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Open Device Lab North launches

Device labs: now slightly less grim up north

Open Device Lab North has reported that it's now officially open for business, run by the NightWorld team.

Shortly before ODL North made its announcement, Manchester-based freelance web designer Nick Hurley had penned a piece on his blog, stating that things were ‘grim up north’ when it came to device testing. He said that “nothing quite strikes fear into my heart like the word ‘testing’," primarily because of the huge shift underway in device usage.

Hurley noted that testing isn’t always a negative experience, likening it to a “series of logic puzzles to which we must deduce the most efficient solutions”. However, as with most freelancers, he said he lacked the space and money to “spring for a bazillion devices to test on”. Therefore, he was disappointed that there wasn't an Open Device Labs north of Cambridge: “I mean, if Salford can get the BBC then surely Manchester can get an ODL or two? Yet, it turns out neither Manchester or our industrial city rival Birmingham have a single ODL to boast of.”

ODL North now aims to plug that hole in Manchester, although it’s currently listing only a single device and is looking for contributions. “The more devices we have, the more useful the lab will be to everyone,” said a spokesperson for the venture.

Hurley thought similarly in the conclusion to his post: “If you have any unused devices that would make a good addition, I encourage you to donate them to your local ODL — and if your local ODL doesn’t exist, start one,” adding that LabUp! provides information on establishing a non-profit device-testing lab.

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