All CC attendees: Please review the meeting notes on hackpad later and if necessary edit for accuracy re the discussion that took place.
Non-CC attendees: These notes are to document what happened at the meeting. Please don't add commentary or other things that didn't happen at the meeting itself. If you wish to respond to something, please start a new hackpad doc or discuss it on FGC's google talk list.
Dan MI'm working with Rick and Dan developing the schedule for the command line class. Soon we will let peole know. We'll do a basic class a couple of times, and then an advanced one. Some people need really basic instructions while others are more advanced. Rick and I are co-teaching, so maybe we'll split the class between the two so we can teach most effectively.
Ken: Educators are going to have a meeting next Sunday at 3 to firm up ideas about classes and stuff like that, organizing schedule, etc.
Dan MFuture of FreeGeek Chicago and its Community Council:
Ken: We previously talked abouot, is CC going to stay and/or in what form it's going to stay. We need to take action because it's the new year, legal docs will be rewritten ec. I've asked for input from the community. I haen't heard any concrete reasons why we shoulnd't do it this way.
Mario: We should keep CC meetings ecause it's informative to people. I'ts a reat benefit.
Ken: Details can continue to be filled out. The core of my proposal is: three reps from each group (board, staff, community) gets together 1x/mo. Required to meet. If the community wants to get together and have a meeting for their reps, but the 1x/mo meeting all groups would be represented so that the governance of the community will be legal.
Gab: how would staff & volunteer reps be selected? Ken: Details to be worked out. If you want to nominate or whatever, that's fine. As long as 3 from community nd 3 from staff show up that's the thing. Point is, it's not going to be board takeover and that's it. I don't want that, nobody wants that. Staff would advise the board. Volunteer reps would advise the board. But board must be the ones to make decisions. Not little stuff (what toilet paper to buy), it's policy What goals or the year, how we're goint to operate, etc.
It's coming. We need to be on board. Community needs to be on board with change because we're making legal changes We need to be as fair as possible.
Erick: How are you going to establish membership of the groups? Ken: I'm still working on details on that. The board needs to take legal responsibility. Will be done with staff & communiy input. This chane won't happen tomorrow, but it will be soon.
It's the new year now, it's time for action. We'll hammer out details. Upshot is, we're going to change to a more traditional board governance with legal responsibility.
Erick: But who is going to autorize this? Ken: Ultimately, the board. Unofficially with community input, but it must be the board bwecause it's the board that is the legal entity. Internally, the community has input.
Ken: Must be done by legal guidelines. We need to nail this down,.
Gabe: The quesiotn is, whats going to happen to CC with this? Ken: I"m still hammering out detaiols. We will discuss it at a future date. We'll let yoy know and ask for input and passage. BUt it must be done for legal reasons.
K: We're not going to throw the community out the window. The community wil have a voice.
Janet: We may have one more CC meeting before we go to this once a month thing.
G: What if designated representatives aren't available for the meeting? Ken: ommunity can ave a meeting to decide their reps and issues, same with staff, then the thrtee groups will get together and meet when they can.
Final decisions will be board. Hight levels. Financwes. Strategies. NOt day-to-day stuff.
Ken: expect it withing 30 days.
Ken: We son't get bogged down in muntae "I didn't get to do such and such." "Can we do monitors soon?" Etc. We need to get things accomplished rather than talking things to death.
Community can meet and discuss, and get organized to britn things to the staff.
Janet: per Victor, we've only got 5-7 people meet at CC on a regular basis. Amongst those who wold meet regularly, those people would be chosen.
I've been geting a lot of tongue lashing about getting this done. We need to get things moving, to a "higher plane." Once I see something is good, I can help i be better and put foeth that effort. I'm asking for ful participation about authority over paid staff. I didn't get anything. Now push has come to shove. I need people's input aboiut advisory board and hash out wording for new bylaws and constitution for FGC.
Gabe: We understand the purpose, but until we get specifics, we can't tell how we feel about it.
We just hae to comply with our legal status.
Gabe: Once we have a concrete idea about what this advisory board will look like we'll have more input.
Gabe: Is there a tie frame for this proposal/new details/speficitcs? When are we going to hear more? Ken: Ideally within the next 30 days. Not official. Janet: I"d like it for the next CC meeting so we can start doing meeitngs once a month.
Added Agenda Items
Visitors to the space (Gabriel)
Now I realize they weren't visitorys, they were shoppers. They wandered about, all the way to the parts department. I approaced them and helped them. Let them know what we have available, but that it's a staff area. Nobody caugt that. Concern in the future.
Maybe remind the helpers about looking out for wanderers, and make sure to help them but keep them from ambling.
