The first step in Free Geek's Build Program is called Prebuild.
Prebuild is divided into two main branches, Hardware Identification and System Evaluation.
Most people begin in Hardware Identification by signing up for a shift at the front desk. In Hardware Identification volunteers work through a series of lesson boxes -- each one teaching a basic skill that will later be needed in the build program. The boxes are generally arranged from most basic to more advanced.
As a builder, each lesson box is available to you throughout the program, so you can refresh your memory as needed. If you have enough hardware knowledge, you can test out of Hardware Identification or skip whichever steps are unnecessary. Most people work through all of Hardware Identification in one or two shifts, but it is designed to be a "work at your own speed" experience.
Once you have completed or tested out of Hardware Identification you will move on to System Evaluation. In System Evaluation you will see how the computers fits together, sharpen up your hardware ID skills, learns some basic troubleshooting, and help prep systems for build, culling out systems we do not want to keep.
Hardware Identification Documentations
A Hardware ID Facilitator's Guide is available for all Hardware ID instructors. It uses the information found in the lesson boxes below, but is designed to help make the teaching of Hardware ID a little easier, including tips from current instructors!
Each lesson box builds on previous ones and contains a few lessons. Some are basic background information. Others are hands-on exercises.
- Box A
- Box B
- Box C
- Box D
- Box E
- Box F
System Evaluation Documentations
Starting with the main overview flow chart, you work your way through the instructions. Each chart is color coded to help you keep track of where you are. When you are sent to another chart you will (most of the time) find yourself working through it and coming back to the main chart.
Along the way we are determining if the computers will be coded as Red Light, Yellow Light, or Green Light systems. Depending on the system's class, we'll be processing it differently.
- Red Light
- We're recycling everything in the system (not using it for build). We'll only pull what we need to for data security purposes.
- Yellow Light
- We're recycling the system, but some of the components will be kept for reuse. We will pull out a lot of components if they are present.
- Green Light
- The system is a keeper. We'll be pulling only a few components for data security and testing purposes.
System Evaluation is "go at your own speed" and "each one teach one". This means that you can take as many shifts as you need to learn everything you need and that you will likely teach a newer volunteer how to do the job when you want to move on to the next step.
Here are the main flow charts used in this area:
- System Evaluation Overview (Red chart)
- System Evaluation Visual Triage (Blue chart)
- Getting the Processor Information (Green chart)
- System Evaluation Final Triage (Purple chart)
- Removing components from systems (Orange chart)
- Case Triage (Black chart)
- Regular Mac Triage (pink chart)
Sometime during System Evaluation you will want to take the basic Linux Command Line Class. (Experience linux command line users can test out of this step.)
When you have finished with all of Prebuild and the Basic Linux Command Line for Builders class, you will move on to the Build Workshops where you will quality check systems, assemble computers, and install software.