View Full Version : Free Geek Central Florida

September 28th, 2007, 04:43 AM
I thought I'd start another thread to keep ya'll informed.

This chapter is being put together with the help of a Capstone class at Valencia Community College. This is their 'senior project' so to speak. So far:
We have the website started: http://freegeekcentralflorida.org
We've pre-applied to the 'mothership' for official Free Geek statusNext on our agenda:
Get the by-laws ready
Do the applications for non-profit status
Prepare the financial bookkeeping
Setup the databaseBut, the biggest thing we need are volunteers. Volunteers to pick up equipment, build equipment, and cute girls to show up when we do a donation drive. I'd like to have about 50-100 computers ready to go for Christmas. It would be really cool for some families to be able to get a computer, or give one to their kids.

Right now, Xubuntu is our primary install, since most of the equipment we get in is between the 500 MHz and 1GHz range. We set it up as a OEM installation, so that the new user gets the 'new computer' customizations. While we're using the most current Ubuntu distribution, I'm thinking we'll probably stick to the LTS releases from now on. Much more stable.

So, everyone please use your favorite search engine and check out all the free geek chapters, and especially watch the free geek videos.

So, bring forth a tidal wave of ideas for me here, please.

September 28th, 2007, 01:45 PM
I'm thinking we'll probably stick to the LTS releases from now on. Much more stable.

Good stuff.

The newer versions of U(kx)buntu have considerable UI improvements. From a usability standpoint, they're a much better jumping off point, IMHO. Have there been specific stability issues with Feisty that you've experienced?


September 29th, 2007, 01:22 AM
No major stability issues, but like you said, the UI improvements were our main motivation for staying up-to-date. Unless something really big comes out on subsequent releases, we'll stick with 8.04.
Since most of our installs are Xubuntu, there's no little icon that lets you know there's an update, and we have to remind everyone to do the updates. That's a bummer. Hopefully, something that will be fixed in Xubuntu 8.04.

Other than that, only problems with specific printers have been an issue, but nothing more than anyone else experiences.

36 machine out so far, and over 50 installations apart from that.

October 8th, 2007, 05:33 PM
I have a bunch of old PCs, that my wife would love for me to get rid of. Most of them need to be have parts swapped out to find working components (and I just haven't found the time to do this.) I'm not sure when I will be down to Orlando again, though I may before Christmas. Next time I can I'll drop a line and find out where to drop them off.

October 12th, 2007, 06:44 PM
I can mabey help with building, I'm only 16, however, I have been involved in maintaining/building/frankenstiening PC's since I my first year of middle school (Junior high) Via the schools 'technical assitants program' which was basicly us running around fixing the outdated PC's and/or stripping the dead ones for parts and using the parts over. VERY much like what you do.

Also, I'm very bored, and have to much free time. If you sent me a personal message here <on this board> with any information.. I will see if I can possibly help out.

October 14th, 2007, 03:09 PM
Our website is up and running:


Right now, we're looking for volunteers to pickup and/or store equipment. At some point we'll hold a donation drive with the help of a radio station. Later, in November or December, we'll have a weekend, "Build Fest", and try to have 50 computers ready to give away for Christmas.

October 19th, 2007, 02:38 AM
nice. i live in orlando. i may be able to volunteer every once in a while. rebuild and reinstall. maybe store a few.

October 19th, 2007, 04:09 PM
Hey all,
I'm currently in the processes of trying out the OEM installation on Xubuntu. So far, I really like it. It seems that you can now create an OEM installation from either the Desktop or Alternate CD. The new OEM sequence is different from previous versions; much more graphical. This will be a bit easier for the average person volunteering with Free Geek, or other Open Source tech rebuild groups.

Also, some notes on Xubuntu:
1. WOW!
2. This version of Xubuntu is much more professional looking, less like a comic book interface (not that I mind a comic book interface). Mac users will be very much at home.
3. The Network Manager is installed by default.
4. Update notifications are installed by default! This was a problem with Feisty. Now, I don't have to notify all FreekBox recipients about updates.

I'm also looking forward to see what happens with Fluxbuntu. I have DSL installed on a few really old pieces, but it would be nice to keep to the same core, if possible.

October 22nd, 2007, 02:47 AM
I'm listening in. I hope I can carve some time out to give to the cause. Where is the info on OEM installations?

October 26th, 2007, 03:21 AM
The OEM installation instructions on the Ubuntu Community Wiki are a bit older:

The OEM installation (Original Equipment Manufacturer) makes it so the new user of the system is able to immediately personalize their set-up. Just like when you get a new computer, be it Windows or Mac, you're able to setup your time-zone, language, log-in name and password (authentication is the first step in security).

The OEM installation isn't much different than a regular install, but when you're done setting up the system, installing any extra packages (like ubuntu-restricted-extras), you set the computer up for the end-user. Before, you had to do a 'sudo oem-config-prepare" command. This deletes the temporary OEM user, and the next user goes through the personalizing process.

The cool thing is now: If you're doing an OEM installation, there's an icon on the desktop that says, "Prepare for End User". Click on that, and you're good to go.

All the versions (except server, I think) have OEM installation option. Give it a try. Pretty cool.

October 30th, 2007, 05:09 PM
Hey I am in Winter Park, what is the shop's location so I can stop by and volunteer. I can build, store or pickup just let me know what you need

November 1st, 2007, 06:23 AM
We don't have a central location yet, and probably won't for another year. The plan is to get a significant volunteer base, a steady stream of equipment coming in, and other organizations to get the computer out. In particular, I'd like to work with Florida Virtual School:

At the moment, Free Geek CF volunteers will act more as "agents" (I just love the idea of beating out Geek Squad, for free), storing, building, and installing as needed or as available. We're working on putting together an online database for donated equipment, so if someone needs a specific part, they can request it. Will put together a database of "agents", and eventually a usable forum.

The best part: Volunteers get to use the best of the equipment for their own machines.

So, everyone let people know what you're part of, and if they have any equipment to donate. You won't believe the stuff you'll get in.

Hey I am in Winter Park, what is the shop's location so I can stop by and volunteer. I can build, store or pickup just let me know what you need

November 19th, 2007, 07:59 AM
i have an apple G3 blue and white i can donate that is in top condition, along with some monitors, harddrives, pci 10/100 ethernet cards, pci dialup modems, IDE cables a couple CD-R/RW drives and a DVD-R drive that im willing to toss to FreeGeek CF just let me know where i can donate them to. i live in melbourne beach though, so orlando is about a 2 hour ride from me

November 20th, 2007, 06:35 AM
If you're able to hold on to those items, we can meet up when there is an Ubuntu or like event in either place. I might be able to come to Melborne after Dec 17 (finals at Valencia Community College) and pick some of it up. We'll take anything that can work in a PentiumII or AMD equivalent or above. I'll probably work on the Mac myself. I love working with those.

November 21st, 2007, 06:46 AM
i can hold on to them. the mac works just fine i used to run YDL on it but i just kind of grew out of it i dont have my license yet so me coming to orlando would be a little on the hard side but i may have a license some time after dec. 8th ( my 18th birthday :). )