The need for electronic devices is high. We look at how Hackney Fixers, a community repair project in London, is reusing donated laptops to support students.
Last month, on the invitation of Virtual School at Croydon Council, we worked with 15-20 asylum-seeking youth in a summer school. We created a short, 9-session curriculum based on the requests of the young people themselves. Students upgraded and earned their own laptop.
Restarter Steve Cook refurbished his ZX Spectrum, a long and involved process which involved help from online enthusiasts of this 1980s computer. It’s now better than it was when new, and Steve takes us on a tour of the ZX Spectrum’s past and future.
We hosted a very fast, two hour exploration of electronic waste at the Open Knowledge Festival. While we owe much of the growth of “Open Knowledge” to physical networks, hardware and electronics, we often ignore its material aspects and the consequences.
A journalist asked us the other day what our “best repairs” have been, and what makes us proudest about The Restart Project. The best repairs help participants lose their fear, or help volunteers realise how to help others.
So hard to choose our favourite fixes of the year, after seeing hundreds of devices and working with their owners! We picked these together with our volunteer Restarters because they each have something to tell us about how we can revive electronics repair, and be more resilient, together.
On many occasions, the meticulous work of our wonderful Restarters has helped to clean, repair, defeat planned obsolescence and give a second life to printers that were just about ready to be taken to a recycling centre.
We had our first, more formal training this week, at the invite of Brent Libraries. Our Restarters worked with 10 people who had signed up for our “Speed Up Your Laptop” training. None wanted to give up on their laptops, but really did feel they needed some basic maintenance skills.