Build Meeting - 2009-09-03

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Build Meeting: 2009-09-03 Minutes: Alec Attendance: Alec S 240, Chris H 661, Tyler H 728, Kirby J 852, Cl, Anthony L 272, Patrick C 1328, George L 1076, Devenne (Tardy)


  • Alec: Blathering introduction / summary. Vancity grant. Hiring.
  • Cl: How much below our estimates are our build numbers?
  • Tyler: Guessing approx. 2/3 of estimates.
  • Alec: This is actually a good number given that we haven't been doing grants.


  • Old business / commits
  • Updates / how everyone is doing?
  • Stickering
  • Red binder
  • Variance of specs
  • Hardware grants procedure

Old business / commits

  • Tyler: Committed to make poster for next meetings. Put it on the whiteboard; needs to update it.
    • Ifny: Can we make it general, i.e. 1st Saturday and 3rd Thursday of the month.
    • Chris H: Will make a sign for next Thursday. COMMIT.
  • Patrick: Committed to make posters with specs. He did -- it's stuck to the whiteboard.
    • Ifny: Patrick, could you make it bigger? Hard to read.
    • Patrick: Yes. COMMIT.
  • Alec: Committed to training Tyler and Patrick on staff QC process. Did train, documentation not done yet. Will document on wiki. COMMIT.
  • Devenne and George L committed to research and coordinate with Tyler on language packs.
    • Issue is that Hardy has no Canadian English pack.
    • Work-around: Need to install / select US English.
    • Tyler: Probably not going to get a chance next week. Will look into it.
    • Ifny: Can we make a work ticket and get Ali to look into it?
    • Tyler: Can create a ticket. COMMIT.
    • Tyler, Devenne, and George will look into packaging up an en_US locale. May coordinate with Vancouver Ubuntu guys. COMMIT.

Updates / how everyone is doing?

  • Alec: Have had to sneak downstairs for meetings; volunteers have been great at answering questions and working together
  • Kirby: Tuesdays have been busy
  • Anthony: KVM on number 7 is not working.
  • Tyler: Have numbered stations. Could add this to roundup.
  • Patrick: Can send up KVM.
  • Tyler: If you let me know, I can fix it.
  • Patrick: Have been busy; try not to get in the way of build volunteers.
  • Anthony: Have been working steadily.
  • Tyler: Volunteers have been keeping build running, especially given little input from us (staff).
  • Chris: Copacetic.
  • George: Missing build -- have to take care of store. Missing build.
  • Devenne: Doing good overall. Has been noticeable that people are stepping up. Cleanliness has improved; still lots to do, but improvement good to see. Makes it a more comfortable place to work. Will work on coordinating labeling of shelves.
  • Ifny: Agree with what's being said. Great to see builders building comeraderie. Happy to see biulders so welcoming to new builders.
  • Alec: Tyler, how would you characterize days other than Thursdays?
  • Tyler: Blur. Have been working at limit. Had ten (!) builders on Tuesday. Had two/three (?) new builders on Wednesday. Not enough experience up here to characterize.
  • Ifny: I had the luxury of sitting up here with one of the interns, and got to see -- experienced builders and build instructors are absolutely necessary and we really appreciate them. Numbers seem to have ranged from 3 to 6 builders on average daily. Shutdown / cleanup has not been happening, but that is improving. Are announcing more consistently.


  • Alec: Green stickers should only be applied by staff QCers. Just because a red-sticker item has been fixed doesn't mean the full staff QC was otherwise finished.
  • Alec: Notice we're now leaving constellations of stickers on machines; any reason?
  • Tyler: Just leaving stickers on; no reason.
  • Ifny: Suspect we should be leaving these on; information is so transitory otherwise.
  • George: If something is red-stickered, should it go to back through QC?
  • Alec: No, not necessary. Staff QC will test that particular item.
  • Ifny: Build sheets in store are unseemly.
  • Alec: Like being able to write whatever needs writing in there. We did speak about detachable build sheets, didn't come to decision.
  • George: Could write in red binder...
  • Ifny: Build sheets currently get lost when they go with the customer. Suggest having a different label.
  • Alec: Second that. We should be keeping build sheets, and we should have a separate label for store boxes to describe what is in them.
  • Ifny: So we need a place to store build sheets, and we need to design another label/sticker for the store.
  • Tyler: Suggest using another build sheet.
  • Ifny: Need to make them visually distinct.
  • Chris: Could print identical sheet on different paper...
  • Ifny: Wouldn't want to use identical sheet. Spot for price, return policy, ... -- lots of store-specific stuff that could go on there. Could do it, but not until October. Could ask Jessica?
  • Patrick will collar someone to do a store sheet. COMMIT.

Red Binder

  • Skip it.

Variance of specs

  • Alec: For machines that don't meet spec for some reason, can I send it downstairs?
  • Patrick: Yes! You build it, I'll sell it.
  • George: What would a <1GHz machine be worth in scrap?
  • Ifny: As scrap? 10/20 cents.
  • Tyler: Maybe a couple dollars? Mobo, CPU, ...
  • Ifny: Maybe.
  • Tyler: What about floppy drives? People spend a lot of time on them.
  • Alec: Had a builder go through 5 drives and 3 disks before realizing that the cable was dangling in the case. Learning experience sometimes. Necessary evil -- we would spend our days searching for drive bay covers if we removed floppies.
  • Patrick: Common problems: CPU mislabeled (Athlon model numbers vs. speed, or Celeron vs. P4). Sometimes video slot marked as AGP when it's actually PCI express.
  • Alec: Perhaps should add # of slot verification to staff QC process.
  • Devenne: What about having the staff QCer fill out the store sheet?
  • Alec: Would rather not.
  • George: What about model number vs. core speed? AMD.
  • Alec: That's AMD's problem. As long as the info goes downstairs correct, store can set their own prices.
  • Tyler: AMD and Intel both have marketing campaign around model number. We should consider just writing down the model number. CONSENSUS.
  • Tyler: Did we finish with floppies?
  • Alec: We could decide as a matter of policy not to test floppy drives... Or a test i.e. format, copy, verify, that doesn't require that every sector be OK?
  • Tyler: Happy ignoring the ones that fail on verify?
  • Alec: Not so happy with grey areas. Partial test isn't something we can stand behind.
  • George: Suggest removing floppy drives.
  • Alec: Don't have panels. Would rather leave it in and not test/certify.
  • Alec: PROPOSE that we add a note to the build sheet and the forthcoming store sheet stating that we do not test floppy drives, and removing it from the QC process. CONSENSUS.

Hardware grants procedure

  • Ifny: Summary of the grants program. Every build has a steward; stewards (currently Ifny or Jane) will talk to builders.

Next meeting

  • Thursday 17th.