Talk:Basic Intake Documentation

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Re-organizing the Documentation

  • I propose that we merge the "Identify what they gave us" and the "put the gizmos where they belong" sections under one master table. I think the "Receiving_(hardware name)" section, with pages such as Receiving_Systems, should be split. Right now the article both explains what the gizmo is (identifies it for new users) and says where it should go. I would also suggest that we use the "Places" category of articles instead of drawing specific maps for Basic Intake. Basic Intake Document would then link to two different types of articles: "Gizmos" showing how to identify a gizmo and "Places" showing where rooms are around the building.

Benifits of proposal

  • Minimizes the need to create similar pages for different parts of the website.
  • Clearly separates what each page is supposed to cover: gizmo pages explain the gizmo and places pages explain the place. --Sdevoid 16:48, 30 Jun 2006 (PDT)


I'm seeing a few things in working receiving for the first time after the redesign:


1) What should we have volunteers do about cables? There used to be a quasi-sophisticated system for them. Right now there's spots for CAT5 cable, power cables for the store (what does that mean? only nice ones?), ribbon cable, and perhaps another cable type. I noticed that there's no howto for receiving cables, either. Perhaps we should just throw most cables in together and send 'em to advanced receiving for now?

Power cords don't need to go into Advanced Receiving, however. They can be easily identified and separated out, and there's now a Receiving Power Cords page. All remaining cables should go into Advanced Receiving, however, since they are not on the Basic Intake Documentation list. When Advanced Receiving sees too many cables, they'll either absorb them and create an Advanced Receiving procedure, or they'll adjust the instructions in Basic Intake, depending on which makes more sense. That is, for now, advanced receivers should set a criteria for what gets sorted and make a routine job of it. A very few cables are quite valuable but difficult to identify. If there are basic receivers who can do this job, and it's a slow day, then the advanced receivers should explain and oversee this task. Of course, for anything to work, we need enough time in advanced receiving to get a handle on the procedures there. RfS

Gizmos in the Database?

2) Also: it seems that two philosophies of recording gizmos as recycled has arisen in the past many months. The first way is the more traditional:

  • receive a gizmo, then test it or decide whether it should be recycled, then write it down somewhere and have a data entry volunteer change its status to recycled.
  • The second, newer way: test the gizmo first, then give it a number if it works. If it doesn't work, record it on the clipboard by the door - then a bunch of similar types of gizmos are simultaneously given numbers and 'recycled' statuses in the database with the cloner.

I'm not incredibly partial to either way, but some volunteers have told me that they've been confused by the fact that there's two ways to do things. Perhaps we should choose one way for simplicity's sake?

And there are several things I'm not convinced we really need to be receiving if it's just going back to Recycling, making a possible 3rd option. RfS

I'm currently changing the criteria for receiving things in pre-build and advanced testing:

  • If it's definitely going to be recycled and it's not a big item, we don't really need to enter it into the database.
  • If we're keeping it and it can take a label, we enter it in.

Here's an obvious oddity that the above easily corrects:

Two old 5 1/4" floppy drives come into Basic Intake. Drive "A" is built into an old system. Drive "B" is not. "A" goes back to Eval and from there to recycling without ever getting entered into the database. That's the way it's been for a long time now. Under the old procedures, "B" would get entered into the database and recycled, either with an X label or the tic sheet (clipboard). But why even bother? (Since we're not processing them all consistently anyway -- i.e. we never recorded "A" in the database -- it's just inconsistent.)

So, in card and mobo sorting, if we have a box of cards to be recycled the procedure is now this:

  • Get the box signed off by a card and mobo trainer (or advanced card sorter). (This is to prevent mistakenly recycling good cards.)
  • Take the box to recycling. (No data entry needed.)

Applying this to Basic Intake, we should start looking for categories of things that fail triage and thus go to recycling. If these things are small, they don't need to be recorded in the database.

Things that are big enough to always record:

  • Systems
  • Printers
  • Monitors
  • Scanners
  • Fax Machines (MiscGizmo)
  • UPSes
  • Stereo Systems
  • Typewriters (MiscGizmo)
  • VCRs

What do other think?

RfS 09:23, 4 May 2005 (PDT)

Mac Stuff?

