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bodycoach2
March 18th, 2007, 04:04 AM
I've toyed with the idea of starting a business based on Open Source software, especially using Ubuntu. I'm not the business enterprising type, but I think such a concept might work. My idea is to sell a service where Ubuntu is installed on someone's existing computers, educated on how to use it, and supported for 1 year, or even more. Maybe something like 'geeksquad' but using and supporting Ubuntu instead. And, setting realistic prices too.

I started off with the idea of installing and setting up someone on Ubuntu for $50, and 3-6 months support for $25. Setting up a dual boot would cost more. I think a team of people would be necessary; at least three. It could be done with one person, but I think three would be better to start.

Support could be done by email, chat, or phone.

It's still one of my goals to start a FreeGeek (http://www.freegeek.org) chapter in Central Florida, but I think a business could be done too. And, starting one now would be getting in on the ground floor of a computer platform that is likely to become pretty big.

Video about FreeGeek: http://youtube.com/watch?v=625LPUACix0

Any comments? Ideas?

bodycoach2
March 18th, 2007, 04:15 AM
The complete Free Geek Video is HERE (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3343196262291457240&q=free+geek&hl=en)

Bordy
March 18th, 2007, 04:22 AM
Not a bad idea, and one I personally would be willing to help with if needed, as I have had to figure out dual boot on my own, and reinstall a few flavors of ubuntu at least 5 times in the last 6 months (mainly after wrecking my x.org config file).

Like I said in the other thread, I am very very interested in getting freegeek around here. I have always been interested in the philanthropic possibilities of F/OSS.

We should definitely set that as a goal on the wiki.

feravolo
March 18th, 2007, 09:03 PM
Hello:

We want to make everyone aware that an [ "free to use" ] alternative to "pay per seat" software exists and how that it benefits everyone. The bottom line here is this; By saving people money on software licensing, you are giving them something more then just another check to write.

Here is how find me around town and talk about things that our group can do with me in person. I regularly attend two leads groups in East Orlando, that are open to anyone and don't make you feel like you are forced to pass leads. On Tuesday's at 8:30 am at Qudoba's in Waterford Lakes Town Center on Alafya Trail and Thursday's at 8:30 am at the Orlando Airport Marriott.

Let me know if you would like directions or call the East Orlando Chamber of Commerce at 407-277-5951 during working hours. Our chamber welcomes everyone at any of our functions.

Mike Feravolo

bodycoach2
April 6th, 2007, 11:45 PM
Business Model Idea

This is an option for a wide range business model to help get Ubuntu ubiquitous on desktops:
FreeCycle.org (http://freecycle.org)is an organization like an online 'swap' meet. Instead of swapping or trading, you simply post that you have something to offer, and people email you that they want it. You literally give things away, and accept things you want or need. You can even ask for things you want or need. It's community based (local areas, I mean), so you can restrict to just your town, or metropolitan area. Or, as I did, you can sign up for several different communities in your area. They use Yahoo Forums for their postings.

So, here's the idea:

Join the Free Cycle (http://freecycle.org/groups/) program in your area
Let it be known that you'll take in old computers and parts: (Wanted: Old computers and computer parts, etc)
Let all your friends and co-workers know you're rebuilding computers to give to people who don't have the means to get a new one (you'll be amazed how many you'll get like that. I've got 20 now.)
Collect enough parts to rebuild decent computers.
Install Ubuntu, Kubuntu, or Xubuntu on them. Ideally, do an OEM install.
Sell the best ones on eBay, especially the laptops. This should help offset your expenses.
Offer the lower end rebuilt ones, in a complete package, back on Free Cycle.
Find organizations in your community, especially involving kids, that could use computers. A great opportunity to get Edubuntu in front of some kids.Doing this might not make you much money, but it can get more Ubuntu computers out there. This also ties in with my FREEGEEK (http://wiki.freegeek.org) idea, but using the Free Cycle community as a means of distribution.

In my next post, I'll outline an idea of 'unofficial Ubuntu support', and being able to get paid for it.

bodycoach2
April 12th, 2007, 11:11 PM
Make Money Providing Ubuntu Support?

