Repair center howto draft

Jump to: navigation, search

This is a strawman proposal. It is not an actual guide to starting repair centers, and many of these resources (for instance, RT hosting) are not yet available - this is a suggestion for what could be made available to repair centers.

Pencil.png NOTE: The contents of this page are not set in stone, and are subject to change!

This page is a draft in active flux ...
Please leave suggestions on the talk page.


To operate a repair center...

Suggested equipment

  • Clear work area/table (best: static-free)
  • #1 screwdriver(s), preferably magnetized
  • Parts storage small bins/cups
  • Pliers, needlenose (optional, but very helpful)
  • Multimeter (optional)
  • Serial D6 unbricker (very optional)

Suggested training

  • Basic XO usage
    • Opening
    • Turning on
    • Connecting to mesh, wifi
    • Using default-ship activities
    • Sharing activities
  • Basic XO software administration
    • Installing/uninstalling Activities
    • Invoking hardware diagnostic test (left-rocker)
    • Reflashing (activated upgrade)
    • Olpc-update (both upgrading and downgrading)
    • Customization key (installing activity bundles)
    • Creating USB keys for all of the above
  • Basic disassembly/part-swapping
    • Top half (screen, motherboard, antennae)
    • Bottom half (keyboard, touchpad)
  • Tracking and bug reporting
    • Taking and resolving an RT ticket
    • Creating and using RTFMs in RT
    • Bug reporting in Trac
    • IRC usage, question-asking etiquette
    • Mailing list usage, question-asking etiquette
    • OLPC public wiki usage (mediawiki), editing etiquette
  • Internal Processes and Procedures handbook
    • Recommended Processes
    • Checklists
    • Technician notes / per case records.

Applying for OLPC resources

Wiki homepage

We encourage all repair centers to have a page on the OLPC wiki describing their efforts. This does not have to be a big/elaborate/regularly-updated page; a paragraph-long description of your repair center and a pointer to another website with more elaboration will suffice. No application is needed to create a wiki page. See Wiki getting started if you are new to wikis.

In some cases (e.g. RT hosting), a wiki page will be required.

Mailing list access

Administrators of a repair center will want to sign up for the following (open) mailing lists. See for a list of mailing lists.

  • repairs (required)
  • devel (highly recommended)
  • grassroots (recommended)

Repair center mailing list

If you want to have an OLPC-hosted mailing list for the volunteers at your repair center, follow the instructions on Creating a mailing list. The usual format for repair center mailing list names is "repairs-NAME" where NAME is the name of your repair center / grassroots group, for instance "repairs-imsa" or "repairs-olpcinci".

Note that it's perfectly fine (and common) to host your own mailing lists, or to use a service like yahoo groups or google groups to set things up (in many cases this is actually faster).

RT hosting

If you want to apply for a hosted RT instance for ticket tracking ( - for instance,, send the following information to

  • The name of your repair center
  • The wiki page of your repair center
  • A description of how your repair center operates. Where are you located? What is your setup/tools? How do you train volunteers? How do you obtain/store/track parts? How do you advertise to and find "customers"? How do you follow up on repairs? How do you keep records of inventory? How do you manage shipping? Does your repair center handle money, and if so, how?
  • To make the above more concrete: Walk us through how you would recruit and train a new volunteer/staff member.
  • Also to make the above more concrete: Walk us through one repair, starting from "an user has an XO that is broken," going through the process of how they get in contact with you, how you arrange for the laptop to be fixed, how the repair is handled (logistically, not technically), and ending with the follow-up confirming that the user now has a functional XO.
  • A description of your repair-center relevant experience (business, technical, educational, OLPC volunteering experience). Can you do all the things described above in the "suggested training" list?
  • By what metric will you measure your success? When? How will you report your results?

Spare parts

<something about getting spare parts goes here>

Project hosting

Follow instructions on Project hosting.

Teamwiki access

Follow instructions on the teamwiki main page.