3) The Mac stuff. I know that rilly old stuff should be received as recycled, but I don't see a list of what stuff to recycle anywhere, and the new documentation just says to send stuff to the mac pile - no mention of age. It seems that we want receiving to be easily self-running.

We need to locate the Mac book and move it back to the Mac pile, and then have capable volunteers tasked to dealing with the stuff back there -- OR we send it all to Advanced Receiving before it goes to the Mac pile. RfS

Shawn 17:25, 12 Apr 2005 (PDT)

CDs and floppies

Oh yea: what do we do with CDs and floppies? These aren't part of receiving right now, and I've noticed that the store is running low on jewel cases. New wiki page?


Possible new wiki page, but right now the word is to remove all paper inserts from jewel cases, recycle any that are cracked or have tape/stickers/protection devices, and keep nice clean uncracked ones to put back together and send to the store.

Kelandris 13:26, 15 Feb 2006 (PST)

To do items

  • Determine where everything that leaves Basic Intake should go and make signs that mark where those places are. The signs should look similar. There are two basic types, for example:
  • What things need to be received if they are just going to be recycled?
  • Incoming location for Advanced Receiving
  • Advanced Receiving stations to draw in core receiving volunteers
  • Mac shelf triage process
  • Printer/Scanner/Fax triage process and place
  • Consistent, simple testing instructions for new testing area (With maps showing where keepers and recyclers go.)
  • Oso will get images of all the basic items for the Receiving XXX pages.

RfS 18:04, 12 Apr 2005 (PDT)

Detailed Gizmo Documentation

Major and Minor Gizmos

We are developing a two tiered view of the gizmos we receive. Call them "Major Gizmos" and "Minor Gizmos".

Some major gizmos are:

  • Systems
  • Printers
  • Scanners
  • Laptops

Some minor gizmos are:

  • Keyboards
  • Sound cards
  • Cables
  • RAM
Major Gizmos
These gizmos always get a gizmo number, regardless of if they're going to recycling or not. This way wwe can track how many of the big (or important) items we receive and reuse vs. recycle.
Minor Gizmos
These gizmos don't need to get an gizmo number if we know they're just going to get recycled anyway. Some (like cables and RAM) don't ever get a gizmo number because it's impractical to put a label on them. Others would get a gizmo number if they survive triage and testing.

What this means

There is no need to keep track of minor gizmos that we're just going to recycle. This means less stuff needs a label when it walks in the door and more stuff should get labels during or after being tested instead. It also means we don't need to keep tic sheets for the items that go straight to recycling from basic intake.

(NOTE: It is necessary to have someone knowlegeable oversee the process so we don't accidentally recycle good stuff. For instance, someone should check the box of non-PCI sound cards before it goes to recycling.)

RfS 09:26, 3 Jun 2005 (PDT)

What's still broken -- what seems to work


At this point the main thing that seems to work (once people understand it) is that Basic Intake is where the simple stuff happens and that everything else gets forwarded to Offbeat Receiving.

Don't Work

Some things in Basic Intake still need work.

  • Pictures of items on the wall in Basic Intake are not all there. Need to be fixed.
  • People need to keep an eye on the documenation and get better at going over it with volunteers. Develop a spiel based on the Basic Intake Documentation howto.
  • Some items ought to be covered in Basic Intake that aren't. (Dave suggests Receiving Power Supplies for instance.) This will be ongoing as we develop.

In general, the thing that is mostly still broken is where gizmos go and what happens to them when they leave Basic Intake. Specifically:

  • There are very few signs that say things like (for example) Incoming Monitors where the gizmos are supposed to go.
  • The processes for dealing with gizmos once they get where they go is not always in place, for example:
    • Printerland is making headway.
    • Offbeat Receiving has way too little attention being paid to it.

Some Solutions

  • Develop triage process for everything. Unless a testing process is imminent, we can afford to err on the side of ruthlessness.
  • Settle on a common understanding of which gizmos are major and which are minor.
  • Coordinate our orientation spiels for the receivers.
  • Encourage core volunteers to help develop tirage processes in Offbeat Receiving

RfS 09:26, 3 Jun 2005 (PDT)