Council 2006 02

From FreekiWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
  • Date: February 15, 2006
  • Facilitator: laurel
  • Scribe: Pete Forsyth
  • Minutes Checker: Martin
  • Previous Meeting Minutes


Wren, Laurel, Pete, Dave H, Seamus, Richard S, Vagrant, Matteo, Steve S, Oso, Martin, Rick, Wes, Liane, Debi, Charles, Bill, Bobby, Aaron B.

Old Commitments

  • Marie will add OSDL/nonprofit stuff to wiki. (DONE - see Organizations)
  • Marie & Phil will create a video that can go on the web, etc. (by March 3rd Thurs) C/O
  • Dave, Debi, and Oso have useful media info to get on wiki. Pete will follow up. LET IT DIE
  • Bobby, Dave will harass eBay sellers to give FG credit. DONE
  • Martin, Wren, Clout, Wes will convene to do needs assessment for blind linux distro. Martin will send email to schedule a meeting DROP (until after martin comes back)
  • Martin or Oso will get Ambassadors minutes on wiki (DONE) Ambassadors20061216
  • everybody give feedback on Press Kit DO IT!


Reports from other working groups.

Free Geek Columbus Report

  • Richard presents
  • described on web site:

January 20-23 Staff member Richard Seymour recently visited the burgeoning Free Geek Columbus in Columbus, Ohio. The organization is currently located in an old firehouse. They have approximately 500 square feet of space in their facility, take donations by appointment, and are looking into finding money so they can pay some of their volunteer staff. To see some pictures that Richard took, look here.

  • small operation, about the size of meeting room
  • meet about once a week
  • Richard showed them good recyclable things to make money from
  • showed them FGdb
  • what they need most is more space, and some staff
  • lots of people are interested, but they all have jobs and not enough time to commit. They, and Richard, feel that's holding them back.

Receiving/Reuse Report

  • emailed report (Matthew was not present)
  • it was generally agreed that this should probably be thought out a little more and coordinated (thru HR committee?) with other hiring proposals.
  • Beyond that, no discussion on this report was had.
  • Matthew gives overview of his position, which has existed for about 6 months.
  • Several months ago, Matthew said Advanced Receiving is not necessary. He now amends that, to say that much of what he is doing right now is VERY necessary.
  • We used to have an Operations Coordinator.
  • Matthew advocates open hire of two new Operations Coordinators. He argues this will reduce the need for other staff positions that are being discussed, as it will reduce the drain on existing staff members to do receiving, etc.
  • Look for a proposal at next Council meeting after some legwork has been done.

Thrift Store Report

  • Sam has returned; he is very helpful, testing items and prepping them for sale.
  • Steve Stafford transitioned from intern to staff. Between Rick and Steve, this means complete coverage of store during FG hours, which will make things more smooth.
  • Volunteer help very much wanted for keeping up with things, straightening and cleaning.
  • Reuse committee has been very helpful in steadying and increasing the flow of unusual items to the store.
  • Wall between store and classroom needs to be completed. Work party March 5 and 6; please help!

Build Report

  • things are going "well"
  • Martin's going to Uganda in 1 week, for 6 weeks
  • long-time build teacher Mary Anne leaving
  • Josh and Vagrant return, Vagrant will be replacing Martin while he's gone
  • Laurel: how many FreekBoxes can we provide to Free Geek Oly?
  • Dave & Martin: 2 a week could be done, provided they're picked up every week. This should be revisited quarterly.

ASS Report

actually this is a side note from Martin's build report:

ASSes have been hard at work of late, moving the servers into the new server room, redoing much of our building's networking, and replacing a few of our more ancient bits of vital infrastructure. this is long in the coming and a great improvement.

Support Report

  • busy, but not overbearingly so (most of the time)
  • steady stream, most calls still about adopted boxes.
  • Most of the store box issues are first-time issues, so not paid for under current rules.
  • 3 common issues:
    1. password or other unfamiliarity issues (less than 1 minute)
    2. total failure of the box (infrequent)
    3. connectivity, dialup or broadband
  • Modem problems frequent.
  • help adding software (e.g., java, flash) or hardware (e.g., DVD drive or scanner)
  • hardware failure
  • problems with X (mouse reversal or new monitor)

A fair amount of my time is also spent educating adopters in how to add programs and why microsoft programs will not work. The best part of doing this job is seeing these boxes getting used as linux systems and I see much of the value of my job in making sure the linux OS is usable.


