Build Meeting - 2009-09-17

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Build Meeting - 2009-09-17

Previous meeting: Build Meeting - 2009-09-03

When: Thursday, September 17th, 2009 at 6:15 pm to 8:15 pm
Where: Free Geek, 1820 Pandora St., back door

Roles

Facilitator: Geoff Bowers
Regulator: Alec Smecher
Scribe: Devenne Drege

Attendance

Ifny Lachance, Peggy Tan, Geoff Bowers, Chris Hooper, Alec Smecher, George Leung, Devenne Drege

Old business

Chris committed to make a sign to remind us all NOT to test floppy drives -- done
Patrick committed to make build spec. sheet larger -- not done
Alec committed to train others on Staff QC -- not done
Tyler committed to create a ticket for fixing KVMs -- not done
George and Devenne to coordinate which language packs to install -- not done

General Update

Geoff is the newest update!

  • Has used computers all his life
  • Recently from Yellowknife, where he was teaching at middle and high schools
  • He has been using Ubuntu about 8 months.
  • Considering the amount he still needs to learn, he feels things are going well.

Alec adds staff had difficulties before Geoff's arrival.

  • The fact that Tyler isn't here is good. This shows he is finally able to go home!
  • Everyone is striving to keep build benches clean.
    • Things are slowly being cleaned elsewhere in the mezzanine.
  • The program is very active--racks are quite full.
  • Work is needed on the drive wiping station.
  • Panic seems to have eased.

Ifny is happy to see the support within the build program.

  • The data compiled for the VanCity Grant progress report is exciting--really shows the effects of the program.
  • Wednesdays are still a challenge because of conflict with the adoption program.
    • Something quieter and out of the way would be ideal for adoptions.
      • Maybe in Card Sorting
        • Alec suggests to schedule fewer builders on Weds.
      • George noted we also ran into trouble in an adoption class because of language.
        • George stepped in to translate the class into Chinese for the adopter.
          • Ifny is so excited we can teach in Chinese, but adds George shouldn't feel like he needs to commit to it.

New business

Short-Term Goals (Presented by Geoff)

Hard Drive Station

Power needs to be fixed as soon as possible.

  • The Hard Drive Station needs it.

Alec suggests to improve the Hard Drive Station by making it serviceable (use shelving).

  • Merv is going to be making shelving.

Drive crushing needs to be done more often.

  • Have people scheduled for drive crushing.
    • Need two people at the Hard Drive Station for more efficiency

All wiping machines except #7 & 8 are functional.

  • Additional are ready, but they can't be added in yet.
    • George asks if we can have them rack mounted.
    • COMMIT: Geoff will look into a rack mount system for drive wiping.

We are getting a second table for hard drive wiping.

  • It will block off the end of aisle on the Laptop Station side.
    • Alec likes having the aisle open.
      • Alec proposes to pull middle racks forward to keep a gap around the new table on Friday.
      • Ifny says the pile-up of stuff in that aisle is dangerous, and so it might be OK to prevent people from using it.
      • Ifny also adds a gap less than 3 feet wide is illegal (Vancouver building safety regulations).
    • Alec says we can just try closing off the aisle with the table and review at the next build meeting.

Lots of shelves and space are currently used as miscellaneous storage.

  • Geoff is working on cleaning out cruft.
  • We can move a rack into the gap between Motherboard Testing and Build benches
  • COMMIT: Geoff to clean out Video Card Testing area

Need to prioritize laptop dismantle

  • COMMIT: Alec will try to get trained by Brian.

Video Card Testing

Where should we move it?

  • Steve Jr. likes the idea of moving it with Motherboard Testing.
    • He also wants to see good cards that don't have Ubuntu drivers saved.
  • Could possibly move to Card Sorting
    • The problem is the lack of training--PCI-E cards were being thrown out.
      • Rough handling has also been noticed in RAM Testing.
  • RECOMMENDATION: Video Card Testing should move to Card Sorting, but add more training for identification and gentler handling.

Miscellaneous Goals

  • Get rid of shelves behind lab computers.
  • Make build toolboxes with plastic bins (we have these) that builders will have to sign out.
  • Labelling the Build shelves
    • George reports the Store is getting confused with the labels.
      • Ifny notes it's just an issue of getting in the habit of using them.
      • Alec adds we are short of shelving, so usage can't be perfect yet.
  • Issues of builders hoarding machines/equipment
    • Horded machines and equipment are cluttering the aisle.
      • We need to tell people if they want to buy something, they have to buy it and take it--no hoarding!

Build Fodder (Presented by Alec)

The machines on the shelf at the base of the stairs is full of machines no one wants to work with.

  • Builders are wandering the warehouse for machines, which isn't good.
  • We need to get other machines on the rack so builders aren't wandering.
  • RECOMMENDATION: Have build instructors accompany builders to the shelf and help choose machines to prevent wandering.

QC Issues (Presented by Geoff)

There have been reports of some store machines coming back with problems.

  • Alec wants to know about these machines because Staff QC is supposed to stop these issues.

Ifny also knows about some machines leaving without the README files.

  • We need to make sure these are present on every machine.

COMMIT: Alec is still working on a Staff QC checklist (commit from last meeting).

Builder Statistics (Presented by Geoff)

Some people want to see how many machines they've built.

