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Alex Hanson

17 hours ago
Unfiled. Edited by Alex Hanson 17 hours ago
Terri's list of topics (from her email):
Alex H Banking:
 * Discussion about our bank's downtown closure> Why did we choose this bank? How will we continue to do banking there?
 * Switching banks. What's holding us up? We have discussed this for four years.  What's stalling us? 
 * Are we up to date with our tax fililngs? 
 * Tax exempt status. What is holding us back from getting this? 
 * What bills do we have to pay on a regular basis?  Is there any money left in the bank each month after we pay our regular bills? 
 * Is there any way to save money on certain bills? 
 * How are we getting the word out about FreeGeek? How are we doing this on social media or other media? 
 * Are we present at any events outside of FreeGeek? Where we can spread the word?
 * We have an opportunity to partner with the After School Matters program-should we take it and who will spearhead the effort? 
 * How are our classes doing? Can we get more people to teach? Is the teacher incentive program working? 
 * Can we offer new or different classes?
 * Can the new governance be explained? How do we get things done around FreeGeek now?
 How does our new governance jibe with our constitution and our by-laws?
 * How can we get more donations of hardware and money? Where can we store our donations or do we really need more hardware donated? 
 * Should we attach a "suggested" donation amount to our list of accepted donation items (as is done by Portland FG? (Right now it is limited to CRTs, printers, nonworking items). 
 * Rewrite of our "donation" page, perhaps changing items we accept, don't accept. 
 * Outgoing donations: Has this process changed? Should we still give stuff away to nonprofits for free or sell stuff to them as "package deals"? 
Meeting schedules: 
 * Are we still meeting on Sundays for CC? What type of meetings do we have and when do we have them and are they on our public calendar or how are they advertised? Does everyone have easy acces to meeting minutes? 
 * Board & staff meetings: should the minutes of these meetings be made public? Is it required by law that they be made public? How can we get ALL of the members of the board & staff to meet - to date we never have all met. 
 *Price lists-do we need them? Why are many items not priced? 
 * How are we coming up with prices? 
 * Review of prices for laptops/desktops - raise prices for bigger specs and special features (like SSD drives or special graphics cards)??
 * General discussion about the sku numbers for laptops and desktops. 
 * Should we charge & what should we charge for special services-like installing a wi-fi card into a desktop, erasing a hard drive for a customer, moving the data from a customers old laptop to a new one. These are time consuming services and retail stores charge a lot for them yet we sometimes do it for free-why? 
 * Should we charge for certificates of data destruction? (Most places charge $10 per drive or more for this process). 
 * Should we do repair work if a machine was not purchased at FG? (I notice that this is sometimes done.) How can we guarantee this work? and what do we charge for such services? 
 * If a machine is brought in to FG for a repair and we can verify it was purchased at FG, should we do repair work on it and how much should we charge? As it stands now, we often do work on machines purchased at FG even when they are off warranty.
 * Should we only continue to use e-steward recyclers? Is going with a recycler with R2 certification okay? 
 * Should we parse out our recycling more (rather than just using Vintage Tech)?
 * Revamp of our "what items we take for donation" and "what items we do not take for donation" list. 
 ;* What is the status of our EBay store? Are we still selling items there? What could we sell there?  Who is in charge of the Ebay work? How many Ebay sales have we made lately (in 2017 or in 2016).
Our Web Site:
 * We were supposed to install a new website. What is the status of that? 
 * Could we used the help of the coding crew to work on a new website? 
 * If we aren't getting the website updated soon, could we switch around / update some features in our existing website? 
Software Freedom Day: 
 * Will we have it this year? Who will the speakers be? Will there be a theme? Will there also be a FG Anniversary Party/Christmas Party?
Black Friday Sale:
 * Should we still have this special sale? What ideas do people have for an alternative sale? Do we still need a special sale? Should we have a desktop sale that lasts from Thanksgiving through year end closing? Should we have alternative sales (Earth Day (4/22), Geek Pride Day (5/25)?
