Category: Sustainable Tech

The Repair Process (Staff Workshop Recap)

Today we taught staff how to repair personal devices, with step by step instructions from diagnosis to installation. We’ve recapped the process below for participants and for others who are up for a repair adventure. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all potential issues and their solutions;  it is an orientation to the repair process itself. Identifying your product and…

Turn your waste stream into a source stream with Neverware (updated)


I recently posted about the possibility of making use of old PCs by installing Chromium OS. After a few hours of tinkering, a few downsides became apparent:

  1. Finding a version of Chromium OS that updated automatically was fairly difficult.
  2. Enterprise management of Chromebooks was a whole other set of issues that I hadn’t thought of the first round.

I came across Neverware, a NYC company that has been around for a few years helping schools find a way around these issues. They offer a version of Chromium OS that works on 200 different devices, updates automatically, and can be managed by the Google Admin Console. You can get a free trial for 5 devices here.  If successful, we’ll be able to use old PC laptops to backfill class sets of Chromebooks. Our current options are to replace the Chromebook ($250+) or repair it (pricey due to the cost of replacement parts). If a single license is $25, that is less than the cost of a typical repair for our existing Chromebooks. Ideally, retired laptops of all builds will be put into rotation in our 1:1 Chromebook program, enabling the waste of one device program to become the feeder source for another.

**Update November 20, 2015**

It was very easy, using the CloudReady instructions, to install ChromiumOS on a Dell Latitude e6420. After a few BIOS tweaks, I was able to boot the laptop to the log in screen in 40 seconds. CloudReady also worked well with an HP dc7900 and 2009 iMac.




Can Chromium OS extend the life of devices (and make old PCs more desirable)?

Updated post with easier process here. ******* We recently donated nearly 70 fully functional 2009 MacBooks to local community based organizations. There was nothing wrong with the devices, other than their inability to quickly run the latest Mac OS (which we needed to run several products at the school). Although each machine went to an organization who will use them, and…

Sustainable BYOD recommendations

With our new BYOD program, we’re using iFixit as a guide for device recommendations for parents and students. Although the new Macs are notoriously unfixable, we’ve recommended the best option available. Pasted below is the text we send to parents for BYOD recommendations. We linked directly to the MacBook Air due to confusion between the different models.   With an eye…