Sunday, June 24, 2007

Errand Caution

I've decided to change my name to Errand Caution. People name Errand seem to get all the action. Everyone has to do Errand, or has Errands to do. I've known girls named Erin, and a guy named Arron, but neither of them got as much action as I thought they did. Well, maybe Erin did, and I just never knew. Arron, however, was butt ugly. Then again, girls seems to go for the caveman look.

Also, many people like to err on the side of Caution. I haven't known anyone name Caution either, but now they'll be erring on my side. Then again, too many people throw Caution to the wind. I like hang gliding, but not sure about being thrown into it. Maybe I'll stick with my own name: Emperor Daniel.

At the moment, storage and recycling are my biggest concerns. At least as far as Free Geek of Central Florida goes. Well, that and getting a job. But, I've got to get the A+ certification for that. Recycling is going to be a big concern when we get the full Free Geek chapter going. There are very few recycling solutions in the Orlando area. I'll probably have to work out some sort of shipping method, eventually. The Free Geek in Portland breaks all unusable components down to their basic parts, and sells the materials; aluminum, steel, plastic, etc. Recycling old CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors is really difficult. They contain mercury and lead. Explains why they're so heavy, I guess. I use a 21" CRT monitor. While it's not great on my eyes, it gives a better color picture than LCD does. Unless as good used LCD comes across my Free Geek path, I'll keep using this one till it's dead.

That's a big part of the Free Geek idea; use things through their entire life cycle. Maybe Windows was un-Godly slow on your old Pentium 200 MHz machine, but Puppy Linux runs it just fine. A wee bit of getting used to, with only needing to click things once, but other than than, not much different that Windows 98. It's not a speed demon, but it's more than fast enough for someone to use.

The Free Geeks around the country operated a bit differently, depending on their unique circumstance. Free Geek Vancouver, for instance, didn't have a regular place for quite awhile, and operated with independent people. It seems Free Geek Chicago operated in the back of another warehouse. I'll probably have to follow those models at first, doing the independent Free Geek "agent" at first. We'll have to do some sort of collaborative work at first, until a storage solution can happen, and eventually a storefront of some sort.

Right now, I'm simply giving the systems away. Most of the Free Geek chapters do some sort of volunteer thing, enabling people to use sweat equity to get their system. In Portland, they work on five computers, and they get to keep the sixth one. They also have the 'adoption' program, where people can purchase a rebuilt, refurbished computer for $50 or under. For now, I have to keep giving them away, until I can create a volunteer program.

The way I envision it; with the help of volunteer instructors, a volunteer can build a really nice computer, taking the best of the materials available. The computers they build will go to the 'adoption' program, or computer labs we'll help build. Buy coming in and working on the machines themselves, they earn the right to the best of the bunch, using the best parts available. While some computers will fall into the 'adoption' program, I'll probably still give away any computer that under 800 MHz. Something like a 600 MHz machine, with 128 ram loaded with an OEM installation of Xubuntu will be completely free. This way, the user can trade a bit of slowness for something that's absolutely free. In reality, I'll probably be able to make most of those computers have 256 ram. With Xubuntu, those are still pretty fast machines.

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