down together to share their sweets. When he asked them why they had ran like that,
while one of them could have all the fruits to himself, they said: UBUNTU!
UBUNTU in Hausa culture means: "I am because we are."

Children display Ubuntu Unity One for all All for Won
Children of the Hausa Culture Demonstrate the Circle of Ubuntu
"I am because we are."

Throughout these courses I always like to use the word we instead of I because that makes us all feel like we are working together, in the true spirit of Ubuntu, on a common goal. However in order to qualify myself to offer this I will tell you a bit about myself and how I came to the point of starting this Learning Ubuntu Linux Project. Especially with a system such as Ubuntu Linux, which is only possible through the efforts of thousands of contributors around the world it seems selfish to use the word I instead of we. Occasionally I must speak from the first person, to qualify myself or to offer my personal opinion, so please forgive me for blowing my own horn.

NJlakes net logoMy first introduction to Linux was back in 1996 when I had the foolish notion that I wanted to create my own ISP (Internet Service Provider) business. Back then we ran Linux Slackware and it was all command line only. I had an ISDN input to my system and 6 US Robotic modems to offer dial-up to my handful of customers. The basic hope, was to take in enough money to pay for the ISDN connection which at that time was about 200 per month, if I remember correctly. I was a newbie and fortunately had a mentor, a friend of mine, who helped me to get it all setup. At that time I actually had a full Class C block of version 4 IP addresses.

ubuntu head computer

Since then I have migrated to Ubuntu Linux and the Ubuntu Desktop workstation for my personal use. My lovely wife had an aunt to whom we gave a slightly older laptop on which I had installed Linux, I believe that was actually a Fedora distribution. She knew nothing about Linux, nothing about computers, and nothing about the Internet. This was my inspiration to begin this series on Learning Ubuntu Linux.

SCCC LogoDuring the years 1999 through 2002 I had also been teaching computer technology first for a Local Adult Education Center in Sussex New Jersey, and then for NJIT, and Sussex Community College. However most of these courses were based on Microsoft operating system and applications. That eventually led me to a project of teaching some IT Internet based course for the African Virtual University, still based on Microsoft products. One of the problems I often encountered was that the students could not afford the licensed operating systems and software.

In the meantime Linux was growing and becoming much more user friendly and stable. The Ubuntu project was started to deliver a user friendly distribution of Linux based on the Free Open Source Software FOSS and the GNU license. The introduction of the Gnome Desktop brought about a user friendly system that is as easy to use as a Windows system or even a MacIntosh. The friendliest part of this new Ubuntu distribution of course, is its price, free!

buy windows ???

Illustration 1: Microsoft Windows7 buy it for 199.99
(upgrade only)

Ubuntu is Free

Illustration 2: Ubuntu Desktop buy it for $0.00
(even if you only contribute 10 - 15 dollars it is still a bargain)

Not only is the operating system free but all of the applications are free as well. These include the popular OpenOffice or LibreOffice:

openoffice org logo

Libre Office Logo

msoffice boxed

Open / LibreOffice $0 <-Your choice-> Microsoft Office 329.95    

If you are into graphics and photo production then you have choices also:

FOSS Media Production Tools Adobe boxed software

GIMP Image Manipulation $0.00  <- Your Choice ->  Adobe Photoshop $699

Also shown above left are other media production tools available from the Ubuntu Software Center for free including, Blender, a 3D graphics animation programs and Inkscape a graphics program for working with Scalable Vector Graphics. There are many programs available to perform media production and we cover a lot of them in our course

vidiots guide course logoThe Vidiots Guide to Multimedia Production with Ubuntu Studio

These are just a few examples but it really is not all just about money. The Linux operating system is modelled after Unix. Coincidentally so is the Macintosh and many parts of the Microsoft Windows operating system. The Linux kernel has undergone what is now a 20 year evolution and it is as stable as any other operating system available today.There are literally thousands of applications for Ubuntu Linux which include media players, Non Linear Video Editing, and some very serious programming development Environments (IDE interactive development environments) available for running in Ubuntu Linux. Many of these run in other flavors of Linux as well. But we have to walk before we run and getting back to my inspiration for this tutorial series, Learning Ubuntu Linux Basics we created that course for someone with entry level capabilities. If you know almost nothing about computers and don't want to spend a fortune on software and operating systems to learn then this is a good place for you to start. The lessons in that course are laid out in order with the intention to give the reader a basic foundation of understanding of computers and the Ubuntu Linux Operating system along with several of the most common applications and features. So you can create an account and take the first introductory course as our guest to see if this great and free operating system may work for you.

Richard Stallman  Founder of GNU

For more information about the GNU and the Free Software Foundation you can follow this link:

8 Contact Us

Learn Ubuntu Org Inc

General Contact Information

ubuntu logo with tux

Learn Ubuntu Org Inc.
1203 Arthur St
Toms River, NJ 08755


ubuntu logo with tux

Board of Directors

Tom Judge

tj signature

Tom Judge is the founder and CEO of Learn Ubuntu Org Inc. Tom has been involved with Distance Learning Projects since the late 1990's and currently has devoted all of his time to the Learn Ubuntu Project to bring technical education opportunities to students world wide. For more information on him you can see the section that describes our founder separately.

I would like to call your attention, here, to who our board of directors are and the talents they bring to Learn Ubuntu Org Inc.

All of these members serve on the board of directors with no compensation for their post. They bring a huge array of talent to the table and we are happy and blessed to have them as the Learn Ubuntu Org Inc. Board of Directors.

Sidiki Traore

sidiki signature

DE Africa LogoSidiki Traore is currently the President and Founder of Distance Education for Africa (DeAfrica)/Enseignement à Distance pour l’ Afrique (EdAfrique).DeAfrica offers affordable, innovative distance education courses from Canadian and American Universities to students and professionals in Africa. Prior to that, he worked for the African Virtual University (AVU) for 12 years. He occupied the position of Director of the West Africa Regional Office in Dakar of the AVU, in Dakar, Senegal for five years. During the Pilot Phase of the AVU in Washington DC, he introduced the AVU English and French Language programs. Then he served as Program Coordinator for the long semester courses in sciences, math, chemistry, IT and languages

As a Site Liaison Officer, Sidiki was instrumental in opening the AVU Learning centers in numerous African countries such as the Gambia, Guinee –Conakry, Guinee-Bissau, Cameroon, DRC, Malawi, Madagascar; Sudan, Nigeria, Senegal. He has been in the forefront of expanding the AVU in the African continent.

