From the newsletter of Southeast Michigan Mensa.
October, 2011 Monthly Musings
...Speaking of Freethought Day, one of our members, Ken Grundberg founded Motor CIty Free Geek to help serve the local community by "Helping the Needy Get Nerdy." Retired computers are recycled into usable computers. Besides helping to provide usable computers to those that need them, the components are kept out of landfills. Many of these parts contain dangerous materials which often end up in third-world countries. Several SEMM members support Motor City Freee Geek with their time and finances, including Ken Gass, Harvey Somers, Harley Berger, Wes Fowler and others. Check out Ken and his efforts at www.motorcityfreegeek.net MCFG is a 501(c)(3) qualified non-profit organization and all donations are 'tax deductable to the full extent allowed by the law'.
...Anyway, as I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, it recently occurred to me that I should urge all of you to think globally and act locally. One way to do this is through Motor City Free Geek: helping the needy get nerdy through computer recycling. See MotorCityFreeGeek.net It's getting stronger all the time, thanks to people like Ken Grundberg, Harvey Somers, and Harley Berger...
February, 2011 SEMMinal Thoughts
I am told that 50 percent of American's believe in reincarnation, and so at least some of you may anticipate running across a few of these folks in the future. If you don't believe in it, maybe you can at least try to make the world a better place for your grandchildren, whether or not they are a rewind of some of the giants listed above. Accordingly, I urge you all to think globally and act locally. One way to do this is through Motor City Free Geek: helping the needy get nerdy through computer re-cycling. See www.motorcityfreegeek.net We hope to start a Mensa SIG soon. Stay tuned.
December, 2010 SEMMinal Thoughts
Ongoing events conducted by members include: computer recycling to the deserving through Ken Grundberg's Motor City Free Geek ( www.motorcityfreegeek.net ) whose moto is “Helping the Needy Get Nerdy.”
July, 2010 SEMMinal Thoughts
Whew!!! The AG is over – hope you had a great time. Ken Grundberg and I made a presentation for Motor City Free Geek entitled “Helping the Needy Get Nerdy” (recycling old computers for deserving recipients) and we hope we convinced some of you that continued trashing of the planet is unacceptable and we can do something about it right here in Detroit. You know, the think globally and act locally thing.
June, 2010 SEMMinal Thoughts
…One memorable item we are pursuing is a presentation by Motor City Free Geek’s Ken Grundberg regarding how we can all help build a sustainable future for planet Earth. It’s all about thinking globally and acting locally. The motto heard most often in connection with this group here in Detroit is “Helping the Needy Get Nerdy.” The idea is to harvest electronic equipment of all sorts for recycling, although laptop and notebook computers are in particularly high demand, and distribute them after processing to worthy recipients--charities and schools. To fund this effort, cash donations are accepted and some of the computers are re-sold. They also welcome those Mensans (et. al.) who want to learn how to re-engineer outmoded computers (and themselves), and then load them with open source software. Feel free to contact life member Ken Grundberg through www.motorcityfreegeek.net. At the AG, he and other Mensans will talk about this, plus how to start (and how not to start) similar groups in other locations. There are already about a dozen such groups elsewhere in the USA.
April, 2010, SEMMinal Thoughts
...Not on the calendar, but very much an ongoing project, Motor City Free Geek is accepting electronic equipment of all sorts for recycling--laptops and notebook computers are in particularly high demand among their worthy recipients: charitites and schools. They also welcome those Mensans (et. al.) who want to learn how to re-engineer outmoded computers, and then load them with open source software. Feel free to contact life member Ken Grundberg at www.qwrky.com/sites/mcfg ...
February 2010, SEMMinal Thoughts
…Next question: Did Santa bring you a new computer? Well, by now you have been able to transfer all the files from your old computer to your new one. Ken Grundberg continues to refurbish computer equipment (and re-engineer computers) through Motor City Free Geek. Those of you who did not bring your old computers to the Winter Bash are invited to do so at the next monthly gathering, or give me a call to donate your computer for recycling, revamping and re-gifting to worthy recipients. If you have time on your hands and are so inclined, classes on how to reconfigure these items are available through MC Free Geek; the facility, adjoining the Eureka Masonic Hall, is now warehousing machines in Warren at 31690 Ryan Road, between 13 and 14 Mile roads. Grundberg tells me that the workbench areas are now complete, as is the classroom, most days. We can look forward to seeing photos on the internet soon, but as of this writing, the web site is only mostly perfected. Perhaps by the time you receive this newsletter, you will be able to easily view happy faces doing happy projects on the site.
October, 2009 SEMMinal Thoughts
Motor City Free Geek. Headed by lifetime member Ken Grundberg, this group recycles old computers, cellphones and other electronic equipment. The object is to perform triage on equipment being discarded so it doesn’t end up in a landfill someplace. Some recyclers in the U.S. are basically shippers of these items even those who claim to have a “zero percent landfill policy.” This phrase often means that no domestic landfill (garbage dump) will be the recipient of the e-waste that is building up as technology gets faster and more miniaturized, rendering usable equipment obsolete. Instead, the outmoded hardware is shipped to places like Hong Kong, Nigeria, Indonesia, etc. where it is then handled. This means burning the wiring to get the gold, lead, and platinum out of them, smashing the monitors to get at the various components, and burning the plastic casings to reduce the size of mountainous stacks of CPU and monitor housings. This work is almost always done by desperately poor people who are either unaware of the dangers to themselves and their environment, or they simply choose to ignore these issues because it is the most lucrative option they can find. Motor City Free Geek aims to show Detroit people how to actually refurbish old computers so they can be used by charitable organizations and schools here. However, when a computer is recycled, it has to have new software installed due to licensing agreements. This frequently means open source software such as Linux and Open Office. This means that technicians have to be trained to install it and the end users has to be trained to use it…
June, 2009 SEMMinal Thoughts
…Ken Grundberg led off the weekend on Friday night with a program devoted to how to responsibly donate old computers and cellphone hardware so that it doesn’t find its way to a junk yard in the third world. This happens all too frequently even when a good intentioned donor turns his equipment over to an apparently “green” recycling concern. Many of them advertise that they have a “zero percent landfill policy” or something like that; the reality is that they just ship the stuff overseas rather than dumping it here. Then it’s up to the recipient overseas to do with it what they will, and that frequently means that after an attempt to harvest valuable raw materials like copper, silver, gold or aluminum from the machines, the remainder is thrown into a dump. Those dumps are then routinely set on fire to reduce the physical volume, thereby releasing the frequently carcinogenic chemicals used for flame resistant plastics into the atmosphere. An alternative is to slake the machines with acids to melt them down that way, thereby contaminating the local water supply. This is a common practice in Nigeria, for example, which is a leading destination for these items. Motor City Free Geek promotes truly responsible recycling and the utilization of open source software…
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At Motor City Free Geek we install Ubuntu Linux on computers we build.
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