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Dan Marco

189 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Dan Marco 189 days ago
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Dan M
  • July 19th.
 
234 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Dan Marco 234 days ago
Dan M Advisory Board Meeting Agenda and Notes for 04/23/2017: 
 
Alex H Meeting: Community Council 
Dan M Date: 03/05/2017
Alex H Location: FreeGeek Chicago
Facilitator:
Note Taker:
Time Keeper:
Attendees: See below.
James S About this Meeting: Our Meeting Guidelines and Code-of-Conduct are available online.
 
Alex H
  • Attendance:
Dan M Volunteers: Dan, Howard, Steve, Leo, Patrick, Erick
Board: Ken
Staff: Bob
 
James S
  • Introductions (Facilitator, Standing Item):
 
Alex H
  • Announcements:
Dan M
  • The  purpose of this meeting is to raise and discuss issues which the  volunteer community have which they feel need to be brought to the  attention of the Board of Directors and/or Staff for resolution.
Alex H
  • New Items:
Dan M Dan:
  • AB Meetings, leadership and note taking
*  It shouldn't be just me all the time. If I'm not here (or even if I am) other people should be willing to step up and do it.
  • Patrick: add meeting dates to the whiteboard
 
  • Hackpad is going away. Will be Dropbox Paper. We'll ahve to figure stuff out how to use it.
  • Patrick: Slack [chat] or Groupchat might be a good replacement. It' sthe professional standard in Silicon Valley. It might be free. Separate rooms, etc. Ken: Is it just chat, or can we keep documentation on it? Evelyn said we can "do nothing" and let it roll over to Paper. Ken: I'm concerned about bad practices. If we need an account and it becomes encrypted, we hae to go back to Eades. So, my suggestion is (1) have somebody appoint3ed to check out Paper and report back: what it is, how to use it, etc. If it's good, that's fine. Archive everyitng from hackpad (back up and store) and have a FGC account, not under one person's name, so we can have if for FGC. Doing "nothing" is at best reactive, we should be proactive. Dan: We could swich to Wikia. Ken: Can someone look into that? Dan: I'll look into it.
 
