Free Range Salvage Server Project

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"The Free Range Salvage Server Project (SSP) is an ecological engineering and technology initiative. From renewable energy and electronics, to home gagets, to recycling computer hardware, the purpose of the Salvage Server Project is to allow people to understand and interact with the technology of their everyday lives – and then manipulate those objects to make them more ecologically practicable to face the future challenges of energy and resource depletion.

Ecology is usually considered to be biological – something related to "life". Generally ecology is understood as the "study of the relations between natural species and their environment". The "ecology of technology" is therefore the analysis of the relations between our technological tools, the factors that influence their operation, and how this changing relationship might affect the technological mediation of human society's relationship to its own natural environment." (


"We have lost control of technology; not simply because technology has become too 'technical', but more precisely because in modern society we've lost the desire to understand what's going on around us. In order to extract maximum economic value society has "specialised" its functions, and as part of this process we've been deskilled as individuals. As a consequence of this indifference to what makes the world around us operate, we're increasingly being subject to the demands of modern technology, and as a result we are made to fit our lives around the requirements of the economic and social systems it creates; rather than being able to choose how we integrate technology into our lives in order to create the the lifestyle we desire.

'DIY Tech.' image The Free Range Network's Salvage Server Project (SSP) has been developed to study the interface between technology and human ecology – the way that technology both enables, benefits, but also creates problems for our daily lives. At the simplest level it has been developed to assist those who want to get more 'technical' with the equipment that surrounds them in their everyday lives; at the most complex it's trying to devise a whole new design strategy for our future existence.

The SSP was created out of the Community-Linux Training Centre Project. Following a series of events, especially the 'Tech2: Grizedale woodcutter' imageTech2 Festival in Lancaster in 2002, it was clear that we needed the develop a strand that looked at the role of technology in human ecology, and how people could get "more technical" with the 'stuff' that surrounds them. In particular, we have concentrated on the use of recycled materials and electrical equipment in support of community-based projects (e.g., see The Container Project). Whilst the Salvage Server Project began with an emphasis on reclaiming computer equipment (hence, salvage(ed) server project) it now looks at "trash technology" in the broadest sense, as well as incorporating issues such as electronics, engineering, and building renewable energy systems to provide mobile power sources."

More Information

  • for "Persistent Materials and Engineering", see Permaneering