Mike: The bototm line is, safety factor.
Gabe: We can ask volunteers to schedule for the rolses of front desk and parts. Just a suggestion.
Changing distros (Steve)
We're relying on when the server is upgraded then? Gabe: Yes. Alex has prepped the file server and will be ready to test soon.
Steve: Do we need to wait for server? Can't we just start using 16.04? Gabriel: we'll Start doing stuff soon. I like mint, it's pleasing without being resource intensive Also supported for 5 years. If you want to help us out with that great. Officially we'd be switini to X/Kubuntu 16.04 while testing other possible distros to switch to.
I'm trying to organize for a proposal for IT management. We want documentation for disaster recovery. Priority is servers are running and healthy. It's in the works.
I'm an accountant, what I will be doing @FGC i do on a daily basis. If you have something that needs to be addressed, please let me know. firstname.lastname@example.org
My first responsibility is to FGC, not any particular person at FGC.
Requested Donation from the Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation:
From Matt "Misery" Washington: "A guy from the Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation is looking for a donation of peripherals. Namely, they're looking for VGA cables, keyboards, and mice. I figure FGC can spare up to 200 cables (we've well over 400 and were probably going to just cut them, anyway) and up to 100 keyboards (I'm assuming you've seen the shelves filled with keyboards). Mice are a bit trickier since we've only a bin or two of those, as far as I know."
Victor: Any donation requests, we need to do due diligance to make sure it's a valid org. Anyone can make a website. We should investigate with IRS/state of IL to see if they really exist. Also need a letter, not an email, on their letterhead.
Janet: Usually people come and talkto CC to answer any questions.
Victor: Assuming it's legit, we wouldn't have a problem with donating this stuff, would we?
Gabriel: Only thing, if they have an issue with a cable can we make them give it back rather than throwing in the trash? Responsible recycling.
Janet: My understanding is, just cables, this might be something that they'll discard, demanufactuering, etc. They don't want them for setup/business purposes at this point.
Janet: This is why we usually have someone come in to tell us what they are going to do with the donations.
Jason: We should table until we get more info.
Dan: minimum for a hardware request is a letter telling us who they are, what they want, what they'd do with them. IF there's a letter, we could vote next time (at the earliest).
Ken: We should put something in any donation that when it's no longer being used, it should be recycled and not just thrown into the garbage/landfill.
One of our units currently houses about 15-16 adults. That unit is in desperate need of PCs, which is why I'm inquiring in the first place. Those PCs will help our clients, for example, apply for jobs or look for courses to take to continue their education."
Janet: This is from Matt. We need something more.
Jason: We should require a representative to come talk to us. Janet: That's SOP here.
Victor: If I'm reading this correctly, he's asking for procedure. I think we need to come up with guidelines to put on the website about donatno requests.
Victor: We should get some alliances with other places. Th3ey train people, we train people. We should partner with them.l "We'll give you the computers, but can you send people here to learn?"
Janet: What next? Ken: Table it, have Matt reply to them with more info,
Gabriel: They might have budget to spend ratehr than give. We chould find out if they're looking for a donation or are willing to buy? If they're a NFP they might have rules on how they spend money.
Gabriel: If you have a document that formallizes the provcess, that would be good,.
Gabriel: Great opportunity for making an impact on community, and for advertising thaqt.
Janet: We'll try to get more info.l Terry is usually the person who follows through on these requests,.
Dan: yes, we need stuff on the website and a formal procedure. CC has talked about it before.
Victor: Process that is clear on how to request donation. Then review document in CC.
Victor: When there's a donaton request it should go to CC.
Victor: But who is going to write the doc? Ken: You just volunteered. Victor: OK. Gabriel: I'll help you out.
DIGRESSION: Board meetings, and board meeting with staff
Jason: We should have posted board meeting dates, set well in advance and on a regular basis.
Dan: Sign outside saying "Emergency Exit" We need to talk to building management.
Bob: Terry is the person who should talk to building management.
Dan: sign on as-is laptops saying "no warranty." Any problem with that?
Jason: If we're doing as-is it should be no returns. If it doesn't work, it's your probloem.l
Erick: Isn't it unethical if we don't know if it works? Ken: It's not guaranteed that it won't work, they just aren't sure.
Victor: When I see it my impression is that it is good to go. If they're not sure, then it might be bad for relations. Keep them for people who want to learn about laptops, but selling something, that doesn't work then it's bad Pr.
jASON: it should say, "for pafrts."
Dan [what I said, will fill out later]
Gabriel: it should be absoloutey clear that it's intended as spare parts, non functionall. Otherwise we should keep them to try to make it work, or scrap them.