PATRICK:
  • Young people who come here and are real energetic. Have lots of ideas. If there's a task real daunting, point to a young volunteer to cover it. Someone was working on network boot software. Young people can beput to work.  Howard: We're all volunteers, it depends on what abilitites people have. Leo: We have a scheduled orientation on Saturday no "Intro to web programming."  Dan: It's a question of getting people to commit to working on a project. Patrick: give them supervision. 
  •  
  • Leo: Hire someone to assisit Bob S doing what he does, esp. recycling runs. Dan: I have been told that due to our financial situaantion, we can't hare *anyone* more for *any reason* at this time. Hiring freeze. That being said, It'sn not OUR decision. It's the boards. 
  • Patrick: Weve'got a lot of stuff back there we don't even know what's in here. Dan: There currently is an attempt to inventory what we have, it's a slow process though because there's so much stuff. Patrcik: By putting it in the store and/or sell more items in the store/recycle items, we get rid of the stuff and FGC makes more money. I saw someone look through the store and find a high price item and say "i want that one." By selling more expensive comuputers we make more money. Put more ram, bigger hard drive, better CPUs, etc. Have an "expensive shelf" for beter computers. We're operating on a 10 year old protocal. Easy to add more RAM. If someone wants and buys that we make more money. Steve: We've got things in the sales shelf, we have more stuff in the back that nobody is doing anything with it. Dan: comes to inventory. We don't knwo what we have. Working on it. Leo: Have started an inventory system. 
  •  How often is the facility cleaned? Dan: not that often. Patrick: it gets filthy and that makes people not want to be here. Patric: I try to clean/organize, and people tell me to stop. Earick: They're used to dirty air. Dan: Suggestion: On Wed or Thurs we can mop and clean. On Fri/Sun there are too many poeople around for it to happen.Patrick: We have air filters too, we should use them to clean the air even on build days.
  • Steve: 14.04. If it expires, what happens? If a customer bings it back, what are going to do? Dan: X 1404 is expiring this month. What does that mean? My best understanding, the oftware updates will continue, but there's noody at X who is going to make sure that assorted software update all mesh well with the underlying system. The Ubuntu Base of X is suported for 5 years but X is only suppoerted for three, which expires this month. We do want to update to 16.04 ASAP and that appears to be "in prowess" but whoo knwoss how long that will take. Ken: Wheatever you giuys deide on the update, I recommend we do that immediately. Everybody is saying "we should to this/that" but nothing ever gets done. I'd rather see it get implemented and done. Make it happen.
  • How about mint? Concensous, It's easy to install and use. Ken: we're aiming for the "newbie" who just wants a computer that works. Just open it and go. Mint is easy. Eriock: are you as,ing us to decide? I don't know anything about Mint at all. Ken: How about some disks, try it out at home. Patrick: Mint has fewer tweaks. Fewer errors for beginners to have to figure out themselves. You guys are the ones who use it, the most, the decision should come from you guys. (Evelyn, Please come up with a survey quesitoning what OS we should use. People should answer "as if" they ddin't know anything about Linux, or computers. What do people want to do with their computer.)  Steve: I'll make some Mint discs on Wednesday., Ken: which versions of Mint? Steve/etc. I guess Cinnomon. Patrick: Have someone who isn't an expret try it out.
  • Patrick: Some people want to learn about tech/programming/etc but don't have enough money to go to college/cert class, I'm trying to push classes for people who can't afford it ohterwise. 
  • Patrick: There is "Women in Tech" and "Yes We Code" and latinos coding. Mostly white, middle easter, asian men curently in tech. We should know about them. Help get young ambitioous people involved.
  • Ken: Bylaws: Janet was stuck on employee job descrptions. Getting that compiled and condensed. It's slow going to get that put together. We['ll go with what we have now and amend as necessary (asap). Still in process. I'm going to help her; I've had issues which has taken me away from FGC, but I'm back now. Constitution: It's in-house so it's important that the volutneers have input. I (Ken) think that the volunteers should have more input in that. Let volunteers draft the Constituntion and submit it to the board. Thoughts? The bylaws will have a reference "see the constitution" for internal organization. 
 
 
 
  • Current suggestions:
  • Next Advisory Board Meeting Date: 
4th Sunday of May.
Alex H
  • Shout-outs and Damn the Man:
Alex H
 
283 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Dan Marco 283 days ago
  • The purpose of this meeting is to raise and discuss issues which the volunteer community have which they feel need to be brought to the attention of the Board of Directors and/or Staff for resolution.
  • New Items:
Dan:
  • Clarification of Warranty policy
Dan M
  • Depending on who one asks, even those in positions of authority, the Warranty policy changes. The policy should be set, and everyone should know what it is so when people ask the answer is accurate no matter who is asked.
 
