Washington Apple Pi

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Pi Lunch Room Cleanup FAQ

By Will Byrd

Washington Apple Pi Journal, reprint information

I am very happy to announce that a team of Pi volunteers has succeeded in cleaning the WAP "Lunch Room". I have prepared a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list about this second major cleaning effort.

Q1: What is the "Lunch Room?"

A: The Lunch Room is the large room at the back of the WAP office where the Board of Directors meets. The Lunch Room also doubles as the Pi's kitchen/snack area, and contains the Pi's photocopy machine. Until Monday (January 27, 2003), the Lunch Room contained a jumbled pile of computer monitors, CPUs, and obsolete laser printers.

Lunch room before

When the cleanup started, the office Lunch Room/Board Room/Meeting Room was so filled with discarded computer equipment and pieces of equipment that it was almost impossible to use. (Photo by David Harris)

Q2: How much equipment was cleaned out of the Lunch Room?

A: Approximately forty computer monitors, twenty CPUs, and two laser printers were removed from the Lunch Room. A large number of boxes containing back issues of the WAP journal were also moved.

In addition to removing equipment, the clean up crew vacuumed the floor, wiped down the tables, and replaced burnt out light bulbs. Beth and Dave finished organizing and labeling the boxes in the Reclamation Room, and Dick, Sheryl, and Beth began cleaning out the front office.

Q3: Where did you move everything?

A: The Apple III, Apple II, and Apple IIGS systems were moved from the Lunch Room to the large table at the front of the Reclamation Room, where they stand ready for use.

Entrance during

In mid-cleanup, the entrance to the Office showed remarkable improvement, but was still filled with handcarts full of equipment on the way out, plus various pieces of equipment on the floor. The old IBM Selectric typewriter in the foreground, however, is a prized Pi asset. (Photo by David Harris)

We threw out the broken monitors and neatly stacked working monitors in the library. Assuming that the reclamation project can start moving refurbished computers out of the office, this supply of monitors will disappear over time. I hope the Pi can launch another major cleaning effort, headed by Brian Mason, to tackle the library sometime in the near future.

Working CPU cases were placed in their proper location in the back of the Reclamation Room. Ancient and broken computer parts were discarded.

Boxes containing back issues of the WAP journal were either placed on shelves in the main hallway or neatly stacked in the Lunch Room.

Q4: Who should be thanked for cleaning the Lunch Room?

A: Beth Medlin, Lorin Evans, Will Byrd, Dave Ottalini, Dick Sanderson, and Sheryl Lavoye all contributed to the cleaning effort. Once again, Beth Medlin and Lorin Evans were our leaders and organizers, and made the entire effort possible.

I hope that all Pi members will join me in thanking Ed Escalante, Steve Roberson, John Barnes, and Nancy and Jim Little. These Pi members used their personal vehicles this weekend to haul obsolete computer equipment to the Shady Grove transfer station. Nancy and Jim also went out of their way to sort through garbage that had become mingled with the equipment.

Please let me know if I forgot to acknowledge anyone's contribution.

Q5: How long did the cleaning take?

A: The cleaning crew, varying in size between three and six people, spent over eight hours on Monday cleaning the Lunch Room and other parts of the office.

Lunch room after

The Pi's Lunch Room/Board Room/Meeting Room after the January cleanup effort. Prior to the effort, every horizontal surface was covered with computer equipment, and the far wall was almost invisible behind a mound of computers, monitors and boxes. (Photo by Lawrence I. Charters)

Q6: What wasn't cleaned?

A: We restricted our efforts to the Lunch Room, the Reclamation Room, and the front office. We did not clean the classroom or the library. Although we began clearing out the front office, another major cleaning effort will be required before the front office is properly organized.

Q7: When will other areas of the Pi office be cleaned?

A: As soon as we can get another crew together. The crew should include Beth and Lorin, if at all possible, given their intimate knowledge of the Pi. Beth's organizational skills are also invaluable.

Q8: What can I do to help with the cleaning effort at the Pi?

A: First of all, thank the people who gave up their long weekend to help clean the Pi office. Call or e-mail the volunteers to express your appreciation.

