Saturday, June 9, 2018

FreeGeek Chicago

FreeGeek, 3411 W Diversey Ave, Chicago, IL 60647, is an oddity. Tucked into an alley, down a flight of stairs, into a basement, it's been around for over a decade, operates as a not for-profit, and offers some remarkably good deals.

To wit: I found a Toshiba netbook (NB 505), running on Mint xfce, for $40. Nice little screen, keyboard, wifi, 2 gigs memory, 160 gigs storage, three USB ports. Pretty small, and light enough to throw into a backpack for the coffeeshop.

At first, I thought this was great. Fun to play with, and I can use it when I'm offline. I almost bought it on the spot.

I really like to write in emacs org-mode. I can't do that on my Chromebook. My Windows laptop now has a broken arrow key.

But do I really need org-mode when I have Dynalist and Docs?

The Toshiba is rather better than my old Acer netbook, which I got a lot of use from.

Computers, Linux, used to be a hobby. I don't really do much of that anymore. $40 is pretty cheap for hours of tinkering, and maybe a little more writing.

But it's also another device, another cord, another thing to be charged up and updated. I suspect I have the tools I need. But I love knowing that there are earnest geeks offering affordable computing to the world - mostly, I gather, through a combination of Linux and volunteers. Good on 'em! (And now to fight temptation.)

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In November of 2018, I left my position at ALA in Chicago to return to my Colorado-based writing, speaking, and consulting career. So I'...