Build Meeting - 2010-01-22

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Builder meeting 2010-01-21

  • Present: Christine, Kim, Chris H, Geoff, Alec, George (tardy)
  • Scribe: Alec
  • Facilitator: Geoff


  • Old Business
  • Report
  • Meeting Schedule
  • Grant Reporting
  • Builder Graduation
  • Education

Old Business

  • Geoff's commit re: Language files. Tyler added big part to automatic installer; one more package is missing and Tyler will get to it. In the meantime, all builders need to do is go to System > Administration > Language Support and hit Install. Geoff currently checking it in staff QC.
    • Christine: Is it on the build sheet?
    • Geoff: No. Could update build sheet. As soon as Tyler adds that one final package, it will be irrelevant.
    • Alec: Tyler knows about remaining package?
    • Geoff: Yes
    • Chris: Dictionary is working?
    • Geoff: Yes. Tyler has committed do doing that already.
  • Build mailing list. (Announcement that we have it, and inviting subscribers.)
    • Christine confirms that she got the invite.
    • Kim confirms that Hotmail still has trouble with our mailing lists; he will use gmail account instead.
    • Geoff COMMITs to to make invite to mailing list at FG. Will make up a poster / visual for wall.
  • Data generation required for build coordinator
    • Geoff: Number of machines built = totally gathered (per month). Without changing anything, seems simple to get volunteer to flip through build sheet and tally up per month by hand. Someone did last 4 months in about 20 minutes. What other info do we need?
    • Alec: How about where they go?
    • Geoff: Jessica has hardware grants.
    • George: Will have to chase through book to find out for store. Will start from this month, if acceptable; otherwise can go through last month.
    • Geoff: Will need per month stats for grant i.e. how many systems we sold.
    • George: Do we include $20 machines?
    • Alec: They went through build, so yes.
    • Geoff: George, don't feel like you have to go through those yourself. Can use a volunteer.
    • George: Are volunteers allowed to go through receipt book?
    • Alec: What is on receipts? Names?
    • George: In case of wholesale, wholesaler's name, salesperson, date, item, price.
    • Alec: Can volunteer to do some of that on a Thursday.
    • George: Receipt books are somewhere in cave bound by elastics.
    • Alec: Suggest finding out grant deadlines and then pulling me in as needed.
  • Advanced testing (?) Basic discussion.
    • Geoff: Think it's still in discussion; need better documentation. Motherboard testing, CPUs, ... I have some skill, not nearly as much as some. Need to get Chris, David F, Steve Junior, red-haired Mike, etc. to document. Video card testing is not super complicated, but advanced needs some expert skill. Near future to-do, not a desperate crisis, but do need to start training people like Kim and creating documentation.
    • Alec: Do the guys who know that station come in regularly?
    • Geoff: No, not really.
    • Alec: Steve Junior told me why he wasn't coming in very often; we could always get back to him on that.
  • Build instructors
    • We were going to get a list of build instructors, schedule them, instill authority to answer questions.
    • Geoff: Have an infusion of new builders; trained 2 on QC today. One has already done a build. One did 6 QCs and a finished build. That's laying groundwork. Regulars: Kim and Brian K. He is very willing, so he goes all over the place. Today great example: every station busy; Geoff and Tyler barely in mezz. Kim took care of whole bench. That's how it should work. Definitely need to recruit more build instructors.
    • Kim: Interested in training on command line and laptops.


  • Geoff: Have started focusing on higher-end machines. Fully stocked with cheap stuff. Doing very well for adoption spec. Just maintaining level of 2.8-3.0ghz for store. Machines flying off shelves since hardware grants kicked in (Jessica). Dispersed 33 machines so far this month for hardware grants.
  • Kim: What are hardware grants?
  • (Geoff explains)
  • Geoff: Gave a dozen low-end machines to a crew that's going to blanket East Van and west end with free wireless. Huge pile of wireless cards; going to chain machines together. They've arranged to buy all the spare down capacity -- they know who owns the fiber pipe. NA is a net uploader, so there is spare download capacity. Great grant. Also homeless shelters, addictions counseling, low-end housing, ...
  • Geoff: Other than that, doing pretty well. Back up with optical drives. * Kim: Hard drives. Coming across more and more SATA machines. Need to have more drives available.
  • Alec: Drive wipe and install machines pretty stable?
  • Geoff: Yes; it gives us occasional trouble, but given how hard we run those machines, it's going well. Good point, Kim -- as I replace machines there, will build more SATA capacity in.
  • Geoff COMMITs to expanding the SATA capacity. (Timeline: 2-3 weeks.)
  • Alec: Tidiness?
  • Geoff: Generally pretty good. North side generally tidier; South side gets more spillover. Could be better. Solution is probably finishing up half an hour before close. Screwdrivers are continuing problem. Have plenty of robertson, but ...
  • Kim: DVDs. Testing of optical drives. Spend half an hour a day looking for disks of known quality.
  • Alec: That was goal of toolkits.
  • Geoff: Like screwdrivers -- there were a bunch around. Toolboxes lasted for a while; I need to replenish.
  • Alec: Overall -- doing well. High stock of machines. Used to store them up here, no longer possible because we have so many.

Meeting Schedule

  • Chris: Last couple of meetings have been discussing cutting back on the number of build meetings.
  • George: Think it's better to cut back to one meeting. Reason for two was to make sure everyone can make it. However, need continuity in discussions. Suggest cutting the Saturday meetings.
  • Alec: Fewer meetings = easier on staff. Suggest also moving discussions to the build list. * Proposal: Do build meetings once a month, third thursdays every month. CONSENSUS.

Grant Reporting

  • Alec: Would be good to have a heads-up on the grant reporting deadlines.
  • Christine: Offer to help George with receipts.
  • George: Some of the receipts are from the swap meets and should not be recorded.
  • Geoff: Question is about finding what deadlines are? I have original proposal. COMMIT to looking up emails.
  • Alec: If you can't find it, contact me. Sooner probably better.

Builder Graduation

  • Alec: Don't have any graduation "ceremony" and also haven't figured out when/how to graduate other builders.
  • Kim: Think someone else has graduated. Has taken his machine home; that is the threshold for graduation. Peter today is on a fast-track to graduate as well.
  • Alec: Suggest figuring out how to get someone (staff or directors, need ph #s) to go through builder sheets and get graduation process happening. Doesn't have to be Geoff; e.g. I can do it.
  • Kim: Suggested to Jessica that we get a certificate.
  • Geoff: Jessica was working on it. * Alec: Will follow up. (Alec COMMITs to following up with Jessica about builder graduate certificates.)


  • Kim asked earlier about command line.
  • Alec: Happy to answer questions if I'm helping debug something.
  • Geoff: Feb 18th is second half of that workshop.

Next Meeting

  • The next meeting will be Feb 18, 2010, 6:30pm.


  • Geoff COMMITs to to make invite to mailing list at FG. Will make up a poster / visual for wall.
  • Geoff COMMITs to expanding the SATA capacity. (Timeline: 2-3 weeks.)
  • Geoff COMMITs to looking up emails re: build grant deadlines.
  • Alec COMMITs to following up with Jessica about builder graduate certificates.