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Saturday 15 July 2017

Classes to begin in August

Another round of classes for FCL is coming up soon!

What: Make your Own Computer" starts in August.


(Image taken at Free Computer Labs teaser class in 2016. CC-BY-ND.)

Description: Join Free Computer Labs at Artisan's Asylum to learn all about computers from inside out, through building your own computer from rescued computer parts!

What is Free Computer Labs? Free Computer Labs (FCL) is a grass roots project to bring computers to people in the community that need them. FCL aims to connect those who need computers with free, powerful technology and software. FCL is open to everyone who wants to learn who to use, understand, and even fix computers in a friendly environment. No previous knowledge needed. We collect computers that were destined for the trash and make them work like new using free software.

We teach students how to 1) build their computer, 2) fix their computer, and 3) use their computer with empowering free/libre software.

When: Session 1: Monday, 8/7/17, 6:30-8:30pm

Session 2: Monday, 8/14/17, 6:30-8:30pm

Session 3: Monday, 8/21/17, 6:30-8:30pm

Session 4: Monday, 8/28/17, 6:30-8:30pm

Where: Artisan's Asylum, Inc. - 10 Tyler Street, Somerville, MA 02143, United States

Notes:


(Official Logo for Artisan's Asylum, the maker space where "Make your own Computer" classes are hosted)

Full Class Registration:

Interested in signing up now for the full class? Please sign up for "Make your own Computer" at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/make-your-own-computer-2017-tickets-34171336387

FCL now shares a space at Artisan's Asylum

Free Computer Labs (FCL) is now sharing a space at Artisan's Asylum.

Instructor, Devin Ulibarri, spent today installing monitors that display information on FCL as well as advertisements for the class.

Monitors installed in shared space at A^2

...and of course the computer that controls the monitor is running free/libre software! The following picture is Trisquel being installed onto the hard drive.

Installing Trisquel in shared space at A^2

Note: Trisquel is a fully free/libre operating system recommended by the Free Software Foundation (FSF). You can always download Trisquel on your own at https://trisquel.info/en/download

Reminder! Sign up for August FCL classes at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/make-your-own-computer-2017-tickets-34171336387 to learn how to use GNU/Linux operating systems such as Trisquel.

Monday 1 May 2017

New Free Computer Labs Team Member

A student of our "Make your own Computer" class at Artisan's Asylum has joined our team as an instructor. Please welcome Tom Balazs. Tom is an Artisan's Asylum member who participates in: Circuit Hacking nights, free/libre and open source computing projects, woodworking, and Android hacking projects. He recently used a laser pointer lens to create a cell phone microscope!

Stay tuned for FCL classes coming up this summer!

Sunday 30 April 2017

New FCL Graduate Enjoys Her Computer

A new student enjoys her new computer, running the Ubuntu flavor of the GNU/Linux operating system, a free/libre operating system developed by Richard M. Stallman in the mid- and late-1980's as part of the GNU project, which aims to liberate computer users from the imposed restraints of proprietary software.

Brand GNU Laptop

The student approached FCL instructors because Windows forced her to upgrade without her consent. This caused her computer to slow to a halt, which was frustrating since she had gotten use to her computing routine and had no reason to install the upgrades that were forced upon her. Instructor Devin, feeling sympathy for this student's situation, provided the student with a computer and instruction on how to use GNU/Linux, which is a new system for her. She is now back to her original routine, but now in more freedom than she was when she started. Stay tuned for follow ups!

Thursday 1 September 2016

Teaser Class Follow-up

Last Friday we had our Teaser Class at Artisan's Asylum (read about it here). About 10 interested people came to the class and there was vibrant discussion, great question and answers, and even a successful installation of Xubuntu onto an interested student's computer in record time!

Robert and Devin
Student, Robert, stands with Devin for an explanation of the guts of a computer.

We are excited and encouraged by the atmosphere of this first teaser class. We hope you can join us on September 16th for the start of the full class.

Full Class Registration:

Interested in signing up now for the full class? Please sign up for "Make your own Computer" at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/make-your-own-computer-2016-tickets-26756804322

Friday 26 August 2016

Teaser Class Today 5:30-7:30 at A2

REMINDER: The teaser class for "Make your own Computer" is tonight at Artisan's Asylum (A2) from 5:30-7:30. Hope to see you there!

