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.
Last week, we launched a new book in the iFixit Store about one man’s adventures on the road. Dr. Ronald Mullisen’s book tells of harrowing breakdowns and creative repairs. Ronnie’s Roadside Repairs is as much a memoir as it is a celebration of on-the-spot repair—the kind that tests your knowledge, your mettle, and your resourcefulness. We wanted to celebrate that, so we asked our community to tell us their most epic roadside repairs. We picked our favorites; read them on our blog!
Listeners tuned in for his sagely car advice, but they trusted him for his booming laugh. On Monday, Tom Magliozzi—who co-hosted Car Talk on NPR with his brother, Ray Magliozzi—passed away of complications stemming from Alzheimer’s Disease. He was 77. Tom Magliozzi was both an amazing teacher and a captivating entertainer. And that’s because he approached cars the same way he approached life: with curiosity, exuberance, and joy. Certainly, the radio will seem a little less vibrant without him.
Driving through the Baja California desert in 1966 in a $50 Chevy Corvair, Ron Mullisen and a friend started having engine trouble—and dealt with it, on the spot. Ron Mullisen is the author of Ronnie’s Roadside Repairs, a memoir full of stories of road trips and the (inevitable) breakdowns along the way. Ron’s book illustrates something iFixit believes in: the power of resourcefulness, self-reliance, and mechanical know-how. Get the book in iFixit’s Store now, and get out there on the road!
Delia, along with her team—that she lovingly dubbed her “adopted aunts”—repaired thousands of garments every single year. Delia believed in repair. She saw the value in each piece of clothing that she touched, because it was a part of someone’s life. Delia didn’t just see a jacket. She saw a story. An adventure. A person.
If my phone were a person, it would be the Bionic Woman. Its body has been broken and rebuilt more times than I can count. Its brain has been modified, tinkered with, and improved. It is the phone that will not die—at least not if I have anything to say about it.