Jason: change the sign to "laptop for parts, as-is, no returns."? Janet et al.: good idea.
Janet: That was the point. We need to make the sign clearer and leave them on the shelf.
Erick: Yes, there's a lot of laptops. If the person buying doesn't know, if they think that it's a good deal, that's what I'm concered about.
Howard: I assumed when I first saw them they were for parts and to play around with.
Dan:I"ll make new signs for the boxes.
Ken: The issue is, our website is screwed up. It was hand-coded by people who used to be here but not anymore. We're supposed to be workin on a solution. Jarrod and Doug are working on it, but it's been sicne January that they've been working, and all they have is security features.
Ken: I think we need someone to oversee this. Should we appoint someone to oversee and kick them, get them going?
Jason: Rather than coding a website from scratch, use a website hosting ploace. Cheap.
Ken: They're using wordpress, but it's just very slo. We need someone to light a fire.
Victor: Fursterating that it's our website, but we have no access. I propose that we have a website committee headed by Ken, who has responsibility. If/when there's change, it can be transferred to the new board.
Jason: Ken, how good are you at webiste coding? Ken: They're currently using Drupal, which is pretty bad. I've built websites in Joomla, I don't like Drupal. It's less secure unless you put in a lot of security . Same with wordpress.
Ken: I get what they're doing, it's good, it's just not being worked on now. We can't do this, we can't do that, things are stuck on "we can't get the website up."
Gabriel: I'm studying a lot of what you're working on now. how do you manage a website, etc. I can help out.
Jason: So Ken, your'e saying yo9u can code? Ken: Not Html, but ...
Victor: But what are we doing ABOUT the website? Have a committee that meets outside of CC. Have a meeting, come back and report to us.
Jason: Switch the people doing the website: Ken: that's what we're talking about. Not firing the people doing it now, but I'm willing to get them going if CC gives me that authority.
Janet: Who appointed Jasrrod for worknig on this? Ken: IDK. Jarrod is paid for Ebay, but he can voluntarily work on the website too. Victor: but who put him "in charge?"
Ken: I"m not looking for power, but sdomething needs to happen. I can't just walk up and say [blank], I want the backing of community council to get it up and running.l
Erick: are you asking for approval by CC to do this?
Victor: I propose that Ken be "the guy in charge" of the webiste committee. Ken: We'd need a vote at a future date.
Jason: If the website's that important, why push it until next time? Ken: Because that's the way our rules are set up. We can't vote on anything the meeting that's been proposed. Though the board could vote on it. Working within our existing structure, which is CC making these decisions, not a board-level decision.l We can vote next meeting on whether or not I'll be the "overseer" of the website committee.
Janet: coming up. We combine FGC's birthday party with Halloween. Having a party. Details TBD. It's on Oct. 29th from 11-5. Potluck.
First make sure that the internet is down for the whole network, and not just particular segments.
Make sure someone hasn't unplugged the input from a switch and plugged it into their own machine. They get internet, but the rest of the space gets nothing.
Switches in the space are old and may fail. If a specific section of the space just cannot get back on, ask Bob Stein for another switch. If that solves the issue, then the old switch may have just died.
Old switches that fail tend to get very hot or show odd light patterns on the front.
Check any documentation you can find on these devices to spot problems.
Find the Motorola 2210 modem currently stored on top of the server. It should have four green lights. If three or fewer lights are on, or if any are red, reset it by unplugging the power cord in the back and plugging it back in. It could take 2-3 minutes for the modem to boot up fully. Be patient.
Check the cables plugged into the server switch, making sure they're fully plugged in and the light next to each is on.
Then check each switch in the space for internet access. If they're still not up, reset them by unplugging power and plugging back in.
Double-check that the ethernet cables are fully inserted into the switches. (We use old cables that sometimes have broken clips, which lets them come loose easily.)
Check all the switches in the build and QA area for "Double Loops". Sometimes, people will plug one end of a cable into a switch and plug the other end of the cable into the same switch. This interferes with the process of DHCP, and can stop the network from working at all.
Unplug all unnecessary cables from the switch.
Trace cables from the switches, and try to figure where everything is going .
Sorry, I didn't think it through. If there's a loop from network device to network device anywhere, it can cause issues. All you need is one connection going one way, not two. Best to tell people to go through the cabling with a fine toothed comb here..
Weird Issues with Installations:
FreeGeek has an apt-mirror, which is a web server that holds local copies of the software packages that go into our Linux computers. This allows us to save on bandwidth and install Linux quickly on our computers, but we can have serious and unusual problems when the mirror doesn't work right. When these packages don't make it to the mirror in proper condition, our installs can have weird problems. For example, tab completion doesn't work, the gui doesn't work, etc.
