[sf-lug] how to get computers?

Christian Einfeldt einfeldt at gmail.com
Mon Mar 3 20:48:02 PST 2008


On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 8:24 PM, jim stockford <jim at well.com> wrote:

>    i believe the process of giving computers away
> should be somewhat flexible.

Sure, flexibility is good to a point, and as it works out in practice, it
most certainly will change over time.

But IMHO, it is important to remember that our time is valuable, meaning
that if we come up with an efficient and effective way of doing this work,
we will be able to 1) bring more people into SF-LUG; and 2) the people we
bring in will be more likely to give back.

I personally find it a little bit depressing to give computers to people and
then never hear from them again.  I am not a store; I don't do this for
profit; I do this work to bring people to the SF-LUG list, so that we can
have more people helping more people.  If someone goes off by themselves,
they have every right to do so; but those are not the people that I am
looking to help.

So yes, flexible is good, because after all, we are doing this as a service,
and we do not really expect anything in return.  We are not a cult.  We
don't expect anyone to pay dues or to salute our flag or learn a secret
handshake or wear a secret decoder ring.  But my sense is that we are going
to find that a lot of people are going to start wanting computers, and more
and more people will accept a basic box.  So IMHO, we can afford to be
choosy.  So I am saying yeah, let's be choosy and help people who are
interested not just in getting a computer and then never giving back.  That
is what our Sunday and Monday SF-LUG meetings are good for.

For example, Daniel Gimpelevich and I helped a guy with a notebook (mostly
Daniel) named Phil, I think it was.  Phil came to a recent SF-LUG meeting,
and Daniel took his notebook home, and did a great deal of detailed work on
getting Phil's notebook running, and Phil has never come back to this list
at all, nor has he come to any meetings.  That is fine.

But if we are going to start a systematic method for giving out boxes, IMHO,
we should have fairly clear criteria for so doing, so that we can make sure
that we are growing our community, and not just throwing good time after
newbies who don't give back.

> i buy what you've
> outlined to a rather large extent, but i know there
> are some who'd benefit who won't be able to
> come to the kipp school or even if they can come
> won't be able to take a computer away--this has
> nothing i can see to do with buy-in: they may be
> willing to buy in, but without an accommodating
> process, they lose, and, it seems to me, unfairly.

We can't help everyone.  Some people are just going to have to be left out.
I would prefer to leave out the "expensive" and "difficult" ones; meaning,
those people who make large demands on us, but don't give back.

   it comes to mind to ask whose computers are
> these?

Some of the boxes are "mine", I guess you could say, as I have scrounged
them up, and driven them over to the KIPP closet and have done so for the
purpose of building the KIPP community.  But that is really not totally
accurate, because if I say that those boxes are "mine" and I am not willing
to listen to the input of the community, I will rapidly loose support from
people who have skills that I do not have.  So I am willing to go along with
suggestions from other active members like Jim Stockford, because he has
given a lot of work, too, and same for Holden Aust and Daniel Gimpelevich
and Daniel Mizyrycki, to name only a few.  In other words, I view it more as
a consensus and community project, and I recognize that my ideas are not
always the best, and I am willing to go along with other active volunteers.

> if they're james', shouldn't the give-away
> process include james' blessing or direction?

I personally have an agreement with James Burgett that I will consult with
him as to what I do with boxes that I get from him.  Of course, I have no
control over anyone else in this group, but I recognize that James has put a
lot of time into building ACCRC, and he has been very successful, and so I
am willing to defer to his judgment.  In exchange, James tends to trust me,
and tends to agree with my requests a lot of the time, but not always.  But
what works for me might not work for others.

> if
> by some stretch the people involved in working
> on these can make some claim, then perhaps a
> give-away process should include them.

I always consult with James.

>    do i understand correctly that there are some
> computers for give-away in the four locations:
> berkeley, marin (novato), san francisco, and san
> mateo? should give-away policy and procedure
> be uniform across all locations?

As to the boxes that I scrounged for the KIPP school, James doesn't care
about those boxes.  As to the boxes that are at the four locations, IMHO, it
is for James Burgett to decide what happens to those boxes.

> i'll see your two and raise you one.

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