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Email Communication

Email sent to Reverend Freeman on March 15, 2011:

Hi Reverend Freeman,

Thanks for signing up for the blog. Helen, Katherine, Michelle, and I are very excited to be working on this project for Trinity United Methodist and with you. We are also looking forward to good food the next time we are down. :)

Previously, you’d mentioned that volunteer groups would be at Trinity this week to clean, paint, change the ceiling tiles and do electrical work and we wanted to get you our recommendations for the electrical work.  Ideally, we’d like to help Trinity to create flexible, mobile spaces for use by a wide array of individuals and that will be able to handle additional technology in the near future.

CIRCUITS:  We consulted with Martin and are looking at being able to install between 10 and 12 computers, which on average, draw about 30 amps of power. To power a 10-12 machine lab we would need two 20 amp circuits in each room.  What would be best is if your electricians could identify what your current circuit situation is in both those rooms and if you could pass that information onto us.  We assume there will be the need for an additional 20 amp circuit to be built into each room by electricians while they are there this week, bringing the base circuit up to 40 amps.

OUTLETS:  As it is now, each room is limited to two single gang outlets, which is a design obstacle.  In the larger room, the room primarily used by high school students, we’d like to increase and upgrade the number of outlets to 8 two gang outlets.  Six outlets would be installed at the typical floor level and two additional two gang outlets would be installed at a height of 8′.  The high outlets would be used for a cord reel, which would attach to a ceiling track and allow computers to be plugged in from above.  This design would result in maximum mobility for the computer desks and an uninterrupted aesthetic.  The ceiling track would need to be built by the electricians.

Please see the attached Outlet doc. to view images of the types of gang outlets and the cord reel I mentioned.  Also attached are visuals Katherine drew up of two possible computer desk configurations with measurements for the large room.  Hopefully these help clarify an ideal outlet situation.  All members were cc’d on this email and you can let us know your feedback by replying to all or by posting it to the blog.

Later this week, our group will be developing a few user scenarios for you to look over (one which includes the option of wheeling desks into the smaller room when desired) as well as equipment recommendations so that you have a better idea of costs.  Once those scenarios are completed we will send them to you for feedback.

One question, does Trinity have a 501(c)3 status?  If so, we will be able to explore less expensive options for software.


Email Response from Reverend Freeman sent March 21, 2011:

Yes, I received your email and it was awesome.  The electrical volunteer was not able to make it to the Church to do the work.  The cleaning and painting is done and looks great.  The outlets and etc. are not done at this time.  It is not clear when we will be able to get this done, we hope by April 1. 2011.

Bob Freeman

Email sent to Reverend Freeman on March 22, 2011:

Hi Reverend Freeman,

That’s great that the cleaning and painting got done!  Does that electrical work feasible?  Currently, we are working on two computers for you and other church members to demo on Saturday 4/9 to get feedback about operating systems, software, as well as look at breakdowns of prospective costs if decisions are made to go with proprietary materials, etc.  We would like to research software and hardware costs now and knowing if Trinity has 501(c)3 status will help us to explore many vendors to get you the best prices.  Also, is there an email you prefer us to send you mail to?


Email sent to Reverend Freeman on March 22, 2011:

Hi Reverend Freeman,

Thanks for the information.  Concerning the electric, I will talk with the rest of the group and Martin and develop scenarios for the current electrical set up.  In addition, we learned today that we are able to do 10 computers this term, but I assume, and hope, that you and Trinity will continue to work with GSLIS after this term, leaving the door open for more equipment, upgrades, etc.  You’d mentioned 20.

We will all be down on Saturday April 9 and some of us might be down on April 1 and/or 2, but I don’t know for certain on the 1st and 2nd.  When I do, I will definitely let you know.  Your talk of how good the ribs are down there might make me seek special dispensation for eating meat, since I gave up meat for Lent.

I know that Martin is setting the 1st and 2nd aside for desk delivery, painting, and of possible assembly.  He had his ACL surgery this week, but should be in contact soon with more details.  You might want to think about paint colors, and possibly whispering in church members ears about possibly lending hands that weekend.  I know that one aspect of this Martin is working out is the location of assembly, painting, etc.

As for the 9th, that is when we will focus on the technology aspect with you and the other members you would like to demo machines with as well as finish prepping the area.  Our hope is to leave on the ninth with a firm vision of the technology so that when we return we can build all the machines for Trinity.


Email Response from Reverend Freeman sent March 22, 2011:


Thanks for connecting.  We are not sure about the feasibility of the electrical work.  I am contacting the electrition unions in the area.  Yes, we have a current 501c3 status and also the church is incorporated with the State of IL as a non-for-profit group.   Awesome, are you guys coming down April 1-3 or 7-9, let me know.

