Replacement Keyboards

Discuss peripherals for the XO and power management.

Re: Replacement Keyboards

Postby sanjsrik » Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:14 pm

nothunderous wrote:See now, the thing is, its not meant to be taken apart...its not meant to be the most durable and reliable machine on the planet...and its most certainly not meant to be used by 2-5 year olds. They can't even color inside the lines at that age. These are, as stated on the website, mean.t to spur thought, ideas and creative thinking - to see what sorts of things the younger generation can come up with after being exposed to technology in countries and societies wwhere they otherwise wouldn't have access to work with technology.on a regular basis. In no way are they meant for the kids who seem to be receiving them based on the people in this thread. I mean come on...what 2-3 year old needs a laptop? give them a good kids book ar coloring/painting set to be creative with...they don't need access to a pc until 6 or 7 years old, IMO.

Not to negate that there do seem to be problemş here...but if all these probs, or at least most of them, are because of an extreemly young kid, then I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for OLPC to make a recall.


You should really read the response I posted about the "machines are meant to be taken apart" so apparently, you supposition isn't really on the mark. As for the rest of your points, what was the "intended" age of users? Last I checked the pictures show some pretty young kids on the homepage. I don't think the "intention" was any age range, but to send these to a place where they may be treated a little more roughly in a state of being so easily broken, really doesn't make a lot of sense.

Oh, this is from the http://www.laptop.org/en/laptop/hardware/

"The result is a unique harmony of form and function; a flexible, ultra-low-cost, power-efficient, responsive, and durable machine..."

As to the robustness of these laptops, perhaps the "certification" page might offer some light here:

http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Hardware_Test ... ss_Testing

They claimed it was more robust than other toughbooks.

Really? So, the keys peel off of those as well?

Maybe a little truth in advertising would have been a good thing.
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Re: Replacement Keyboards

Postby tsdguy » Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:53 pm

sanjsrik wrote:
Nice flip tone in the email too. I have a non-usable machine and this person decides that smiley faces are the way to go.


Yea, this guy must be a jerk
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Re: Replacement Keyboards

Postby sanjsrik » Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:58 pm

I am not going to go so far as calling this guy any names. He did respond when I pointed out his tone in the email.

His response was reasonable. Initially, I was annoyed at the guy, perhaps that was a bit misdirected, the whole overall experience with the unit has been less than ideal.

It's supposed to be for kids, but it doesn't stand up to their abuse, it's supposed to connect to the Internet/mesh networks, but it's almost completely undocumented in the "pamphlet" that is sent.

They tried to be very (in my opinion) cool about the units and failed to either document the units very well, or communicate their limitations/capabilities very well.

I also think the units were probably not ready for release when they came out and they released to appease the marketplace.

perhaps some more testing would have been useful.
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Re: Replacement Keyboards

Postby Leisureguy » Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:00 pm

The pamphlet directs owners to the extensive documentation available on-line. That seems like a good idea to me: documentation can be easily updated and expanded and no manual to lose. What's the problem with that?

I also thought the support guy's response was helpful and appropriate, FWIW. An attempt at cheer is not misguided, I think.
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Re: Replacement Keyboards

Postby tsdguy » Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:08 pm

Sorry, couldn't resist. That's me from the help desk.

WARNING. The following statement is a PERSONAL STATEMENT. It has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FACT THAT I AM A VOLUNTEER ON THE OLPC HELP DESK. IS THIS CLEAR!

I don't know how many keyboard have been produced. It looks like a tricky process to me hot stamping the rubber to make the membrane of the keyboard. Lots of layers and contacts, etc. It probably must be done to very precise tolerances. I'm sure that the correctly produced keyboards are tested to be pressed many hundreds of thousands of times. These keyboard work is parts of the worlds where you would never go or probably have even heard of. And they have to be make by several companies all to exactly the same dimensions.

So when a few have probably been made improperly and the rubber is a bit thin and separates from the base, that's bad but it's going to happen. We've replaced a very small number as those appeared during warranty.

Beats batteries that burst into flames and burn up $2000 laptops.

I'm sure if you had access to someone in OLPC and gave them my name and said keyboards, they would slap you in the face because I've been very harsh on them as well.

And I'm just a volunteer...

But in their defense there is lots of stuff going on other than our little part of the world and I think they're doing a hell of a lot of good.

So cut them some slack - if your get a new XO, check the keys and if looks like somethings peeling, get in contact with OLPC. If you are out of warranty, well I'm sorry but you'll have to wait for the keyboards to get on the market. I hope they are of reasonable cost (I'm sure they will).

And if you're adventurous, try a little flexible epoxy on the rip to see if that holds it.

If you really want the right to bitch, try getting involved. Posting witty crap on the forums doesn't really cut it. Now's a great time - community service centers are in the process of forming. Or not if folks in your area don't get involved.

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
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Re: Replacement Keyboards

Postby Ben » Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:47 pm

From this week's news (3/29)

http://wiki.laptop.org/go/News

"A spare-parts supply-chain is still badly needed—especially for keyboards—we expect better news in coming weeks. "

[...]