I'm a ChaCha guide (http://try.chacha.com/?rid=67642). If you don't know what a ChaCha guide (http://try.chacha.com/?rid=67642) is, check it out at ChaCha.com (http://chacha.com/), and try 'search with a guide'. ChaCha (http://try.chacha.com/?rid=67642) is a search engine where a search guide actually helps you search through a chat box. I signed up to be a guide in January, and have actually made a few hundred dollars doing it. You start off with 3 keywords, you get trained on how to use the system by experienced guides, then you're off and running. Once you achieve a certain rank, you're allow 50 or more keywords. Most of mine are technology based, especially on things like Linux, Ubuntu, and computer hardware. Since I'm also a personal trainer, a lot of other keywords have to do with that.

Guides make $.50 for the first 6 minutes of a search request. Ideally, you should be able to find things quicker. Some people make up to $1.00 for the first 6 minutes with certain keywords. You can also make money providing links to ChaCha (http://try.chacha.com/?rid=67642).

Most of the current guides are stay-at-home-moms, so the delivered searches aren't exactly the best. Many guides accept any and every search they can. Supposedly, ChaCha (http://try.chacha.com/?rid=67642) is weeding out the not-so-good guides.

Right now, ChaCha (http://try.chacha.com/?rid=67642) is in Beta. I think they should still call it 'alpha' phase. It's got a lot of work to do. For awhile, I'd been able to use the Java based guide app on Ubuntu, but after a recent guide app update, it wouldn't work. They've promised a guide application for Mac and Linux, but it's been a slow development process.

ChaCha has also turned off their guide "invitations" for the time being, until they get somethings worked out. But, when they do, it might be a good way to provide Ubuntu support for 'free' to recipients of computers with Ubuntu.

If enough of us go to ChaCha (http://try.chacha.com/?rid=67642), and do a search on "Ubuntu Support", it will become a regular keyword. Some of you may decide to be a ChaCha guide -greatly improving the ChaCha search results probably- and help people out. If that's the case, when ChaCha opens the 'invites' again, I'll let you know. You could choose "Ubuntu Support" as one of your keywords. You can add keywords about other things you know something about, and actually get paid for searching.

Like I said, ChaCha has a ways to go before I'd consider it a valid search resource, but it definitely has potential. I'm guessing that some companies may actually use it as their customer support method, as I've suggested.

Just a though.

feravolo
April 13th, 2007, 12:40 PM
People:

Please don't take offense to this next statement;

There is no replacement for experience and education in any professional service business. There is no businesses model for a Computer Support businesses, for an organization that lacks experienced professionals with formal education in the trade.

With that said I am sure that everyone has some kind of experience that can benefit a service business if they are willing to work as part of a team. I have seen engineers that could engineer them selfs out of a paper bag, but were super nice guys and they gave a 110% to the effort and that made them decent engineer's. I could always find something for them to do and they always enjoyed doing it.

On the flip side I worked with people that had degrees from the finest schools that would never even think of letting me in, but they were elitist and arrogant and just downright contemptible. That canceled out all their talent and made them totally useless to the team.

I have been in the computer trade since the early 80's and have seen a lot of things change and a lot of things that remain the same.

Right the in general a large percentage of the people out there don't know open source software and Ubuntu even exist. So let just them know that is does exist and what it can do for them.

Peace
Mike Feravolo
Computer Programmer

bodycoach2
April 23rd, 2007, 05:23 AM
Business Model Update:
So, I've followed my own recommendations for a business model. I've become a freecycle member in several communities, and let it be know I wanted computer equipment, parts, cables, etc. So far, I've collected about 20 systems and parts. Most are older -under 2 GHz, and most have bad power supplies (seems to be mostly the emachines). Some printers, scanners, etc. Wow. LOTS of equipment. My extra closet is full. Now, I need specific things; power supplies, hard drives, and I'll work on collecting those. No laptops yet.

I've alredy given away 16 Ubuntu systems before I started doing this. I should be able to give out about 1-2 a week at this rate. Over time, I'm sure some laptops and parts will come in. I plan to rebuild those, and put them on eBay. I'll probably paint them red, like K.Mandla did.

Of course, I keep the best equipment for myself. Geek heaven, you could say.

The idea here is that the more Ubuntu desktops we get out, the more it might benefit us. In time, those of us in the IT/Tech world will be called upon for employment, troubleshooting, etc. Just like Microsoft did with Internet Explorer (gave it away), Ubuntu will make big stridesthis year with the same strategy. Microsoft gave Internet Explorer away to get rid of Netscape. Now, karma's come to get MS.

bodycoach2
May 11th, 2007, 06:27 PM
As of today, I've given out a total of 24 Ubuntu or Xubuntu systems. Most have been complete systems; CPU, Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers. I think two were CPU only. This week, I received a donation of seven monitors, three CPU's, several keyboards and mice -including a nice trackball mouse- and best of all; a rack mount system for rack type servers.

