Each computer for sale is refurbished by FGTC’s volunteer staff with the hope that the system will allow a family or individual to access technology that normally wouldn’t have been attainable. All proceeds from the garage sale will benefit Free Geek’s mission: to support those in need of access and to eliminate e-waste waste that is often associated with the disposal of computer equipment.
“Free Geek seeks to solve one problem—a lack of access to computers and technical knowledge among low-income Minnesotans—by reusing the products from another problem: the rapid obsolescence of computer hardware, and the resulting electronic waste,” explains FGTC Co-Founder Brian Dunnette.
Complete computer systems will be on sale for $40, which includes:
1. Desktop or tower case
2. CRT monitor (upgrades to flat-panel LCD displays available for an additional cost)
3. Keyboard and mouse
4. Ubuntu Linux operating system pre-installed (free classes come with purchase)
5. Microsoft Office compatibility
6. Internet connectivity
7. 1-year repair and replacement warranty (no refunds)
Apple products, printers, scanners, office phones, zip drives and other components will also be available. The group expects to sell about 17 complete systems and an equal number of Macintosh computers. They also work with customers who need customization for a language other than English.
The FGTC garage sale is located at 821 E 35th St, Minneapolis MN, 55407 and the computers will be available for purchase (cash only) throughout the weekend as scheduled:
- Friday, Nov. 19: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Saturday, Nov. 20: Noon to 5 p.m.
- Sunday, Nov. 21: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
FGTC started as a project of the nonprofit Twin Cities Open Circuit organization and launched locally in September 2009. The movement began in Portland, Oregon during 2000 and has since expanded to over 12 Free Geek locations across the United States. FGTC accepts hardware donations every Saturday from noon to 5:00 p.m., along with a nominal cash donation to help cover the cost of recycling.
“We’re combating the technophobia that helps maintain the digital divide by helping people ‘get their hands dirty’ with technology,” notes Dunnette.