 * We have an excess of desktops (and a lot of laptops)- How can we market them and sell them? We are running out of space for all of our equipment. How can we get more merchandise out the door? 
 * We are running out of space. Is it feasible to look for another location? Do we have enough funds? Is our business model good enough to sustain us for several more years? 
 * Is switching our internet provider from AT&T to Comcast a possibility and will we get a better price as well as better service? Who is in charge of our internal networking? Can we get more printers/pcs on our system? (We haven't had a good, reliable printer at the front desk for months-what's holding us up from getting one there and also in the laptop room?)
* Since we lost 2 employees in the last year, can we replace them and can we even afford to? We currently split 42 hours of weekly payroll time amongst 4 people.
  • /dev/urandom:
  • Victor will be helpful when discussing finances.
  • Janet: add Discipline to agenda.
11:00 am - Snacks:
11:30am – Introduction and Welcome:
  • Why we are here.
  • Topics to be  discussed.
12:00pm - FreeGeek Finances:
  • Finances          
  • Discussion about our bank's downtown closure:
  • 1. Why did we choose this bank?
  • 2. How will we continue to do banking there?
  • Switching banks.
  • 4. What's getting in the way of switching banks?
  • Taxes
  • a. Are we up to date with our tax fillings?
  • b. What is holding us back from getting tax exempt status?
Alex H
  •  Federal or State?
79 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Alex Hanson 79 days ago
  • When is thi going to happen? Is there a timetable? Xubuntu 14.04 is expiring SOON.
Alex H
  • Getting 16.04 up requires: 
  • 1) the PXE server to be set up. 
  • 2) the apt-mirror to host the relevant packages.
  • I talked to Matt "Misery" Washington on Saturday. I don't want to put words in his mouth, but it sounded like he was making progress on setting up the PXE server.
  • I tried updating the mirror over the holiday break, but had problems. 
  • Supposedly I had downloaded the whole repo to a VM on my laptop.  I transferred the packages to the apt-mirror, but somehow I'm missing 90 GB worth of archives. 
  • We can try to download the files again, but it's going to take a couple of weeks to get it down.
  • What would help here would be 1) someone with a fast connection willing to help us download the packages or 2) someone with more apt-mirror knowledge than I have who can help figure out what went wrong last time. 
1538 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by James Slater , Alex Hanson 1538 days ago
  • Go through hard disks, make sure none of them already have Xubuntu / Ubuntu installed on them. Wipe with Gparted if so.
1185 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Alex Hanson 1185 days ago
Dan M
  • Cables:
  • Expansion Cards:
  • (a semi-conductive sleeve that closes a circuit giving a designation of either master or slave to an IDE component)
Alex H
  • Master/Slave aka Primary/Secondary, and Cable Select
LAN aka Legacy LAN aka Network
280 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Alex Hanson , Dan Marco 280 days ago
  • Maybe you'll learn something new. 
  • Maybe you'll learn how little I know. 
  • Everybody should stay on the same page. 
  • Do things at the same time. Don't get ahead of me.
D. Distribute orientation bins.
E. Safety (use demo computer): 
  • Don't drop computer.
  • Moisture bad: don't spill beverage in computer. Don't use in bathroom. (No, really; some people do.)
  • Heat bad. Fans to dissipate.
  • Dust bad. Insulates heat from removing. Can catch fire if too hot. Clean out: once every 2 weeks, once every 6 months, or somewhere in between, depending on how dusty your place is.
  • ESD. Can cause shorts, make computer not work or not work as well as it would otherwise. Dissipate excess voltage in body by touching bare metal of the case before touching components. Can also use Electrostatic Wrist Strap (show strap), mat, etc.
  • Pokies out the back of the motherboard. Don't scratch yourself. Also a potential for ESD. 
  • Get in habit of touching things by edges/corners.
  • Flip back to top. Capacitors. How to check if they're bad. (Visual check.) 
  • We don't change caps here, though that's something that can be done.
4. Thermal Paste/Grease/Compound. Helps dissipate heat more effectively. Like plumber's compound or denture cream. Fills in the gaps. Demo use. "A little dab'll do ya." 
