[plug] PLUG COVID-19

Chris Caston chris at caston.id.au
Sat Mar 28 11:57:54 AWST 2020


I started a project called "Affluent Bilby Classifieds" and I have
registered the business name. The idea was to make a print media
classifieds paper on newsprint similar to the Quokka. It uses yclas
(formally open classifieds) for the database but it is a print media
publication. We may even use metplus for a jobs database. (https://www.


Classified ads papers are vital for local economies. For example, when I
was a callout computer technician I got most of my work from classified
ads. The primary target market is (low-income) people without access to a
computer or without computer literacy that still have other skills such as
a trade. It enables them to source customers, apply for jobs, find
somewhere to live and so on. The back-end of course is Ubuntu Linux,
Maria-db, python, Jinja2, LaTeX and jabcode for coloured QR codes if we
decide to give it some smartphone AR.

What does this have to do with COVID-19? Well millions have lost their jobs
so this project is more required than ever. We could print job ads on
toilet paper and send them to people's homes. This is very efficient when
you consider that people use toilet paper anyway.

Although Neville Power is a mining executive he has been asked to lead the
COVID-19 commision with the further explanation that it's more about
getting people back into jobs.
When I first came up with the idea for Affluent Bilby Classifieds it was
only to help the unemployed people on Newstart but now it looks like there
are going to be millions more that will need it. Additionally, the idea is
to make the back-end systems as efficient as possible at getting people
back to work whereas existing recruitment systems are frustrating, wasteful
and inefficient.

I have been working with other people, including John McCabe Danstead who
previously ran the Quokkas IT systems. They had a massive call centre (50+
people) e can instead allow people to place ads via sms and through a voice
AI agent similar to Goole duplex.

Here is the fairly basic website and sample proof of concept code rendering
classified ads in LaTeX.



You can certainly see I will need more people to help. If we can get grants
to pay people that would be ideal (for example I would like to raise enough
to hire John McCabe to work on it as a full-time Linux admin) but some
contributions may be "for the greater good". I myself am unemployed
unfortunately but I will keep plugging away.

best regards,

Christopher Caston

On Sat, Mar 28, 2020 at 6:46 AM Paul Del <p at delfante.it> wrote:

> Hi PLUG Members,
> As you know, the coronavirus/COVID-19 situation is rapidly changing our
> lives.
> We are in the process of moving our events online and also remote events.
> In the mean time, come online to chat and discuss on irc, mailing list and
> others.
> http://plug.org.au/resources/
> Join us at our usual scheduled times on irc.plug.org.au channel #plug
> Monday 2020-03-30 18:00 (Normally PLUG in the Pub)
> Second Sunday 2020-04-12 12:00 (Normally Hack Day)
> Second Tuesday 2020-04-14 18:00 (Normally Talk Night)
> Third Tuesday 2020-04-21 19:30 (Committee Meeting)
> Thanking you.
> Perth Linux Users Group.
> http://plug.org.au
> _______________________________________________
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