Download, burn, and boot: doing disaster IT with a shelter lab LiveCD build (arstechnica)

One of the most unexpected and least visible aspects of hurricane Katrina’s aftermath was the critical role that information technology played in the relief effort. Throughout the Gulf Coast, shelter workers and residents built and used improvised computer labs consisting of donated, Internet-connected PCs and printers. These hastily implemented labs were used by survivors for a variety of important tasks, like registering for federal aid, searching for jobs and housing, preparing résumés, completing homework assignments, and searching for lost loved ones.