How much have I spent on this project? Zilch. Nada. Nothing. Zero. Only time and sweat (most of my rebuild work has to take place outside, because of dusty systems).

Some boxes I get are older - as old as PII 350 MHz. Most are in the 800 MHz - 1.8 GHz range. I raid each box that comes in for memory. I have a drawer full of memory chips. Then I take out all the parts: DVD drives, CD/RW drives, PCI cards, and hard drives. I clean the systems out completely; vacuum and blow dust, and sometimes I even have to wash the frames. But, the "FreeBoxes" go out looking good.

I've pretty much mastered doing the OEM installation (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Ubuntu_OEM_Installer_Overview?highlight=%28oem%29) . Using the OEM installation option, I can completely set up a system, including any extra drivers needed (graphics and/or wireless). I keep the OEM installation on, and right before I give out the system I do an update, and the sudo oem-config-prepare command, and the system is updated and ready to go. My 'oem' user and password are deleted, and when the end user starts up the system, it prompts them to create a user name, create a password, and it's their system from then on.

On the really old systems, I use Puppy Linux (http://puppylinux.org/user/viewpage.php?page_id=1). It's surprisingly fast, even on a Pentium 233 system.

What's the advantage of doing this? Besides the learning and practice of working on equipment, I get to keep the best of what comes in. I keep the fastest system. All the computers in my house -for personal use- have the memory topped out. The fastest hard drives, DVD and CD/RW drives, video cards, sound cards, etc. I keep most of my personal files on external disks, so when I turn over a system, I lose nothing.

In the future, I think I might use the publicsurplus.com (http://www.publicsurplus.com/) site, and buy pallets of older laptops, repaint them like K.Mandla did (http://kmandla.wordpress.com/2007/03/13/the-operation-was-a-success-captain/), and sell them on eBay. Or give them out as birthday and Christmas presents.

Most of these computers have come by way of word-of-mouth. A few have come through the FreeCycle.org (http://freecycle.org/) community. All you have to do is let people know what you're doing, and they'll drop by with backseats full of equipment for you. It's amazing.

I think doing this Independently, instead of having a centralized location, is much more efficient and cost effective. In the future, I'd like to start a website where FreeGeekers (maybe that should be the name?) can join, and the public can find out how to get a free computer.

Anyway, that's my update so far.

feravolo
May 14th, 2007, 12:09 AM
Sounds like an excellent idea to bypass the politics of the "free geekdom" and just give out the computers. It's also a good way to learn the inner workings of the linux operating system.

Located on the 5th floor of the office building in Cocoa Beach that we work out of, there is a group called "Computers for Kidz" (yes that kidZ with a Z). Everyone in our building unloads all the old computer junk to them and I think that the office that they used was given to them rent free by the owner.

I don't know if they are just the people in our building or part of a bigger organization, their website is http://www.cfkidz.com I also have a card with a cell phone number and hackler at hotmail dot com as an email for Ted Hackler who runs the group. As far as I know he works for one of the cape contractors in our building somewhere.

Mike

PS What does biting the heads off of chickens or bad social skills have anything to do with computers anyhow.

lazyart
May 17th, 2007, 06:48 PM
Bodycoach, you may very well have picked up some of my old equipment via freecycle (I live in Ocoee). My wife & I have given away quite a few things-- a working minivan to a single mother being one of them. It had never crossed my mind to use the equipment to spread Ubuntu.

I might have some more stuff, though now I may be interested in doing the same as you. :)

gis
May 18th, 2007, 03:50 AM
I would like to discuss the business model concept. I have a bit of a twist on this. I am researching the idea of bundling a package as a vista replacement. So many of my customers are fed up with Vista...already. Microsoft wronged them not by putting out flawed software, but rather by forcing it upon them at the retail level. XP was finally "stable" and now you cannot find it in any large retail outlet.

So this is the perfect opportunity to offer a replacement. I would like to see VMWare's free version included so anyone NEEDING Windows for some reason still has it...shoot, they have the license already...let's simply virtualize the junk and run it on something stable. In the same breath offer them all the benefits of Open Source. This may finally force the large software vendors to produce product for more than one platform.

