Saturday, January 29, 2011

Laptop Station Chaos

I spent a Thursday working at the laptop station in the Mezzanine and I suppose it's no surprise to anyone that it's a mess.
OK, it's not the laptop station, but this would make a great tombstone. Whoever wrote this note, you're awesome.
In the interests of constructive criticism, consider this not so much an indictment of the laptop station as a celebration of how far the rest of Free Geek has managed to organize itself. Anyone remember what it was like a few years ago, when we first moved into the new space? Or further back, when we were in the old space near Science World? My memory is fuzzy going any further back than my last cup of tea [currently approx. 15 minutes], but I remember that waves of junk swept over every horizontal surface as though deposited by the tide twice a day, only to be fought back by diligent volunteers just in time for the next onslaught.

Both the Mezzanine and the Warehouse have been looking consistently sane, and the store is no longer a knee-deep snarl of wires. And I'm not making light of the amount of work that this takes: Free Geek takes such a bizarre assortment of equipment that there can't possibly be a proper place for everything. It can only be kept clean (in my opinion) by constantly paying attention to all the little corners where stuff can collect. So let me begin by saying: congratulations to all involved for apparently taming the lion.

The laptop station is a bit of a sore spot in the middle of all of this...
Laptop Station. Amelia Earhart is believed to be somewhere in this pile.

(By the way, anyone else heard of speedcabling? We don't have a clothes dryer on hand, but I've seen a few formidable competitors over at the wire cutting station.)
The Laptop Station suffers from a few obvious defects: very few people know how it works; it's not well documented; it's irregularly staffed, leading to huge pile-ups; and it's impossible to know what state any of the machines at the station are in. And of course laptops are tricky to work with, and since they're such desirable items, they're more likely to come to us broken in subtle ways.

Shiny happy laptops
Anyone interested in tackling this station over the next few weeks? When I'm working in the Mezz I overhear lots of calls and questions about laptops. We have piles of 'em, but not enough trained hands.

1 comment:

  1. Oh yeah: no criticism intended for those of you who do work at this station currently. I know you're basically totally swamped. I'd love your help in figuring this station out.


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