"12. Keyboards: There are about 25 laptop recipients who wrote into the help support-gang looking for replacement keyboards. Membrane keyboards pose a tradeoff between the durability of the rubber membrane and the flexibility, or "give", of the resulting keys. We are looking at a variety of options. "
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Re: Replacement Keyboards

Postby charliesmom » Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:48 am

Our OLPC had a split keyboard by the "U" key and had peeled off within three days of use by my elementary school student. No abuse...I know because I was working with him on the computer. Just a poorly manufactured keyboard membrane. I have my return mechandise number and I am about to ship it off for replacement.
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Re: Replacement Keyboards

Postby Leisureguy » Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:03 am

My grandson's mum got the RMA number and his computer goes off today as well, similarly under warranty. We are not dissatisfied with the service, and I understand that when making hundreds of thousands of anything there can be the occasional problem. And the grandson *loves* his computer.
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Re: Replacement Keyboards

Postby sanjsrik » Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:34 pm

Ben wrote:From this week's news (3/29)

http://wiki.laptop.org/go/News

"A spare-parts supply-chain is still badly needed—especially for keyboards—we expect better news in coming weeks. "

[...]

"12. Keyboards: There are about 25 laptop recipients who wrote into the help support-gang looking for replacement keyboards. Membrane keyboards pose a tradeoff between the durability of the rubber membrane and the flexibility, or "give", of the resulting keys. We are looking at a variety of options. "


I'm confused. They're pretty much admitting that the keyboards were crap to begin with. They shipped them knowing this, and never made accommodations for replacement parts or pieces.

Who works in this amateurish a fashion?

At what point does the 'gee whiz' mentality give way to "holy crap we shipped hundreds of thousands of these things to unsuspecting people and we have no real support or supply chain in which to service them"?
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Re: Replacement Keyboards

Postby charliesmom » Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:36 pm

The gee whiz mentality changes around the time the get hit with the class action suit notice. But I'm hoping that in the spirit of OLPC they will do the right thing in regard to the defective keyboard membranes.
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Re: Replacement Keyboards

Postby jofclark » Mon Apr 14, 2008 2:56 am

Same problem here, two year old ripped the keyboard. My fault, computer use is a supervised activity for two year olds. I want to put the machine back into service, but if they will have a better part soon, it might be worth waiting for it.

How can I help them figure this out? Setting up a mail order warehouse for the states should be no big deal, and it should be part of their plan, even if they are non-profit; this should not be an excuse for being non-effective. Manufacturers send spare parts for their products for a fee, it is expected.
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Re: Replacement Keyboards

Postby Niels » Thu May 01, 2008 8:56 pm

I posted the pic on the first page. Seems this was picked up by gizmoto and engadget as well. When our son went looking for gnomes under the keys, it was still within the RMA window but I was told that I could only get a refund, I couldn't replace the laptop. Thus my desire for parts.

Today, finding such commotion raised (here, engadget, gizmodo, pocket-lint, the eee-pc blog), I called again, and indeed, I got an RMA for replacement. I fedexed it within the hour.

Checking the hardware subforum here, the vastly most common problem is keyboards. I can only imagine a keyboard redesign has got to be high on the priority list, and that's part of the function of these forums. Regardless of how the damage occurs, the engineers had to get the large scale field-test data at some point. I had the failure data. The ball was in my court. Maybe some stink needed to be raised to help separate this problem from the noise. In any case, it seems the ball is back back in OLPC's court and they're doing their best.

edit: here's a link to a newer picture http://www.flickr.com/photos/niels_olson/2456913119/
Last edited by Niels on Thu May 01, 2008 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Replacement Keyboards

Postby sanjsrik » Thu May 01, 2008 9:07 pm

I said this before, I'll say it again, I had one tech who was a "volunteer" basically raise all sorts of "issues" that we were bad parents, that we allowed our children to do all sorts of damage, etc. and anon.

Well, why is it the user's fault when he is using a product AS INTENDED??

OLPC should be really and truly ashamed at claiming all this greatness and instead, shipping obviously defective keyboard membranes.

I've raised this point before, if we're experiencing this kind of problem here in the US, what kind of issues are being experienced by those that are using these units in "less than ideal" conditions.

Of course, they can't access these forums, they can't make any claims for RMAs, we just have to take OLPC's word that everything is "fine" and the laptops are being used, as the volunteer tech said, "in environments that would make your hair stand on end."

Honestly, don't care what environments they are being used in and frankly don't care that they had such little foresight as to not have a distribution supply chain for replacement parts. This is just plain duping customers out of money while pretending that they're altruistic.

What needs to happen is someone needs to get off their altruistic keysters, come INTO the public eye and start taking some responsibility for shoddily designed keyboard membranes. When someone says that it's not about the money, it's about the principle, well, guess what, it's about the money.

The principle is they don't seem to want to answer to the numerous complaints that have surfaced about these shoddily designed keyboard membranes. Even if ONE person from this company would stand up and say, "i'm sorry we designed something so below anyone's standards of acceptability" that would have been fine.

HOW LONG has this silliness been going on? How many people have to get duped?

Now that it's become part of the tech aware sites, hopefully this issue will take the place it deserves with OLPC, as a big fat swollen black eye for all the consumers they've duped.
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Re: Replacement Keyboards

Postby Bradypie » Sat May 10, 2008 11:11 pm

Wow, I'm starting to get nervous. I'm sure my two year old won't damage it, but my 1 year old loves to pound on the keyboard and laugh.


But seriously....
I wasn't mad when it took months to get my xo.
I won't be mad if my XO gets destroyed by my children. Why? Because it's a $200 computer! It's not made for two year olds. I think some need to lighten up a little bit. I can understand why you might be angry, but don't agree with it.

We, as a group of people are lucky to be able to afford these computers. It's cool that OLPC gave us the chance to get a computer plus help out another child somewhere who isn't so lucky. OLPC is trying to help others. I think they deserve a little more respect.
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Re: Replacement Keyboards

Postby ternary » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:21 pm

any news on replacement keyboards?
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