Build Meeting - 2009-10-22

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Build Meeting - 2009-10-22

Previous meeting: Build Meeting - 2009-09-17

When: Thursday, October 22nd, 2009 at 6:15 pm to 8:15 pm
Where: Free Geek, 1820 Pandora St., back door


Facilitator: Geoff Bowers
Scribe: Devenne Drege
Moderator: Kim M.


Kim M. 1182, Peggy T., Kirby J., George Wong, Devenne D., Geoff B.

New business/Updates

DVD ROMs (specifications)

Geoff previously asked Patrick why the build specifications list requests use of DVD ROMs instead of CD RWs as a second optical drive.

  • We previously had excess DVD ROMs.
  • If you see excess DVD ROMs, go ahead and use one as a second optical drive in a build machine. Otherwise, don't worry about using a CD RW because they're acceptable too!

Optical Testing

Having a test station will be very beneficial to streamline building.

  • Geoff asked for others' ideas for ways to test the drives, but it seems there is not an easy way to test drive reading ability.
    • It is also questionable to test writing ability because we don't want to burn lots of discs (and time).
  • We need someone to help develop a test station, a method, and specifications for testing optical drives.
    • Geoff could perhaps send an email to the general mailing list, or create a ticket in the issue tracker to see if others have ideas on creating the station.

Suggestions from the group

  • Maybe we could create it on the build bench.
  • Maybe we could create it in card sorting.
  • Perhaps we should create a pilot station on the build bench to make sure the procedure really helps.
  • The test space could be used to test drives immediately before using the drive in a machine being built.

COMMIT: Kim will help create specifications and procedure for testing optical drives.

Macs in Build

We recieve a fair number of Macs, and we should go ahead and try to make good use of them!

  • We can sell blank machines (machine with ram and a blank drive), or we can try installing Ubuntu on them.
    • Patrick would prefer machines that do have an OS so he can show customers that the machine works.

Geoff asked Josh if the Ubuntu PPC install can be added to the network install list, but he's unsure.

  • Ubuntu PPC uses Yaboot instead of GRUB bootloader

We will start trying to install Ubuntu with CDs for now.

New Tool Kits

Alec made build toolkits. They're cool!

  • We need to make sure kits stay together.

Geoff would like to see kits possibly being signed out to builders.

  • The problem with signing out kits right now is they don't have a place to be stored/tracked.

Additional suggestion:

  • We should practice grounding ourselves (touch a piece of metal) to make sure we don't transfer static electricity to build computers.

Video Card Testing

Geoff cleaned up the old space where video card testing used to be.

  • Steve Jr. combined the video card testing station with motherboard testing.
    • Only the screen and power need to be connected, and the station is ready to go!

RAM Speed

Cecilia requested the speeds of RAM should be as high as possible for the motherboard.

  • Multiple sticks of RAM should also be the same speed.

Laptop Station

Brian will be leaving town in about one month, so we'll need to plan on tackling the laptop station.

  • Mike and Tyler will be learning the station and will try and keep the laptop station going.
  • People who are eager to learn about laptops are encouraged to help keep the station in good order.


  • In the future, we probably will recieve more laptops (as more and more people buy laptops), so we need to get rolling on making the laptop station efficient.
  • Down the road, we could have laptop evaluation and dismantling with the regular, corresponding stations; for now, our procedure isn't solid enough yet.
  • We want to try and fast track laptops to the store.
  • We have many eager guinea pigs builders to start learning. ;)

Dinner Saturday Night

Cecilia (build instructor) is having a goodbye dinner at Cafe Deux Soleils at 6:30pm this Saturday.

  • She's heading back to Mexico for the winter... and maybe longer!

Additional General Discussion

Peggy asked about the empty electrical boxes...

  • Geoff is not sure what the hold up is.
    • Feel free to keep it in everyone's radar!

Builders seem eager to see the program taking shape.

Builders are also very eager for more opportunities to learn.

  • COMMIT: Devenne will include some links for getting started on the command line in the minutes.


COMMIT: Kim will help create specifications and procedure for testing optical drives.
COMMIT: Devenne will include some links for getting started on the command line in the minutes.

Next meeting

When: Tuesday, November 19th, 2009 at 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Where: Free Geek, 1820 Pandora St., back door