[Ottawa_users] A new addition to the Open Source Ecosystem in town

Dave Sampson samper.d at gmail.com
Mon Oct 13 01:13:19 EDT 2008

Hey folks,

Pardon the off topic post, but I thought I'd find a friendly audience on
home turf. You heard it here first...

This is a one time post to notify you of a new project in the works in
the Ottawa area. The FGO project, (aka Free Geek Ottawa) connects people
with technology while helping the environment and contributing to the
growing open source community along the way. All responses concerning
this post can be directed to our mailing list found bellow.

The FGO project is still in the approval process to use the Free Geek
trademarked name. The name may eventually change, but the mission will
remain the same.

Our mission statement is:
"Free Geek Ottawa is a locally owned and operated not-for-profit
community organization that reduces the social and environmental impacts
of waste electronics by refurbishing and recycling used technology. It
provides refurbished computers, hands-on experiential education,
Internet access and job skills training to those in need, in exchange
for community service. Free Geek Ottawa advocates the use of affordable,
reliable and accessible technology solutions including mature open
source software in order to help bridge the digital divide in the
National Capital Region"

The FGO project hopes to become a welcome and integral part of the Open
Source ecosystem in the Ottawa area. One major approach by which we hope
to contribute is by distributing open source technology through our
programs, and providing accessible and affordable training opportunities
to use Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).

Our two program offerings we hope to soon provide include a computer
adoption program and a computer building program. The computer adoption
program allows anyone willing, to volunteer 24 hours learning how to
dismantle and recycle obsolete computers donated to our group. After 24
hours the volunteer would earn themselves a working computer loaded with
open source software and an opportunity to receive training on using the
computer and included software.

The second program is for those who want a hands on experience learning
how to build a computer from basic parts such as hard drives, RAM,
motherboards etc. If a volunteer commits to building 6 computers, then
they get to keep the 6th computer they build. No previous experience
would be required, we would provide all the required hands-on training.
Our goal is to provide 1 year of tech support for any machine adopted
through our programs.

The basic premise is to connect cast-off technology that is still usable
with individuals that may be presented with barriers to adopting
technology in our community. In addition we hope to provide access to
the Internet using affordable community ISP's such as National Capital

To date, our accomplishments include:
* 18 interested volunteers
* 11 interested partner organizations
* 100 Computers pledged for donation by local High tech firms
* 24 computers awaiting more RAM
* 10 Computers to be used for parts
* 8 computers awaiting recycling
* 1 Public speaking event

The key ingredients to the success of this project include:
1. A large pool of technically skilled volunteers wanting to teach others
2. A larger pool of unskilled volunteers willing to learn new skills
3. A regular flow of donated computers from individuals and companies
4. A facility to house our training, refurbishing and recycling operations
5. Public speaking opportunities to engage the social and tech communities

If you know of someone or a company that may help the FGO project
achieve its goals or wish to help with any of the above please pass
along this post or join our mailing list.

Thanks for your time


Dave Sampson
Founder, The FGO Project

email: communications.fgo at gmail.com
Website: http://fgo.openconcept.ca
Mailing list: http://list.openconcept.ca/sympa/info/fgo

More information about the Ottawa_users mailing list