FreeGeek is good. Of course, many of you don't need to be told this, but it's amazing what they get done down there.
My The Wife™'s old computer, a Pentium MMX 200 (I kid you not), checked out three days ago. Blown power supply, and, from our parts-is-parts backstock, we had exhausted all the old power supplies. Had to go out and get one, and we've had good experiences with them getting odd and interesting stuff before.
Going there in search of the power supply stock (we had planned on an excursion to Fry's if this didn't pan out) it became obvious that, despite the decent stock of power supplies of many ratings, the ones there didn't have the leads we needed. You see, we were looking for AT power supplies.
But wait! The fellow behind the counter simply went back into the...well, back area...and came up with two AT power supplies that were "semi-tested" (he said he plugged them in and the fans spun. Worked for us).
And while we were at it, we looked for a replacement CD drive. Found a tested CD-RW job that was IDE (The Wife™'s CD drive had been busted some years back in a fit of pique (hey, we all have 'em)). It works on the old fossil (the computer!) but we don't have the proper driver (and it's Win98 anyway, so we wonder if it's worth the trouble so it doesn't burn, but it reads, and right now, that's enough.
And I finally fell for one of the Freekboxes. For those who don't know, those are computers put together by the volunteers at FreeGeek, but we bought a StoreBox, which was one of the models put up for sale in the Thrift Shop: 197MB RAM, 56K modem, ethernet, ATI Rage 3D video card, and good to go with Ubuntu Linux 5.10. Now, we're home-representing Open Source, which is important because Linus lives in the area and has a day job in Beaverton now (as it was, we already ran OpenOffice.org (as it will be recalled) on the Macintosh here).
So what was the damage?
- Two AT Power supplies (gotta have one for backup) at $2.50 each: $5.00
- A tested (and working) 8x CD-RW:$4.00
- A complete and working computer system with Ubuntu Linux, complete with The GIMP so The Wife™ can play with her Photoshop files without having to wait for me to move aside so she can work on 'em in my professional copy of Photoshop CS2, and a free trouble ticket for resolution of one problem of any description: $35.00
- Having more cool toys and a working system back for The Wife™ without breaking the bank:Priceless.
As your Future Arbiter of Taste™, we give thumbs-up (and continued patronage and active consideration of volunteering) to FreeGeek.
Did you know: if you want a computer and can't afford one, FreeGeek will train you to assemble FreekBoxes, and, once you get six put together, you get one of your own for free...and training in how to use it? You can also adopt a computer by doing recycling work for them.
Did you also know: FreeGeek is going national, with local versions in Chicago, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Olympia?
Update and Correction 2006,0608@2045: The Wife™ informed me that the 8x CD-RW drive costed $8, not $4. My bad.
Technorati Tags: FreeGeek, Open Source, Ubuntu, Recycling