Anyone interested in pushing this idea forward? I have several ways to make money from this concept. Let's open it up for discussion or take it offline if anyone is interested. First time post and not sure if PM is available or if I am allowed to leave an email address. So, just post a reply and I will keep an eye out.

Todd

feravolo
May 18th, 2007, 03:33 PM
I have seen this claim being made by people about every major revision of Windows since Windows 3.0, and the only reason I didin't hear it before that was they were still complaining about DOS revisions.


Microsoft wronged them not by putting out flawed software, but rather by forcing it upon them at the retail level. XP was finally "stable" and now you cannot find it in any large retail outlet.

So why bother to talk about Windows at all; It makes Linux look like a second rate product and we all know that isn't the case at all. Also Windows emulators are even less reliable then windows, so when what are they going to think about Linux when the application that did run fine under Vista does run any more.

Maybe just telling them that Open Source Software will save them money in the long run, since they will not have to continue to pay for upgrades. Also nobody will tell them that they have to buy anything ever and older equipment will continue to work after upgrade the software.

There are numerous good things to say about Linux, without saying anything bad about anything else.

Peace

Mike Feravolo

gis
May 18th, 2007, 04:19 PM
I totally agree. My father once told me about these crazy conspirists in his time. These people thought we could put a man on the moon...hhaaahaaa. Could you imagine? Some people are nuts to go down a path that is clearly not possible.

So for those who would like to persist down a path over a period of time to actually achieve something...let me know, I am down with the craziness.

And to bring something into the market without comparing it to the major player, is marketing suicide. I say, "Yeah, we have this um... product that when you type on your keyboard, these characters appear. Then you can do things like put them in bold, italics, and even underline them too. And it's free!" They say, "You mean like Microsoft Word...without the high price?"

While there are plenty of good things to say about any product, they only mean something when compared to something else. Linux is second or third...or non-existent in the consumer mind...therefore it is.

Anyone have anything positive or constructive to add? It was not the first man on the moon who got him there, it was the person or people who carefully crafted and executed a plan. Some plans take some time...and some executions even longer. Anyone not want to just stand and watch things happen, but would rather make something happen...let me know. I am all positive about the positive.

Todd

Bordy
May 18th, 2007, 06:07 PM
No need to lash out at Mike. Even Mark Shuttleworth said he doesn't want Linux to be compared to windows, doesn't want it to be seen as a "cheaper substitute."

You have good ideas, but can probably do it without pointing out microsoft's flaws... why not something along the lines of "Hey, you use Microsoft Office and it costs your company a bundle... well let me show you what OOo can do for you, and for free."

That way you still draw a comparison, giving weight to your argument, without downing the competition. Insult marketing is no marketing at all, really.

lazyart
May 18th, 2007, 06:27 PM
What would help any argument is knowing of businesses--successful businesses that use linux on their desktops/POS. I remember standing in the checkout line of Burlington Coat Factory and noticing that their cash registers are running RedHat.

If you can convert an office to <insert ubuntu distro here> and convert that into a monthly service contract you'd have very little competition.

gis
May 18th, 2007, 08:02 PM
No "lashing" intended...just cannot stand people telling other people that something has not been done, therefore not to bother. It's a way to completely halt any progress. Anyhow...

I understand your points, but its not like we are launching a full out worldwide marketing campaign...its a business model. And in terms of marketing, let's not pay too much attention to what has been done as it is a dismal failure. Their code is great...the marketing...second rate at best. And can we not draw a direct conclusion to Macs newest campaign PC vs. Mac? It's genius. Anyhow, I digress...

Lazyart, success stories are great. It's even better to build our own model (or borrow an existing successful one, none of which I am aware) and show our own success cases. The things is, small business drives the market but is unknowing of the fact. Making implementation simple and effective for small to medium size business is what will drive this ahead of the market leader.

feravolo
May 19th, 2007, 01:48 AM
No "lashing" intended...just cannot stand people telling other people that something has not been done, therefore not to bother. It's a way to completely halt any progress. .

I am not sure about the above statement or the reference to the Apollo Program has anything to do with selling Ubuntu, but it would be at best foolish to think that Microsoft's marketing is second rate. The apple campaign is a silly attempt by the "number two product" to poke fun at number one.

Pepsi tried this with Coke in the so called "Cola Wars" in the 70's and 80's, and Coke loved it. Why ? Because when you compare your product to a leading competitor, you are also promoting the other product. As an added bonus, you are also acknowledging the fact you are only number two. That is why bashing windows is not going to be as effective as just leaving them out of the conversation all together.

