It’s Garage Sale Time!

Free Geek October Garage Sale_low_cost_2

Garage Sale Time!

It’s been awhile, but we’re having a garage sale this weekend!

Friday 10am-6pm

Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 10am-6pm

Tables of computers, monitors, gadgets, computer parts, accessories.

Computers start at $25

Limited number of monitors for $10

Nice computer cases for $5

Come check it out while the deals last!

An Alienware Area 51 donation

Alienware Area 51 desktop

Every once in a while we get some pretty exciting donations. This Area 51 Alienware desktop came in last Saturday. I had someone give it a thorough cleaning and an Ubuntu 10.04.3 OS install. It is being offered for sale tomorrow for $180. If you want to see it you better come in this week. It only has a P4 3.00 GHz CPU (1MB L2 cache & H.T.), 2 1GB sticks of 533 DDR1 RAM and a 200+GB SATA hard drive. I pretty sure someone will just use the case and replace the motherboard.

All our stuff has been moved, but we still have much work to do..

The physical process of moving is done, thank you to all those who showed up to help move, sort, and start to set up the new space.

We still have much work to do, and our normal processes of testing and building are still not ready to start, but we will work on getting those back up by the end of May.

Stop on down to visit the new space, if you have time help us get back up and running, drop off those odd electronics and tell everybody you know about us.

Remember that if you come to volunteer, wear comfortable clothing that may get dirty.

New Site is Up

Welcome to our redesigned site, just in time for our new Location. Big Changes, but still the same plan. Recycle, Educate, Re-Use, and support Open Source software.

We will be moving for the next few open days, and some in between, so there will be no Break-down, Testing or Build until mid May, the Store is being moved, and that may be limited to what we can locate in the boxes.


We are still working on the exact dates for the garage sale, but this week, in preparation for the event, we worked on giving a final test to our pool of completed build machines, known as Geek Boxes. It turns out to be a pretty good sized pool. We have been marvelously busy with moving into the new space and sorting all the computer equipment we have accumulated over the past several months, all while welcoming new volunteers who come to learn how to dismantle and rebuild computers. As a result, we kind of lost track of our inventory of completed machines. So, we fired them all up, and verfied that everything worked, that they had Ubuntu 10.4 installed, and that they were ready for new owners.

We also found we have many more flat screen LCD monitors than we thought. We will hang onto the small or slightly damaged ones for our own internal use, but plan to sell the larger, fancier models. Our Geek Boxes come standard with a 19″ or 21″ CRT monitor, but we’ll offer a flat screen LCD monitor as an optional upgrade for a modest price. We also will have several Macintoshes to sell.

All of this is good news for the garage sale, as it means we have more computer goodies to offer the public. We won’t be selling all of our computers; we will keep some that will be given to other non-profits as part of the hardware grant program, and to volunteers who complete their 24 hours of service, or who complete their six build boxes.

Meanwhile, in the garage, we continue to refine our teardown process. In the past we used to just lump all scrap metal together. But now we are separating ferrous (magnetic) from non-ferrous metal. The non-ferrous is primarily aluminum, and we think we can get at least a modest amount of money selling it to scrap yards. We have quite a few old, small hard drives, which are mostly aluminum. While we could sell the drives for scrap as is, we will get a better rate if we break them down to their individual components and sort them accordingly. The circuit board in each hard drive is valuable as scrap, too. Even the ferrous metal, if sorted, is worth a few cents per pound, and we have many pounds of it.

Stay tuned for more details on the garage sale. We will be posting more info shortly.


We are slowly but most surely getting things organized in the garage. At the end of the summer we decided to vacate our old space at 3405 Chicago Ave. That meant bringing over all the computers, printers, monitors, and so on that had accumulated at 3405, to our new home in the old firestation, and it really buried us. There was hardly any place to walk. But litle by little we’ve been sorting through everything, re-using what can be re-used and recycling what can’t.

Sam and Brian sorted video cards, and later Sam & Jeremy sorted through our stock of hard drives which had become rather chaotic.

Michael tested keyboards, while on his right disks are wiped clean, at the new dedicated keyboard testing and¬†DBAN-ing¬†stations. We’ve had the equipment for a while, but never had a permanent place for it. Now we do.

Likewise, we began chipping away at our overflowing basement storage which is packed full of computer parts also from the move.

Nathan, Jeremy, and Jeff surveyed some of the computer parts brought up from the basement to be sorted. Buster the Robot supervised.

We are planning to have a garage sale in a few weeks, in which we’ll be selling excess computers, parts, and peripherals. We don’t have the date set yet, but we’ll let you know as soon as we can.

Jeff has been clearing Macs out of the hallway and getting them ready to be sold in the garage sale.
Being a former firestation, our building has an old hose drying room which is a tall narrow space that runs the full height of the building. We currently use it to store completed and in-progress Geek boxes. But our host, the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association (PPNA), is planning to turn that space into an elevator at the beginning of next year, so we need to move our stuff out. Once the Macs are cleared from the hallway, we’ll move the computers & monitors in the hose drying room to the hallway. In preparation for that, Alex & Art sorted through everything in the hose room. Alex found that we have many more flat screen LCD monitors than we thought, and we will probably sell some at the garage sale.

We had some new volunteers this week, in addition to our regulars, which always delights us all. Free Geek Twin Cities is an all-volunteer organization, and we’re getting to have quite a roster.

New volunteer Jessica dismantles a donated PC.

Volunteers Al and Steve debug a problem with build computer.

Volunteer Art helps a couple of other volunteers with their build system.

So, lots of little things happened this week, but they all add up to major progress. In fact, we are getting to the point now where we can start taking in many more donated computers. Bring us your old no-longer-used PCs, tell your friends and family to donate their unwanted computers to us, spread the word about FGTC, and “help the needy get nerdy”.