  • Dave: the recycling position has been eliminated.
  • attempt will be made to have other staff cover those hours. More hours will be added to the schedule.
  • Seamus: how will this be better than when Jhasen was gone?
  • Dave and Richard: more hours are being added, and more structure and skill is going into it this time.
  • Richard: The job tends to lead to burnout. Hopefully the staff covering it can find ways to address that.
  • Vendor changes: Oso: several changes, didn't get all the detail. Some new money will be coming in. Monitor procedure changes.
  • Vagrant: have we vetted new vendors for ecological and social responsibility? * Oso: Yes, Calbag is about the best we've got, and they're the ones we're shifting towards. He'd like to look at Calbag to get a better sense of what they do.
  • Richard: Also, Total Reclaim was sending stuff to Calbag, so in a sense we're just cutting out a middleman.
  • Wren: has an "in" at PSU, he is debating whether to send them towards Free Geek, could we handle the volume.
  • Oso: they've already talked to is
  • Wren: maybe a different group.
  • Laurel: Wren should coordinate with

New Business

Linux Clinic

  • presenter: Aaron Burt
  • A proposal to host a monthly Linux Clinic at FreeGeek

PLUG (Portland Linux/Unix Group or Portland Linux Users Group) meets a couple times a month, very active mailing list for linux help, etc. 3 people have been running the Linux Clinic for 10 years. Once a month, it was at Riverdale School in SW. People would bring in computers to try to install or repair linux, and get help, help each other. All volunteer. Volunteers from PLUG and other places. These 3 got tired of running it. They announced that they would end it, but many people like it and want to keep it going. Aaron volunteered to try to keep it going, and have it at Free Geek. It would start the 19th of this month (Sunday) it would be Aaron, Rick, Steve S, and AJ. Maybe Michael W.

The volunteer resources are there, but Aaron wants to know if it's OK to host it here.

Main Classroom and Meeting Room only. Lab/build doors will be kept closed.

A place to store a little equipment would be needed (or highly desired)

  • Rick: This is a really good thing. PLUG and Free Geek are a natural fit.
  • Wes: This is very appropriate, it may be helpful to adopters. What volunteers will make it happen?
  • Aaron: PLUG will bring their own volunteers.
  • Rick and Steve have committed that one or the other, at least, will always be here as chaperones.
  • It will be as open to Free Geek volunteers as any other member of the public.
  • Third Sunday of every month.
  • Pete: PLUG and Free Geek will be blurred in the eyes of the public. Should PLUG volunteers be checking in with Tech Support, etc periodically?
  • Steve: There's enough overlap, lots of FG staff will be involved looking out for these issues.
  • Richard: let's come up with a blurb that all participants adopt, as to what's the distinction between PLUG and Free Geek.
I don't remember if someone volunteered to do this. We should have a commitment. --Ideath
  • Richard: Let's give it a try, check in in a month or two.
  • Matteo: It must go on the calendar.
PLUG is welcome to use our space for monthly Linux Clinics. Participants should be made aware of Free Geek support policies w/r/t freekboxes or storeboxes that they bring in. The council wants to hear how it's going after three months to make sure everything's working out as well as proponents expect.
  • Richard: ASSes have a network scanning party scheduling conflict this first meeting. (In this case ASSes can probably adjust, but this is why it's essential to use the calendar.)
  • Note: bringing it up at council does not supercede the calendar!

Phil comes in. Yay Phil!

Free Geek Gresham

  • presenter: Dave Haskins
  • What is it? Where is it? What is its status? Do we want to get involved? How do we want to get involved?
  • Dave, Shawn have been in touch with some Gresham Optimists' Club people and City of Gresham people who are interested in starting up something like Free Geek.

Main people are kind of in over their heads, and the main person (we feel) is underqualified. City of Gresham really likes FG, and would like to have us involved. Optimists' Club, we hope, will agree.

Dave and Oso will be meeeting with Ken Mansky of Optimists' Club tomorrow, checking out the site, and proposing that FG step in.