If you want to look back at an awesome advertising campaign look at McDonald's Big Mac Campaign in the 1970's. Two All Beef Patties, Special Sauce, Lettuce, Cheese, Pickles, Onions on a Sesame Seed Bun. After over thirty years I still know want a Big Mac is and I don't even like them.

The bottom line is advertising costs lots of money and when you have billions to spend on it, you can sell just about anything. Combine that with other monopolistic business practices, [such as planned obsolescence] and you have a guaranteed winner. Unfortunately the only losers in this case are your customers, but you don't care because you got them hooked.

gis
May 19th, 2007, 02:46 AM
Avis markets themselves as "number 2" and uses that to their benefit with the "we try harder" campaign. Singing songs about what makes up Linux while customer have no idea what the things that make it up are or even what it is. I deal with customers daily who do not know what an OS is. They know what Windows is. So leverage THAT or sing songs about a kernel...in other words, have a shot at winning or have a line outside your door of people who think you sell chicken.

Anyone have anything intelligent to add? I am not looking for naysayers...just someone who wants to carry an intelligent, idealistic conversation which may or may not lead to something. Surely shooting ideas down leads nowhere...unless, maybe...are their MS employees among us?

lazyart
May 19th, 2007, 04:28 AM
If you want people to move to Ubuntu (or make any change from the status quo) you gave to give them a compelling reason why.

Saying that you can do everything in Ubuntu that you can in Windows isn't enough. Why buy a Dodge if my Ford runs?

What would be fantastic is to take a laptop, slap in Ubuntu along with VirtualBox and put WIndows inside of it. Run Office & OOo side by side. Show how simiilar they are. Create a file in one an open it in the other.
Or an older P3 system that just flies with normal business work. Get it to print to a shared device in the office. Show them that they can put their old equipment to use. Give them free use of a Ubuntu system for a couple of weeks.

I just don't know where the revenue comes in. Do you sell a maintenance/service agreement? I look also at 2X Application server, where they could host any must-have-no-linux-equivalent software from a Server 2000 or 2003 box. Is that hypocritical?

I don't know that you can do it without mentioning Microsoft... but let's explore that. Focusing on Ubuntu's strengths directly or indirectly makes the comparison to MS products-- cost, licensing, security, efficiency.

The baton is passed... who's wants to run with it next?

gis
May 19th, 2007, 04:41 AM
Awesome points. I'll take it for a couple laps...

Number one, hardware. Always money in hardware. Not get rich money, but we are trying to make an impact, not necessarily get rich.

Number two, yeah, maintenance, support, training, etc. Users will always be users. Hook them up with a never fail solution and watch it go bad. It's just the way it is...not bad or good...just life.

So we are talking business model. Let's expand this out a bit. Just because we are talking open source, "free", solutions does not mean money has to be made on the OS or apps in order to make money. Give me 1 million customers at a break even price in month one and I will sell them on average $1 worth of services...services such as online backup...or whatever.

Let's keep this rolling...thanks lazyart!

Todd

bodycoach2
May 21st, 2007, 02:53 AM
The money in open source software is going to be made in support and services. Hardware will alway be around.

At this point in Ubuntu/Linux development, I think a business that helps a person or another business understand they DON'T have to upgrade their hardware, will be the 'cottage industry' that will give Ubuntu the boost. That, and the Free Geek thing will help get Ubuntu on more machines, and the Adobe's and Intuit (Quicken) companies will have to take notice.

My intention is to buy laptops off Publicsurplus.com (http://publicsurplus.com) , paint them red like K.Mandla did, (http://kmandla.wordpress.com/2007/03/13/the-operation-was-a-success-captain/) and sell them on eBay.

Bordy
May 21st, 2007, 05:05 AM
Which, as we've talked about before, I think is the coolest thing ever.

And if you get any laptops good for parts, since the stuff on publicsurplus is as old as my craptop, you let me know... lol. I have a whole truck cab full of parts for you, btw.

feravolo
May 21st, 2007, 01:15 PM
Hey,

I think the key to the so call business model for Ubuntu is selling it to people that aren't interested in how a computer works, but are only interested in it can work for them. So what you have to do is just sell it.