What I usually do:
Use SSH to connect to the apt-mirror from the laptop room desktop.
I need a picture of the laptop room desktop and what the console looks like when you're ssh'ed into something
Run a command that I don't remember (but is in the history) that updates the apt-mirror, and flushes out any non-working packages.
Wait a while, and have volunteers retry any installations that came out funny. If installs work properly, then you've solved the problem... for now. The mirror is supposed to update itself via a cron job, but sometimes it doesn't.
Updating Ubuntu 16.04 (and derivatives) fails:
Dan MIf you're installing a version of Linux that doesn't exist on FGC's server (such as Ubuntu 16.04), the update mirror will not work properly. FGC's server redirects default mirror requests to itself, which saves time when installing or updating our current installations but not when it's looking for something that isn't there.
Open the "Software and Updates" program in the OS.
Change the archive mirror from the default "us.archive.ubuntu.com" to another local-ish server, such as "cosmos.cites.illinois.edu"
The program will tell you that you need to update packages. You can click OK, or open Terminal and run "apt update", followed by "apt upgrade" and/or "apt dist-upgrade" as needed.
I barely understand how this works, so I #$%&ing hate when this goes wrong.
FreeGeek installs most of its computers using PXE. This is helpful because we don't need an endless supply of optical media or USB install disks. We can also automate part of the installation process (so certain mistakes don't occur endlessly). However, this method requires multiple systems to work properly (the router that sends traffic to the pxe server, the file server that stores the pxe images, the switches and cables that connect the computers to the pxe server). If any of these parts are wonky, then issues can occur. Our main problem here is that the server holding the PXE images is ancient (and running a really old version of Debian).
Short term fixes:
Locate the problem. Is network boot not working for the entire network, or just a specific segment, or just a specific machine? Some crappy boards (Intel!) have issues with network boot.
SSH into the fileserver and restart it. It'll take a hot minute, because servers have more complicated hardware and have more components to test as they start up. That may fix up PXE issues temporarily.
Long term Fixes:
Replace the old server with a newer, faster machine?
If you get stymied at any point, feel free to ask for help. Even if you have no problems whatsoever, at certain points you will need to interact with a ‘Helper,’ a person on the Build floor roving around helping people and trying to solve problems. Do not refer to them as ‘Helper.’ “I need a Helper!” Refer to them by name. “Alex, I need some help!” ‘Helper’ is merely a collective name for them in this document. Ultimately, anyone who knows more than you do about something is a Helper for you, and you in turn are – or will be – a Helper for someone who knows less than you.
All CC attendees: Please review the meeting notes on our hackpad later and if necessary edit for accuracy regarding the discussion that took place.
Non-CC attendees: These notes are to document what happened at the meeting. Please don't add commentary or other things that didn't happen at the meeting itself. If you wish to respond to something, please start a new hackpad doc or discuss it on FGC's google talk list.
Did Ken Greene follow up with them?
Did they submit a proposal?
Ken: No update. Tabled for today.
AEIOU Laptop Donation:
They want 2-4 laptops from FreeGeek for a computer education program in preschools and daycare centers. Mainly in low income communities. Already have 12 laptops and several tablets.
Did Terri get any additional information from them?
They posted something odd about FreeGeek on a volunteering site, and people have some questions about it.
Some promotional language seemed to imply a relationship to FGC that hasn't been cemented as of yet.
Cleon from AEIOU is here to answer any questions from the community.
Talked to Matt in November 2015. Didn't know he could present to CC and get a hardware grant from FreeGeek. Instead, he brought in some volunteers who gave him the laptops that they earned by volunteering at FreeGeek Chicago. He wouldn't have done this if he didn't know that all he had to do to get laptops for his non-profit organization was to ask the CC.
Terri: I need to talk to Matt about how this was all arranged. He didn't say anything to me about this.
Paul: Need background on the org. Cleon: Sure!
Alex: Read previous notes for more details on AEIOU.
Ken: Tabled, for more discussion by community
Janet: Cleon, please come back at the next CC meeting and we'll talk more about the issue.
Does anybody know somebody who could make a good treasurer?
Would FGC be open to having a board member who is outside the community?
Dan knows someone who is experienced at being a board member elsewhere.
Paul: How does the board handle FreeGeek's money?
Dan: Generally, the money in this case is from FreeGeek's sales. The treasurer supervises the staff's handling of money.
Ken: Let's have a big meeting in two weeks, and maybe we can discuss new board members. I'll meet with the other board members, then meet with board + staff, then we can all discuss the issues.