  • Switching to 16.04
  • When is thi going to happen? Is there a timetable? Xubuntu 14.04 is expiring SOON.
Erick:
  • Supply needs: toolkits, pens, etc.  Janet says we can commuincate with her direcly o over email so she can know what we need ight away.
  • People coming in and out of laptops; get a swining door so people know "no entry beyond this point."
  • Howard: Bob R in parts wants a similar thing.
  • Eating in the laptop room. Can we have a table outside it? In the break area outside.
  • People asking for laptop room tools and then never get returned. THey should get them from laptops. Jason:L Sometimes we need more speicalized tools Paul: Announce at morning meeting. If you're going to pick up a tool, ask if it's ok. It might be someone's personal tool rather thatn FreeGeek's.
  • Jason:
  • Moringing meting is flawed. People say what they want to do, but w don't have "heolpers" to supervise them. We need to teach people how to be in charge so if regulars arent there others can step up. Safety issue, Paul: In that case, announce that there are certain things (ie power supplies) that should not be worked on. Jason: it's the honor system in that case. And if they show up after MM then they don't kjnow,.
  • Ken: Want your input. For the record, last time I was here i was here unofficialy even though I'm a board member. Talked with Janet, she encouraed me to atend so there's a voice of the board and ear of the board so there's more personal, direct interaction. Today I'm here "unofficial" but gpig forward, there wil the an official Board rep at ech meeting. Staf members too. Hoq does that sound? B oard and staff member here at ech meeting (once a month?).
  • Jason: ONce a month is too infrequnt. Ohters: we could have an emergency meeting as needed.
  • Ken: Organization. How we're doing th\ings is disorganized. iT COULD Be beter. W're a company, even thouh we're non-profit we need to at least make as much monmey as we spend. Let's try to be mor organized than we currently are insofar as personal activiteis, rather than leting people do whatever they want. IE, there are three slots in teardonwn, who is doing it? Only three there, if there's a fourth, no new people can join.I'd like input: some kind of structure to the volunteer track. Exampe:: Alex is "in charge" of teardown. Alex would train Howard to supervise teardown, then Howard would ogainze teardown insofar as what's going on there today.
  • Erick: There is no freedom without law. I've suggested that before in CC.But who woudl structure this?
  • John C: Thre's some sturcutre already. When one supervisor isn't there someone else steps up. Others; But i's more informal. We shold fomalize it.
  • Paul: Sometimes supervisory people aren't here, whether by their own schedule or just htat's the way it is. This place doe'nst lend itself to structure unless there's someone here fulltime to organize everything/one all the time. Eick: only way to figure it out is to try it. Ken: this is inj duiscusion, it's not fomalized YET.Who would arange? It wold volunteer orgainized. Person A woud train B, then we have a bckup. Always new people being trained. ?A rotation of leadership rather than the samepeopel all the time doing the same things.
  • Paul: We should ask other FreeGeeks and see how they are orgainized, but ultimately we need one person (like James in the past) who is willing to keep things oganized.
  • John: in the old days, you had to go throught each sttion. 
  • John: in the old days they wre saying we were out of money, and low quanity of stuf. Now we've got a lot of stuff. If e want to move stuff, if they ask for a disount then lets give it to them. Better to sll for les than not at all. Someone should be able to make the final decision to be flexible on disounts. The 30 laptops are for sale but hey want to charge extra for chargers.
  • John: No ody knows about ut. We need to advertise the place or else they'll neer come .  If peopel dont' see what they want they'll never buy it. Thre's on overhead her (shipping, inventory, work). Better to sell i for less than not at all. Bob says that he doens't have the authority, so why not?
  • Ken: I agree we need a GM, but we can't hire an adiminstrator right now, finaincially. We can orgainze the volutneers right now.
  • Jason: we should price off of ebay. Others; we do/did, but it's not working well
  • Jason: why is matt in charge? Ken: it just kind of worked out that way ater James resigned. Mattis aministring paperwork all the time, IDK if he wasn't to be a supervisor.
  • Erick: it's the board's decision as to who is an Aministrator.
  • PaouL the sales person should be able to put a discount in ad hoc, and then we'd sell it like that.
  • Howard: In build sometimes we run out of parts like HDs, we'll use a bigger one but hen it comes back from QA as the wrong HD. This confused things. Make the price guide more flexible.
  • Dan: Document the change. 
  • Jason: Have a rainge of sizes rather than one spec only. A window of sizes for HDs.
  • Jason" I'm told "we don't sell parts" but some parts are neer used or allowed to be sold separately.
  • John.Jason: reeview the price structure. Get what you can forr an item, for what's reasonable.
  • Howad: we' shold use the parts that we have a bunch of, reprice accordingly. Instead of being strict to the build spec sheet. Paul: Have a variety of stuff at avariety of prices rather than being strict.
  • Jason: I'm told "we could sell i but what if we need it someday?" but "someday" enver comes.
  • Dan; People in charge need to get all ont he same page re adjustments, otherwise they will veto any changes.
 
