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Linux.com: Free Geek Vancouver Helps the Needy Get Nerdy

Apr 03, 2007, 12:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)


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"Free Geek is a nonprofit society in Portland, Ore., dedicated to recycling computing equipment and distributing computers loaded with free software to organizations or individuals in need. Since its founding in February 2000, the group has seen sister organizations open in cities throughout North America. One of the most recently established groups is in Vancouver, Canada. We talked to David Repa, the founder and coordinator of Free Geek Vancouver, about the origins of the group and the challenges of organizing it.

"A Debian user and community activist employed in the recycling of auto parts, Repa discovered Free Geek while researching the Linux Terminal Server project in order to provide thin clients for people in his apartment building who couldn't afford computers. Since the original organization was in Portland, a city he visits frequently, he visited in October 2006, arriving just in time to take a tour of the facilities. 'I was thinking it would be a hole in the wall,' he says. 'But it was 15,000 square feet. I was looking down aisles of monitors and boxes, and, instantly, I knew that this was what I needed to do. This is exactly like the auto scrap business, but with computers and education. So I got really excited...'"

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