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Thursday 10 August 2017

Free Computer Labs Lends Liberated Laptops to YMCA Malden

Devin Ulibarri, one of the main developers for the visual programming language Music Blocks, is teaching a class "Learn Music and Coding" at the YMCA Malden as part of a project supported by the Malden Cultural Council and the YMCA.

Students learn both music and coding skills in a fun and integrated way, using Music Blocks software as their main tool. Music Blocks software runs in a browser and works on any operating system. Free Computer Labs (FCL) stepped in to help the YMCA Malden to create a computer lab for the classes and has lent six laptops for use in the classes. The laptops were donated to FCL by various donors (thank you!) FCL members helped to install the GNU operating system onto the laptops as well as free/libre software appropriate for the learning environment.

Students have been learning a lot about both music and coding. Yesterday, one of the students modified some of the javascript code in Music Blocks using GNU emacs, essentially making their own version of Music Blocks (the modification was to create a new mode/scale with their name, which they succeeded in doing).

The hope, however, is to donate desktop computers to the YMCA Malden so that they may have a more permanent computer lab. The goal is to donate 6 computers to help create the computer lab. If you are able to donate a computer, please contact us at

Thank you! Devin Ulibarri Co-founder of FCL

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


(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

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

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:

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 --

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

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 --

Sunday 19 April 2015

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


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 -

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