  • We don't want to make it a contest.
    • Peggy adds she can't come in often, and she asks where and how builders leave half-built computers.
      • Just leave half-built machines on the "In Progress" shelves.
    • Ifny suggests we could have a board that displays builders from the month who have no QC fails to prevent competition and include everyone (even if you can't come in regularly).
    • Alec suggests having communal, "Total Built" numbers displayed rather than tied to builder names to show builders the overall progress and effect of the program.

COMMIT: Geoff will find someone to make a sign before the next build meeting with communal data only, but we can consider the "QC Success" idea later when the data is easier to access.

Supplies for Build (Presented by Geoff)

Geoff is going shopping!

  • What is the WD-40 used for?
    • Removing sticker goo
      • Devenne notes her co-worker had used vegetable oil to remove vinyl signage glue.
      • We can look into replacing the WD-40 with vegetable oil.
  • Isopropyl alcohol to clean cases
    • Might also be used to help remove grease/oil from sticker removal.
      • Peggy suggests diluting it with water to prevent plastic damage.
  • Sponges to apply oil
  • Need to replace some KVMs
  • Need to contain cords

Media Coverage (Presented by Ifny)

We were in The Courier last week

We'll be on Telus TV

  • George notes we might be selling Telus boxes that we shouldn't.
    • Ifny says if we shouldn't be selling it, the store needs to stop selling it. Can they look in to it and get back?
  • COMMIT: George can look in to it.

City of Vancouver Grant (Presented by Ifny)

The application is available one month before the deadline.

  • There are 3 categories applicants can apply for.
    • COMMIT: Ifny will write the application for the "Capacity Grant."
  • Ifny will be asking for profiles of volunteers to write the grant.

The grant also doesn't specify how much they'll give

  • We don't want to ask for too much, but not too little.

RECOMMENDATION: We should take down old grant signs.

Build Scheduling

Alec says build instructors can schedule volunteers for build now, but asks how to ensure we don't under- or over-schedule.

  • Ifny says to make sure an instructor is scheduled every day and probably one instructor per three builders.
  • COMMIT: Alec will work with Ifny to make sure scheduling is done properly.

Geoff asks how many build instructors there are.

  • Ifny answers we have about five or so.
    • RECOMMENDATION: We should get a small whiteboard announcing the build instructor for the day.

Alec asks if he should be scheduling himself in the calendar for build?

  • Yes, please!

Hard Drive Testing

  • Should have two volunteers per shift
    • Anyone can do that station
    • Having two people makes teaching easier--they can support each other.

Portland Visiting (Presented by Ifny)

One of PDX's build instructors, Dave, will visit from Sept. 28th until Oct. 2nd (but only at FG for three days). What should we do for him, and what are our learning goals during that time?

  • Meetings during that time span can be preempted.
  • We could do a dinner instead of a regular meeting with him.
    • COMMIT: Tuesday, the 29th for an after-work dinner with him for coordinators
  • We could have a potluck.
    • COMMIT: Wednesday, the 30th at the Hackery
  • We were invited to the opening of a grant recipient.
    • COMMIT: Thursday, the 1st for a bike ride to visit the opening with him

Things to learn from Dave

  • RECOMMENDATION: Alec would like to know his thoughts on our program, ways they do QC, flow of machines throughout their build process, their paperwork and structure (regarding adding builders to the program and when they graduate), among other things.
  • RECOMMENDATION: Ifny would like to talk about production, learn his advice on how to increase it, and learn about PDX's PRINTME software (instead of using stickers).

Commits

  • COMMIT: Geoff will look into a rack mount system for drive wiping.
  • COMMIT: Geoff will clean out the Video Card Testing area.
  • COMMIT: Alec will try to get trained by Brian for Laptop Testing.
  • COMMIT: Alec is still working on a Staff QC checklist (commit from last meeting).
  • COMMIT: Geoff will find someone to make a sign before the next build meeting with communal data only, but we can consider the "QC Success" idea later when the data is easier to access.
  • COMMIT: George can look in to whether or not we should be selling Telus boxes.
  • COMMIT: Ifny will write the application for the "Capacity Grant."
  • COMMIT: Alec will work with Ifny to make sure scheduling is done properly.
  • COMMIT: Tuesday, the 29th for an after-work dinner with PDX Dave for coordinators
  • COMMIT: Wednesday, the 30th for a potluck at the Hackery for PDX Dave
  • COMMIT: Thursday, the 1st for a bike ride to visit the opening with PDX Dave


  • RECOMMENDATION: Video Card Testing should move to Card Sorting, but add more training for identification and gentler handling.
  • RECOMMENDATION: Have build instructors accompany builders to the shelf and help choose machines to prevent wandering.
  • RECOMMENDATION: We should take down old grant signs.
  • RECOMMENDATION: We should get a small whiteboard announcing the build instructor for the day.
  • RECOMMENDATION: Alec would like to ask PDX Dave's thoughts on our program, ways they do QC, flow of machines throughout their build process, their paperwork and structure (regarding adding builders to the program and when they graduate), among other things.
  • RECOMMENDATION: Ifny would like to ask PDX Dave about production, learn his advice on how to increase it, and learn about PDX's PRINTME software (instead of using stickers).

Next meeting

When: Saturday, October 3rd, 2009 at 6:15 pm to 8:15 pm
Where: Free Geek, 1820 Pandora St, back door

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