His main goal is to contribute his expertise as a seasoned educator, instructional designer, cross-cultural liaison and translator to the development of quality long-distance education for Africa by developing and strengthening the network of Distance Education for Africa (DeAfrica).

Sidiki is our contact and coordinator for Learning Centers throughout the African continent.

James Judge

james signature

James Judge has been developing websites and web based software since 1997, He describes his beginnings on the world wide web as follows, "... I had a very unique start in the industry building a small dial-up internet service in our basement as a fun father-son project to learn and play in 1995. By 1997 I got my first web development job while our project had turned into a full service ISP that I helped run remotely. Since then I have learned many languages and have become familiar with many operating systems and development platforms."

After 15+ years of software development experience in the New York City metropolitan area he would like to take his knowledge of multiple languages over multiple platforms to the next level. Having a working knowledge of Linux/Unix, Windows and older mainframe systems He is in a position where he can utilize his experience with integration abilities in combination with his software development skills to lead a team to use the best available technologies and solutions while minimizing development costs taking advantage of various open-source systems and languages to support end-users on any platform.

James is a key player is the development of the Learn Ubuntu Website

Full details on my experience can be found on my website at

Gertrudez Alicante-Judge


Gertrudez Alicante-Judge is a board member and Treasurer for Learn Ubuntu Org Inc. She is a graduate of Occidental Negros College, Phillipines specializing in Business and Finance.

Gertrudez will be working both with Learn Ubuntu Org Inc as well as a new mao of the Philippinesnon-profit she is founding in the Visayas area of the Philippines, know as The Visayas Relief Fund. There in cooperation with Learn Ubuntu Org Inc we will be building a virtual classroom and working with local teachers to deliver content to young students via tablets and a moodle based course content server.

Murtala Muhammad

Murtala Muhammad is a board member and heads up our operations in Nigeria He is well versed and experienced in many IT skills including:


Mr. Muhammad has long been involved in bringing technical educational opportunities to the West African Continent including being the Senior Instructor for the  Cisco Training Academy at the Legacy Computer Institute in Kaduna, Nigeria and working on the team of the  United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Project, for Revitalization of Technical and Vocational Education In Nigeria. We are pleased and grateful to have him as a board member.

Eileen Pederson

eleen sig

Eileen Pederson  brings 30+ years of experience in the broadcasting industry to the table.  She is a native New Yorker currently residing in Beverly Hills, CA.  Ms. Pederson has been at the forefront of the industry designing state of the art facilities since the early 90’s.  She has been a Chief Engineer since 1987 as the Chief of one of the first High Definition facilities in the world.  She has also been the lead designer for both ABC and CBS HD broadcasting systems.  Currently, she is working as a consultant in the Los Angeles area working on the integration of mobile, internet and broadcast technologies.

William F. McGuigen
williw sig
William F. McGuigen is an engineering  graduate of the California Institute of the Arts with a Masters Degree of Fine Arts in Film and Video, 1980. He also holds a B.A in Art and a B.S. in Art Education from Millersville State College, Pennsylvania and an Associate Degree in Applied Sciences from Delaware County Community College.

He has worked for ABC Television Network, Phoenix Communications, of Hackensack NJ, Tri-State Media Suburban Cable Newcastle, Delaware, and as Technical Coordinator for Burlington County Community College Pemberton, New Jersey.

Willie and I put our heads together to design the Green Room, a small Television Production Facility of Learn Ubuntu Org Inc, which is where we create all of the Video clips seen on the Learn Ubuntu Website.

Willie is also a collector of antique Radio's and Televisions.

Elizabeth Judge

eliza sig

Betsy at great adventureElizabeth Judge says, "...Education should be an Adventure!"

Like my brother, James, I also was involved with my fathers early endeavours with the Internet. Although I am not into the code writing, like my brother, my experience, beginning at age 16, was working as my dad's administrative assistant, at his ISP back in the late 1990's. That was both an education as well as an adventure. Elizabeth is  currently working on her dual majors in Education and Ecological Science at William Patterson University, New Jersey.

"..I am especially proud to be a part of the Learn Ubuntu Org. Inc Green initiative for recycling computers to students throughout the world. And delivering technical education for students in developing nations, as well as students here in the United States." As a future educator I wonder, "..Who knows, maybe one of these students that get a pc will create the code that solves one of the many worldwide ecological or social issues of the future....".
My dad is hoping for a student who could write the code for the future warp drive for a spaceship. "Beam me up Scotty..."
I guess my hopes may a be a little more down to earth than my dad's, but harold with laptopeither way the Green Initiative is just one of the public service initiatives of Learn Ubuntu Org Inc. that I'm proud to be a part of.
One of my goals in education is to make learning an interesting and exciting adventure for students. Through the use of multimedia and web technology we can deliver courses for students worldwide that will stimulate their imaginations and inspire them to do great things for the future of humanity.

Ray and Judy Valente

ray sig

Ray Valenti and his Wife Judith have worked together as a team for decades. We didn't have the heart to split them up, so we invited them both to be board members.

Raymond Valente: “Being a part of the learning experience for this organization is an honour and a privilege.”

 Mr. Valente has been an innovator and educator for the communications community for many years. He has created quality media presentations and attention getting promotional materials, including print, multi-image, video and print projects for many venues, including Fortune 500 companies. 

"..Determining the objective of the student, and how best to communicate this to them is paramount to understanding the Ubuntu program and all of its benefits to the user." To this end, the Speech Pathology background of Mrs.Valente was instrumental in streamlining the approach. 

For over twenty five years, Mr. Valente was founder and President of Insight Associates, a Business Communications company. Mrs. Judith Valente was also instrumental in running this important organization. Insight Associates produced many media presentations including slide shows, audio programs and major video tape programs for (among many) companies such as:

  • P.S.E & G. - personnel safety and executive information

  • Witco Chemical – safety and handling of chemical components for employees.

  • EcoLab Inc. – training for proper sanitation procedures and sales approaches to prospective clients.


Judith Valente: "..It is a real joy for me to work on such a socially conscious and worthwhile project."

Judith's  education is in speech and language are fields that have taught her that the psychology of learning is as important as the learning process. "..I find that the educators involved in this project with Ubuntu and Linux programs are involved and dedicated to this new and exciting process."

She has also worked as an editor and proof reader for many projects; technical and in the world of publishing. "...This project will enable me to use my skills and advance the skills of those who would benefit from this terrific program."