  • Oso: City of Gresham is considering coming up w/ $ to pay FG staff to get things rolling. (potentially funded)
  • Dave: Gresham is establishing a tax that will fund e-waste collection. We can harvest from it.
  • Rev Phil: 3 months...huh?
  • Dave: Auto Dealership on Powell would be donating a facility for 3 months.
  • Laurel: can we give up staff here to do this?
  • Oso: They would pay current staff, which would enable us to replace FG staff while they are absent.
  • Dave: it's not cut-and-dried, there is no specific proposal on the table.
  • Debi: Hell no, I mean yes! We oughtta be doing this!
  • Pete: yeah, what she said.
  • Wes: isn't this too close for a satellite?
  • Oso: actually if anything, it's kinda far.
  • Dave: the gov't City of Gresham is so positive, he wishes Portland was like that.
  • Wren: FG PDX should not suffer as a result. We've lost a lot of staff recently, let's not get ahead of ourselves.
  • Dave: a positive aspect: with 2 FG's, you could have a continuous class schedule, and justify a full time education coordinator.
  • Phil: can we look at donations, where they've come from? Let's evaluate how this might impact our donation flow.
  • Pete: Let's look for a media opportunity, to poke City of Portland.
  • Liane: City of Gresham thinks they have a lot of stuff to deal with, and they're gonna deal with it whether we help or not.
  • Pete: Let's use this opportunity to crunch some of our own numbers, look at what studies City of Gresham has done, get a clearer picture of our future.
  • Richard: zip codes from FGdb biggest zip code is our own. Gresham has 2 zip codes; they rank 44th and 46th in the list. 19,000 come from 972xx, 4500 come from 970xx (which is just outside Portland.) Gresham brings us business, it's not tiny but not huge.
  • Wren: Let's try to figure out how fast FG Gresham would have to grow.
  • Oso: the numbers don't exist!
  • Laurel: can't we kind of control the stream of hardware, if we're picking and choosing.
  • Bobby: Salem has had a tech dropoff point for some time. There are people who take from it.
  • Liane: Can Dave and Oso email the council?

Dave and Oso send us as much info as possible after their visit.

  • Richard: this is a big deal. Let's have a lot of info, maybe a proposal, and lots of discussion next month. Let's make sure we're ahead of the curve, get approval of council, staff, board, and not drag our feet.

Volunteer cleaning party

  • Bobby presents
  • This dang place is a mess. Everywhere. It affects people's willingness to volunteer here.
  • Let's have some kind of reward program.
  • Debi: agrees with the need strongly.
  • Liane: There actually is a Thursday cleaning party, 3-4 people are doing stuff every week. stuff gets messed up quick though.
  • Oso: Lots has happened to deal with things since last month's discussion. The size of our current space makes it possible to play tetris too much instead of really cleaning.
  • Oso: If we start paying with hardware, that opens up lots of cans of worms.
  • Oso: if hardware rewards are too significant, state might want to tax it. The fact that it is not ongoing is what makes it work.
  • Debi: one-time blitz
  • Liane: we need to harass people to clean up after themselves.
  • Debi: KIDS especially need to not make messes, and clean up after themselves if they do.

safety concern

  • Charles presents
  • worn out tools lead to injuries, and to frustrated volunteers.
  • Recycling committee and/or Action committee will run with this.


Mini Bike Winter is going to stencil T shirts. It will be fun and partyish. Theater on Thursday will probably have NY Bike movies. zoo bomb web site has a calendar of Mini bike winter events. Blame them for the cold.

Lecture Friday night at PSU: "In Livable Cities is the Preservation of the World: Creating an ecologically and socially just metropolitan region" by Mike Houck, Executive Director of Urban Greenspaces Institute. School of Business Administration Building #190, 7-9pm.

New Commitments

  • Marie & Phil will create a video that can go on the web, etc. (by March 3rd Thurs)
  • Dave and/or Oso will email council list with more info about Free Geek Gresham very soon.
  • recycling and action committees will develop a plan to make sure tools are safe

Next Meeting

  • Facilitator: Vagrant
  • Scribe: Pete
  • Minutes Checker: Wren
  • Date: March 15, 7:15 pm
  • Place: Free Geek meeting room
  • Let's have a major discussion of Free Geek Gresham.