It's not the business model here that is the problem, since we are basically talking about technical support and that only requires technical expertise. It's first how to let people know open source software like Ubuntu exists at all and then addressing their concerns.

Addressing concerns in advertising can be dangerous since your actually telling some of the people not to buy from you. Which is why you don't see that much in advertising campaigns, but in this case it is a requirement.

Maybe where to go from here is to start to compile a lists of people that both are and aren't potential clients for a Linux based technical support business.

This should be enough to think about for now,

Mike

PS I could use some cheap PC2100 ECC Registered 2GB RAM Sticks for my dual AMD64 machine too.

bodycoach2
May 21st, 2007, 07:23 PM
I think the key to the so call business model for Ubuntu is selling it to people that aren't interested in how a computer works, but are only interested in it can work for them.

That statement is a big part of the problem in the Linux community in general. While we may be fans of open source, free software, code freedom, etc, the general public is only interested in what the computer can DO for them. Once they have the application up (Firefox, OpenOffice.org, glum, etc), they don't care what is behind it. They don't care what kernel is running it. Just like most people don't care how the car works, as long as it works well, goes fast, looks pretty, etc.

THIS is why I think it's so important to get Ubuntu/Linux on many desktops. When there are more Ubuntu machines than Mac OS X machines, the software vendors that corporations use will take notice. Mission critical software makers will take notice.

Danny

feravolo
May 22nd, 2007, 02:09 AM
Mission Critical Software ? I have heard that term used in a number of ways in my career, most of the time it has been used to market software.

Free Geek and other such organizations are a wonderful idea, I know that I hate to throw away anything electronic that someone else could use. Of course getting Linux installed on as many computers as possible is also a great idea.

Comparing Cars to Computers is nothing new either, words like Turbo, Custom, Super Charged and the like have been used and abused in marketing computers since at least the 1970's. You can't get discouraged that everyone isn't interested in the inner workings of a computer and just want it work. After all "Everything Should Just Work" is an Ubuntu catch phrase.

NeoTaoistTechnoPagan
May 22nd, 2007, 09:02 AM
You know what came to mind for a second while I was reading this thread?

StarOffice - it was awesome back when it came out and they had a port for Windoze. I ran it and thought that it was awesome because it was free.

So here's how I introduce the average person to Linux:
Start up any conversation - this is easy for me - I'm a Leo and my industry has me near people daily. Somehow the conversation always moves to tech stuff. I then ask if they are using Windows - they proceed to look at me strange as if there were no other choice. I then ask them if they would like control of their own PC back - back from the myriad of virii, spyware, malware, spam, and popups. They then ask how much it would cost. I then hand them a CD and say "Here - it's free." Some take it - others are afraid at first. I offer to show them how it works and just ask that they try it. If they don't like it they can pass it on to someone else.

So as for starting a business of supporting Ubuntu - I do like the idea - but not the dual-boot one, and not for the reason you would think. If you set someone up with a dual XP-Linux boot and something goes screwy with their XP side, who are they going to call? Would you also include tech support for XP in that case?

I am testing my own systems here in a dual XP-Feisty situation to get better at troubleshooting. We all know what the majority of novice users out there do when they shut a system down - they just power it off. Some systems can't handle that repeatedly. Try that on an XFS system - yeah, not pretty.

I can't stress the need to get the word out, but at what cost? Linux is getting easier every day. Is it easy enough? There's no one answer to that. Can you start a business promoting, installing, and supporting it? Maybe not to the end-users, but to businesses. I myself thought it would be neat to design a Point Of Sale (POS) system that runs on Linux. **I haven't searched for it yet to see if it has been done already, so no flames necessary** I know it's trivial to make a PDC replacement for nowhere near the cost of a MS-based system. Not to mention Exchange server replacements - that's why I refused to take a job at Geek Squad - they ONLY saw MS and would only offer MS systems. I wouldn't even be allowed to say "Linux" when working off-site.

It's so funny to take a laptop to the cafe that the "certified" MS-techs go to for coffee and then I show off Beryl - they all flip out and ask what it is....