Sivaraman Anbarasan

anbar sig

Sivaraman  Anbarasan is a Hands-on executive with more than thirty years of comprehensive experience in higher education and information technology sectors including a successful entrepreneurial record. Collaborative leader with a passion for efficient and effective administration and operations, creative marketing, accurate financial management, organizational development, and responsible project management. Proven expertise in growing businesses, building strategic relationships and delivering strong fiscal performance.   

He is also responsible for introducing us all to Sidiki Traore through our work with NJIT in the early 2000's for the AVU project.

Sherwin Winick

sher sig

Sherwin P. Winick has been a close associate and friend of our Founder, Tom Judge since they went to High School in the 1960s' They co-owned a small multitrack audio recording studio in Oceanside NY in the early 1970's.

Mr Winick is both an engineer and an artiste as his career history includes the following:

  • Studio maintenance for Right Track Recording, 24th   St. Multitrack Studios
  • Photography and Graphics and design
  • Audio engineering and editing for Auravox Records
  • Videography for “7 Days in September” Documentary (CameraPlanet/Broadcast News Network)
  • Videography for Republican National Convention (CameraPlanet/Broadcast News Network)
  • Video/Audio Studio Maintenance for Reeves Teletape 45th   Street Studios

Tracy Anderson

tr sig

Tracy Anderson , beside being an avid tennis fan and a darn good player, has worked in corporate communications, training, and meeting coordination since the 1970's at JC Penny company, then located in New York City.

Tracy is a Administrative business partner with 20+ years management experience addressing issues and leading change within varied and challenging business environments. Proven expertise with all phases of Office Management including: Staff Management, Training and Development, AP/AR/Budgeting/Bookkeeping, Purchasing , Scheduling, Customer Service, Fund Raising, Event Planning, Travel Planning, Conflict Resolution, and Project Management. I will work with your strategic business goals to achieve significant cost savings, process improvements, compliance and outstanding customer service.

Tracy's Key skills include:

  • Strong Oral and Written Communications Skills
  • Experienced Negotiating Skills
  • Proficiency in Word, Excel, Power Point & Access
  • Computer Systems Support
  • Expense Management & Budgeting
  • Notary Public
  • Human Resources & Temporary Staffing Management
  • Certified Travel Planner

Recently Tracy has been involved working for Project Hope as part of the project for the Philippines recovery from the Typhoon that struck the upper Visayans area last year.

9 Who is Thomas Joseph Nowak?

The Video Voyager is a Sci-Fi Comedy Novel written by Thomas Joseph Nowak. Now you might be wondering just who is Thomas Joseph Nowak and why is his book being sold here?

Well first of all Mr. Nowak has generously agreed to donate all of the proceeds from the sale of his book to Learn Ubuntu Org Inc.

Thomas Joseph Nowak is the Pen Name of our Founder Tom Judge. Actually Tom was an orphan from the Angel Guardian Orphanage and he was fortunate enough to be adopted and raised by two loving parents, Vera and Bernard Judge.

 The Video Voyager
Tom Nowak in Green Room
Thomas Joseph Nowak (aka Tom Judge) in the green room

When writing the book Tom decided to use what was his actual birth name as his pen name. So you could say that Tom Nowak is actually Tom Judges ugly twin brother.

Below we will provide a link to get a copy for yourself but first maybe you might like to know some of the interesting behind the scenes facts about the Video Voyager.

After his mother passed in 1998, his original birth certificate was discovered. It was an old 1950's photocopy (white on black negative) and it showed that on April 9, 1953 he was born Thomas Joseph Nowak in Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn NY. Tom loved both of his adopted parents and has never met any of his birth family but is most grateful to his birth mother for carrying him to full term and giving him up for adoption in hope that he would have a good life.

Now, about the book ...

If you like comedy adventure and Sci-Fi, are just a little bit on the geeky side, and can enjoy a good road story then this might be worth your reading.

Lets start with the book cover. That is Telstar, the original and first US satellite that was launched on July 10, 1962. It was used for television and voice communications. Telstar 1 relayed its first, and non-public, television pictures—a flag outside Andover Earth Station—to Pleumeur-Bodou on July 11, 1962. For more on telstar you can follow this link to the Wikipedia page:

The Video Voyager

The Video Voyanger on the Planet Cubana
Tom Judge on remote in Cuba 1991

If you look closely at the pictures in the panels you will see actual pictures from Television Remotes around the world that Tom has worked on. This includes pictures from Africa, Cuba, Asia and the continental US.

Tom worked in the 1980's and 90's as a field engineer providing tech support for television mobile units that covered sporting events. He has worked both as freelancer and on staff for most of the major Television Networks, including ABC, MSG Network, CBS, NBC, and ESPN.

lions making lionsTom was on Safari at the end of a show in Nairobi Kenya, in 1980 when he took this shot of two lions, doing well... making more lions.Three cameramen were with him but Tom was the only one that got the shot.  His comments on this shot were, "...The entire episode lasted about 30 seconds. Not much fun being a lion I guess." That day Tom got lucky by getting this shot.

Now for the Book Review...

Times may change, and technology always changes, but people are still people and always a good source of stories and amusement.

In a comical and often politically incorrect manner stories from behind the scenes in the 1980's were transported to the future and the 23rd century...

Back in the 21st century Television Trucks roamed the world televising sporting events to the homes of millions. Behind the scenes there were many more interesting characters than some of the stars that they were televising. These were the unsung heroes of their day.

Mobile Television Production Compound. Habana, Cuba 1991
Mobile Television Production Compound
Habana Cuba, 1991 Pan Am Games

The Video Voyage
The Video Voyager, a bucket of nuts bolts and vidiots

Now lets fast forward to the 23rd century. Instead of TV trucks we now have Television Space Ships, roaming the universe, televising sporting events back to good olde Terra Firma, that's earth for all of you land-lubbers. The Galaxian Network has just commissioned the latest and greatest vessel of them all, The Video Voyager IV, and in this story we follow a portion of her maiden 10 year voyage.

Along the way we get the know the TV crew, particularly Sparky, the chief maintenance engineer and his two close cohorts. Sometimes they are like the three musketeers, other times they are more like the three stooges.

