Wednesday, December 08, 2004

What's a BizMo?

Sprinter Westfalia from Airstream

They come in many makes on models, but are basically offices on wheels, variously purposed. In my case, what's on the drawing board is relatively small, compared to these big honkin' bus things you pass on Hwy 101, oft times towing an SUV and with who knows what godawful gpm (gallons per mile). My aim is high efficiency -- no guzzlers here. As the technology evolves, we'll hope to go F-cell or hybrid (hoping to not lose a lot of horses over that though).

Some of you may remember bookmobiles. These went out from library HQS to rural areas, and exposed kids to a wider selection than was probably offered in a one room school house with some faded Readers Digests in a pile. A bookmobile could be a real eye-opener. Like, wow, the world is big (visiting an ocean for the first time -- the other shoe dropping, for some).

So my bizmo is like a bookmobile on steriods ("on steroids" is a USA colloquialism that means amped, stoked, souped up, hot rodded, tricked out, buffed, X-treme, exaggerated to the point of being a caricature). However, the mission is similar: be an eye-opener for kids (adults too), a kind of avatar for that wired/wireless bright future world of scholarship and intelligence we call the Internet, or cyberspace. Standard equipment includes foam padded storage for laptop computers, space for a host CPU box with wireless, power outlets (internal and external). Room for a DVD juke box. Sleeps at least three. Packs a tent.

One goal is to be fairly self-sufficient when showing up at a school, religious institution, or commercial business, in terms of being equipped to share relevant presentations. The school may not have an LCD projector, or much of a sound system. The content will vary. If my wife is doing the presentation, it might be about holy wells in Ireland, or about her workshop with the Dalai Lama in Durban or something (she has lots of interests).

If it's me, we might review the basics of the Free Geek approach to helping the needy get nerdy: recycle those hand-me-down computers and slap on a Linux distro (like Windows on steroids under the hood). Another day, I might be showcasing Microsoft or Apple. Like those NASCARs, I have a lot of logos on my rig, even if they're only implied (squint in direct sunlight, and you'll see them shimmering, weirdly juxtaposed -- I call it (Bucky taught me that)).

However, like I said, bizmos come in all shapes and sizes (google tells me some bizmos are lesbian bimbos, an association I'm far from complaining about). Some will need to be bigger than others, simply because of their purpose or job description. A bizmo caravan might include a bus-looking thing outfitted with a kitchen kit; it feeds everybody on the crew. Hollywood knows all about such technology, and so does the military, after a fashion. Traveling circus. Grrrrrrr.