Bordy
May 22nd, 2007, 12:30 PM
Hey NTTP nice to see you finally showed up :-P

NeoTaoistTechnoPagan
May 22nd, 2007, 04:14 PM
Hey NTTP nice to see you finally showed up :-P

Yeah, I'm on Pagan Standard Time... When I get to it - I get to it.

bodycoach2
June 5th, 2007, 10:49 PM
Free Geek of Central Florida Update:
It seems the bug of Free Geek has caught on. This upcoming fall semester, Valencia Community College has seen fit create a "Capstone" program specifically for the purpose of creating and supporting Free Geek of Central Florida. The Capstone program is the last class Valencia students take. It's basically a project assignment. I'm in the process of meeting with the department professor to detail the final goals. My intention is to use the Free Geek Vancouver model. For awhile, they operated without a specific location. They held donation drives, Open Builds, and learning seminars. The operated fairly well like that. They've recently acquired a location. The likelihood of acquiring a location before Christmas is low, so I'm mostly just focusing on getting the organization solidified, an online presence, and the 501c3 thing done.
I'll keep ya'll posted on the progress.

lazyart
June 6th, 2007, 08:04 PM
Now that's got my curiosity piqued.

n3gbz
July 24th, 2007, 06:44 PM
Free Geek of Central Florida Update:
It seems the bug of Free Geek has caught on. This upcoming fall semester, Valencia Community College has seen fit create a "Capstone" program specifically for the purpose of creating and supporting Free Geek of Central Florida. The Capstone program is the last class Valencia students take. It's basically a project assignment. I'm in the process of meeting with the department professor to detail the final goals. My intention is to use the Free Geek Vancouver model. For awhile, they operated without a specific location. They held donation drives, Open Builds, and learning seminars. The operated fairly well like that. They've recently acquired a location. The likelihood of acquiring a location before Christmas is low, so I'm mostly just focusing on getting the organization solidified, an online presence, and the 501c3 thing done.
I'll keep ya'll posted on the progress.


Just wondering how things are going with this project. Do you need help in any particular area?

NeoTaoistTechnoPagan
July 26th, 2007, 12:22 PM
I am back form Oregon - and I got a tour of the FreeGeek facility and talked to Richard up there. I have to admit that I can see they have a really good thing going and *many* people are there to help. I would really like to get one of these started in FL. Is anyone else serious about this? We need to get anyone interested together for a talk to see what resources we currently have to get this going. It took FreeGeek Portland about three years of running before they generated enough to be self-sustaining. How long would it take us? Can we put enough personal time into it to get it going? These and other questions need to be answered before we can go forward.

pyros
July 26th, 2007, 06:58 PM
I am back form Oregon - and I got a tour of the FreeGeek facility and talked to Richard up there. I have to admit that I can see they have a really good thing going and *many* people are there to help. I would really like to get one of these started in FL. Is anyone else serious about this? We need to get anyone interested together for a talk to see what resources we currently have to get this going. It took FreeGeek Portland about three years of running before they generated enough to be self-sustaining. How long would it take us? Can we put enough personal time into it to get it going? These and other questions need to be answered before we can go forward.

Man, I have wanted to do this ever since I first heard of FreeGeek. Unfortunatly I'm a touch removed, geographically speaking from, well, most things-- so I've just been doing a small scale one man operation similar to bodycoach2. Full long-haired bearded sandal-wearing moral support from me though.

bodycoach2
July 27th, 2007, 07:26 PM
Free Geek of Central Florida will become official within a year. I could definitely use some help. I've already registered the domain name - freegeekcentralflorida.org, and a few email address -gmail, yahoo, etc. Have Valencia Community College sponsor an entire Capstone class for this project will help it become a reality.

We should have a website up and running by September.

I do think we can get Free Geek going much quicker than three years. We have the online information to guide us: http://wiki.freegeek.org
and the examples of Chicago and Vancouver. Vancouver actually went almost 2 years without a central location to work from.

I'm thinking that, at first, we will need to be "Independent Free Geek Agents" of sorts, until there is an actual facility to use. Even when an actual facility is ready, having people do work in many different homes can increase productivity.

I intend on being in the chat August 5, and we can discuss more then. Also, my Yahoo, AIM, MSN, and Gmail screennames are bodycoach2. You can IM me anytime I'm online.

I hope to get to the "mothership" within a year.


I am back form Oregon - and I got a tour of the FreeGeek facility and talked to Richard up there. I have to admit that I can see they have a really good thing going and *many* people are there to help. I would really like to get one of these started in FL. Is anyone else serious about this? We need to get anyone interested together for a talk to see what resources we currently have to get this going. It took FreeGeek Portland about three years of running before they generated enough to be self-sustaining. How long would it take us? Can we put enough personal time into it to get it going? These and other questions need to be answered before we can go forward.