The Floridita Bar, Habana, Cuba 1991
1991 The Floridatita Bar, Habana Cuba
One of Hemingway's Hangouts

A realistic and comedic relationship develops between the production and engineering crews throughout the story. Amid the televising of Gladiator Fights to the Death and Universal Olympic events the human story unfolds. Some things never change. An unlikely heroin emerges, sent by the Network to try to help cleanup the swashbuckling antics of this 'jolly roger' space television crew.

This high tech, sci fi -comedy novel is based on some real time war stories of actual television crews of our present times. The names have been changed to protect the guilty. Super high speed travel, high power transmission, and high pressure drive the crew to their brink of sanity. Along the way, we wittiness some great transformations of personalities as they deal with real life issues and find recovery via a 12 step program to change some of their lives forever. Even the bad boys of the crew prove to be quite heroic by their selfless actions as they save the life of a young boy in peril. In the end the ultimate success of their mission involves a spaceflight back through time.

The book is 28 chapters in length, plus a short glossary of tech terms, approximately 325 pages total. It is an easy read and the story moves quickly. It gives the reader an in depth view about what goes on in the television control room and behind the scenes in sports broadcasting. The content has been carefully written to be clean enough for a near 'General Audience' rating although it has enough adult humor to entertain the sophisticated reader.

The author uses his natural birth name, Thomas Joseph Nowak to pen the Novel. This is a name closely associated with space flight and controversy, in our present time. The book lives up to the name of the author in both content and excitement.

All proceeds from book sales go to Learn Ubuntu Org Inc.

(order from your choice of format and vendor below)

Nook device

The Video Voyager is available in paperback or Nook format from Barnes and Noble click on the image on the left or the link shown below:

amazon logo for kindle purchase

To order the Video Voyager in Kindle format from Amazon via the link below:

outskirts press logo

The Video Voyager is published by Outskirts Press and you can also order Paperback copies of the book from there:

As of late, Tom Nowak has taken residence in the Philippines, with his lovely wife Maimai. He is somewhat of a celebrity there as depicted in the illustration, on the right.

We hope you will purchase and enjoy the book as it helps support our non-profit, Learn Ubuntu Org, and our efforts to bring technical education to developing countries world wide.


San Miguel ad

10 Become a Member

  Learn Ubuntu LogoBecome a Member

Become a learn Ubuntu member? Why?

The information here outlines the types of Learn Ubuntu Memberships that are available for you.At Learn Ubuntu we have individual memberships for students and Instructors that wish to use our courseware at their learning centers. The types of Individual memberships are described below

Learn Ubuntu Bronze Member

A Bronze membership is a good place to start enjoying the benefits of becoming a Learn Ubuntu Org. Inc. member. As a Bronze member you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Access to all of our beginners level courses
    (access is limited to one course at a time)
  • Access to our Support Forums
  • Fair-Deal Support for your Learn Ubuntu Laptop
Learn Ubuntu Silver Membership

A Silver membership is for Intermediate users. If you already know the basics of Ubuntu Linux and want to learn more then the Silver Membership is a good step up for you. Silver Membership Benefits include:

  • Unlimited Access to all of our beginners and Intermediate Courses
  • Access to our Support Forums
  • Fair-Deal Support for your Learn Ubuntu Laptop
Gold Membership Logo

If you are looking to advance your skills and knowledge to a higher level then the Gold Membership may be just for you.

  • Unlimited Access to our Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Courses.
  • Access to our Support Forums
  • Fair-Deal Support for your Learn Ubuntu Laptop
Platinum Pro Membership Logo

The Platinum Pro Membership is reserved for Instructors and Institutions who wish to use our learning materials and facilities to run Ubuntu Linux Courses and share in the revenue.This membership includes:

  • Ability to build your own Course and deliver it for shared revenue
  • Ability to register your own Students and run courses for your Learning Center

Purchase your Learn Ubuntu Membership here

Choose the membership Level


11 Get an Ubuntu Computer

learnubuntu laptop

The Learn Ubuntu Laptop Store Buyers Guide

Affordable laptops for Students

Our goal here is to provide affordable laptops for students worldwide who are taking our courses. When you purchase a laptop from Learn Ubuntu Org. Inc. you get much more than just the laptop. You also get a 1 year bronze membership at That means that, among other benefits, you can sign up for as many of our beginners courses as you like, at no charge for 1 year. The only restriction on that is that you have to complete each course before you sign up for another one. You can also extend your membership by signing up for another year of membership to continue, or upgrade your membership at any time. Our higher levels of membership allow you to take multiple courses simultaneously.

Learn Ubuntu Org LogoFor more information about Learn Ubuntu memberships you can click the icon on the left. The  point is that if you purchasing a laptop from us you get the first year of bronze membership, and all of the other benefits of that membership for free, for the first year. If you later on want to take any of our intermediate or advanced courses then you should consider our gold or platinum memberships which include the advanced courses. Of course you can always just take a course by signing up and paying for it anytime, so you don't have to feel like you have to join.  We would like our members to want to join rather than feeling like they had to.

The computers we show here are for a point of reference for you. We provide you with these sample descriptions because we want you to be an informed customer that makes their purchase decision based on the fact rather than some slick sales gimmicks. Here, by viewing these sample descriptions you can get an idea about  the things that make one computer better than another based on things like:

  • processor type and speed
  • the amount of RAM memory
  • the size of the hard drive
  • the display resolution
  • Network connectivity (does it have WiFi?)
  • Other optional features such as web cam, SD memory card slot, USB , Firewire, etc

Learn Ubuntu Store LogoBy reviewing this information first you will be better informed to make a purchase of one of our computers, or for that matter any computer on Ebay. Of course, only the computers sold by Learn Ubuntu Org will include our membership, our fair-deal warranty,  and free access to our courses.  The actual computers for sale are listed in our Ebay store which you can access via this link, or click on the laptop  icon image to the left. All transactions are done via Ebay and PayPal for your security and protection.

For the sake of argument we will assume that you are a beginner and you have come here to get help getting started with Ubuntu Linux. Now the question is how much do you want to spend on your first Ubuntu Linux Laptop or more important , how much can you afford to spend.

As we advertise our Ubuntu laptops start as low as 79.00 each which would cover the cost of a used laptop, similar to the one shown on the right with Ubuntu Linux standard desktop installed.  This particular laptop is a core 2 with 80 gig hard drive and 1 gigabyte of RAM. It also has an Ethernet port as well as a WiFi network. It does not have a webcam, although you can always add on a USB webcam if that is one of your requirements. 

In order to sell this laptop for this price it comes with a limited warranty. That is 60 days from date of shipment to you. In fact you can return this within 60 days for any reason if you are unhappy with it for a full refund or exchange.

