After we supported London’s laptop donation schemes in the last six months, we look back at what we achieved. We are looking at ways to deepen and continue these vital partnerships with grassroots reuse groups as we plan into the future.
Computers and home office
We see loads of laptops, but also home office equipment at our Restart Parties, including peripherals and printers. We fix about half of what comes, and between 20-25% is repairable, it just needs more attention.
One thing we’ve learned over the years: printers have the ability to really frustrate us.
Fixing laptops for reuse in the community, with Catbytes in Lewisham
We partnered with Catbytes in London to support their laptop donation scheme and help them repair their devices. Our volunteers were happy to help increase the number of laptops available for reuse by people in need.
Donated laptops help keep everyone connected
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.
Laptop ninja summer school
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.
Guest post: Repairing the ZX Spectrum – better than new
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.
Exploring our e-waste: opening gadgets and learning about disposal
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.
Opening gadgets and transforming our reality
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.
Top 5 fixes of 2013
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.