"Oso Martin had a dream: Collect old computers, teach volunteers
to fix them, give the good ones to good causes and make sure the
rest are responsibly recycled.
"He made that dream come true when he launched Free Geek on
Earth Day 2000.
"There were times, especially in the first year, when Free Geek
almost didn't get off the ground. Finding people willing to donate
old computers wasn't the problem. Paying for a place to store and
refurbish them was. At one point, Free Geek owed $12,000 in back
"Today, Free Geek not only is current on its rent, it has
expanded its space twice. The organization occupies an old building
that stretches across a southeast Portland city block. Last year,
when Oregon employers were either laying people off or locked in a
hiring freeze, Free Geek boosted its staff from six to 13 and added
four paid internships..."