After that we will repair this for you for up to 1 year if you pay for parts and shipping, providing you return it to us for repair which is really a pretty good deal.

Dell D510 Laptop

As long as you are an active Learn Ubuntu member you will never pay

any labour costs for your laptop repairs, ever.

logoThe Learn Ubuntu Members 'fair deal' warranty

We want you Learn Ubuntu Experience to be a good one so here is an outline of our warranty and technical support policies that will help you to have a good experience.

  • 60 day no-excuses satisfaction return for full refund (excluding shipping costs)  for any reason
  • Lifetime Membership technical support. As long as you are an active member the tech support facilities we offer are free.
  • Parts cost only repairs for your laptop for all active Learn Ubuntu Members

Keep in mind that these are not new laptops and sooner or later they may need repair. Many Ubuntu Users pride them selves on being technically savvy and being able to do things for themselves. Unlike many other organizations that will void your warranty as soon as you remove one screw from the case we encourage our members to DIY. We also provide our on-line technical support for free as long as you are an active bronze, or higher, member of Learn Ubuntu Org.  Many Ubuntu users are do-it-yourself types and we can and will help you when you need it.  There you can post your issues to our forums and we will do our best to assist you via those forums at no additional cost to you.There is a certain satisfaction when you do it yourself and we understand that at Learn Ubuntu Org.

Dell Latitude E6410

Another feature of our laptops for student program is that when you outgrow you laptop and want to upgrade we will take you laptop back in trade at a pro-rated value. This means that, as an active bronze or higher member, you can get up to 80% of the cost you paid for your old laptop from us in trade towards your newer one, and you will know that your laptop is not ending up in a land fill somewhere, rather it will be recycled to provide an opportunity for another student.

Shown on the left is one of our higher end laptops. This is a Dell Latitude E6410 which has a 120G hard drive and Ubuntu Studio X-64 for the operating system. This also has the popular Non Linear Video Editing Application, cinelerra-cv,  which was installed from source code to guarantee optimum performance. This laptop has 2 Gigabyte of RAM and has an Intel Core i5 processor.

We offer a laptop of this quality for a cost of approximately 249.00 and, since this is a high end laptop  it also includes a 1 year gold membership, which qualifies for beginner and intermediate courses at Learn Ubuntu Org. It carries the same 'fair deal' warranty as our other laptops. Of course we can upgrade any laptop for you by request by increasing the hard drive or RAM at a slightly higher cost. 

ubuntu flavors

We will also install any flavor of Ubuntu Linux that you would like, on your laptop, for you at no additional cost.

If you see a laptop that we offer and it has Ubuntu Standard desktop and you would rather have that same laptop with Ubuntu Studio, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Gnome-Ubuntu, or Kubuntu on it we will be happy to oblige and ship you your laptop with your choice of Ubuntu distribution or flavor.

And we guarantee that all of the hardware will function properly and you will not have to hassle with getting things to work yourself. Its hard to start out new and not have things working properly so we take care of this by thoroughly testing that all of the hardware on all of our laptops before they are shipped.

12 Our Student Aid Policies

section icon Student aid and Costs of our Courses

At Learn Ubuntu Org. Inc. we run a tight ship. All of our Directors volunteer their time and some even donate money to help keep our virtual classrooms open. Student aid is available for those that need it but keep in mind that we offer our courses at such a low cost to student that many do not need any financial assistance at all. Below is a brief outline of our policies regarding student Aid and cost of our courses.
Our first policy is that an US veteran, who has had an honorable discharge from any of the US services can take any of our courses absolutely free. Our feeling is that if you served our great Country honorably then this is the least that we can do for you, to help pay you back for your great service. armed service benefits
Any retired member of a State or Local Police, Firefighter, Emergency Medical Responder,or the US Coast Guard who can provide documentation of their service will qualify for a 50% discount on the cost of courses or membership. emg svcs benefits
Now about all th rest of us. Our goal is to make the cost of a course to be about the same as if you purchased a paperback or e-book on the topic. In addition, once you sign up for a particular course you are signed up for life. The world of Technology is constantly changing and we are always

section icon Student aid and Costs of our Courses

At Learn Ubuntu Org. Inc. we run a tight ship. All of our Directors volunteer their time and some even donate money to help keep our virtual classrooms open. Student aid is available for those that need it but keep in mind that we offer our courses at such a low cost to student that many do not need any financial assistance at all. Below is a brief outline of our policies regarding student Aid and cost of our courses.
Our first policy is that an US veteran, who has had an honorable discharge from any of the US services can take any of our courses absolutely free. Our feeling is that if you served our great Country honorably then this is the least that we can do for you, to help pay you back for your great service. armed service benefits
Any retired member of a State or Local Police, Firefighter, Emergency Medical Responder,or the US Coast Guard who can provide documentation of their service will qualify for a 50% discount on the cost of courses or membership. emg svcs benefits

updating our courses to keep up with the latest technology. So if you take a course this year, you can come back next year, the year after, and so on to review any updates or additions we may have added to the course. The average cost of a course is between 7.00 and 25.00 dollars which we think is a very fair and reasonable price, since it take months to create a course and we have to cover our expenses for our Internet connectivity, electricity, climate control for our servers, and maintenance costs.

If you are severely impoverished you mat contact me directly at Just make sure the topic of the email is STUDENT AID. 

13 Ubuntu Technology Center Overview

store logo Ubuntu Technology Center Overview store logo

This document will outline the plans for the Ubuntu Technology Center, which is a scalable model for a community based Technology Center and storefront, which can be used to support RACHEL systems along with other Ubuntu Linux and Free Open Source based technology for communities in remote, rural areas, as well as Inner City impoverished neighborhoods by providing education in support of STEM based programs for members of that community.

Many of the paid services offered here will assist in providing the necessary income to support the sustainability of RACHEL systems.

rachel deviceThe RACHEL system which is an acronym that stands for Remote Areas Community Hotspots for Education and Learning is an appliance, shown on the left, which works as a combination WiFi hotspot and Linux based content server. It contains a 500G storage capacity and will function to deliver educational course content, as well as media in the form of Video, Audio, Interactive Courseware, and an e-book library. Since this is a self contained system it will function to deliver this content to the community without the immediate need for an Internet connection.

If an Internet connection is available then it can be used to update the content for the RACHEL system.