5. RAM:
  • DDR, DDR2, DDR3, DDR4. Need to know what kind you need for your motherboard. Look for the manufacturer's manual, it will tell you. Not only the type but the speed in Mhz is very important. Notches make them physically incompatible.
6. CMOS Battery. Where, what it does, why/how to change.
  • 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.
  • SATA. Newer/better/faster than IDE. No jumper, only one device per cable. Have to be compatible with mobo.
Alex H
  • Sometimes Sata drives do have jumpers. They're for setting speed (1.5gb/sec vs. 3gb/sec).
  • VGA. Plug for monitor. Older technology, but still in use. We want VGA and/or DVI in any computer we build. There's also newer/better/faster stuff like HDMI, Displayport, etc. for other video connectors. If the computer has these we might test them, but still must have VGA and/or DVI too.
  • PCI-e cards (demo card is video). Compatible with each other, but not with PCI or AGP.
Dan M
  • PCI-e "lanes" of data: x1, x2, x4, x8, x16.
12. Video "inside a hard drive." Shows what looks like when running; but DON'T open unless recycling. Normal sounds (though louder than usual). Maybe also play video re bad hard drive sounds.
  • "HD Size not available in BIOS" Show. Says hard disk, doesn't say how big. Is marked on the HDD label.
179 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Alex Hanson , Janet Mitts 179 days ago
Dan M Community Council Meeting Agenda and Notes for 11/27/2016
Alex H Meeting: Community Council 
Date: 11/27/2016
Location: FreeGeek Chicago
Facilitator: Janet Mitts
Note Taker: Alex Hanson
Time Keeper: Ken Greene
Vote Counter:
Attendees: See below.
Number of Eligible Voters:  9.
Dan M Last Meeting Agenda: [paste link to previous agenda/notes here]
James S About this Meeting: Our Meeting Guidelines and Code-of-Conduct are available online.
Alex H
  • Attendance:
James S
  • Introductions (Facilitator, Standing Item):
Alex H
  • Announcements:
Dan M
  • 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.
Alex H
  • FreeGeek's Community Council now uses paper ballets to count votes. Each meeting needs a volunteer to count the votes.
  • Old Items:
IT Management Policy (Alex Hanson/Gabriel Rivera):
  • Tabled. Gabriel's got a new job and a new course of study. Hopefully some new details next week.
  • Follow our progress on the hackpad.
Hardware Grants Policy (Gabriel Rivera/Ken Greene):
  • Held after sale is finished.
  • Victor: It's good that Jason and Peter are doing inventory of the shed, so we know what we have to sell. 
Janet M FreeGeek Chicago Governance (Ken Greene):
Alex H
  • Deals with Ken's new proposed governance structure for FreeGeek (members of the board, staff and CC meet once a month to handle standard business). 
  • Ken: Held, until I have some more details in the new year. People are getting busy for the holidays.
  • Jason: Sounds good, present something soon.
  • Victor: Legal responsibility is a big part of this. Community will always be the center of the organization, but we need to be safe and stable for the long term.
  • Gabriel: CC has a good focus on safety. Without CC watching, the board would have to solve problems after the fact.
  • Dan: Under current system, staff has a voice, it just doesn't have a vote. Any NP, the staff has to do what the board says.
  • Victor: If 1% controls the organization, it's not fair. We need to fix it and work together, going forward.
  • Gabriel: volunteers who consistently attend CC are important, even if they're a small group within the org.
  • Ken: Change has to come, we just need to make sure it works well.
  • Jason (added after meeting): Use the 3 group system to draft a new constitution, and have a meeting to grab input to revise document. Not just from eligible voters  but from all people involved in FreeGeek.
  • New Items:
Inventory(Chen Yu/Jason/Peter): 
  • Jason and Chen Yu have been doing inventory in the parts area.
  • Need to sell large HDD like 1 TB, so we can make some money.
  • We've got plenty games and Xbox 360 gaming consoles that can be sold too.
  • We should sell the stuff. We don't have much money now, and we need to get some $$$
  • Need for better/cleaner policy on intake.
