2006/11/06

FreeGeek.org

FreeGeek "...recycles computer technology and provides low and no-cost computing to individuals and not-for-profit and social change organizations in the community and throughout the world."

It might be worthwhile to publicize the FreeGeek concept and start some discussions about a similar organization in Northeast Wisconsin, Milwaukee or Madison. Assuming there are not already organizations like this in Wisconsin.

Many non-geeks wonder what to do with their old computers when they no longer want them. With Vista coming and the increasing trend to laptops, the likelihood of people getting rid of older WinXP systems will be higher than normal. These days, an 'old' computer may have 1 GHz processors and 128 MB RAM or more. That type of system will work fine with a properly set-up Linux install.

An organization like FreeGeek has many potential benefits in addition to providing low or no-cost computers to people who want them.
  • Keeps toxic compounds out of the landfill
  • Helps people who want to dispose of a usable computer but don't want to just throw it away
  • Increases awareness of the open source concept
  • Builds community networking and collaboration
  • May inspire a new group of Linux and open source users, and could increase the membership in Wisconsin Linux user groups
If interested in the concept of FreeGeek, start a dialogue in your community, LUG or circle of tech enthusiasts. Or contact me and we'll see where it goes...

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Jeff S. said...

I used to work with a group named "Computers for Community" in Denver that did the same thing. It was a lot of fun, and it gave a lot of poor kids access to computers for school. I'd love to help out with something like this in the Madison area.

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Blake Hall said...

Bob you might want to follow up with Eric Howland about this sort of thing. While I was working with DANEnet I was always intrigued by the idea. They already do the community IT stuff, check out some recent local media coverage here. In any case I'd love to be involved in some type of grassroots, community-based F/LOSS advocating project. Count me in.

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Chris Kerchum said...

I volunteer at the Portland FreeGeek, and it is fun. Great mission, and spreading Linux, which if y'all don't know is open source software, is a subversive act. No more following software updates and paying thru the nose.

1:57 PM  

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