If there is no available Internet connectivity then updates for the system can be shipped to each location, via USB memory sticks or other media than can be administratively connected to the RACHEL file system to provide content updates.

rachel and media clients

As shown in the illustration above, the RACHEL system can provide content to many types of devices for students and community residents access. In reality this behaves as a stand-alone Intra-net system for the community.

wifi repeaterThis system can be expanded out to service the local community by the use of WiFi repeaters to provide service to the community. This way we bring the content into the homes of subscribers, which can be provided at a low monthly cost, which can be initially subsidized by funding but ultimately, once the training has provided employment opportunities these same community members that were once students can now become employees by providing this expanding service to their communities. This can provide an opportunity for those in the area with an entrepreneurial spirit to succeed by following this business model to provide this expanded service to the community.

For this reason we should also provide some media content along with the Educational content. For example a young man or woman may be interested in learning this technology to build a career for themselves but their senior family members would be more interested in using the system to catch up on the world news, sporting events, or to watch a movie.

A model such as this could also use the media entertainment features to provide a platform that could realize advertising revenues for the media services which would also lead to the self sustainability of the overall system.

Advertising revenue can be often though of as something that a non profit organization would not be involved in, however if we consider the benefit of self-sustainability for the RACHEL availability to a community then why not use the potential advertising income to sustain something that is good for the overall community.

It is worth noting that most people would rather watch free content with commercials rather than to pay for it.

Services and Product Sales which can be offered at the Technology Center

  • Sales and Service of RACHEL and RaspberryPi systems

  • Optional Cell Pone Sales and Load sales for existing phones

  • Optional Long Distance Phone Services via Asterisk systems when available

  • Optional Alternate Device sales including:

    • Ubuntu Laptops, Desktops, and Servers

    • Flatscreen TV and Monitors

    • Audio Video equipment and adapters

    • Android Tablets and Smart-phones

    • Home Media Systems such as Kodi and Plex Media Servers

    • Media Transfer Services including

      • audio transfers from CD’s, Audio Cassettes etc.

      • film and video transfers

      • audio and video editing and recording services

      • photo and document scanning and copying

      • faxcimile services

      • Internet File Transfer services

    • Shipping and packing services

Store Policies

  • We service what we sell. The policy of the Center must be that we stand behind all items we sell with a fair guarantee on all new and used products as well. The best customer is a returning customer, who brings their friends.

  • When a customer comes in with a problem they should be referred to the person on staff who can best help them in a courteous and polite manner, even if the customer is upset.

  • As the technology is shared and spread, when other small businesses begin to use this technology we can setup a professional, on location Geek Squad service to assist these customers.

ubuntu store floorplan
Ubuntu Technology Center proposed floorplan

Above is a proposed floor plan for the technology center. Some of the areas worth mention here include to following.

  • Two lighted front windows to display products

  • A wide store entrance to give the feeling to the customer of a big warm welcome.

  • A reception area where customers can be directed and queued for help.

  • A seperate checkout area for sales and payment processing.

  • At the center is a large table-top area where “wizards” can assist and tutor customers who are new to the technology

  • An L-shaped sales counter with lighted display cases behind and glass front display cases below the sales counters.

  • A separate room to be used for classes Internet Cafe’. When classes are not booked it can be used for individual access to Internet (if available) as a café atmosphere

  • Backroom Repair Shop and Equipment Racks

14 Visayas Outreach

Our Visayas relief Program, described here is an outline of our current efforts to bring educational and job opportunities to the Visayas area of the Philippines.

Currently our base of operation in the Philippines is centered in the San Carlos City, 6127, Negros Occidental Philippines.

For those not yet familiar with the Philippines, the Visayas area includes the geographical location of the middle Philippines Arpeggio of islands.

visayas relief logo


Shown on the left is the Visayas area of the Philippines

Shown here is the location of Sipaway Island, just off the coast of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, Philippines.

Sipaway Island

Sipaway Island

Here we see Sipaway Island as viewed from the Port City of San Carlos. It is approximately 7 killimoters long and about 2 kilimmeters wide.

Prior to the 1980's this was a booming city largely due to the production of sugar. Unfortunately the sugar mill closed in the early 80's leaving the area without any significant anchor industry to provide employment for the inhabitants of San Carlos City.

All that remains today of this once booming industry are a few furnace structures from the once great factory.

In an all too familar story of Philippine corruption, one of the owners of the factory took all the funds and ran away.

former sugar cane factory fields

Almost 30 years later the area is still struggling to make a comeback from one greedy deed that forcd the area into abject poverty.

san carlos port

Shown on the left is the Port of San Carlos City, which has recently been going through many renovations for security and to make it more tourist friendly. Cebu has been the mainstay of tourism for the Visayas for years but San Carlos and Sipaway Island, pictured below are slowly becoming the new tourist stop in the Visayas.

Recently the island has been fitted to receive city water supply from San Carlos city via an under channel pipeline. They also now have power 24 hours a day due to a new solar power project on that island.

Basilica beach Sipaway Islan

There is a resort on Sipaway, known as Whispering Palms which offers a nice relaxing atmosphere for European and American Travelers at a very reasonable rate for accommodations. It also offers employment opportunities for inhabitants of Sipaway Island.

They also have a very nice Scuba Diving Facility and restaurant there. Local resident can obtain a day pass to enjoy the facility for the day for a reasonable rate.

whispering Palms Resort

Sipaway Children

With all of the improvements to Sipaway island one thing we are hoping to preserve is the housing for the residents who have lived there for many generations. Many of them do not own the property they reside on and one of our concerns is that the expanding opportunity of prime beach front real estate could possible force many of these people out, over the years to come.

Many of them live in homes that cannot withstand the occasional typhoons that strike the area.

ermita fishing village Most of these residents currently depend on local fishing for their survival. This industry has been on the wain for several years as many of the fish have been depleted by larger industrial fishing fleets. 
Many of these children occupy themselves daily by swimming and helping their parents with chores.They are all simply wonderful children and deserve a better chance.
san carlos kids
yolanda damage Unfortunately the homes these children live in cannot stand up to the occasional typhoons that hit this area.
Fortunately most typhoons do not make direct landfall on this area but when they do the destruction is devastating. As shown on the right and below the simple native structures of the Sipaway inhabitants are no match for a storm like Yolanda that hit this area a few years ago.

yolanda devastation

yolanda destruction

Small native houses are blown into each other leaving families and children homeless.

