Project Cauã, the Free and Open Source Software and Hardware (FOSSH) project conceived by Linux International executive director Jon "Maddog" Hall to make it possible for people to make a living as a systems administrator, is set to launch in Brazil next month.
The vision of Project Cauã is to promote more efficient computing following the thin client/server model, while creating up to two million privately-funded high-tech jobs in Brazil, and another three to four million in the rest of Latin America.
Hall explained that Sao Paolo in Brazil is the second largest city in the Western Hemisphere and has about twelve times the population density of New York City. As a result, there are a lot of people living and working in very tall buildings.
Project Cauã will aim to put a server system in the basement of all of these tall buildings and thin clients throughout the building, so that residents and businesses can run all of their data and applications remotely.
"In effect it's kind of like creating a private cloud for every building," Hall told Techworld.
Each server system will need a systems administrator, who will be the point of contact for any technical issues, and who will be able to change and manage the programs to meet the needs of his or her customers in the building.
People interested in becoming a systems administrator will be able to do their training online and, once they have been certified, receive a license from the government that will enable them to get a bank loan for equipment and installation.
The whole thing will be done in a capitalistic, non-monopolistic manner, with millions of independent entrepreneurs each acting as their own boss, making their own living, Hall said. He believes this approach is important for the project to remain sustainable.
It should, says Hall, reduce the amount of electricity used by present and future desktop computers, make end-user computing easier and more efficient and provide better services for various vertical markets by more complete integration of computer technologies.
Project Cauã will be launched at a conference in Brazil on 4 July. Hall said that it will start off very slowly, but that he hopes there will be around 100,000 people involved in Project Cauã-type work within two years.
Following the initial pilot, the project will be opened it up to more cities, and eventually other countries in Latin America. Hall said that while the model could work in other places like London or New York, it is particularly well suited to Brazil because the average wage for a systems administrator is relatively low.
"It would be a lot harder to do this in the US, where systems administrators get paid a lot more money right off the bat. So I can provide a very good living to one of these people in Brazil for what a normal systems administrator makes there," he said.
However, he added that it is an open project, so if people like the look of it they can replicate it in other places.