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New Member Questions

How do I get my newbie questions answered?

Refer to the new member "welcome page" that you got when you joined! The new-member form is three pages, only the last of which gets filed. The first two (usually printed on two sides of the same sheet) is yours to keep for reference.

There are also scheduled New Member orientations on the Calendar. Typically they are after the regular member meetings on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month. Most all general questions can be answered at one of those Orientations. Please gather a list of all of your questions and bring them in then. We will be happy to answer all of them in one-fell-swoop :)

What is the Google Group i3 internal page used for?

The internal i3detroit Google Group (aka "mailing list") is used for BROADCASTs to all members. It is for immediate communication with members. However, because of volume, some members don't read it in a timely fashion. Urgent stuff may be posted to -announce, but this is moderated to keep it super-low-volume.

How are Supplies (like garbage bags) purchased/handled?

Supplies are bought by members and donated. That means you. ShoppingList is here.

What are Consumables and how are they purchased/handled?

Consumables are non-component articles that are used with a piece of equipment that are used up and must be replaced periodically. Such as saw blades, and argon for the welders. As you use the equipment there is a "Consumable Box" for contributions in each appropriate Zone. Please donate as you use the Zone's Consumables. New Zone Consumables will be purchased by the Zone Coordinator with Box Funds.

What are Components and how are they purchased/handled?

Components are materials that will be incorporated into your project, such as resistors, screws, tape, paint, wood, and metal. Small components which are bought in bulk (tape, screws, etc) are bought by the member for a particular project. Excess components (the rest of the tape, the rest of the box of screws, etc.) can be volutarily contributed to the group by storing them in the appropriate zone small components area. If you use signinficant small components, please be considerate and contribute some back, either replenish with like, or toss a few dollars into the zone's money-box.

For lumber, there is an upright storage area. In it, the leftmost slot is set aside for members' personal wood (it should be labeled up top), and all items in there should have someone's name written on them and a date. So, don't use the stuff in that slot, but if there's something in there that would save you a trip to the store, feel free to ask the person named on it, and as often as not, you'll find that they abandoned their project idea and are happy to let you use the material.

In all cases, advise the zone warden if something's out of stock, or if you have something you'd like to contribute but can't find a place for!

If I want to donate tools, how do I do it?

Look at the Wishlist. Find if your tool is on the wishlist. If yes, contact the Zone Coordinator. If it is a large or unusual piece which might not have been thought of before, ask the appropriate Zone Coordinator. If no Zone Coordinator seems appropriate, such as a Hydraulic Press, ask an Officer or Board Member. If it is appropriate, please fill out a Donation Request Form.

Where is a member directory?

See the CRM.

Somebody left their briefcase, what do I do?

Post on the members' google group with a picture of it.

How can I pay my dues?

By Paypal (preferred) or Amazon. See Membership Page. Or, for cash or check, fill out a payment slip and envelope and put in the dropbox by the kitchen door.

How are events publicized?

See HOWTO_Host_an_event_at_i3detroit

What does a Zone Coordinator do?

The proposed description is in HOWTO_Be_A_Coordinator

Can a Member attend the Board meeting?

Yes. Please do.

Who can write in the wiki?

Any member can write in the wiki. We also allow non-members to write in the wiki. Automatic account creation is disabled because of spam, so see HOWTO_Get_a_Wiki_Account

Why is the member wiki a public document?

The wiki is a public site because we are a community educational organization that tries to provide information about technology and our activities to both members and the public. Your reminder that this is publicly visible should be a reminder to everyone that we should not post personal, private information that should be exposed to the public (e.g., e-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc.). Unless you're comfortable with that, which most folks actually are.

What do I do if I break a tool? Do I have to pay for it?

Mark it as broken with date and your name. Email the Coordinator of the zone to which the tool belongs to figure out what to do.

What do I do if I damage, but do not break a tool?

See above.

Does a visitor require an escort? What if someone I don't know rings the bell and asks to wait for a member who isn't here yet?

Every guest must have a member host them. The hosting member is responsible for making sure the guest fills out a waiver if they haven't previously, and for signing the guest log.

If you don't want to be a person's host, find them one or tell them we don't have anyone who has the time to show them around and ask them to come another time (and then turn off the Twitterbot, you grouch).

If they want to wait for a member not yet here, you can let them in if YOU are their escort. Don't leave until they are united with their host.

Who do I see if I need training on a piece of equipment?

Email the warden for that zone.

Pre-Member Questions

Will you build this gizmo for me?

No. We'll help you build it, but we're not a job shop. We're not an engineering firm. We're not a contract house. We're a club. You can be part of the club! You can use the group's tools, and toss ideas around with anyone who'll listen. (And maybe you could strike a side deal with an individual member, but that's beyond the scope of this document.)

What are your hours? I stopped in the other day and nobody answered the door.

We have no paid staff, and thus no regular business hours. Someday that may change, but for now, swing by when the Twitterbot says we're open, or during a scheduled event. Members pay dues and get 24/7 card access.

So I need to be a member to come in?

Guests are welcome any time the Twitterbot says so. Stop in, flag down a member, sign a waiver, and take a tour. Then get to work on your project! Guests can use the tools.

How do I become a member?

See New Member Orientation.

Can I give you a pile of computer junk?

CRTs, absolutely not. See: [1]

Anything else, check the wishlist.

In general, if you have a pile of it, we probably do too! For interesting stuff (lab stuff, optics stuff), email the zone warden you think might be interested, and get their approval before bringing it to the space.

What do I need to do in order to hold a class?

Oh look, there's a page for that!

Is a member storage plot temporary or permanent? If temporary, for how long?

Check the Member_Active_Project_Storage for all the details on storage plots.

How does something get in the Graveyard?

See Standing_Rules under 'abandoned property'. It's not as clear as it should be, please introduce an amendment.

I still have a question

If you can't find what you're looking for, please add your question to this list:

  • The Proposal page doesnt seem to have all the proposals i see in the Minutes. What is this page for?
  • Do we do a group project for MakerFaire from i3?
  • Are all the rules listed in Standing Rules? If not, where are they?
  • How do I change the Rules?
  • What is the CRM for? Is there a description of its functionality? What data/reports are available to members? What are available to Board only?
  • What is etiquette for cleaning up stuff that isn't yours?
  • What do I do if I see a personal item that I think someone has left?
  • What are the appropriate replies in the Member list?
  • Why do members sometimes post what look to be messages to the membership in the Public List?
  • Are the equipment available to non-members? How?
  • Why isn't the PC graveyard a zone?
  • What should I do if a non-member asks me if they can donate an item?
  • What do I do if I need to have a question answered in between Member meetings?
  • Who empties the Where Do I Go boxes?
  • What is a Manta?
  • Who can write an article for the Web site? How? What is the etiquette?