One of our goals is to provide a community center that can withstand the perils of a storm like Yolanda for the inhabitants of Sipaway.

small child after storm

emergency and education communications plan

We can setup an emergency communications system that can also be used for educational course delivery during non disaster times

The current community center could be expanded and fortifid to better meet the occasional emergency needs of this small islands inhabitants.

community center

its a wonderful lfe

Another idea we are trying to promote is to find a way to make low cost funding available for current Sipaway inhabitants so that they can afford to own theor land and build a masonary home that would withstand the typhoones that can hiot this area.

A funding system, based on the movie It's a Wonderful Life could be started with some seed funding and the community owned bank - coop could eventually be a self sustaining source of funds to provide low interest loans to Sipaway Residents. As the initial members of the coop pay their loans those funds can be recycled to offer opportunities to other to do the same.

By working with local education and organizations we are hoping to bring new technology in education and opportunities to this area.

15 Star of the Sea Net

Star of the Sea Community Outreach Proposal


Although this proposal largely  involves the local Catholic Community, which happens to be the majority of citizens in this area, the services offered here are not limited to anyone based on their color, creed, religous beliefs, or ethnic backgrounds.

Sipaway Island has a population of approximately 5000 residents. Recently the Bishop of San Carlos City established the mission church, Saint Mary, Star of the Sea in the Barangay of San Juan. The new facility is a beautiful but small facility and can accommodate approximately 300 to 400 people for services.
Therefore a suggestion we propose is to reach out the the entire island through the use of Intranet technology. Most people have heard of the Internet, the world wide communication and information system, a network of networks, all linked together through the networking protocol known as TCP/IP.
Many people may not be familiar with the term, Intranet. Basically an Intranet can have many of the features of the Internet, however it is a self contained system, with all information emanating from local sources on the Intranet. Of course an Intranet can also have a gateway to the Internet as well, thereby providing both local information and services, as well as optionally providing services and information available on the Internet.
Let's take a brief overview of some Intranet services that can be made available to the population of Sipaway Island. Many of these same services are available on the Internet, however in this explanation we are referring to services and media limited to the proposed Star of the Sea Intranet. Some of these services could include the following.
Local Web content, available via a browser on any client Device on the Intranet. Client devices could include Laptops, Smartphones, Tablets, and other devices that support TCP/IP. This information could include local weather and event information, as well as International News,  Sports, and Entertainment information.
Communications via telephone and SMS texting. For example if you had your device connected to the Star of the Sea Intranet you could make a free voice call or SMS text message from San Juan to Ermita.
Media Services which can include music, video clips, movies, etc available on demand via a laptop using a browser, or via a smart phone or tablet running the media client application.
Calibre Ebook Library to serve the community and school systems with ebooks viewable on most ebook readers for Laptops and Smart Phones and Tablets.
Live streaming of Video, such as Sunday Mass which could be shown in the many satellite chapels across the island. Communion Ministers could be deployed so it would not have to be what is known as a Dry Mass.

On line educational courses for students in Sipaway Schools, as well as the same material available for home studies and homework. This could include any topics from remedial education to practical how to information, or higher education and technical courses, and of course biblical studies.
Emergency Communication capabilities for support in times of natural disasters, such as a Typhoon or other weather system to allow residents of Sipaway reach authorities to request emergency assistance.

Below is a pictorial diagram of the proposed Star of the Sea Intranet

star of the sea network topology

The Topology design is an Intranet with an optional gateway to the Internet. Most of the available services are provided by the Virtual Cloud Servers running as shown in the illustration above. These include the following.

  • A Free PBX / Asterisk VM server which can provide voice and sms messaging, as well as voicemail capabilities.An email server
  • A Plex Media Server
  • A Moodle Educational Server
  • RACHEL server / hotspot for each schools system which includes Kahn University Course ware as well as Moodle server for custom creation of courses by Instructors.
  • An ebook Server, Calibre Free and Open Source Ebook Server.
  • A Utility Server to provide necessary background services such as DNS, DHCP and other necessary services to make the Intranet function Independently of the Internet Gateway,

The system consists of several virtual servers centrally located which distribute services to the inhabitants of Sipaway Island. The network will cover the entire island via wifi repeaters and routers located at strategic points on the island. Some of these points could include the following areas

  • School Locations
  • Chapel Locations
  • Barangay Office Locations
  • Dapdap Piers Location
  • Ermita Piers Location


Project funding could be distributed as outlined below.

  • Learn Ubuntu Org Inc, a US based 501(c)(3) non profit will contribute the engineering and design work. We will also provide the main Virtual Server for the  Heart of the Sea Net as well as a portion of the backbone. Learn Ubuntu Org Inc will also provide one RACHEL system for each school system.
  • Other groups could contribute the necessary funding for their specific areas. For example each School system  will provide the client Laptops or Tablets for the students. This funding could be paid for by monies save by the textbooks that these systems will eventually replace. If students and families are normally responsible for the cost of textbooks then those monies could be used for the student Tablets instead. If funding for textbooks come from local or federal government then those funds could be re-allocated for purchase of Tablets instead, which in the long run should prove to be more cost effective.
  • For the Gateway Services to the Internet we should negotiate with Globe and Smart, to see who will be the fairest and most cooperative. In the long run this will save them on distribution costs because we will be providing the WiFi system to cover the Island of Sipaway for them, relieving them of that responsibility and cost. Hopefully they will be cooperative.
  • Charitable and Fraternal Organizations, such as the Knights of Columbus could also be approached for help and support with the project.

There are two categories of costs to be considered.

  1. First the initial cost of construction, Installation and Training of various people who will be involved in making this project successful. Our experience with projects such as this is that it is much better and more productive to have local citizens involved as opposed to a big hand it over turnkey operation. The more the local citizens, government, and charitable groups get involved the greater the success rate for a project such as this. Everyone has some skin in the game so more people will exert the effort to make it work successfully.
  2.  The monthly recurring cost of maintaining the system. This includes items such as outlined below.
    1.  Creation of Media Content for the network system. This include web page production, video production, public service information maintenance, administration of PBX system and and messaging systems, such as email. Overall IT Administration of  entire system. Some of this can be volunteer workers, while other should be paid full or part time employees.
    2. Cost of Internet Gateway connection. This cost can be amortized out by charging participating groups or individual users a small fee to cover the cost of the Internet Gateway Connection. It should be cheaper than individuals are paying for a load from Smart or Globe to make it cost effective. It should be cost effective for individual users of the network, as well as for local Institutions to make the project worthwhile. School systems and Municipalities could also contribute for the good of their communities. But again it should be a cost effective solution, especially if being considered for a replacement for Internet connectivity they currently have. If they currently have no Internet connectivity then this should still be a cost effective opportunity for them, in order to make their participation a value for their goals in support of their respective missions.  In the long run it should be more cost effective for everyone when compared to individual Internet fees because we are buying the Gateway Bandwidth in Bulk.

