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FreeGeek News

Closed for July 4th

by James Slater

FreeGeek is closed Friday July 4th in observation of Independence Day. We will be back open for sales and donations on Saturday July 5th and our regularly scheduled Volunteer Build on Sunday July 6th.

Choosing FGC's Next #Linux Distro

by James Slater

With the release of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS in April and the release of Linux Mint 17 LTS in May, it is time for FreeGeek to take a look at a fresh upgrade to our pre-installed OS. Of course there are a ton of options for Linux distros, but due to our familiarity with the under-the-hood action of Ubuntu and it’s convenient hardware and software support of some odd-ball stuff (Apple iSight is a good example), we really want to stay within the Ubuntu family.

Right now we are looking at four main Ubuntu spins as an upgrade / replacement for our aging Xubuntu 12.04. They are:

  • Xubuntu 14.04. The direct upgrade to Xubuntu 12.04 that we are using now. Uses the XFCE Desktop Environment
  • Ubuntu 14.04. The stock version of Ubuntu with Unity Desktop Environment
  • Kubuntu 14.04. A Canonical-supported spin that uses the KDE Desktop Environment
  • Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon. A distro based on Ubuntu 14.04 but includes additional software including the Cinnanmon Desktop Environment

So, what is our first-look impression of our top contenders?

Winter Warmer is March 13

by James Slater

Winter is almost over but we're all still freezing! Let FreeGeek warm you up with some drinks, food, and fun at Brando's Speakeasy on Thursday March 13th. The Winter Warmer Party will bring together all of the different characters that make FreeGeek the cool place it is, including our volunteers (the "Geeks"), our donors, or word-of-mouthers, and general FreeGeek Fans. In addtion, FreeGeek wants to thank those who have helped us fund our past Summer Internship programs and who have continued to connect us to awesome opportunities.

If you are reading this, we want you there!

This is a ticketed event that includes 2 drinks and tons of food. Register now and get your tickets today.

FreeGeek makes an appearance on CBS Chicago

by James Slater

Guild Literary Complex - Notes from the Mainframe Jan 29 @ FreeGeek Chicago

by James Slater

Hey Friends!

FreeGeek Chicago will be hosting Applied Words: Notes from the Mainframe on January 29th from 7:30P - 9:00P. This a Guild Literary Complex reading event and is being co-sponsored by the folks at Gapers Block. In short, it’s going to be awesome.

From event page:

In the 21st century, we live inside technology like never before. For Applied Words “Notes from the Mainframe,” the Guild Literary Complex invites writers employed in technology to read their work and discuss the poetics of art and science.

“Notes from the Mainframe” will include readings by Catherine Halley (Director of Digital Programs, Poetry Foundation), Daniel X. O’Neil (Executive Director of Smart Chicago Collaborative), and Stephanie Plenner (Founder of Chicago Literary Map). Artists will participate in a Q&A following the event.

There’s no official registration. Just show up and you’ll get to listen to some great local writers and participate in some interesting discussion.

Holiday Party!

by James Slater


Black Friday Sale (and Beyond!)

by Taylor Hales

On 11/29 we will be hosting a Black Friday sale. Laptops and LCD monitors will be 25% off. Desktops,parts, and all other peripherals will be 50% off!

Happy Thanksgiving!

by James Slater

As we gather to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family, FreeGeek wishes to thank all those who have contributed to our successes this year. In celebration of the Thanksgiving Holiday, the FreeGeek Shop will be closed Wednesday Nov 27 and Thursday Nov 28. We will return to our regular schedule on Friday Nov 29.

Software Freedom Day is Sept 21

by James Slater

FreeGeek Chicago Invites You to Our 2nd Annual Software Freedom Day Celebration!

Software Freedom Day (SFD) is a worldwide celebration of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Our goal in this celebration is to educate the worldwide public about the benefits of using high quality FOSS in education, in government, at home, and in business -- in short, everywhere! This year we are celebrating software freedom on September 21.

Full Schedule and Registration are available on our Event Page.

Nick Keiser, FreeGeeker for Life

by James Slater
It is with great sadness that FreeGeek Chicago has learned our friend and FreeGeek founder Nick Keiser has passed away. Though in recent years Nick had focused his attention on his health and his work as a bike mechanic, he continued to be a strong supporter of FreeGeek. Friend and co-founder David Eads writes:

For those who didn't know Nick, he was an original founder of FreeGeek Chicago and one of our most stalwart volunteers. I have fond memories of bleak January Sundays when the only people hanging out all day were me, Nick, and Janet. Sometimes, it was just Nick.

Through thick and thin, Nick would ride his bike up to FreeGeek for another day at the space. He always did the toughest jobs with an utterly charming combination of humility and sarcasm, grit and sweetness. He fiercely defended FreeGeek‘s spirit of collaboration, consensus, and autonomy. He dealt with Lenny, the neighborhood junkie. He remains FreeGeek’s greatest tour guide and on-screen presence.

You can read a bit more on the FreeGeek Talk List. Any updates on memorial services in Chicago will be posted there.

Peace and love to Nick and all who knew him.

~FreeGeek Chicago

Now Accepting Workshop Proposals

by James Slater

FreeGeek Chicago is now accepting Workshop Proposals! If you are interested in presenting at FreeGeek, take a moment and fill out our Workshop Submission Form.

FGC Unrolls New "Tech Needs" Survey

by James Slater

Hey all. We'd like to share with you our latest concoction, the FreeGeek Chicago "Tech Needs" Survey!
We are preparing a series of workshops for the summer and we want to know from you all what kind of problems you are running into and how we can best help you out--and maybe show you some cool extra stuff in the process!

StoryCorps Partnership

by James Slater

FreeGeek Chicago is teaming up with StoryCorps to record the voices and stories of our community. If you are a current or former FreeGeek Volunteer and are interested in sharing your experiences, ones from the FreeGeek space or elsewhere, let us know you want to participate. Register here.

Shop Closed July 3rd and July 4th

by James Slater

In observation of U.S. Independence Day, FreeGeek is closed Wednesday July 3rd and Thursday July 4th. FreeGeek will reopen for regularly scheduled programming on Friday July 5th. Enjoy the fireworks, grilling, and nice weather!

ReSolution Firehouse 3-way Meeting and FreeGeek Tour

by James Slater

FreeGeek Chicago, The Recyclery Collective, LET'S GO Chicago, and other community members will meet at FGC on Thurs June 13 at 6:30PM to discuss a bid on a Rogers Park firehouse. The firehouse may eventually serve as TheRecycley's permanent home and shared space with LET'S GO Chicago and a FreeGeek Extension. FGC Members will give a tour of their space and operations and then the group will get down to business at 7:00pm.