311 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Dan Marco 311 days ago
Dan M Advisory Board Meeting Agenda and Notes for 02/05/2017: 
 
Alex H Meeting: Community Council 
Dan M Date: 02/05/2017
Alex H Location: FreeGeek Chicago
Facilitator:
Note Taker:
Time Keeper:
Vote Counter:
Attendees: See below.
Number of Eligible Voters:  
Dan M Last Meeting Agenda: none (this is our first meeting)
James S About this Meeting: Our Meeting Guidelines and Code-of-Conduct are available online.
 
Alex H
  • Attendance:
Alex H
  • Pull out a sheet of paper. 
  • Have participants sign their name on it. 
  • Take a cellphone photo of the sheet, then add it here in this document.
 
James S
  • Introductions (Facilitator, Standing Item):
 
Alex H
  • Announcements:
Dan M
  • This is the first meeting of the "Advisory Board." We need to figure out what that means to us, how we govern ourselves, what we do, This will not necessarily be resolved today.
Alex H
  • New Items:
How did the Mothership revamp their organization? See these links:
 
What does the Board of Directors want from an Advisory Board?
Who are the members of the Advisory Board? 
is it all of the volunteers who show up at the meeting, or selected members, or what? Who decides this?
  • Current suggestions:
There should be a board rep at the Advisory Board meetings in order to keep tghe lines of communication open.
Meeting once a month instead of biweekly, with a board member in attendance to listen to AB concerns.
  • Next Advisory Board Meeting Date: 
Alex H
  • Shout-outs and Damn the Man:
  •  
 
314 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Dan Marco 314 days ago
  • ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment): refers to an attachment which was "Advanced" back in the days of the PC-AT computer, but now is standard.
Dan M Capacitor (or "Cap"): A component soldered into virtually all motherboards and many other Printed Circuit Boards.  Must look at to see if they're broken.
 
  • PCI-e (PCI Express): More advanced version of PCI. 
 
Optical Drive: device for playing and recording CD, DVD and/or Blu-Ray discs. It is "optical" because it reads the disc with a laser beam.
Printed Circuit Board (aka PCB): A flat component (often green, though other colors exist) with assorted other components soldered and/or printed onto it. The Motherboard is an example of a PCB.
Port: A place to plug something in.
Power Supply (or PSU): supplies power to the computer and components.
 
ROM (Read Only Memory): not the opposite of RAM, this is memory that cannot be changed, only accessed. Commercial CDs and DVDs are ROMs. The computer's BIOS is on a ROM chip permanently attached to the motherboard.
 
314 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Dan Marco 314 days ago
Dan M Class Introduction
 
Computer Parts, what they do, and how they go together
 
  • HDD: Holds OS, data files, resumes, games, videos, etc. Demo opened drive. Non-volatile: holds data even when unplugged. "Storage" (HDD) vs "Memory" (RAM) even though both are types of memory. Show opened HDD, what it looks like inside.
 
  • Master/slave. Device on far end is master, device on middle is slave. It's OK if your main OS is on "slave," it's just a word. Except: every slave needs a master, though not every master needs a slave. Set jumper to tell computer which is master and which is slave (if any).
 
325 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Dan Marco 325 days ago
 
  • Victor: We need to inventory everything that belongs to FGC, and everything that is for sale/is sold. Desktops, laptops, parts. Inventoried as they come in.
  • Howard: We should be able to sell that stuff, not just stored for years. Janet: I will get Matt [staff member, here on Saturdays] to talk to the people doing this, see what's up.
 
  • Janet: I said to a few volunteers that this would be our last meeting, going forward we'd organize an "advisory council" meeting once a month. Ken was thinking of a system with a three part membership: some paid staff, some volunteers, and board. They'd advise the board on issues. The treasurer says that the Board shouldn't be involved in this. Staff and CC should have own individual groups. Their groups should decide something, bring it to the board for a final ruling.
  • Janet: I have some research about bylaws. Advisory members may attend a board meeting but they have no vote.
  • Erick: So who is outlining this? Janet: This is one example of how bylaws are written. Got it off the internet. Ken: I got it from a particular place, don't recall it but can find it again.
  • Erick: When I asked last time about how the CC's attendance to the 3/3/3 "board" would be constructed I didn't get an answer; but if the board is going to make the final decision, what's the point of limiting the advisory membership? Why not just let the people who come express their opinion? Since they don't have voting powers anyway.
  • Ken: It's Advisory. Erick: But why limit it to three people? Ken: That was off the top of my head, as a three part board. Three from each (staff, volunteers, board). It's still open for debate. That was an example.
  • Victor: CC should be an advisory board, because technically you can't make any decisions because they're not legally responsible for the organization. But it's important to have CC because they know decisions. They can bring issues to board to resolve issues. Board would consult with staff, who would be the ones who implement any decision. 
 