Secondly, expect and demand that all Pi members keep the cleaned areas of the office (Reclamation Room, Lunch Room, Anna's Office) immaculate. If members are allowed to carelessly heap monitors and CPUs against a wall, the office will once again become a dumping ground. If members take the time to find out where equipment should be placed, we will not have difficulty maintaining a safe and clean office.

Thirdly, help us keep all areas of the office tidy. If you see an overflowing trash can, please change the liner and take out the trash. Let Pat or Dick know when you notice burnt out fluorescent bulbs. Pull out the vacuum cleaner if you see scraps of paper on the floor. Wipe off the table in the Lunch Room after you eat a snack. If you already tidy up the office on a regular basis, ask other people to help you. In addition to improving the appearance of the office, you will help set an expectation that the office must remain clean.

Fourthly, properly use the new Triage Area for donated equipment (see below).

Finally, send me an e-mail letting me know that you are willing to help clean the Pi office. I'll get in touch with you as soon as we begin planning our next major cleaning operation. My name is Will Byrd, and my e-mail address is emacs_groks@yahoo.com.

Lunch room after, too

The Pi's Lunch Room/Board Room/Meeting Room after the January cleanup effort. (Photo by Lawrence I. Charters)

Q9: Won't the Lunch Room become trashed again within a few (days/weeks/months/years)?

A: Not if we expect and demand that the room be kept immaculate (see answer to previous question).

Q10: Won't another monitor/CPU pile form in the Lunch Room within a few weeks?

A: No, because donated monitors and CPUs are no longer allowed to be piled up next to the TCS room.

Q11: Where do donated monitors and other equipment belong?

A: All donated equipment must be stacked neatly in the "Reclamation Project Triage Area".

Q12: Where is the "Reclamation Project Triage Area"?

A: Beneath the Lunch Room table that formerly held the Apple III and Apple IIGS computers. Note that all donated equipment must be neatly stacked under this table.

Q13: What is the definition of "beneath the table"?

A: "Beneath the table" means that none of the equipment can extend beyond the bottom of the table in any way.

Q14: May donated equipment be placed on top of the table (eventually extending to the ceiling and occasionally falling on unlucky Pi members, visiting attorneys, etc.)?

A: No.

Q15: May donated equipment extend beyond the legs of the table, encroaching upon others areas of the Lunch Room and causing a tripping hazard?

A: No.

Q16: What if someone shows up at the Pi office with computer equipment, but the Triage Area is full?

A: In that case, we do not accept the donation.

Q17: Why can't we accept the donation?

A: Because if the Triage Area is full, no one is processing donated equipment. If no one is processing donated equipment, it would be irresponsible for the Pi to accept additional donations, given that we are currently using all of the storage space in our office (and then some; check out the library if you don't believe me).

Q18: If we turn away equipment donations, won't we run out of computer systems that we can recycle?

A: We have enough equipment in the Pi office to build approximately 50 complete computer systems, and we receive additional donations every week. We are currently receiving more donations than we can process or store. There is no danger that the Pi will run out of computer equipment in the foreseeable future.

Q19: How do I gracefully turn away a donation?

A: Thank the donor for calling (or for transporting the equipment to the office). Explain that we have received so much equipment that we currently do not have the storage space to accept additional donations. If the donor is in the office, have him or her peek through the library window to get an idea of how much hardware we really have. Ask the person to please check with the Pi office again in a month or two, when we should have more space for donated equipment.

Q20: What if the Triage Area is full, but someone wants to donate a TiBook/G4 Tower/eMac/etc.?

A: Accept the donation, of course. The point I am making is that the Pi will accept only exceptionally good hardware once the Triage Area is filled.

Q21: How can you tell if the hardware is exceptionally good?

A: Do you drool when you look at the equipment? If so, the equipment is exceptionally good.

Q22: What should I do if I notice that the Triage Area is almost full?

A: Send e-mail to Will Byrd (emacs_groks@yahoo.com).

Q23: Who can answer other questions about the cleanup effort at the Pi office?

A: I can. My name is Will Byrd, and my e-mail address is emacs_groks@yahoo.com.