What: Free trial class for "Make your Own Computer" which starts in September

When: August 26th from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Where: Artisan's Asylum, Inc. - 10 Tyler Street, Somerville, MA 02143, United States

Notes:

  • The official classes start on September 16th, but we will have a free "teaser class" next Friday, August 26th from 5:30 to 7:30. Just come in and see what the class is all about! It is not necessary to bring anything, we have plenty of materials on location at A2.
  • A formal registration in Eventbrite is not necessary but students who are doing anything in any of the shops should make sure to register in the system at https://artisansasylum.com/membership/registration/ (this is how they sign the waiver--no membership necessary, but students need to register with A2).
  • If you are able, please contribute a suggested donation of about $10 to be made online https://artisansasylum.com/donation/ or in cash or check at the donation box at the front desk.


(Official Logo for Artisan's Asylum, the maker space where "Make your own Computer" classes are hosted)

Full Class Registration:

Interested in signing up now for the full class? Please sign up for "Make your own Computer" at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/make-your-own-computer-2016-tickets-26756804322

Monday 22 August 2016

FCL Teachers Prepare for Teaser Class on August 26

Last Friday, Julian and I went to Artisan's Asylum (AA) and prepared some of our computer donations for next week's teaser class.

Julian prepares one of the Computers for an upcoming class
Julian prepares one of the Computers for an upcoming class, Aug 2016

In order to prepare for the class, we went to AA on Friday and checked on the hardware. We noticed that we will need a few things. Namely:

  • Power Cables for desktop computers and monitors
  • VGA cords
  • More USB mice
  • USB Keyboards

On three desktop computers that are already fully functional, we installed LUbuntu (a flavor of GNU/Linux) as their main operating system. This ensures that, although, the hardware is slightly dated, the most up-to-date software will be running on these computers.

Tuesday 16 August 2016

Teaser Class Next Week, August 26th at Artisan's Asylum

Are you...

  • Interested in learning more about the guts of a computer?
  • Interested in a paradigm of computing that puts you in control of your computing?
  • Want to have a good time while making your next computer?

Then the "Make your Own Computer" class is for you!

The official classes start on September 16th, but we will have a free "teaser class" next Friday, August 26th from 5:30 to 7:30. Just come in and see what the class is all about! It is not necessary to bring anything, we have plenty of materials on location at Artisan's Asylum.

What Free trial class for "Make your Own Computer" which starts in September

When August 26th from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Where Artisan's Asylum, Inc. - 10 Tyler Street, Somerville, MA 02143, United States

Computer Image CC-by-SA

Thursday 21 July 2016

Update on FCL Student 'B' from the First Classes

What are FCL students doing with their computers after taking classes?

FCL student 'B' from last year is using her computer to access her email on the web, store and organize her photos from her wedding (congrats!), as well as access and explore the world wide web.
Just the other day, FCL teacher Devin went to visit B. Below are some pictures that he took of B and her computer.

FCL Student B turns her Computer on

FCL Student B turns her Computer on

B wanted to store and organize her wedding photos. Devin introduced her to "Shotwell", which is software that automatically stores and organizes photos in an intuitive and convenient way.

FCL Student B organizes her wedding photos

FCL Student B organizes her wedding photos|

Overall, B seems satisfied with her FCL computer. We are happy to see that she continues to use her computer one year later.

Thursday 14 July 2016

New Hardware Donations Recieved | Thank You!

In preparation for our next class at Artisan's Asylum, we have been asking the public for hardware donations. This includes laptops, desktops, hard drives, RAM, and other computer components. These hardware donations are important to our model because they are used during classes and given to students upon their successful completion of the course. Some thoughtful donors even gave hardware pre-installed with a free/libre operating system (GNU or FreeBSD). We just want to say, "Thank you"!

FCL Teacher Devin with New Hardware Donations at Artisan's Asylum
FCL Teacher Devin with New Hardware Donations at Artisan's Asylum in Somerville, MA

Thursday 2 June 2016

FCL Receives Grant from Artisan's Asylum

On behalf of Free Computer Labs, Devin Ulibarri has been named the recipient of the Artisan's Asylum Grant for the Summer of 2017.