  • Erick: Again, who is going to "decide" this? We've got the three board members here right now. They can make the decision. Victor: That's exactly my issue with board being in CC, if we're here we're forced to make a decision right now. If we're not here, we can take the time to make sure it's legal and appropriate. That's why I don't vote in CC. I'm a board member, not a CC member.
  • Janet: So have we decided that we're going to go with an advisory council? Ken: That's really the way it has to be. CC has no legal standing. Because of the constitution we act like it has authority, but outside this building only the Board have legal standing. We need to have our paperwork line up with the legal requirements. Need to do ASAP.
  • Ken: My reason for bringing it up here & now is not to beat a dead horse, but to let people know whats going on instead of it being seen as a coup. Consent of the governed.
 
  • Janet: So when are you going to meet, who are you going to send to the board? Erick: the regular CC people can continue to meet, have a record of what has gone on, we have a record of what decisions we make to bring to the Board.
  • Ken: Whatever number of AB attendees are going to be there, my suggestion was to meet once a month. In the board meeting today, we reduced it to quarterly board meetings. Janet: Whatever the advisory board decides on, about anything, bring it to the next board meeting (April). 
  • Jason: We could have CC meetings without board members, and draft our concerns to bring to the Board.
 
  • Dan: Based on the discussion today, the end of CC is fait acompli. It's a done deal. No need to discuss that any further. re Advisory Board, we don't need to finalize today how we'll organize it. It's going to happen, that's the takeawy from today. Advisory board (fka CC) can meet again to figure out organization. Point of AB is to finalize our issues to bring to the BoD.
  • Victor: CC can continue as is, but change title to Advisory board and get the process streamlined. Bring ideas to the board, and most of the time the Board will probably do it the way AB wants (barring craziness or other issues).
  • Dan: Short term, AB will meet in two weeks just like old-fashioned CC.
 
  • Streamlining installation process (Jason)
  • There's a lot of unnecessary stuff being added to the installs with the install.sh script. Bunch of mini games. Flash and JavaScript which aren't needed any more, it's old tech that nobody uses. Modern day browsers come with Flash preinstalled. Installing all of that slows down the install process. If we were to eliminate those from the script it would go faster and the computers would function better, esp. when we switch to 16.04 installs.
  • Howard: Many websites still use Flash and java.
 
  • Victor: So when they get donated, we should ask them for the discs too? Jason: We can burn the discs in house. Use them to wipe personal data.
  • Ken: how many macs do we have ready to go through this process? Jason: I don't know. Many of the macs here now, their drives have been wiped already. Going forward we can do this process instead.
  • Dan: History lesson: we have wiped Mac OS and replaced with Linux since before my time. It wasn't any one person's decision to do this, it was a policy developed via group effort based on FG's operating philosophy which includes using and promoting FLOSS OSes, which Mac OS isn't. Jason: Other Free Geeks sell stuff with Mac OS, we can do it too. Per Apple's Terms of Service, people are allowed to sell a used Mac provided it has the same OS it came with originally.
  • Jason: From what I've heard, Macs are what make us money.  They sell for more $ than the other (formerly Windows) PCs. Is that true? Answer: we don't have a good system to know that right now. Goes back to the lack of an inventory system.
  • Dan: We (someone specific) need to investigate and make sure we're legally allowed to do that. Trust but verify. We shouldn't just take someone's word for it no matter how trusted that person is.
  • Ken: so next time we have macs come in, we can have them set aside for Jason to experiment on. Maybe the next three, as a test.
 

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