Rev. Freeman

Email sent to group members on March 22:


Andrew and I worked primarily on two computers today – one Windows XP and one Linux Ubuntu 10.10. We also installed Open Office on both of these computers. We did start working on a third computer but it needs more attention (CD-ROM not working).

At this point we need to decide which programs we would like installed on the computers for our user testing on April 9. A comparison chart would also be a nice addition to bring with us – comparing cost and possibly other elements of the programs. If anyone has suggestions for open source programs, please share by Saturday, March 28. We also talked about having some form of a feedback survey for the user testing (ex. could you find x….). We will need to create this in the coming weeks.

I shared a Goggle Doc with everyone with some of the notes I took when discussing our next steps with Andrew.

Also, our revised plan is due MONDAY – so we should think about editing or structuring our feedback. When is everyone coming back? Could we meet to work on revising what we have on the blog before Monday?

If there are any questions, please let us know. Hope you are enjoying your ASB placements.


Email sent to Reverend Freeman on March 25, 2011:

Hi Reverend Freeman,

Katherine, Andrew, Helen and I have been working on ways to best equip the computers and the space for the lab at Trinity. As Andrew mentioned in a previous email, we should be able to provide 10 computers, monitors, keyboards and mice this semester. We are also constructing the desks to bring to Trinity in a few weeks. We are considering multiple ways to situate the computers within the lab and have also been trying to determine top priorities so the lab can fit your needs as well as possible.

In order to better visualize the space and how it will be used, Martin suggested we create three “user scenarios.” These scenarios are just fictional accounts of possible ways the space might be used. During our first meeting, you indicated some ways in which you hoped people might be able to use the space, and we tried to incorporate as many of these as we could within the scenarios. These scenarios will hopefully help to visualize the ways the space might be used as well as to show what hardware/software might be needed for different tasks.

Our plan (if the electrical allows) was to set up the larger room with the ten computers, and the scenarios mostly reflect that plan, but depending on the number of circuits and outlets, it might be more feasible to split the computers between the two rooms. These scenarios are just possibilities that reflect our ideas for the space, but we want to collaborate with you to do whatever best serves your needs. And so we would appreciate any feedback you might have about things we might have missed or uses that might be lower or higher priorities. A copy of the scenarios are below and they are also posted on the blog.

Thank you in advance for your help and feedback! We want to make the best space possible for your congregation and community. [Note the user scenarios were attached to the email. Please visit the User Scenario section of the blog.]

Best regards,


Email sent to Rev. Freeman on April 5, 2011:


Hi Reverend Freeman,
We will be down this Saturday to assemble 10 desks, demo 2 computers, and firm up and make purchases with you.  Our goal is to leave knowing exactly how to build the 10 computers for Trinity, computers that we will install on 4/29 and 4/30 and know how to equip the site with a router/access point/switch (that’s nerd talk we’ll discuss on Saturday).
Attached is a spreadsheet of equipment costs, which will hopefully give you idea of costs involved for the vision you proposed when we first met.
Saturday looks to be a busy day.  We know it is somewhat short notice, but hopefully you can put together a team of volunteers to help with the unloading, assembly, priming and painting of desks (ideally 10 people).  So, in addition to assembling, priming and painting, some of these volunteers (4 or 5) would rotate into the computer room to play around with and give feedback about the computers we built for Trinity.   Please let volunteers know to wear clothes they don’t care about permanently staining.  We plan to be at Trinity at 10:30am on Saturday.
It would also be a help if an area set up for painting w/drop cloths outside would be best, but it may rain on Saturday, so if there is an area with an overhang or an extremely well-ventilated area.  We will be using an oil-based primer and fumes are intense.  Of most help is if paint supplies were onsite when we arrive, but if Trinity’s budget is extremely tight, we would rather see the painting left for the future and apply limited money to the needed technology for the computer lab.
Painting supplies include:
  • 2 gallons oil-based primer
  • 1 bag of 6″ cabinet and doors roller covers (@ Lowe’s WHIZZ-5pack item#235020 model# 94065)
  • two rollers
  • 1 small can of paint thinner to clean the brushes with
  • 2″ angle-tipped brushes (minimum 5 if no volunteers are available, or equal in number to the amount of volunteers)
  • 2 gallons of paint the color(s) of your choice
  • disposable latex gloves
  • disposable drop cloths (or old sheets to reduce costs)
If work isn’t completed on Saturday, we may stay into Sunday to finish painting, but we can talk more about this when we see you on Saturday.  To cut down on communication confusion I will be the contact person from our group.  My phone will be on.  We also continue to update our blog:
Reverend Freeman’s Response on April 6, 2011:

Andrew thank you so much for the report you are bringing to us for this upcoming Saturday. Yes, My day is full on that day.  I will work on the items you requested can you give me a call at 618-274-2323.  Thanks.