Ask Slashdot: Easy-To-Use Alternative To MS Access For a Charity's Database?
Microsoft donates a lot of software for charities and non-profits. You don't even need to contact them directly. Register through TechSoup.com for donations (or immense discounts) on products from many software companies.
Good Robot Projects For K-5?
I've been running a Robotics Club in my local elementary school for 2.5 years now. We have a Mindstorms NXT set and the club is always very popular. One thing that helps is having interested parents. Several of them wish they had such a club as a kid so enjoy helping! One of them brings an NXT set from home so we have two to use. I show videos of robot-related things (funny commercials, industrial robots, trade show robots, Robo Wars). I also manage a junior high team for FLL and challenge the K-6 kids with similar challenges. Some of them love to build, some design, some program, and of course I encourage them to take turns. I have about 1/3rd girls, the rest boys. It's a lot of fun!
Feel free to contact me for more details.
A Windows CE Shell For Netbooks
This would be a great idea. I have a Viewsonic ViewPad SuperPDA from about eight years ago. It's one of the first tablet form-factor PC's and it was powered by CE. Resistive 800x600 touchscreen with USB host, PCMCIA, CompactFlash, integrated sound, VGA-out adapter. I have a wireless network card in there and I can use a USB keyboard along with the stylus for mouse input and it's really nice. What makes me mad about my device is no option to upgrade that I can figure out/hack. I would love to install the latest version and get .NET Compact Framework support. Writing native CE apps in VB or C is not to my liking! I can install many CE apps, but not Windows Mobile (which is a layer over CE), and nothing for .NET. Its built-in web browser is pretty good for its time (though it needs updating pretty bad now), and the Microsoft Word (lite) works well.
Bottom line: if I could get a modern piece of hardware running CE I would. It's cheaper, and much more stable. I'd love to see $150 netbooks made possible this way -- especially since my target functionality is rich text editing, web browsing, and remote desktop support -- all possible on these devices.