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How The Build Program Works[edit]

The Build Program is our primary ongoing volunteer program. We take donated computers and see if they work. If they don't work, we replace hardware as necessary to fix them. If we can't fix them, we strip them for useful components and send them to a certified recycler for disposal.

Once our computers have been made functional, we install our standard desktop Linux distro (currently Xubuntu) on them to replace whatever they had before (most likely Windows) and turn it into a fully-functional multipurpose desktop! Also because Linux is both free and resource-efficient, it's a great way to give new life to old hardware.

All of this is done by volunteers and is intended to be an excellent way for them to learn about PC hardware and repair. Build 4 computers, keep one!

New Volunteer Orientation[edit]

Safety Class - The first step for all new volunteers. ~10 min.

Hardware Class - Learn how to identify common PC hardware, what the parts do, and how they connect together. ~25 min.

Basic Linux Class - Intro to Linux. What an operating system is, command line basics helpful for build and troubleshooting. ~25 min.


Teardown - Disassembly and harvesting of re-usable parts and recyclable material from 'victim' boxes designated by other volunteers when they perform Eval. This step comes first in the process so that new volunteers may become familiar with the internal setup of computers. We will try to provide a variety of machines for Teardown- servers, PC, different form factors, etc.

Eval - Pick out some hardware that has already been received/logged, see if it boots. Note, hardware logging and Eval are things done as part of the Receiving process. Wipe the HDD if it hasn't been done already.

Assembly - Build a computer fix an already-built one, install an OS.

QA - Make sure everything works and the computer is ready for sale or grant.