Stepping behind the display cases of Ali Athari’s watch and jewelry store is like changing dimensions. Watches and jewelry glisten in their cases only feet away, but they are only a facade—intricate disguises designed to hide the real artistry: the watchmaker’s workshop. Ali is a lifelong student of watch design and repair, and it shows. The shelves of his workspace are lined with antique tools, calibration machines, and measurement devices—all designed for the repair of ailing timepieces.
March is Women’s History Month and today is International Women’s Day—so we thought we’d take this opportunity to shine a spotlight on some of the great women who work at iFixit and its sister company, Dozuki. When you go to a website like iFixit and scroll through the guides, it’s easy to forget that real people keep all those bits and bytes running smoothly. We’re an incredibly diverse team, split between two continents—but we’re united by a love of tinkering and repair.
We’ve gotta hand it to you, y’all made this Valentine’s Day one for the iFixit history books. We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate Cupid’s favorite holiday than by swapping repair tales with all you beautiful people. We received so many wonderful photo contest entries that we couldn’t pick just one winner—so we picked 5!
Hoist your wrenches into the air, folks. As of today, October 28, you can now hack, repair, and conduct security research on your own car—or tractor!—without risking jail time for copyright infringement. Exactly one year ago, the Copyright Office granted exemptions for repairing, modifying, and conducting security research on your own vehicle. And those exemptions go into effect today.
Jamie Frendo-Cumbo lives up in Kuujjuaraapik—a very small, very remote community on the southeastern shore of Hudson Bay in Canada. Kuujjuaraapik is off the beaten path. Literally. As in there are no roads to Kuujjuaraapik. As you can imagine, there’s also not a lot of what you’d call organized entertainment in a town so remote. You’ve got to make your own fun. So Jamie decided to fix 60 devices in 90 days.
I found Dina on Instagram, where she makes teardown videos as part of an ongoing project she calls “Tinker Fridays.” At iFixit, we approach teardowns with a sort of surgical precision. Components are sorted and meticulously re-composed on a table, like a scientist pinning specimens to a board. For Dina, objects are like puzzle boxes—mysteries await just beneath the cover. In her hands, objects dance apart and reveal themselves, like a wonderful secret only you’ve been told.
At Fixit Clinic, we celebrate successful repairs by ringing a bell and shouting “Fixxxxed!” It may seem campy to celebrate each successful repair in this way—and with a 70% success rate on repairs, we do a lot of celebrating. But after over 170 Fixit Clinics across the US—in the San Francisco Bay Area, Minneapolis, Boulder, Austin, San Diego, and Orange County—we wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s all part of creating a participatory and festive atmosphere around repair.
We talk a lot about why it’s getting harder to fix electronics. Not just because of how those devices are designed, but also because a lot manufacturers don’t want anyone to know how to fix them. And those companies can issue legal threats to keep repair information out of public view. It looks like Louis Rossmann, an independent Apple repair tech from NYC, is fending off a legal attack from one of those companies.
We tinker with computers for a living—which means, we’ve seen more circuit boards and electronics kits than you can shake a spudger at. But we’ve never seen a printed circuit board quite like this before. Delightfully old school by design, Circuit Classics was engineered by Star Simpson and inspired by the work of tinkering legend and author Forrest M. Mims, III. Circuit Classics brings Mims’ beginning electronics projects off the page and into a real-life electronics kit.
If you want to start mastering the basics, look no further than our ongoing YouTube series on repair skills. In our most recent installment, iFixit’s resident tinkerer—Gwendolyn Gay—teaches you how to use a multimeter, which has a million uses for testing electronics and circuits (seriously, keep one in your work bag at all times). Here’s Gwendolyn’s multimeter 101 lesson—which goes over testing continuity, voltage, and resistance.