Category Archives: News

News about Free I.T. Athens

N00b Hour: Upgrading and Installing Software

Wednesday, April 19th @ 7p!

This month’s N00b hour is all about software! We’ll start with the basics of upgrading the existing software (packages) on your Linux computer by using its package manager.  Then, we’ll look at ways to find and install new software for it.  Next, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of using packages not provided by your operating system.  Finally, we’ll very briefly learn that it is possible to install software without using your operating system’s package manager.

This workshop is free and open to the public. Don’t forget that you can see previous N00b Hours on the Free I.T. Athens YouTube page.

New Hours on Saturdays!

Artboard 1

Last month Free I.T. staff members “test drove” new hours on Saturday mornings. I’m happy to report that it was a success! Not only did people come out to shop, get tech support, and donate, but volunteers started showing up too.

So we decided to put the new hours permanently on the schedule: Free I.T. Athens will now be open on Saturdays from 9a – 1p.

Here’s some of the great stuff you can do during Saturday open hours:

  • Volunteer: learn about technology, protect the environment, and help the Athens community in a cooperative hands on environment.
  • Donate: drop off those electronics you’ve been hoarding since 1992! We’ll either put them to good use or ensure that they’re recycled responsibly.
  • Shop: Computers for $15, monitors starting at $15, printers for $10, $1 cables… we even have a record player in the store!
  • Tech Support: bring in your ailing computer or laptop and let Free I.T. folks help you fix it!

Screening of CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap

This month Franklin College is hosting a networking, movie screening, and panel discussion all about the gender gap in the software industry. We’re giving the event a shout out because it aligns with our mission to bridge the digital divide!

Film Screening of CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap
Wednesday, March 22 at 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
UGA Special Collections Library
Facebook Event

See you in the workspace!
Charlie

Wi-Fi is now OPEN at Free I.T.

badgeAt Free I.T. Athens we’re dedicated to bridging the digital divide. The costs involved with reliable broadband Internet means there are people out there with no access to the important modern services the web enables. To do our part in building a more tech-accessible environment, we have recently decided to open Free I.T. Athens’ Wi-Fi network. This will allow those around the workspace to get online even when Free I.T. is closed.

We want to encourage a culture of sharing with those in our community, especially with those who do not have Internet—to get online in the area immediately surrounding Free I.T. Athens, just connect your device to the “openwireless.org” network.

The Open Wireless Movement

There are many benefits to the Open Wireless Movement. It has shown itself to be extremely valuable in disaster scenarios for example. When the I-35 bridge collapsed in Minneapolis, open Wi-Fi networks became an invaluable tool for rescue workers.

In a world with open wireless, we would have less congested networks which creates a more efficient use of the radio spectrum. Open wireless has privacy advantages by fighting against the notion that IP addresses can be used as a sole identifier for people. And most networks have far more capacity then will ever be used, which means that even if you open your Wi-Fi at home, most people will have no noticeable difference in performance.

The biggest reason to open a network is simple though: internet access is becoming a necessity in our society, yet the cost of access makes it a luxury. Free I.T. Athens wants to do its part in changing that. Join the movement and learn more about the Open Wireless Movement at openwireless.org.

Thanks,
Kris

Free I.T. Athens Videos up on YouTube

This week one of our behind-the-scenes-projects is tidying up the Free I.T. Athens YouTube page so volunteers can more effectively provide information to the community. While we’re working on new videos and tutorials, I thought I’d give you a digital tour of what you can find there already.

Free Software Tutorials

Well, one tutorial anyway. Today we uploaded our very first free software tutorial, covering the basics of LibreOffice Writer. This handy word processor comes with all the computers at Free I.T. This video covers the very basics of how to use it.

We want to put together tutorials that YOU find useful! Let us know what kind of videos you’d like to see Free I.T. Athens make by leaving a comment on the Free I.T. Facebook page, tweeting us @FreeITAthens, or emailing us at contact@freeitathens.org.

N00b Hour

Once a month, Lachele puts on a presentation/discussion session we call “Noob Hour.” These workshops are typically held on the first Wednesday of the month which happens to be the same day CHUGALUG meets. The idea is that you can attend a Noob Hour and learn about a topic and then stick around for a deep dive with other GNU/Linux geeks at the CHUGALUG meeting. So far we have three Noob Hour recordings with a fourth one on the way.

Check out chugalug.uga.edu/ for more information about this great group.

Free I.T.’s History

This 2010 recording provides a wonderful look at how Free I.T. Athens got its start back in 2005.

SouthEast Linux Fest Presentations

Every now and then, Free I.T. Athens volunteers travel to the SouthEast Linux Fest to discuss current projects and future plans. Check them out!

Joel on Digital Justice

Semmy and Brian on Building Community-based Technology Centers

Empowering Digital Citizens

I know I said this up top, but I can’t stress it enough: Free I.T. Athens wants to provide you with the digital and tech information you need most right now. Let us know what workshops and videos you’d like to see by emailing us at contact@freeitathens.org, posting a comment on YouTube or Facebook page, or Tweeting us at @FreeITAthens.

Happy learning,
Charlie

Open on Saturday

For the month of February, Free I.T. Athens will be open from 9a-1p on Saturday.

Free I.T. Athens
William opened up the work space on Saturday for the very first time in Homewood Hills.

For a long time, Free I.T. Athens has only been open 10 hours a week. This month the FRITA volunteers are experimenting with bumping that number up to 14 hours!

The goal of this experiment is to gauge community interest. If we can better serve Athens by opening up during this time slot, then we’ll add it permanently to our list of official hours.

Let us know what you think! Would Saturday morning hours be a good time for tech support/shopping/donating? Is there a better time? Email your thoughts to contact@freeitathens.org, post to the Free I.T. Athens Facebook page, or tweet us @freeitathens.

Can’t wait to hear from you,
Charlie