Communication with Staff (Dan Marco):
FreeGeek has a constitution, linked on our website. One of the elements of the constitution is that Staff should report about activities regularly. Granted, all employees here are part time, and are busy. But there hasn't been much information in a long time. Dan had to fill timesheets on regular basis at his old job, so why not here?
Terri: I send reports to coleagues on staff, about my activities.
Dan: It doesn't have to be a huge report, just a small paragraph here and there would be helpful for the CC/general public.
Israel: We need some type of core understanding to the org. Not being rigid is one thing, but antiestablishment can only go so far. We need some structure.
Grant: Problem is not that we don't have an underlying structure, but that we used to have one but the people here now aren't sure what it is. If the person who is "in charge" doesn't think they're in charge and don 't know they're in charge then everything breaks down.
Ken: Difference between day-to-day build volunteering time structural problems vs core structural problems. Jason's example is more day-to-day. If nobody volunteers for a position (ie parts) then nobody does it. If you think you can do it, volunteer to be the parts person (for example). I'd like to make a proposal in the near future regarding a reorganization of the organization's day-to-day operation.
Alberto: if he's waiting 45 minutes for a power supply, nobody has the right to argue about it.
Israel: Reach out to Matt. If he can't attend then at least get his feedback to present to CC.
Grant: It depends on if we want to stick to Ku/Xubuntu. If we want to stick with them in 16.04 we should wait a little because they're still buggy. In terms of separate issue, we could install Mint, or puppy for cheper desktops.
Terry: How long LTS should we use? Dan: At least 3.
Ken: If we wait for the LTS to expire, are we going to wait until 2019 to change then? It's a long time.
Grant: Regardless of how long it's supported for, the problem is that the difference between Ubuntu and something like Linux Lite is that Ubuntu is sticking around. Linux Lite, who knows if it will still be around later? Confidence on continued existence of a given OS.
Dan: We don't need to make the decision today, but we should think about it today so that when we NEED to change we're not caught sleeping.
Grant: Is the poll going to be taken into account? Dan: IDK.
For now we're using Mint on iMacs. We should install a preseed rather than having to install manually for ease of use. I wrote an installer script but I had to hack it up good to figure anything out. If it was preseeded then it would be much easier.
Ken: Didn't we talk about going to Apple OS on iMacs? Steve: it was specifically about laptops. Ken: point was, do we have the legality in our favor about licensing. We should look into that. Perhaps look into installing Apple software on iMacs.
Jason: Anything Lion and beyond is free and you can make bootalbe media. Ken: That might be personal, not business agreements. If you're installing as a buisness there's a seoparate license. We can't install Microsoft without a license, we need to see if Apple has the same rules.
Grant: Not much difference. Hard to explain, easy to do.
Terry: In the past, if we couldn't install Linux we sold them without an OS. We'd need to warranty-support Mac OS otherwise.
I added an install script for iMacs to the Github account, but after I added the request I realized I don't know who is in charge of the Github account and who accepts requests. But right now Benjamin (the one current person) is out of town so nobody is there, and there are many more things to change. How do we deal with all of this?
Terry: if Alex was here he might have a response. Grant: He said that James is still in charge even though he's not here any more.
Grant: We have a lot of issues with the install script that haven't been addressed since 2015.
ELGIBILE VOTERS (Terry)
If an issue comes up where something needs to be voted on, we should have paper ballots instead of a verbal/raised hand response. We should have a piece of paper with Yes/No/Abstention and a check off. Like a real election.
Janet: we do a show of hands. Dan, Terry: that's bad for reasons already said.
Erick: Is this a proposal? Terry: Yes. So then it will be voted on at the next meeting.
Aliberto: If someone doesn't vote by raising the hand, what would be the process? Terry: it's only for eligible voters.
Grant: I agree with private votes. It is important. A majority rules no matter what the process is.
Is there a second to the proposal? Dan: Me.
We'll vote on that next time.
Next Community Council Meeting Date: July 24, 2016
Shout-outs and Damn the Man:
Janet MJanet gives shout-out to all volunteers & staff. We love Life & Living. But, also important, we really enjoy our giving!
He's going to take a roadtrip to Milwaukee WI on a Divvy bike. Thanks to them for making it possible.
Please swap out the computer pallet in the middle of build. It's falling to pieces.
Dan: There's a bill before the NY Assembly called the Fair Repair Law. Provides access to product data sheets from major manufacturers to mom-n-pop repair shops. June 30th is their end of session. If you are friends with NY residents, have them call their politicians and have them call the vote before the 30th.