Interlock Rochester Community Outreach
A strong Community Outreach Program could be what sets InterlockRoc apart from other hackerspaces. Here is an idea in development.
 Young Technologist Mentoring Program
InterlockRoc members can volunteer to become mentors for students in high school around the Rochester region. Each mentor would guide a group of students to complete a project of their choosing. It would be left up to the mentor to choose how he/she wants to guide the students, what project/s he wants to do, and what the goals for the summer are. At the end of the summer all groups will come together to present their work.
Interlock will provide application forms to various high schools. They will distribute these applications to students who are interested in various fields of technology. The form could ask for a brief essay asking each student to describe their interests and types of projects that they would like to do over the summer. Based on their responses we would pair them with Interlock mentors. The forms could also provide a list of mentors to the students so that the students can go on our website to see what kind of stuff each mentor does. They can list their top three choices for mentors.
 Interlock YouTube Channel
- everything* should be recorded, as far as lighting talks, etc
Also, members should record tutorials, etc, and upload under Interlock account.
 Jailbreaking a phone class
This is legal now, but it is still edgy. We'd have a class to show folks how to Jailbreak the iPhone, and root android phones, and such. Media would want to cover it because it is interesting news on the edge.
 Computer Repair
Credit to Ashley for this idea, I'm just writing it up. ---- BW 13:54, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
We could have a day / week where we offer to (attempt to) fix computers on a donation basis.
People from the Rochester community could bring their computers to us (or designated drop off locations), sign a release of liability, and we would take them back to the space and try to fix them. We would want to connect these computers to the internet in order to install updates, etc on them, but would not want to connect them to the production network. Limited to 1 computer per household. We don't want someone to bring in their truckload of broken computers and expect for us to fix them all. It should be made clear upfront that we are doing this on a volunteer donation basis and that it may take up to a week to get your computer back. There may also be some things we just can't/won't fix.
Our costs will include: power, bandwidth (although this is not a direct cost), and any parts required for repair. If any parts were required we would have to pass that cost on to the customer.
 Linux Workshop
Currently I host a Linux for newbies group for the Rochester Computer Society. I would like to change this into a Linux workshop meeting. Instead of yet another monthly presentation meeting it would be a time when anyone with problems or questions can get help. It can be part of or held in conjunction with the above idea.
Once a month (or more if it becomes popular) we have an expert or two or more available at our space and invite anyone to bring in their questions or problems. They should bring in the computer they need help with. We would have them sign a waiver saying we will do our best but there are no guarantees and we can't be held liable. The waiver would also say that they have good backups or risk losing data. I envision it being more training than simply doing work for people. Explain what we are doing and show the customer how to diagnose problems, search the net for solutions, download software and install patches. I always try to empower the computer owner rather than make them dependent on me to fix every little thing. It cuts down on the emergency phone calls for help.
I originally envisioned doing it for just Linux systems and using the Lugor Installfests as a model. But thinking about it more there is no reason to limit it to Linux. We have experts in all the OSes and a lot of us have been doing tech support for family and friends for anything computer or technology related. And of course fixing any computer problem pretty much follows the XKCD flowchart.
If we wanted to combine this with the idea of doing computer repair that would make sense since most people can't determine on their own whether a problem is hardware of software. However, fixing hardware is trickier as it would require having spare parts on hand and/or ordering parts and waiting for delivery. Any replacement parts we supply whether recycled or newly purchased would require us to provide some guarantee that it works. What the guarantee is would have to be made very clear to the customer before providing the part. I am open to doing hardware repairs but we have to carefully plan out what we are going to offer and how we will deliver it.
We can publicize the service via the computer user groups, schools, libraries, Sound Bytes and Computer Link Magazine. We can ask for donations but the main advantage to us is getting our name out there and build good will.
Power and bandwidth are the only material costs. The biggest cost is, as usual, our time. I am willing to be the primary "host" of such a service but it would be useful to have a few more "experts" available. No one would have to be there every month or even for the whole time we are "open for customers". This is now happening.
--Cws 18:21, 18 December 2009 (UTC)