  • Need clearer keep/sell notation in our records, so that we know what is going out.
  • Dan: I think that the first priority is inventory, not identifying which things should be sold.
  • Valuation would be great, but get an inventory first.
  • Jason: Need to clear the clutter.
  • Gabriel: Need some better guidelines for keep/don't keep decisions.
  • Victor: Inventory is an accounting issue, and the responsibility of the board. We need inventory, then the board can make an informed decision. Please give us an inventory, then we can keep better track.
  • Chen Yu: What about online sales? Victor, Ken: We have that.
  • Wayne: Need guidelines for inventory, then they can go forward.
  • Victor: Stick to inventorying the shack, then give us a report afterwards.
  • Janet: Agreed.
  • Victor: Again, accounting issue. Find whats there, then report back. Pricing is later. Ken: Agreed?
  • Mario: Need an area for inventoried stuff that is low-quality. Need Bob R and Will around to review this stuff.
Training Classes (Gabriel):
  • We did a Linux Command Line Class and a Using your FreeGeek Computer.
  • I'm going to make some more documentation for these classes.
  • I think people want classes in networking and more advanced topics.
  • I'll work with Victor on setting a schedule up for these events.
  • Dan: Problem was, we were short on people in the past. We need at least 2 command line intro classes before we do 1 command line intermediate class. Scheduling is very important!!
Holiday Sale(Jason):
  • Victor: We don't have the numbers yet. Wait until we have a report.
  • Victor: I'll make a report on the sale before the year is out.
  • Victor: In the future, the board will announce what has been happening over a year, and post some possible goals for the new year.
  • Held:
  • Next Community Council Meeting Date: 
  • 12/11/16
  • Last meeting of the year.
  • Shout-outs and Damn the Man:
Janet M
  • Janet gives shout-out to all volunteers & staff. We're an unbeatable team. The minute we hear "all hands on deck", we start  to function like a well oiled machine.
Alex H
  • Gabriel: Mario, for auditing the orientation class.
  • Dan: Gabriel, for teaching orientation and classes for many days. Also shout out to rick for teaching classes.
  • Mike: Paul, for getting better. Alex for coming back.
  • Ken: Bob, Matt, Evelyn, for setting up the sale.
  • Alex: Thanks to Michael for cleaning the washrooms. Thanks to everybody doing inventory.
  • Janet: Bob for printing meeting agenda.
193 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Alex Hanson , Gabriel Rivera 193 days ago
Meeting: Community Council 
Date: 11/13/2016
Location: FreeGeek Chicago
Facilitator: Janet Mitts
Note Taker: Alex Hanson
Time Keeper: Ken Greene
Vote Counter:
Attendees: See the photo below.
Number of Eligible Voters:  10
  • All CC attendees: Please review the meeting notes on 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 document or discuss it on FGC's google talk list.
Ken: I've got some fliers here (reads out the details on the fliers). Any questions, ask Bob S. or Ken.
Ken: We'd like to all the old desktop computers out by the end of the year.
Ken: Please take some fliers and give them out to your friends.
Dan: Does "Cash Only" apply to reduced priced desktops? Bob S.: Only in the desktop area. Laptops can be paid for by other methods.
Jason: Victor said that we need the money, so we should cut prices on our high-end stuff.
Ken: I'll work with volunteers in making an inventory sheet so that we can check customers out more quickly.
IT Management Policy (Alex Hanson/Gabriel Rivera):
  • Making a policy and a working group for our IT improvement (Alex H., Gabriel R., Will, Lucian,other assorted volunteers). 
  • Making sure that operations continue, even as volunteers and staff come and go.
  • Possible Deliverables:
  • Creating a documentation system (Open KM). ->
  • Backup System/Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Plan.
  • Building an application server (using virtualization).
  • A written proposal will be ready to present to the next session of community council.
Hardware Grants Policy (Gabriel Rivera):
Hardware Grants: requests for hardware from other nonprofit organizations.
Progress: Gabriel created an online form for prospective recipients.