The grant will be used for storage of the hardware which will be given to students upon successful completion of the course.

Thank you very much, Artisan's Asylum!

To read about the Artisan's Asylum Grant, please visit

Wednesday 4 May 2016

Free Computer Labs Classes starting up at Artisan's Asylum May 20th - June 17th!

Join Free Computer Labs at Artisan's Asylum to learn all about computers, inside and out by building your own computer.

Continue reading...

Friday 15 May 2015

Second Class on May 17th, 3 - 7 p.m.

We are pleased to announce our second Free Computer Class!!We will handout text materials to study and start building our own computers (Participation in 5 classes strictly required to take your computer home).

This second course is aimed at those who are interested in understand how to assemble, repair, and utilize computers for everyday use. Let's have fun!!! You may attend the second class regardless of whether or not you attended the first class.

Meetup Page: http://www.meetup.com/agaric/events/222552977/

Look forward to seeing everyone there! Free Computer Labs Team

Where: Industry Labs in Cambridge 288 Norfolk St. Cambridge MA, 02139, USA Time: 3-6 Goals: Our First Computer Class Special Thanks: Agaric, the Worker Cooperative that partners with us to make this event possible -- http://agaric.com/


**Please consider to RSVP by email or through Meetup. Also, please consider bringing some snacks if you are able**

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Pictures from our First Official Class

Julian in front of the board at second class

Julian shows a motherboard to the class while describing the basic components of a computer.

Class Policies and Free Software Basics

Picture of our whiteboard with class policies and some basic ideas about free software.

We will continue these discussions at our second class while getting hands on with building our computers!

Hope to see you at the next event! Devin and Julian

Friday 8 May 2015

First Computer Class on May 10th (3-6 p.m.)

We are excited to announce Free Computer Labs' first class this Sunday, May 10th at Industry Labs.

We have been collecting more computers, which is very exciting. Our focus is to help people who do not otherwise have access to computers. We use GNU/Linux operating system, because we can share it with you without restriction--and you may do the same.

Where: Industry Labs in Cambridge 288 Norfolk St. Cambridge MA, 02139, USA Time: 3-6 Goals: Our First Computer Class Special Thanks: Agaric, the Worker Cooperative that partners with us to make this event possible -- http://agaric.com/

Monday 27 April 2015

Pictures from our First Event

Old iMac with Debian. Looking at the insides.

We opened up an old iMac to see how the parts inside work together.

Julian Instructs the Class

Julian describes the basic components of the computer for the attendees. We also talk about how to diagnose simple problems with seemingly "old" computers.

Sunday 19 April 2015

First Event is Today! April 19th from 4-7

Hello,

Just a reminder that our first event is today at Industry Labs in Cambridge, MA.

Address: 288 Norfolk St., Cambridge MA, 02139, USA Time: 4-7 Goals: Poll interested parties about their level of commitment and needs. View basic computer hardware components. Announce Policies of class. Schedule first official classes. ...and FOOD!

Meetup URL for event - http://www.meetup.com/Boston-Cambridge-Worker-Ownership-Meetup/events/221813904/

Look forward to seeing everyone this afternoon! Free Computer Labs team

Sunday 12 April 2015

First Event on April 19th

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to announce our first event for Free Computer Labs!!

The event is aimed at those who are interested in attending Free Computer Labs (FCL) classes, and would like to know more about the program. We will be doing some introductory activities. Namely, we will take a peak inside a computer: what is inside, what are its parts and how does it work? We will ask prospective students what they are interested in learning from the classes: what do you want to learn at FCL? Lastly, we will have some time to mingle over light snacks and refreshments; let's have fun!!!

Hope to see you there! Devin and Julian of FCL info@freecomputerlabs.org

Sunday 8 March 2015

Welcome

Welcome to Free Computer Labs.

Free Computer Labs (FCL) is a grass roots project to bring computers to people in the community that need them. FCL aims to connect those who need computers with powerful technology and software.

FCL is open to everyone who wants to learn who to use, understand, and even fix computers in a friendly environment. No previous knowledge needed.