Build Meeting - 2009-08-20

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Date: August 20, 2009

Attendance: George L., George W., Patrick C., Tyler H., Ifny L. (scribe), Devenne D., Greg L., Chris H.

Update regarding Build Coordinator

  • Stephen's last day was Saturday Aug 15
  • Hiring new coordinator, should have by 2nd week of Sept
  • Bit of chaos, but manageable
  • Q: Why is Stephen gone?
    • A: It just wasn't working out.
  • Q: Can we have more details about why Stephen isn't here?
    • A: No, that's his employment information and its private.
  • Q: Can we have more info about the positions and the program?
  • Update on the build program?
    • Yes, term report to Vancity is due Sept 1
    • if folks have stories they'd like to share, let Ifny know
    • Ifny will be going around collecting stories and anecdotes for publicity

Builder support

  • Tyler will step up to provide continuity day to day until we have a build coordinator
  • Alec is coming in on Thursdays
  • experienced builders can help by teaching pre-build stations like hdd, ram and card sorting
  • people in the build program should be able to teach these stations, as they are a prereq for being on the build bench
  • some builders have been away from those stations for a long time -- they need a refresh
  • those stations haven't changed much
  • some builders haven't done all those stations - they can ask for training
  • Q: Is dismantling relevant to build?
    • A: It's a prerequisite, plus it teaches how to open cases and increases familiarity with different makes and models of computers
  • more support will reduce burden on Tyler and Alec
  • anyone who's volunteereed a few hours can answer questions and give support on the build bench
  • advantage to volunteering here: after a few days you can help others. it's rewarding, to see different personalities
  • what's needed are people who can step forward to provide build support in prebuild stations, keep bench organised and stocked
  • George & Patrick can also help with build instruction

Staff QC (Quality Control)

  • Staff QC is the final sign-off on machines before they go out into the big bad world
  • Some people are doing staff QC but they haven't been fully trained in how to do it
  • Alec will train Tyler and Patrick in Staff QC & will document staff QC on the wiki
  • Patrick has been doing staff QC for notebooks
  • Builders: please don't do staff QC unless you get newly trained by alec or tyler

Green Stickers

  • Alec has requested that people stop using green stickers.
  • They'll only be used by people doing staff QC
  • Q: When did the whole sticker system come into place?
    • A: Less than two weeks ago. It is going to be reviewed.

End of day

  • Free Geek day ends at 6pm
  • Nice to have the benches clean and stocked for the start of the next day
  • Builders should stop building at 5:30, and then clean up the bench. If people end up finishing before 6, that's ok, they could stick around and chat, help in other areas, or leave early.
  • Don't leave machines on the bench, especially if there's a Wed. adoption class the next day
    • Only memtest can be left on the bench overnight.
  • Reason builders sometimes staying longer: don't know what to do with half-built machines. They try to finish it. Where should they leave it?
    • A:leave it on the in-progress shelf
    • A: don't start building new machines too late in the day (e.g. after 4:30). do a QC instead, or do some tidying up, or checking stock. Ask Tyler or Alec if you can help with something.
  • Builders: Please don't start a new machine after 4:30, and please stop building at 5:30.
  • Note on consistency:
    • Machines are not always being built to spec. e.g. dvdwriters put into machines randomly, or machines have only CD rom. We need to help each other to build machines to spec.
  • Q: Should we move up the spec since we seem to have a lot?
    • A: Appearances may be deceiving, e.g. we have a lot of HDD but not a lot of 80GB
    • Anything over 2.66+ we put larger drives in e.g. 80 GB
    • Sometimes a builder will overbuild because they can't find a dvd-rom in the right colour

or they're the wrong size - ask for the right part if you can't find it on your own

    • if you can't find what you need, ask for help from Tyler, Alec or a build instructor. Building the wrong spec makes a lot more work because the machine will have to be redone
  • should we have posters for spec so that everyone can see? Yes!
  • COMMIT: Patrick will make posters for adoption, high end and low end spec

Hardware Grants

  • Free Geek's Hardware Grant Foundation gives free equipment to community organisations
  • It has been on hold for a while
  • It's going into high gear to catch up with the backlog.
  • There are going to be a lot more orders coming in. High end, low-end or lab spec. (Lab computers have 20GB HDD)
  • Grant stewards are the people who stay in touch with the organisation and put the order in with Build. They will place orders with Build Instructors. Right now these people are primarily Jane and Ifny.
  • Build Instructors will give builders instructions for building these orders (until the Build Coordinator starts)
    • Orders will be put up on a white board. Builders: please don't start building orders from this board since they may already be underway. Ask a Build Instructor for direction on what to build.

Next Build Meeting

  • Build meetings are usually the 1st Sat of the month (10am) and the 3rd Thursday (6:15pm)
  • Next meeting was scheduled for the Saturday of the long weekend, but there may be lots of folks out of town.
    • Next meeting change to Thursday Sept 3rd (6:15)
    • Subsequent meeting Thurs Sept 17th (6:15pm) as scheduled
  • discussion about if we need meetings
    • maybe we don't need to have meetings at all, we could just have online forum or discussion. Not everyone likes to come to meetings about stuff.
    • how can we use consensus if only some people are here?
      • we communicate decisions to others, take minutes, put stuff on the wiki, so everyone can see and participate
    • is two meetings a month necessary?
    • we're a fast paced org, maybe once a month is not frequent enough
    • sometimes we have to make a decision but waiting a month is hard
    • mailing list is good, but it's really hard to make decisions by email using consensus. hard to see if people are not objecting because they consent or just haven't read it.
    • 2 weeks is a good amt of time between meetings
    • these meetings were originally intended for build instructors and build coordinator to interface & make sure program is being implemented. Builders are totally welcome to come, but they don't have to attend to participate in the Build Program

Consensus: Let's leave things as they are for now, until after the new Build Coordinator starts

  • people are not getting the information re: decisions
    • not everyone knows about the mailing list, it's not an official list. we need to make an official list.
    • build meeting minutes should be posted to the general list.
    • ideas: print build meeting minutes, post on the wall in the build area
      • save paper, and make sign that says 'check the latest minutes'
      • maybe it will blend into the background
      • post when next build meetings are happening in build area

COMMIT: Tyler will put up poster saying when next meetings are happening & check meeting minutes for xxx

Language Packs (aka Lang Pack)

  • most machines we build don't have a lang pack installed, or spellcheck. use canadian lang spelling pack for Open Office
  • Proposal: install English and French localization packs on Ubuntu.
  • Q: which English lang pack are we installing?
    • A: American English
  • there is a Canadian lang pack for Open Office.
  • default installs are U.S. English
  • Q: are we going to have difficulty with the keyboard layout?
    • A: no
  • Q: should we offer more service with the software packs e.g. hardware grants?
    • A: we don't have time to do this, and they can customize things themselves by d/ling the software they need.

COMMIT: Devenne, George L to research, will coordinate with Tyler