Next actions: 
  • Working with Victor on this. 
  • Making sure that we have enough hardware to give out. 
  • Possibly offering a purchase (at a reduced rate). 
  • Working w/ Ken to adding the Google form to the current website. 
  • Setting a policy for responding to these requests (authentication, response, etc).
Dan: Is the form live? Can we check it out? Gabriel: yes, on the previous meeting's hackpad.
FreeGeek Chicago Governance (Ken Greene)
Problem of difference between legally binding charter and FreeGeek's constitution. 
Leads to difficulty getting things done. Also makes getting board insurance (protection from liability) difficult. 
Suggesting a tripartite structure (Community Representatives, Board of Directors, Employees) instead, which would be legally easier to deal with. 
Jason: High level governance: legal issues, finances vs Low Level governance: donations, etc. 
Ken: Sure, but we need to get something soon that is both effective, legal and respects the history of community leadership at FreeGeek. 
Gabriel: Sounds like a good idea. Getting some projects done has been difficult due to figuring out who is in charge of what.
Dan: If we approve this three part structure, is there any chance that staff will approve this? They tend to be busy (because they have other work to do, but).
Ken: Yes. A representative would be mandatory. Group meetings would be once a month. With staff membership in the decision making process, staff attitude would be improved and they'd be more responsive. 
Ken: efficiency is important. Finances are bad, and we need more sales and successful projects.
Jason: Do you have a possible draft of a new constitution?
Ken: Not yet. But hoping to do it soon
Dan: Include CC in new bylaws? Board members already participate in CC, so there's already board participation in decision-making.
Ken: Board wasn't set up right by founders, therefore Janet got stuck out as a figurehead. Legal target if anything goes wrong. Need to get her protected, and get a more effective way to make decisions at speed.
Erick: When I got here, I thought the CC governed the org. I thought the board was a figurehead.
Gabriel: sounds good to me. organizations need to change over time.
Ken: I've been consulting a lawyer for advice on this program. 
Alex: It's an acceptable idea to me, as long as: 
  • There is a document in front of us that we can discuss. 
  • Board handles staff review and HR. 
  • Staff reports regularly.
Dan: Reporting was already mandated in the old constitution. What makes you so sure that this new constitution will make sure that happens?
Ken: Any serious objections, talk to me after the meeting. I'll talk to the staff and board in the last meeting of the year and relay any concerns.
Gabriel: Our new documentation system may make building a new organizational structure easier.  
  • New Items:
Graphics Cards (Jason/Peter):
Jason: Peter and I have a Google Spreadsheet of all the graphics cards we've tested.
Jason: We want to do some more inventory of the shed.
Janet: Work with me on this, because I know how people get around here. Politics can be messy here. 
Gabriel: As long as you let everyone know what yr working on, everything will go along.
Alex: Can you work on optical drives and motherboards next?
Jason and Alex will work on making the Google Spreadsheet more available to the public. 
Underage Volunteers & Waivers (Gabriel Rivera):
Underage students are usually good, but some can be flaky (playing w/cellphones during safety lectures, etc). I'm concerned that they won't bring in their waivers next time, then get hurt and cause trouble for FreeGeek. 
Request: Ask new members if they've submitted waivers during the community meeting.
Ken: New website, using CiviCRM will throw a flag when people haven't submitted their waivers.
Jason: Speed up orientation so that younger folks don't tune out.
Janet: I'm always checking in on the younger folks and making sure they're well behaved.
  • Held:
  • Any discussions about hardware donations to other organizations will be continued after the November 26th sale is finished.
  • We'll talk about Matt and Jarrod's Alternate rewards policy after the sale is finished. Ken will talk with Matt and Jarrod about this, next time he sees them.
  • Next Community Council Meeting Date: 
  • 11/27/16
  • Shout-outs and Damn the Man:
  • Janet gives Shout-out to all volunteers & staff. We're not ancient or zealous. We can be very agreeable over some Peanut Butter & Jelly!
  • Alex: Gabriel, for taking care of orientation.
  • Ken: Janet, Alex, Bob for running CC.

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