Local Participation in Project

As mentioned earlier, previous experience has shown that the more local participation in a project such as this the better the outcome. Some participation may be from individual volunteers and community organizations. Other work will have to be paid labor of local residents. The paid labor will have to be trained, as outlined in the budgets shown in the cost estimates and budget section. This is a good thing because it may help to train local people, giving them new skills and job opportunities that could extend beyond the scope of this project.

Direct Economic Values

Direct economic values stem from the provision of a system that supports local communication across the island of Sipaway. It is cheaper and quicker to call someone from San Juan to make a business deal than it is to have to physically go there to do the same task.  Other income to support the system could come via paid advertisement from local and San Carlos City businesses that wish to reach the citizens of Sipaway with their offerings.
For individual users it will be a direct cost savings when compared to what they currently pay individually for loads from Globe or Smart to access the Internet.
Long term savings for the schools can result by the savings in purchase of textbooks as they can be replaced with ebooks. While textbooks wear out, over time, ebooks do not wear out.

Spin-off Economic Values

Spin off  economic values are somewhat difficult to quantify, but lets look at a few historic examples where an technical challenge was placed and the community responded. Take for example, the USA’s project to put a man on the moon, back in the 1960’s. The need to develop technology brought about all kinds of new technologies, some of which we still enjoy today, such as Tang Juice drink, and Cordless electric power tools. The technology necessary for the race to the moon spun off the technology to create the battery for that  series of power tools.  On a smaller scale, a project such as this for Sipaway Island will provide many opportunities for the younger people of the area to learn new technology and possibly advance their careers as computer and IT professionals.
Many other business opportunities will evolve, over time, as citizens learn how to use the new technology and come up with ideas to support business growth and creation of new business that use the technology. One simple example could be that you could go to a web page and arrange for a taxi to the docks or to be picked up at the docks when returning from San Carlos. Other small family run businesses will soon learn how to use the technology to make better use of their time and grow their business.

Financial Operating Budget (Estimate)

Below is a sample preliminary operational budget proposal for the project

Operations Cost Expenses and Income (Estimates)
Item Cost Qty Total
Internet Gateway 8,000.00 PHP 1 8,000.00 PHP
Electrical Power 3,000.00 PHP 1 3,000.00 PHP
System Administration 3,000.00 PHP 1 3,000.00 PHP
Web Content Development 2,000.00 PHP 1 2,000.00 PHP
Video Production 2,000.00 PHP 4 8,000.00 PHP
Course-ware Creation 2,000.00 PHP 6 12,000.00 PHP
SIP Provisioning World Wide 2,000.00 PHP 1 2,000.00 PHP
IP Address Provisioning 1,000.00 PHP 1 1,000.00 PHP
System Hardware Maintenance 2,000.00 PHP 1 2,000.00 PHP
Media Distribution Licensing 5,000.00 PHP 1 5,000.00 PHP
Total Expenses 46,000.00 PHP
Internet Gateway Fees 25.00 PHP 1000 25,000.00 PHP
Advertising Income 100.00 PHP 50 5,000.00 PHP
Donations Private 2,000.00 PHP 1 2,000.00 PHP
Telecommunication Income (long distance) 20.00 PHP 200 4,000.00 PHP
Local and Federal Government Support 5,000.00 PHP 2 10,000.00 PHP
Total Income 46,000.00 PHP
Gain / Loss 0.00 PHP

Construction and Design Cost Estimates (budgetary)

Materials Cost Estimates
Item Description Cost Qty Total Source of Funding
Ubuntu VM Host Computer Virtual Host Server Php50,000.00 1 Php50,000.00 Learn Ubuntu Org Inc
RACHEL SYSTEM Course Delivery and Wifi Hotspot Php25,000.00 2 Php50,000.00 Learn Ubuntu Org Inc
7” Tablets for Students Tablet for Students ebooks and Courses Php5,000.00 150 Php750,000.00
Raspberry Pi Computer Raspberry Pi Computers for Lab Php4,000.00 20 Php80,000.00
Laptop Computers Mint Linux Laptops for Students, School Administrators, and Teachers Php5,000.00 25 Php125,000.00
Category 5 Cable Network cable used throughout system Php0.20 5000 Php1,000.00
Category 5 connectors Network cable connectors and hardware Php150.00 100 Php15,000.00
Totals Php1,071,000.00
Labor Cost Estimates
Item Description Labor Rate Hours Total
Design and Engineering Design Engineering and Implementation of Systems Php50.00 2000 Php100,000.00 Learn Ubuntu Org Inc
Installation of WiFi Systems Placement and Installation of WiFi Backbone for Sipaway Island Php50.00 500 Php25,000.00 Learn Ubuntu Org Inc
Training of IT Admin Personnel Training for System Administration and Maintenance Php50.00 300 Php15,000.00 Learn Ubuntu Org Inc
Training of Teachers Training of Teachers on on RACHEL and Moodle Systems for Course Creation
Totals Php140,000.00


This proposal is only an initial offering to be considered by the residents of Sipaway Island. If approved and moved forward then we will surly have to adapt as we bring it to fruition. We estimate that it will take approximately one year to complete the system, once approved. During the course of that years some systems may come on line sooner than others. We believe this may bring some good paying job opportunities to the community as well as improve the lifestyle for the residents of Sipaway Island. The key to making this project work and enhancing the long term effects will depend largely on the participation and cooperation of individuals as well as volunteer groups, Barangay officials  and Educational Administrators and Teachers. While this may appear to be a big project we suggest that you do not let the scope of the project scare you. Everything can be accomplished one step at a time and in the end many will benefit from all of our collective efforts.

About Learn Ubuntu Org Inc.
Learn Ubuntu org Inc. is a US based 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation formed with a mission to promote technical education, for developing countries worldwide. Thomas Judge is it’s president and founder. For more information about Learn Ubuntu Org and its works please visit the website and click on the link in the top middle of the page or go to this URL
which is an open course book on our educational server that tells our story.
Tom Judge may be contacted at either or