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Ubuntu Pennsylvania + FreeGeekPenn

On Saturday morning I met up with fellow Ubuntu Pennsylvania LoCo members Kevin and Stephen over at FreeGeekPenn in Ephrata.

FreeGeekPenn’s mission statement:

FREE GEEK PENN is a non-profit organization that recycles used technology and provides computers, education and access to the internet to those in need in exchange for community service.

Our intention for meeting up with them was to see how our team could lend a hand in their operations.

I came bearing Ubuntu gifts and we were welcomed very warmly by the staff. We immediately were able to speak with one of the organization founders, Stephen Bailey, who was helpful and gracious, eventually giving us a full tour of the facility. He was joined by their resident “Linux Guy” Adam Markley.

Obviously our team was there to lend support on the Linux side of things, our discussion revolved around a few major topics, and avenues that our team could help with:

  • Intro to Ubuntu Classes
  • PCs being sent to Africa programs (possibly deploy Ubuntu rather than shipping them OS-less)
  • Desktop deployment (perhaps a bit premature, they outlined issues encountered the last time they tried this)

I’ve put together a wiki page detailing our possible collaboration options and notes about their past Linux deployment experience:

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PennsylvaniaTeam/CommunityOutreachTeam/FreeGeekPenn

It will be interesting to see where this collaboration goes. I think starting out with Ubuntu Classes, working with their systems-to-Africa program, and in general being available as free “Linux Experts” will do wonders for the acceptance of Ubuntu over there.

As a final note, they are in need of an experienced grant writer to work with them on funding, if you know of anyone please let them know (or let me know and I’ll put you in touch directly).

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