CNET News Video: Group helps bridge digital divide with free tech support
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CNET News Video: Group helps bridge digital divide with free tech support

3:09 /

In San Francisco's Tenderloin district, amid liquor stores and boarded-up buildings, a partnership of nonprofits earlier this month sponsored the first "Tenderloin Tech Day." The half-day workshop was open to anyone in the low-income neighborhood with a tech problem. CNET News.com's Kara Tsuboi stopped by and chatted with people about their broken laptops, software-less hard drives, and their first-ever Internet experiences.

[ music ] ^M00:00:03 >> Welcome to Tech [inaudible]. >> All right, thank you [inaudible]. >> My name is Patrick. >> And I'm Paul Woods. [ background music ] >> Paul Woods is having hard drive issues. His screen keeps reading operating system not found. That's why he's come to Saint Anthony's in the heart of San Francisco's tenderloin district for the first ever tech support day. >> Our goal for today is to really provide opportunities for folks to really connect the skills that would allow them to access better jobs, access better resources, really sort of bridge the digital divide. >> [inaudible] see if I can get this one running, then I'll probably take a few little courses on you know, get a little skill on it, then probably get into the job market with it. >> After a quick check from one of the thirty volunteers, it's determined that Paul's computer doesn't have a licensed operating system. >> Every computer must have its own license. >> You got me with that. >> You don't know that, so - >> No. >> Now you know. >> Now I know. >> How you think Uncle Bill gets rich? >> I don't know. [ laughter ] >> From the diagnosis room to the help room, Paul wheels his hard drive. >> Let's get on. >> Install Ubunto [assumed spelling], a free open source Linux based operating system. >> He'll be able to get on the internet, you know, type up documents and do the things he would do on a normal Windows computer. >> This is off the hook, this is really great. >> Typically it takes about fifteen to twenty minutes to install. >> Yeah, I'm gonna have to get rid of that old girl and get me a new one. [ laughter ] >> Other clients like Laticia Hernandez didn't receive such a quick fix. >> Unfortunately the, the diagnosis on my laptop was that I'll need a CPU fan, and that costs a little bit more than my laptop did. >> She uses her laptop to job search, hoping her computer skills from city college will pay of with lucrative and stimulating work. >> I have my fingers crossed to see how much more my brain can handle. And you never know, that might, I mean I might just get to know Bill Gates on a first name basis, you know what I mean? >> Other clients like Theresa Jordan came in for help browsing the internet. >> I'm starting from the beginning, and I'm learning a lot about the internet, which is interesting. >> Yeah. >> Cause I didn't know like it was worldwide, so it's pretty cool. >> Okay we're gonna type in their web address. So it's www - >> Tenderloin Tech Day is a joint partnership between Saint Anthony's Foundation, Network Ministries, and Tech Connect. >> I mean people acknowledge and understand that to make it in today's world they need to have those skills. So an event like today is really helpful, because it shows us that not only Saint Anthony's, but really a lot of partners in the city want to bridge this digital divide. >> And in this neighborhood where liquor stores and boarded up buildings are easier to come by than technology help, locals seem to appreciate the resource. >> Wow, I got something, look. >> Especially when their computers get up and running. >> This is a blessing. This is a blessing for all of us who came here. >> I'm Kara Suboy [assumed spelling], reporting for CNET News.com. ^M00:03:03 [ music ]

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