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 pg. 1 
Week 3 Assignment
PROJECT PLAN:
I will be observing the group that works to refurbish
computers for donation. They...
 pg. 2 
The shop has plenty of light, lots of tools and work benches
(5), a big forced-air heater for our cold winter days...
 pg. 3 
I did not want to be an influence on the group activity in any
way. I told the group moderator what I was there fo...
 pg. 4 
Projects - What kinds of projects are people working on?
The majority of projects deal with the inspection and
pre...
 pg. 5 
the hard drive or drives.
 
4 Instructions used when installing software
How would you describe the range or diver...
 pg. 6 
have ATA hard drives, some IDE hard drives, etc. The slots
 
5 Another sheet used for Machine numbered 180
for ram...
 pg. 7 
projects assigned or necessary as part of the total process
come from what is on hand on the day the volunteers go...
 pg. 8 
or agreed upon?
Everyone treats each other with respect. Those with more
technical expertise are treated like anyo...
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Assignment 3. LCL.

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Visit to a non-profit workshop that refurbishes computers in order to donate them to local groups and organizations.

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Assignment 3. LCL.

  1. 1.  pg. 1  Week 3 Assignment PROJECT PLAN: I will be observing the group that works to refurbish computers for donation. They are a sub group of the local, non-profit, computer club. They have been meeting in a member’s workshop for the past couple of years in order to refurbish computers and make them ready for donation. They are listed in the on line directory at: https://www.msregrefurb.com/RRPSite/OnlineDirectory.as px?setlang=en They work through local groups, including the Boy’s and Girl’s Club to find homes for the machines. They have already donated over 200 machines to groups and individuals, including the local Senior Community Center, the local food bank and the local community radio station. OBSERVATION AND REPORT: On Monday, 31 March, I met at the workshop and listened and observed the work session. I asked some general questions at the onset of the three hour meeting, but for the most part, all my conclusions were based on listening and observation. It was apparent from the start, that the group functions as a social group as much as a group of fellows that share a similar interest in computers and technology. I arrived early enough to be alone in the shop so I could take photographs with my iPod. I arrived early enough to be alone in the shop so I could take photographs with my iPod.  
  2. 2.  pg. 2  The shop has plenty of light, lots of tools and work benches (5), a big forced-air heater for our cold winter days, a wireless modem, bathroom, sink, comfortable chairs, and   1 The double doors on the right lead to the store room holding more hardware.  plenty of shelves to hold spares. It has a phone, clock, calendar, bulletin board and a couple of posters reminding shop attendees of upcoming events and the three, triage color codes to label to the machines in process.
  3. 3.  pg. 3  I did not want to be an influence on the group activity in any way. I told the group moderator what I was there for, but the others in attendance did not know the purpose of my visit unless they inquired. I subscribe to the theory known as the quantum theory of observation. One of the most bizarre premises of quantum theory, which has long fascinated philosophers and physicists alike, states that by the very act of watching, the observer affects the observed reality.*   2 The blue arrow on the left points to the shop router  3 The blue arrow on the right indicates a 7 CD disk burner
  4. 4.  pg. 4  Projects - What kinds of projects are people working on? The majority of projects deal with the inspection and preparation of donated, desktop PCs. They are powered up and inspected. Belarc Advisor, a free program, is used to generate a report for each machine. I have uploaded the first page of a 14 page Belarc report for one of my older machines. It can be viewed/downloaded on my site at: http://sequim- web.net/design/Belarc Advisor Current Profile.pdf I was told that the first page of the Belarc report is printed and enclosed inside the donated machine. Each component is inspected for reliable operation. This includes all drives, cables, ports, etc. The machine is inventoried for amount of ram installed, size of hard drive, etc. If the machine passes inspection, a licensed copy of Windows is installed following the wipe and partitioning of
  5. 5.  pg. 5  the hard drive or drives.   4 Instructions used when installing software How would you describe the range or diversity of projects? The range of the projects encompasses hardware and software. In order to insure the full operation of all components, various software drivers are required to be installed in order to test network connections, Internet connections, CD and DVD reading and recording, and so on. The donated machines are different, in that there are many ways to open the case and inspect the various parts. Some
  6. 6.  pg. 6  have ATA hard drives, some IDE hard drives, etc. The slots   5 Another sheet used for Machine numbered 180 for ram vary, as well as the type of memory required. The tiny plugs and their location on the motherboard are different in design and size, as well as the configuration due to the manufacturer of the motherboard. There are many variables, which makes the job both challenging and interesting to the volunteers. Interests - Where do the ideas for the projects come from? Are the projects based on individual, group, or community interests? The projects come from donated computers, initially. The word has spread in the community, the local newspapers, on web sites, BLOGS, and on Twitter. There are plenty of computers donated, as well as all kinds of spares. Today, I asked what kind of spares they need, and they said power plugs and flat screen monitors. Several answered my question immediately, and this indicated that these items were scarce and needed as soon as possible. The individual
  7. 7.  pg. 7  projects assigned or necessary as part of the total process come from what is on hand on the day the volunteers go to the workshop. There were seven at work on machines about a half hour after the shop opened. At present, they are waiting for a shipment of Windows 7 from Microsoft. Learning Community - Do people help each other learn? Are there mentors in the space? Is there a trajectory of participation from newcomer to leadership roles? The members collaborate on various duties, as there are multiple skill levels inherent in the group. The shop owner acts as a mentor, as he is a senior officer in the club, and the shop tools and equipment are largely owned by him. He is not the sort of person that barks orders. If someone does something stupid or dangerous, there are enough senior members on hand to point out the behavior. Work assignments are generated on an ad hoc basis. Forms are kept for each machine, and a number assigned. A clipboard near the front door serves as a log of machines, machine numbers, and who is presently working on the machine. Everyone works together and helps each other. Values - How do people treat each other in the community? Are there community guidelines or values that are discussed
  8. 8.  pg. 8  or agreed upon? Everyone treats each other with respect. Those with more technical expertise are treated like anyone else, but they are listened to more often that others when a tricky problem pops up. Space - Which aspects of the physical space support the creative learning process? What materials are available? I took a number of photographs and included them in this survey. What struck me most was the organization of the shop, the lighting, the tools, the clearly labeled boxes of parts –mice, power cords, hard drives, etc., and the amount of room available to dismantle and work on the desktop machines. Things are very well organized for the group. Participants learn as they work. The free exchange of ideas and approaches to problems and the use of good documentation and basic, written instructions, helps to make the process a continuous learning experience. After my visit, I made it a point to follow up. I thanked the host, and found some sources for hardware they need. I also inquired as to a location for disposal of unwanted and defunct printers. *Weizmann Institute Of Science. "Quantum Theory Demonstrated: Observation Affects Reality." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 1998. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/02/980227055013.htm

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