All posts by Charlie Coile

Free I.T. Athens at The Circle of Hope

I’m so pleased to share that Free I.T. Athens and fellow community tech nonprofits will be speaking at this year’s Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) conference! Hope is an incredible event held every two years in NYC with an engaging list of speakers, fascinating hackerspaces, and lots and lots of mate.

Even though the event is out of state, you can still participate because all the talks are streamed live! Check out Hope’s website to digitally pop in and catch a speaker.

Representatives from Free Geek Mothership, Free Geek Toronto, Free Geek Arkansas, and Free I.T. Athens will come together on Sunday, July 22nd at 11a in the Booth room to chat about technology and community.



Desktop Specs Update

For as long as I’ve volunteered at Free I.T. Athens, all computers in the store came with GNU/Linux, 4GB of memory, and at least 160GB of storage space. I’m sorry to say that as of last week Free I.T. Athens’ new minimum for desktop storage is 80GB.

Why did we make this change? It’s all thanks to the great hard drive shortage of 2018.

For the past few months we’ve struggled to keep up with the store and grant requests because so many desktops are being donated without hard drives!

We hobbled along for awhile by using larger drives in the desktops (2TB of storage, anyone?), but to break even we had to up the price of those machines. $55 for a dual core desktop, however, just felt wrong.

As my fellow staff members and I struggled to figure out what to do, a wave of 80GB hard drives came in thanks to the kind donations of community members and local businesses. It seems every hard drive donated these days is 80GB.

The smaller drives piled up and so did the desktops on the to-be-refurbished shelf because we eventually ran out of even the super large disks. Last week, it became clear that we needed to drop the minimum storage size.

Computers without drives
So many great computers with no hard drives!

That’s not to say that all the computers in the store or that go out through our community grant program will have only 80GB. Many will have more.

We don’t think this will matter to most people now that so much of our files have moved to online services. That being said, if you come the into shop for a desktop, we’ll do our best to point out computers with smaller storage and make sure that the one you choose meets all your needs.

As always, we appreciate your continued support! If you have any questions, drop us an email at


P.S. Next time you donate a computer, please consider donating the hard drive as well. All of us take personal data very seriously and we securely wipe all donated drives (if we can’t for whatever reason, volunteers smash them with a hammer!). To learn more about that processes, check out the “Your Personal Data is Safe” section on the Donations page.

Monitor Sale

$10 off all monitors 18” or smaller
Take home a free 18″ or smaller monitor with the purchase of a desktop

We have more monitors than we know what to do with over at Free I.T. Athens, so it’s time for a monitor sale! 15″ monitors start at only $5.

All monitors include a power and video cable, but come on by soon because the sale will end when our extra monitors stock is gone.

sale sign

GreenLife Expo 2018

Saturday, January 27th
Athens Regional Library

GreenLife ExpoThe 2018 GreenLife Expo is here and Free I.T. Athens is proud to be a part of the annual event once again! Athens-Clarke County Recycling Division and the Athens Clark-County Library, have teamed up to bring community organizations and members together for a fantastic time of family oriented learning to reduce our carbon footprints and save natural resources for future generations.

There will be hands-on workshops and panel sessions related to industry and education. For the kids, there are various activities from 12 to 2 pm, a petting zoo, live music and a screening of the film Chasing Coral at 2pm.

The Free I.T. Athens crew will have an information table and our truck out in the parking lot for donations of any old computers/computer accessories that you might not know how to dispose of. Bring them out and we will take care of them, either refurbishing or properly recycling unusable items.

The Green Life Expo is going to be held Saturday, January 26th from 10a-4p at the ACC Library on Baxter St. There’s no cost for admission, so come say hello and learn a little bit about how you can help reduce e-waste!

Merri + Charlie