This morning, Copyright Office decided which of your own devices are legal to investigate, modify, and hack—bringing a close to our year-long saga of legal gunslinging, negotiation, fact finding, hearings, and deliberation over US copyright law. Along with a coalition of activists, recyclers, and legal clinics, were able to overcome the objections of manufacturers and secure exemptions for repairing tractors, cars, and tablets.
In this week’s episode of “Our Community Is Cool as Hell,” check out the time-lapse video that iFixit member “Bexoro” (aka Ben Orozco) made of his MacBook Pro repair. Ben accidentally bashed up the retina display of his MBP when it tumbled off a chair, turning the screen kaleidoscopic. So Ben broke out his tools and replaced the screen. See that beautiful repair footage on our blog.
Drained batteries are a drag. Drained batteries on an iPhone—especially when it won’t hold a charge for more than a couple of hours—is a super-mucho-grande drag. Dan Delany, a New York City resident and web developer at Spotify, has had his iPhone 4 for about 5 years—a pretty impressive run for a smartphone. Except lately, his aging iPhone hasn’t been performing quite like it used to. Time for a battery replacement.
There are two things we keep telling people about repair. (1) It’s probably easier than you think. (2) If it’s already broken and destined for the trash, you really have nothing to lose by trying. To illustrate those points, we’ve posted a video of a pre-tween trio pulling off a fan repair. The fixer kids take viewers from troubleshooting and cleaning, to repair and testing. The best part is watching their reaction when they flip the switch and the fan actually works again.
How long do you think you could go without buying new clothes? As in, no new pants. No new socks. Not even new underwear. A couple of months, maybe? Well, a group of DIYers is swearing off new clothes for a whole year. Instead, participants of the challenge—which launched on a blog called My Make Do and Mend Life—will repair, repurpose, and “make do” with what they have. Neat, huh?
When artist Lee John Phillip’s grandfather passed away, he left behind a workshop—its shelves buckling with decades of things that might prove useful someday. Phillips estimates that his grandfather collected well over 100,000 different objects—pliers, jars, brackets, and project scraps. As a memorial to his late grandfather, Phillips is going to draw every single thing in the workshop. And he is documenting The Shed Project, as he calls it, on Instagram.
Every once in a while, we like to share the stories of cool fixers with our community: So, meet Angela Henderson. Angela is a California repairwoman and owner of Built By Mom, a residential computer repair and tech service business. Like many fixers, Angela’s path to owning a repair business wasn’t a straight line. She started out as an English major who took apart computers for fun. Eventually, repair grew from a hobby to a passion to a business. Now, Angela runs Built By Mom out of her garage.
Are you the MacGyver of your family, making plant hangers out of old wine bottles and removing stripped screws with the help of a rubber band? Do you feel proudest when you find a new use for a thing someone would have thrown away, like building a lampshade from an old book or a portable Wii from a broken DVD player? If so, you might be a high repair propensity person, research says.
Jason Kingsnorth does a bus-load of repairs. Like, a school bus-load. He’s a Technology Aide/Coordinator at Bradley Schools in Bradley, Illinois—and half of the IT team that manages maintenance of the district’s technology fleet. All told, Jason helps keep 300 MacBook Pros, 250 iMacs, 150 PCs, and over 300 iOS devices running under what you might call … challenging circumstances (school kids, after all, can turn iPads into juice boxes before you can say “recess”). Read his story on our blog!
I squatted down in the dirt and took stock of my inadequate tools. Over my left shoulder a massive John Deere tractor loomed. I came here to fix that tractor. So far, things weren’t going as planned. One hour later, I hopped back out of the cab of the tractor. Defeated. I was unable to breach the wall of proprietary defenses that protected the tECU like a fortress. I couldn’t even connect to the computer. Because John Deere says I can’t.
When Jessa’s kids flushed her iPhone down the toilet, she decided she was going fix it herself. After all, the only thing wrong was a tiny charging coil on the motherboard. Such a little thing. But that process—picking one micro-component off the board and replacing it—requires micro soldering, a skill not widely practiced in the US. So Jessa taught herself to do it. Now, she is now a micro soldering expert, and a proprietress of a thriving board-level repair business: iPad Rehab.
If we could boil iFixit down to one single tenet, it would be this: Repair is noble. To us, repair is more than a transitory act. It has lasting effects. Repair connects us to the stuff we own, it turns consumers into contributors, and it’s the most effective form of recycling there is. Turns out that one of our idols feels exactly the same way.